Uh.. yes, the title is as it says – the Mayor of Cumberland Council (Sydney’s West) Steve Christou has actually stated that Lunar New Year is not part of Australia’s traditions/festivities and no money should be put into it this year because it is not part of western culture. Cumberland City Council area is one of the most culturally diverse in Sydney with many different cultural festivals celebrated. There is a significant population of both Vietnamese and Chinese Australians in the region so this is a slap in the face by the Mayor Christou to say this. He also said the same thing about Diwali, and has been on the record in the past for
Considering a huge majority of his local council rate payers are of Asian and Middle Eastern descent, these comments are definitely not going to win him any favours/votes for the next local council elections. In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Mayor Christou said:
But a western Sydney mayor said ratepayers should not be footing the bill for events such as Lunar New Year and Diwali because it is not “a core essential item”.
“Australia Day, Anzac Day, Easter and Christmas are exceptions as they are significantly part of this country’s traditions and Western culture,” Cumberland City mayor Steve Christou said.
So, basically Mayor Christou feels that Australia should only be celebrating “western/white” , and that is where his council “money priorities are”? On his Twitter account, Mayor Christou stated that his his interview was taken out of context and he meant it was about empowering private sponsorship and for these local cultural groups to fundraise themselves for their cultural traditions and celebrations.
But really, if you scroll down his Twitter newsfeed you will see him re-tweet and support things that bigot racist Mark Latham is whining about, so his judgments on this really has no merit.
In addition, there is a change.org petition going around seeking his removal as Mayor after anti-Muslim comments he has made in the past. In a petition started by Roshini Veera, Mayor Christou disagreed with COVID safe Eid prayers organised at the area Gallipoli Mosque, he rejoiced when a development application for a Mosque was rejected and he made comments on radio station 2GB that it was “un-Australian” that he is unable to get a bacon and egg roll at Bankstown ( majority population of Bankstown is Asian and Middle Eastern).
In my opinion, Mayor Christou has to go as he is not working for the rate payers. The upcoming local council elections in NSW are happening in September 2021, so this will be an opportunity to vote him out of council chambers.
Header image via Sydney.com.
To read the full article, please click on: Lunar New Year not part of ‘this country’s traditions’: western Sydney mayor