Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Broome: Council rescinds Taiji censure motion

by Geoff Vivian

Broome - a mix of cultures

Broome - a mix of cultures

Broome Shire Council reaffirmed its sister-town relationship with Taiji, Japan tonight.

The council voted to take back its August motion censuring Taiji’s annual dolphin harvest (replacing it with a motion you can read here).

The motion stated council “unreservedly apologises to the Japanese community in Broome and Taiji … for any disrespect caused” and “expresses its sorrow for the public distress caused … by the offensive material left at the Japanese cemetary…”

The motion came after complaints Japanese-descended Broome residents were being persecuted, and a Japanese/Aboriginal councillor was receiving hate-mail.

Vandals attached posters to headstones at Broome Japanese cemetary and Japanese street signs.

Many Broome residents are of mixed Japanese/Aboriginal descent.

Councillor Michael Albert, a member of a well-known Aboriginal family, said he moved the motion “to reinforce the values that make this town the beautiful place it is to live.”

“It is important to recognise where Broome has come from, what it is,” he said.

He said it is important for Broome to remain a community that respects differing opinons.

“Council has to show leadership here,” he said.

The vote was unanimous, although three councillors did not attend.

“I hope this goes some way to making this a better community as it goes forward,” said Shire President Graham Campbell.

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