Break O'Day Council vote not to fly Aboriginal Flag

Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock

A motion to fly the Aboriginal flag at the Break O’Day Council chambers failed at Monday’s meeting. 

Councillor Kylie Wright moved the motion that asked the council to fly the Aboriginal flag at the council chambers at St Helens on week days.

The flag would be flown alongside the Australian flag.   

“As an inclusive community, and in light of the recent NAIDOC week celebrations, I think it is very fitting that this subject be raised,” Cr Wright said. 

“I have consulted with Aboriginal elders of our community who have responded very much in favour of council daily flying the Aboriginal flag, as Tasmania has such a diverse history regarding our Aboriginal people.”

Cr Wright said she had been approached by some Aboriginal people in the community about flying the flag. 

“We’re trying to build relationships with the Aboriginal community and I think this would be a great thing for us to consider,” she said. 

Councillor Hannah Rubenach seconded the motion, and said she had also been approached by Aboriginal people in the Break O’Day community.

Cr Rubenach said similar motions had been to council before, but had failed.  

She said flying the flag was a good way to represent inclusion. 

“It’s time and we need to reconsider this. We’re trying to build that relationship,” she said. 

“This is one way to get [Aboriginal people] recognised in our community.” 

Councillor John McGiveron said it was important to recognise it, but suggested flying the flag on “special occasions”.

He said flying the flag on these occasions would make people recognise when something was happening. 

“For special occasions it’s really good, but not everyday,” Cr McGiveron said. 

Cr Wright said “every day was a special occasion” especially because the council flies the Australian flag daily.

Cr Wright and Cr Rubenach were the only two people who voted for the motion. 

The Break O’Day Council flew an Aboriginal flag, along side the Australian flag, during NAIDOC week.

Councillors Margaret Osborne and Janet Drummond did not attend the meeting.