Labor politician Bec Cody came under fire on Wednesday from the Returned and Services League, which is seeking a meeting over her attack on the organisation, and from Liberal Jeremy Hanson, who accused her of inciting hatred.
"Ms Cody's bullying hate speech should be condemned," Mr Hanson said, calling on Chief Minister Andrew Barr to apologise to the Sussex Inlet RSL club and to the RSL on her behalf.
"I condemn Ms Cody for her spiteful, false and hurtful attack on the RSL and its members," he told the ACT parliament.
RSL ACT branch president Peter Eveille said Ms Cody's criticism was "complete rubbish".
"Sweeping generalisations like that make me quite upset because it's complete rubbish," he said. "I'll be contacting Ms Cody's office with a view to give her a more balanced view of what the RSL does."
The clubs were not part of the RSL but owned and operated independently, he said. The national and NSW branch of the RSL also said they had no control over the licensed clubs and no power to intervene as demanded by Ms Cody.
It also emerged yesterday that Ms Cody's husband, Bruce Paul, is a member of the Veterans Motorcycle Club whose members are refused service at the Sussex Inlet RSL and some other South Coast clubs when they wear their bike-club colours.
Mr Paul posted on Facebook about the federal chapter of the club being refused service at the separate Jervis Bay club in June last year, saying the club should be ashamed. "We served our country, they wouldn't serve us beer," he wrote. While it is a separate club, the Sussex Inlet club has a similar policy.
Ms Cody said the urinal tiles and motorcycle club issues were entirely unrelated. To her knowledge her husband had never been refused service at the Sussex Inlet club.
"I've had my say on the issue that matters here and that's racism," she said.
Ms Cody and her husband visited the Sussex Inlet club over summer, where they were horrified by the tiles depicting Aboriginal people in the men's urinal.
Ms Cody raised the issue in the ACT parliament on Tuesday, accusing the club of racism, and calling on the national and NSW RSL bodies to urgently address what she described as "filth".
It was disgusting that "men are expected to urinate on Aboriginals", she said on Tuesday, suggesting the tiles fell into "a long history of disgraceful behaviour by this organisation", the RSL. Mr Hanson said Ms Cody's attack was false. It was clear that people would not urinate on the tiles, he said.
"To identify tiles on a wall and then accuse an organisation of "expecting men to urinate on Aboriginals" is false and is inciting the worst sorts of hatred."
Yesterday, Ms Cody rejected the suggestion that she had over-reacted, saying she had received "many many" emails and letters since her speech, some from returned servicemen and indigenous people who said they, too, had raised it with the club and been fobbed off.
Club president David Woodbridge said the tiles had been installed in 1971. "In the past 46 years there has never been an official complaint made by a member of the public," he said, stressing that the tiles were on a wall, not on the urinal. An Aboriginal elder had been a long-time patron of the club until his recent death.
Deakin University professor Yin Paradies, a researcher on racism and himself indigenous, said Ms Cody "might have been overdoing it a little bit", but he understood why she had raised the issue.
The tiles showed only a narrow slice of what it meant to be Aboriginal, and were "somewhat offensive by themselves", he said. But at the time they were installed it might have been for a positive reason.
"It was probably unusual to have any depictions at the time, and maybe they've gone out of their way to say indigenous people exist and here's some pictures of them."
The tiles were not so offensive they should necessarily be removed, he said, suggesting the club consult more widely and rather than "erasing history", consider adding to the artwork through modern depictions.