Social commentator and men's rights advocate Bettina Arndt's Member of the Order of Australia honour should be cancelled, Victoria's attorney-general says.
Labor's Jill Hennessy, who is also state minister for workplace safety, has written to Governor General David Hurley after the Australia Day Honours list was published on Sunday saying she was alarmed at the appointment.
Ms Hennessy's letter dated January 28 and posted on her Facebook page recognises the honours are decided with the recommendation of an independent council but queries why Ms Ardnt was included.
"Taking into account Ms Arndt's well-documented opinions, public commentary and media appearances - which include sympathising with a convicted paedophile [sic] and blaming and shaming victims - this award is an insult to victims of sexual abuse and to those of us who work hard every day to prevent it," she wrote.
Ms Hennessy also pointed to the issue of family violence.
"I would ask that the Council of the Order of Australia consider cancellation of Ms Arndt's award given that her public commentary brings the Order into disrepute and in particular that it attaches the Order's tacit support to her views," she wrote.
Ms Ardnt said Ms Hennessy should be ashamed.
"Shame on Victoria's first law officer, Jill Hennessy, the Victorian Attorney General for responding to muckraking from ideologues rather than seeking proper evidence," she posted on Twitter.
Ms Arndt was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for "significant service to the community as a social commentator, and to gender equity through advocacy for men".
Ms Arndt was attacked by commentators in 2018 when she interviewed convicted pedophile Nicolaas Bester, who sexually assaulted a student while working as a maths teacher in Tasmania.
She has also been criticised for her views on domestic violence and the related male-female dynamics.
Former Australian of the Year and family violence survivor Rosie Batty, whose young son was murdered by her mentally ill ex-husband, earlier this week questioned the legitimacy of the appointment.
"I cannot help but be appalled that someone who minimised violence towards women who is part of the inevitable pushback and backlash that we all experience as we pioneer a way forward, would be awarded," Ms Batty told News Corp Australia.
Australian Associated Press