Central Coast councillors were sacked in March 2022 for running up a debt of half a billion dollars. The state government appointed an administrator to restore financial discipline.
Unfortunately, the administrator, Mr Rik Hart, has gone well beyond his financial brief and is throwing his weight around ideologically, as if the good citizens of this 80 kilometre stretch of coast and hinterland need to have their identity and values corrected.
This became apparent when Mr Hart forbade the flying of Australian flags at Umina Beach, because in his judgment our flag “might offend some people”. One should note that if this standard were applied generally, no flag or symbol could be shown in public because almost anything these days might cause offence.
Outlawing the giving of offence is Orwellian in its implications. As has been pointed out numerous times, this is a problem with Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, that it unreasonably restricts freedom of speech by outlawing the giving of offence. Someone claims offence and the accused offender is censored and humiliated.
The present flag controversy is well explained by Matthew Wales, President of the Peninsular Chamber of Commerce, who was interviewed by Chris Smith of The Australian.com.au.
The controversy has the potential to influence the upcoming state election, by driving Central Coast voters away from the Coalition state government. Residents are watching with interest whether the Liberal premier of New South Wales, Dominic Perrottet, has the mettle and the savvy to discipline his renegade bureaucrat. Action by the premier is especially important because, with all councillors sacked, the people of the Central Coast have no democratic process remaining to express their concerns. They have no established avenue through which to oppose, even symbolically, the dictates of a state-appointed commissar.
The national flag being banned from a public place has evoked outrage. Indeed, the council’s actions resemble the same censoriousness and Anglophobia that has turned the school curriculum and important elements of the mainstream media into vehicles of hate for traditional Australia and our history.
BAC News will keep readers informed of developments.