January 9, 2007, the Age
The Age reported yesterday that 700 people were involved in a brawl starting in Springers car park, Keysborough, at 2am on Sunday.I stand and applaud Peter Brown.
Letter to the editor in response by councillor Peter Brown:Springers is a sports leisure centre surrounded by parklands and remote from main road access. It is managed for the Greater Dandenong Council by independent contract management, but I would ask the following questions: who in their right mind would encourage several hundred youths to congregate at night in a relatively remote facility such as this, particularly for an after-party, not even connected with sporting activity? And what security arrangements were put in place, if any, by the hirers or hirees?
I note that an offender is to be charged; it is reported he comes from Sunshine. We have enough problems in Greater Dandenong, and the residents in Keysborough South do not need Springers or any other place similar, to be a congregation point for hundreds of Sudanese from all over Melbourne who bring their tribal differences with them erupting into violence.
This is not multiculturalism: it is madness — a madness witnessed in Cronulla early last year, and being repeated in Keysborough by a different ethnic group.
If the Australian Government chooses to ease the ethnic problems of Black Africa by transporting their citizenry to Australia by the jumbo jetload, then the only achievement will be to remove the problems from one continent beset by them to another continent, Australia — and you do not have to be a Rhodes scholar to see that that is happening now in the City of Greater Dandenong.
A council community grant last year to a Sudanese group was halted because of the aggressive opposition to it by a different Sudanese faction. The problems at Noble Park station were not there before the jumbos flew in. And late last year, when I was mayor, I met a delegation of Sudanese, some of whom came from Footscray and who berated our council for insufficient financial and other support and then criticised us by saying "the Vietnamese have had their turn for the money, now it is ours (the Sudanese)".
Australia has a proud history of social justice, understanding and harmony and embracing of multicultural values, but this is now being eroded by a multicultural policy that is growing ever divisive as the result of a blind belief that Australia can be all things to all people and a perception overseas that Australia is an easy touch.
Australia should not be the repository for global social and ethnic problems in the misguided belief that we can solve them, because as the world population increases beyond the already unsustainable levels more pressure will be placed on Australia to be a universal agent of global multicultural support. We will be doomed to failure, and we are taking the first steps along that road now that began with the "Australians of convenience" marching down the main road of Cronulla last year, reaching Keysborough 12 months later.
Peter Brown, councillor, Keysborough South ward, City of Greater Dandenong