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Hockey slur costs economist

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The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has stood down its chief economist after he made derogatory comments about Treasurer Joe Hockey on Facebook.

• Tweeters beware: the posts that killed careers

Burchell Wilson allegedly called the Treasurer “a fat little bastard”, referring to a childhood photo of Mr Hockey.

He also reportedly posted offensive comments against refugees, Muslims and the disabled.

Mr Wilson was asked to stand down on Thursday by ACCI’s chief executive, Kate Carnell.

“Today I have been made aware of a number of offensive, derogatory and completely unacceptable Facebook posts allegedly made by ACCI chief economist Burchell Wilson,” Ms Carnell said in a statement released on Thursday.

This is a matter we are taking very seriously.

“After learning of the matter, I spoke to Mr Wilson and directed him to stand down from his position pending a thorough investigation.”

“This is a matter we are taking very seriously.

“ACCI also takes issues of natural justice seriously, and are providing Mr Wilson with an opportunity to respond to the allegations before any further action is taken.”

Mr Wilson has been a part of the organisation since 2009 and was involved in developing important elements of economic agenda.

According to a report published in The Australian, Mr Wilson’s online behaviour was first brought to light in an email complaint sent to the ACCI featuring screen grabs of his private Facebook profile.

Mr Wilson is yet to comment on the incident.

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