18 Aug Labor aligns itself with ‘cancel culture’ attack
Townsville, Mackay and Gladstone placenames could be among dozens wiped off the map as part of what is possibly the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s biggest break with the reality of everyday Queenslanders yet, Katter’s Australian Party Leader Robbie Katter has said.
In the official reply to a petition calling for the abolishment in Queensland of all placenames “associated with British aristocrats and politicians who were slave traders or pro-slavery in their public life”, Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said the government had been actively removing “inappropriate names” in recent years.
The Minister said the Palaszczuk Labor Government would consider changing the names of places associated with British aristocrats and politicians who were in favour of slavery, and urged anyone with suggested name changes to get in touch.
Mr Katter said this latest example of “cancel culture” was deeply offensive to everyday Queenslanders and would do nothing to advance the lives of First Australians.
“The fact that it only takes a small petition or a cry out in the name of ‘political correctness’ to lead the government to this drastic and possibly dangerous position is ridiculous,” he said.
“I acknowledge there is a need, in some cases, to remove explicitly offensive names – but taking names out of context, or attaching meaning where there is none in the minds of right-thinking people, is an attack on truth, history and everything that makes our state and nation what they are.
“Townsvillians should be deeply concerned – if things keep going down this path, there will be no ‘Townsville’ and no ‘James Cook University’.
“We may end up with the ‘North Queensland Cowspeople’ too.”
Mr Katter said he challenged the Premier, and her Labor MPs, to take a walk down the main streets of Townsville, Mackay and Gladstone to see if anyone felt the name changes were a pressing issue.
He further encouraged Labor to find out if anyone associated these cities’ names with the historic slave trade.
Mr Katter said the petition in question had received only 393 signatures, significantly less than parliamentary petitions doing the rounds at the same time relating to saving Tugun Beach turtles (1,047 signatures) and refunding COVID-19 fines following mass protests in Brisbane whose attendees were not subject to social distancing laws (1,256 signatures).
The Traeger MP said anyone who had concerns about the well-being of First Australians in Queensland in the 21st century ought to contact his office to discuss a number of previously-announced policies to address systemic issues facing them and their communities including youth crime, unemployment and fair access to fresh food, groceries and affordable fuel.
 “Townsville, Mackay, Gladstone among Queensland towns named after slave traders, supporters”, The Courier Mail, August 17, 2020, Retrieved from: www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/pressure-mounts-to-rename-places-in-queensland-named-after-people-connected-with-the-slave-trade/news-story/19bbf4dc232a16be591736cad7e3f201