Friday, July 19, 2024

Adelaide in a flap over Aboriginal flag

City of Adelaide Council Mayor, Jane Lomax-Smith, has stood by her order for the Aboriginal flag to be flown at half-mast at Adelaide Town Hall and Victoria Square in the wake of the Prime Minister’s failed Voice to Parliament referendum.

The Mayor was publicly criticised by Councillor Henry Davis this week, who labelled the flag lowering move as political point-scoring.

“We had a committee meeting on Tuesday night and she could have called a special meeting to bring it to the council, but instead she took the elected members’ voices away and directed the staff herself,” he told media.

“In my view she is just grandstanding over the failure of the Voice. It’s now very clear that the community never supported this proposal.”

Councillor Henry Davis.
City of Adelaide Mayor, Jane Lomax-Smith.

Cr Davis said flying a flag at half-mast should be reserved for the death of a significant individual or for official days of remembrance.

Every state and territory in Australia voted No to the proposed change to the Constitution except the ACT. Every South Australian electorate also voted No.

“We just to take a deep breath, keep calm and respect everyone’s point of view because, after all, we’ve all voted with the best intentions,” Mayor Lomax-Smith told a TV news crew this week.

In Fremantle, the Aboriginal flag has also been flying at half-mast this week, despite 53.5% of voters opposing the constitutional change according to official polling figures.

Fremantle Mayor, Hannah Fitzhardinge.

Mayor, Hannah Fitzhardinge says the flag had been lowered “as an expression of support for local elders following the voice referendum result”.

“We are deeply aware of the disappointment and grief currently being experienced by Fremantle’s Aboriginal elders and we want to express our support and empathy,” she said.

“They have told me they would appreciate this simple sign of solidarity.”

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