The Mitcham City Council … Who? By James Reed

     I heard about this one from my brother who has a nice house in the leafy Adelaide suburb of Mitcham (near Unley High School, where Julia Gillard apparently went to). Mitcham is south of the city centre, basically divided by Unley Road. It is mainly white Anglo middle class, like my brother. But, political correctness has crept in even there:

“It will be a silent night by Brownhill Creek this Christmas, after Mitcham Council dumped its highly popular carols night. The council decision ends 25 years of the Carols By The Creek event, which regularly attracted more than 5000 people. The seven councillors who voted to abolish the carols cited its cost (about $45,000) and said the event was not inclusive for non-Christians. Hundreds of readers on and our Facebook page have slammed the decision. At 6pm on Thursday the poll further down this story had 90 per cent of respondents calling on the council to reinstate the event. During a narrow 7:5 vote to discontinue the event, Cr Darren Kruse said he was happy to be known as the “Christmas Grinch”. “Council should not be funding what fundamentally is a religious event with no co-contribution from the churches,” Cr Kruse said during an hour-long debate on the issue. “It’s not inclusive because it talks to one major religion … the Christian religion … although it is dominant, that is not our demographic. “If the churches want to run it, they should run it.” Cr Karen Hockley said the carols night ignored those who “might never go to a traditional Christmas event”. She said continuing to run the event supported the “old regime” and that the council needed to be “cleverer than that” and support diversity through other events. But she recognised the decision could cause controversy and be regarded as a “step too far” for the community, particularly in light of the council’s 3.67 per cent rate rise in 2019/20. “We’ve given them (ratepayers) the biggest rate rise in the state and then removed the most-visible use of their rates,” she said. “(This is) a sleight of hand that is not going to be tolerated by the community.” Council staff will prepare a report detailing the options for other groups to hold a “slimmed-down” carols event.”

     My brother who goes to one of the local churches near where the carols event used to occur, is livid about this, and expected that some of the massive council rates, relative to other areas od Adelaide, would go to something he liked. Now he will have to go down by the Mitcham Library, with his arthritic old black Labrador dog, Snoot, and weakly bay at the moon. Or move back home to Melbourne, a more civilised place. Come home. Bro!



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Wednesday, 31 May 2023

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