Parents of drowning victims outraged over Hockey's claims
A MOCK claim that Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey should have let Prime Minister Kevin Rudd drown during their 2006 Kokoda track walk has angered parents of drowning victims.
Mum Kat Plint, who lost daughter Hannah in 2007 in their backyard pool in the Lockyer Valley, said her charity's Facebook page was alive with people concerned about the comments made during the political battle between the federal politicians.
Hannah's Foundation, set up as the two-year-old's legacy, is dedicated to education and removing the criminal stigma long attached to river, ocean and pool drownings.
Mrs Plint said she believed such comments from Mr Hockey had "undone our work" and created a public perception that drowning was a criminal act.
"We have enough trauma for parents going through drowning events without politicians creating innuendo that drowning is an act of violence," she said.
"In 98% of cases it's an accident, a tragedy.
"Yet they're joking about it."
Mr Hockey joked, on Wednesday morning, that he should not have come to Mr Rudd's aid when he slipped while crossing a stream during the trek seven years ago.
"I should have let him drown, that's right, I should have let him," Mr Hockey said during an interview with Macquarie Radio's Alan Jones.
A spokesman from Mr Hockey's office asked people to "judge him by his actions".
"As everyone who saw the television coverage from seven years ago Mr Hockey assisted Mr Rudd when he got into difficulties in the water," he said.