I Expected Better from the Australians Than This...

2

Written on 5:31 PM by Jack B.

If this had come from American and European politicians I wouldn't be surprised..but from the Aussies?

The story: Council bans Australian flag

Excerpt:
The New South Wales Government has urged a Sydney beachside council to rethink its decision not to fly the Australian flag over the iconic Bondi Pavilion amid suggestions the move was inspired by racial tensions.But Waverley Council's deputy mayor said Premier Morris Iemma didn't understand the facts and accused Liberal councillors of hijacking the issue for political gain.

Mr Iemma today urged the council to reconsider its 6-5 vote against flying the flag over the heritage-listed building. "Our flag is a symbol of national unity and the council decision is just ridiculous, they want to reconsider it and reconsider immediately," he said. "There's no excuse for anyone else to be saying 'Well, because of the incidents, the riots of two weeks ago we're not going to fly the Australian flag'. That is just ridiculous."

Exactly. Ridiculous is just the right word.

Waverley deputy mayor George Newhouse, who was among councillors who rejected the flag proposal, said it had nothing to do with racial tensions. "We already fly the flag at Bondi, we proudly fly the flag at Bondi and this decision has absolutely nothing to do with racism or Cronulla. It has everything to do with practical common sense," Mr Newhouse said.
"The Pavilion is a heritage-listed building and it will cost thousands of dollars to perform a heritage study and then erect the poles, which don't exist."

What a lame excuse!

And apparently they did because it might offend Muslims after all the racial violence that had broken out - and apparently the decision DID offend Muslims and the idea that they demand the flag of THEIR country could not be flown.

From another report:
Founder of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, Keysar Trad, said decisions made on behalf of the Muslim community with no consultation caused only further division. "To suggest in the slightest Muslims would be offended at the sight of the Australian flag is naive," Mr Trad said. "Many Muslims call Australia home and they are just as happy to see the flag flying high as any other Australians."

In other words - these politicians are morons.

Of course there's been a backlash. Here are two editorials:
The Daily Telegraph:

Waverley Council's Green mayor Mora Main and her Labor coalition members have successfully ensured that the beachside suburb's local governors are the latest byword for abject idiocy.Because of the council's inane ban on flying the national flag from the council-controlled Bondi Pavilion, and the weaselly attempts by Ms Mora and her Labor deputy, George Newhouse, to justify their ridiculous decision by claims of cost, heritage concerns and the possibility of stirring racist sentiments, the council has made itself a national laughing stock.

Ms Mora, who initially said the decision not to fly the flag was based on some politically correct humbug about the sensitivities of minority groups involved in the Cronulla brouhaha – though she first rejected the national flag last March, nine months before Cronulla erupted, now says the decision was always based solely on financial and heritage considerations. The heritage concern was always a furphy, photographs of the pavilion under the flag taken throughout the last century abound. As for the cost claim, local Federal MP Malcolm Turnbull and Liberal councillor Joy Clayton, graciously offered to fund the flag and flagpole, but now Premier Morris Iemma, sniffing a major backlash, has said the State Government will pay for flags, flagpoles, bolts, and if necessary, a man to hoist the flag daily.

Ms Mora had said she wanted to meet the premier, Mr Turnbull, anyone, in fact who might care to meet her. However, no one wanted to meet her, everyone just wanted to see the flag flying in its proper place of honour above Australia's most famous beach. And so it will, again. No thanks to the Waverley Council, again.

And here's one from theTownsville Bulletin:

THE beaches of Bondi seem a long way from downtown Townsville but that did not stop the debate over whether or not to fly an Australian flag over the historic beach pavilion from striking a chord in the North.Not surprisingly, and quite rightly, Townsville people saw the decision not to fly the flag for what it was - political correctness gone completely loopy. It was clear evidence that the racial violence on our beaches in the lead-up to Christmas has authorities in a spin.

Indeed, they, like the rest of us, are still in a state of shock over the scenes being played out on Australian streets. It is understandable that authorities do not have all the answers to what is obviously a deep-seated problem and nobody really expects them to come up with a solution overnight, but running scared is not the way to deal with it.

To disguise our national identity in fear of offending someone is not the answer. And to hide our symbol of national unity, a flag which generations have fought and died to protect, is unforgivable. It is hatred, not the sight of an Australian flag, that incites racial violence and to stop proudly flying it is a sign our elected representatives are devoid of better ideas.


Right-O! And now it seems that the politicians are back-peddling quickly:
Flag may fly again, says council

First they feared inciting racial violence, then they said it was the cost and possible damage fitting a flag pole would cause to a heritage building.But after a day of public pillory from critics, including Prime Minister John Howard and New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma, Sydney's Waverley Council conceded defeat yesterday. It will now consider overturning its controversial decision to ban flying the Australian flag at Bondi Pavilion. Before imposing the ban, the council recently rejected an offer from Federal MP Malcolm Turnbull to pay for an Australian and Aboriginal flag. One councillor turned the offer down amid of fears it may incite further racial tension.
Deputy Mayor George Newhouse claimed the major concern was the impact on the heritage-listed building. But The Daily Telegraph has uncovered a photograph, taken in the 1930s, showing two flags once flew over the pavilion. Waverley Mayor Mora Main admitted yesterday the council would now have a rethink. "I have called on the Premier and Mr Turnbull to meet with me to discuss the appropriateness of putting flags on the pavilion and also how it can be funded," she said. "It's great to hear this discussion about the flags and I look forward to hearing everyone's ideas when we consult with the community."


Ms Main and fellow Green, George Copeland, had led a group of Labor councillors, including Mr Newhouse, Peter Moscatt, John Wakefield and Ingrid Strewe, who wanted to ban the flag from the pavilion, sparking outrage. A spokesman for the Prime Minister said there was no reason the Australian flag should be prohibited. Mr Iemma, who last week presented a new flag to the Brighton-le-Sands RSL Club after its symbol was burnt during the December 11 race riots, said: "Our flag is a symbol of national unity and the council decision is just ridiculous. They want to reconsider it immediately." Three national flags flew at Bondi beach yesterday - above the Bondi Bathers Club, the North Bondi Surf Club and the North Bondi RSL.

What idiots! I'm surprised these politicians haven't been laughed out of town already.

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