It can be revealed today that a senior figure in the blueberry industry has launched a brief, public and personal attack on a local candidate who is calling for regulation of that same industry.

Stephen Thandi, board member of OzGroup Co-Op, the dominant blueberry industry group, failed to disclose his commercial interest and also failed to provide any substantive criticism.

Opting instead to denigrate the candidate in a drive-by personal attack, his contribution appears out of keeping with community attitudes on male aggression delivered from positions of power.

The full text of the comment is:

Even my left leaning daughter thinks you're pathetic and inept.

In response to another woman defending the candidate and calling out his disgraceful behaviour and language his simple response was:

Mary Potter you're sick.

Based on the dates above it appears Thandi decided to add his abusive follow-up on...

International Woman's Day.

The OzGroup board is comprised of 5 individuals, including the chairman and Nationals candidate Gurmesh Singh.

100% of the board are men.

The troubling response to a local resident standing for office leaves us wondering about senior industry attitudes not just to women, but also to community concerns over the impact of blueberry farming on our water quality.

Stephen Thandi, board member of OzGroup

Do they really care?

In our opinion, they don't.

An all-male board who feels so entitled and protected that one member can publicly engage in this kind of aggressive, abusive language - calling women 'pathetic', 'inept' and 'sick' - is the kind of attitude towards women our community should totally reject.

What do you think?

Get along to the candidates forum from 6pm tonight at The Cartoon Bunker to discuss issues facing women in our community. See the Facebook page for more details: