Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has condemned a racist, anti-backpacker poster found in the Ayr CBD yesterday, declaring that those responsible do not represent the views of the community and should be “ashamed of their deplorable actions”.
Cr McLaughlin said the “vile messaging” contained in the poster in no way represented the views of the Burdekin community.
“We wholeheartedly welcome backpackers to our region, not only for the crucial work they do in our horticultural industries but for the cultural diversity they add to our community,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“Our friendly community embraces backpackers and appreciates their wonderful contribution to our shire. We hope that while they are with us, the backpackers enjoy our country hospitality and authentic Australian lifestyle.
“Many of the backpackers who come here to work get to know our local families and become part of community life.”
Cr McLaughlin said she was “appalled” by the messaging contained in the poster, which suggested that backpackers would not be welcomed in the Burdekin.
“Backpackers are most welcome,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“I am appalled by the vile messaging in this poster. The person or persons responsible should hang their heads in shame.
“The poster is certainly not in keeping with the friendly and welcoming nature of our community, which celebrates cultural diversity. Our cultural diversity makes the Burdekin a great place to live and enriches our way of life.”
Cr McLaughlin said the police had been contacted and were investigating the matter.
“I encourage anyone with information about the poster and those responsible to contact the police by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000,” Cr McLaughlin said.