Gay media identity refutes role in QAHC defunding
The publisher of a Brisbane LGBTI magazine has denied accusations he contributed to the defunding of Queensland’s peak LGBTI HIV organisation.
In May, Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg made the announcement that his department would be defunding Healthy Communities, previously known as Queensland Association of Healthy Communities (QAHC).
Ray Mackereth, publisher of QNews, issued a statement online on October 23 in response to allegations made on The Stirrer website that he “met with the minister’s office prior to the defunding of QAHC and spoke in great detail about how he was instrumental in QAHC’s downfall.”
The Stirrer article, written by a former QNews contributor, claims the story’s source is “a manager of a leading LGBT targeted business”.
Paul Martin, executive director of Healthy Communities, told Queensland Pride he was glad the issue had been brought out into the open.
“Over the past few months Healthy Communities had been approached by several people with claims that Ray Mackereth had told them of his involvement in the defunding of Healthy Communities," Martin said.
"We had no direct knowledge of the truth or otherwise of these claims. Healthy Communities is glad that these allegations have been brought into the light by The Stirrer and that Mr Mackereth has had an opportunity to respond to them.
"We are interested in getting to the truth about why we were defunded and rebuilding our organisation’s ability to continue to promote the health and well-being of LGBT Queenslanders.”
In response to the Stirrer article, Mackereth issued a statement on the QNews website demanding a retraction of the allegations and claiming he was the victim of cyber bullying.
“Recent statements as part of an attack and trolling campaign against me and my businesses including QNews on the internet are untrue and have no foundation whatsoever. I am shocked to the core that they have been made,” Mackereth wrote.
“QAHC was a major advertiser in QNews. Why would I seek to de-fund them? The amount that Queensland Health spends on advertising HIV Prevention adverts currently running in QNews is but a drop in the ocean compared to the safe sex messages that were previously spent by QAHC.”
A Facebook campaign site ‘Boycott Qnews White Wolf’, referring to the dance party run by Mackereth, has been removed.