Friday, June 21, 2024

City of Stonnington CEO defends pro-Israel poster removal

City of Stonnington Council Chief Executive Officer, Dale Dickson, has today spoken out in defence of the Council after it came under fire last week for removing pro-Israel posters from public areas.

Responding to claims it had tried to silence the local Jewish community, Mr Dickson said reporting had not been complete or accurate.

“Last week, there was much public and media comment to the effect that the Council has taken sides in the Gaza conflict and has acted in an inconsistent and even discriminatory way,” the Council CEO said.

“The various comments relate to the Council organisation’s actions in removing posters from its public infrastructure within the city.”

City of Stonnington CEO, Dale Dickson.

He said the Council had a local law which prescribes that its public infrastructure is kept free of any posters or material, irrespective of its content, unless its prior approval is granted.

“In practical terms, the Council will remove non permitted material when this is sighted by our outdoor workforce, or when we act on complaints received from people in the community,” said Mr Dickson.

“Given this reality, it is quite possible that inconsistencies will be evident from time to time – it is simply impossible to conduct a visual inspection of all Council infrastructure every day, such that all material is identified and removed daily.

“In this particular case, the Council acted in accordance with its local law, and without regard to the content of the posters in question.”

In the same statement, Mr Dickson said the Council had recently resolved to illuminate the Malvern Town Hall in the colours of the Israel flag for three days.

“This decision was taken in response to the tragic events unfolding in the Middle East and the distress many people in the Stonnington community are experiencing as a result,” he said.

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