Former MP Tim Wilson defends ‘ridiculous’ Anzac wreath clash

Former Goldstein MP Tim Wilson (right) in a confrontation with a Zoe Daniel volunteer, Peter, at Sunday's commemoration.

Former Goldstein MP Tim Wilson (right) in a confrontation with a Zoe Daniel volunteer, Peter, at Sunday's commemoration. Photo: Twitter

Teal independent Zoe Daniel has described a clash at a weekend Anzac Day commemoration involving her predecessor, Tim Wilson, as “sad”.

Meanwhile, Mr Wilson has defended his actions, after he came forward to lay a wreath at the event in bayside Melbourne, in the federal seat of Goldstein, on Sunday.

Mr Wilson, the former Liberal MP, lost Goldstein to Ms Daniel in the 2022 federal election.

Footage circulating on social media on Sunday appeared to show a representative for Ms Daniel confronting Mr Wilson after the wreath-laying in Beaumaris, describing the former MP’s actions as “very inappropriate” and “ridiculous”.

In the footage, Mr Wilson can be heard saying:  “The federal member for Goldstein isn’t at an Anzac Day service in her community.”

Ms Daniel told ABC radio on Monday that she wasn’t there because of a family commitment. She said she had attended a different  ceremony on Saturday, and planned to go to more on the day itself.

Of the stoush involving Mr Wilson, Ms Daniel said he had been organised for one of her volunteers, whose name was given only as Peter, to lay the wreath.

“I’m told that the former federal member for Goldstein took the wreath and would not return it to my volunteer,” she said.

She said there was a “remonstration” and both men laid the wreath together.

“That’s what apparently happened,” she said.

Ms Daniel said it wasn’t appropriate to be talking about the issue, and that Anzac events shouldn’t be politicised.

“There’s a level of respect required for Anzac Day events. It’s not about me and it’s not about Tim Wilson quite frankly. It’s about veterans, it’s about Anzacs, it’s about those who’ve served before them and since,” she said.

Mr Wilson defended his actions on Twitter, saying he was handed the wreath to lay.

“I did not ask for it. And I felt obliged to do the right thing and deliver it,” he tweeted.

Mr Wilson said it was disappointing the incident was “being spun for political objectives”.

Victorian Labor MP Ryan Batchelor was among those at the Beaumaris ceremony. He tweeted that he was standing next to Peter and Mr Wilson, and what he saw was “unedifying behaviour”.

“Disrespectful of [Tim] to pull a stunt like that at an Anzac Day service,” he wrote.

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