Widjabul Wia-bal elders have called out a sign depicting sail boats and titled ‘Widjabal Sailing Club’ that has appeared in Dunoon village recently as part of the pro-Dunoon Dam campaign as racist.
They said they are shocked at the gross racism of the large pro-Dunoon Dam sign, a crude painting of yachts on a lake above the words ‘Widjabal Sailing Club’, that appeared in the village.
‘The sign is deeply offensive to us,’ said elders Uncle Steven Roberts and Uncle John Roberts.
‘We have said many times that the Dunoon Dam would destroy our sacred burial sites and other places of great significance to our culture. We have stated very clearly that we do not want the Dunoon Dam.’
However, there are several people who are still campaigning for the dam to be built. These include former National Party candidate Austin Curtin (who lost to Janelle Saffin in the last state elections), Ballina Shire Councillor Sharon Cadwallader (who is also a member of the RCC) and Mayor of Richmond Valley Council and member of the RCC, Robert Mustow.
‘We call on all community leaders, especially Austin Curtin, Councillor Sharon Cadwallader, and other leaders of the pro-dam group, to publicly condemn this disgusting racism. We don’t want to see any more of it occurring,’ said elders Uncle Steven Roberts and Uncle John Roberts.
‘This is what happens when leaders don’t listen to the Traditional Owners when we call for respect of our heritage. Community leaders must lead by example in calling out racism.’
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