News

VIDEO: Aboriginal groups furious over refusal to fly flag

ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander community members have slammed Bundaberg Regional Council after its refusal to fly their flags alongside the Australian flag in Buss Park.

While the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are currently flown for one week of the year during NAIDOC Week, the Bundaberg NAIDOC committee requested the council fly the flags year round.

But Gidarjil managing director Kerry Blackman said they were shocked by the council's response.

Mr Black said one councillor said "you don't see the local Italian people demanding the council flies their flag," a claim the council declined to comment on.

"...they should be civic leaders for the whole community," Mr Blackman said.

"They should lead the way and start developing our cohesive, united community that accepts our culture and our people."

Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman said the council was "engaging in a process" with other councils and groups to develop an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA). He said the agreement may include clauses to address indigenous requests for "special recognition" and "reconciliation initiatives".

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are on display permanently inside the council chambers.

"Any request to fly flags on a permanent basis outside the council building would form part of a broader determination initiative," Cr Forman said.

He said the discussions about the ILUA were confidential but conducted "without prejudice".

"Consequently, council is limited by this confidentiality in the scope of comment it can make on the document or its contents," he said.

"Council has a preference to deal with issues such as flying indigenous flags through a formalised and carefully considered agreement."

Mr Blackman said the process had been ongoing since the middle of last year and said the group had several meetings with the council since then.

"It's not as though we haven't tried in a friendly manner to resolve the matter," he said.

Mr Blackman said he could not understand the council's response when poles sat unused in Buss Park and they offered to provide the flags.

"We thought it would be a pretty reasonable request with a pragmatic response, but we were taken aback," he said.

"It just highlights that there's a lack of awareness and ignorance."

Mr Blackman said other community groups and schools were proudly displaying the flags.

"We fly them outside our building, the IWC (Indigenous Wellbeing Centre) fly it, Shalom College are flying the flags, Thabeban school, Kepnock (High), Branyan school and there's others too. North Bundaberg Primary School is going to fly it too," he said.

Mr Blackman hoped the council would come on board by July 5 for NAIDOC week so the flags could remain flying in Buss Park.

"We don't just want it flown for NAIDOC week, we think it's about time we overcome the racist bigotry and the prejudice that exists and it's a good way of pulling down their barriers, it's about embracing the Aboriginal culture and Aboriginal people".

Topics:  aboriginal and torres strait islanders, editors picks, flag, naidoc




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Cold shock as temps dive below 6 in Bundaberg

CHILLY: Steam rising off the Burnett River at Cedars Crossing, South Kolan, on Sunday morning.

June six degrees colder than average

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Latest deals and offers

Darren Pratt Local Farmer

LOCALLY GROWN: Darren Pratt with his box of fresh local produce.Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

LOCALLY GROWN: Darren Pratt with his box of fresh local produce.

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

CHEAP AS CHIPS: 6 Bundy houses under $199,000

Cheap houses being sold in the region