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Hume councillor accused of travel rorts and misogyny

However an SMS exchange that was recently provided to some councillors and staff appears to indicate he was driving while disqualified.

Cr Kurt told a former friend: “I have a driving issue lol”, in a text message on October 3, 2019.

The friend replied: “So you have no licence? You drove to council and work?

Cr Kurt replied: “Yes and yes”.

In another text message from September last year that was also leaked to some councillors, Cr Kurt said “[I] just wanna bottle Carly” – a reference to Hume mayor Carly Moore.

It is understood the comment had been prompted by Cr Moore’s refusal to back Cr Kurt’s plan to become the next mayor of Hume, which has one of the state’s highest rates of family violence.

The council has repeatedly organised campaigns to promote respect for women, including an annual event that coincides with White Ribbon Day.

In March last year, Cr Kurt was commended by Labor MP Maria Vamvakinou when he celebrated International Women’s Day at a child and community centre in Craigieburn.

Cr Moore said the council was following due process to ensure the matter is appropriately dealt with.

“Our community rightfully expects and deserves only the highest level of conduct by its elected officials,” Cr Moore said.

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In another leaked SMS, Cr Kurt asked a former friend to organise an Indian running mate, which would give him “mad multicultural points if I run for re-election next year”.

“Can feature her in a video so it looks like I’m supporting Indian community,” he said.

However, in other text messages he appears to criticise relationships between Indian Australians and white Australians.

“Aussies dating Indians is whack,” he said in an SMS.

Cr Kurt did not respond to questions from The Age, but released a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

“Over the past two months, myself and members of my family have been the victims of ongoing harassment by an individual. I first referred this matter to police in mid-March of this year and it remains an ongoing police matter,” Mr Kurt said.

He said he had informed Hume City Council on Tuesday that he would be taking a leave of absence from his council duties.

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