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City of Albany council endorses motion to fly Ukrainian flag at Anzac Peace Park in August

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Trenton Brennan, Cr Chris Thomson, Jon Doust and Cr Thomas Brough.
Camera IconTrenton Brennan, Cr Chris Thomson, Jon Doust and Cr Thomas Brough. Credit: Laurie Benson

A Ukrainian flag will be flown at Anzac Peace Park in August in the lead-up to the Ukarine’s independence day as a show of support for its people as they continue to fight back against the Russian invasion.

Albany councillors voted in support of a motion, 10-3, that instructs the City’s chief executive to purchase a large Ukrainian flag so that it can be flown at Anzac Peace Park from August 20 to 24.

Albany’s Ukrainian community will also be engaged and invited to a ceremonial flag-raising and the Canberra-based Ambassador to Ukraine will be invited to the ceremony.

A letter from the City will also be drafted to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to inform him of the City’s support.

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The motion was put forward by Cr Chris Thomson who acknowledged the City did not “usually involve itself in broader political matters”.

He said flying the flag would be “an exercise in promoting human rights, a gesture of support for the people of Ukraine and not against the people of Russia”.

“Symbolic power is the way societies are regulated these days,” he said.

“We are very lucky we live in a society where symbolic power, not the order of the boot reigns because we have a peaceful society.”

Cr John Shanhun said that “no one doubts the intent of this motion”, but voted against it saying it was his preference for “the people of Albany to take it upon themselves to show their support individually”.

“That would be a dramatic thing that we could all see driving around,” he said.

Cr Malcolm Traill said he would vote against the motion based “not on intent, but on content”, while Cr Paul Terry questioned whether Anzac Peace Park would be the right place for the flag to be flown before he voted for the motion.

Dennis Wellington also voted against the motion.

During public question time, Jon Doust and Trenton Brennan each urged the council to vote in favour of the show of support.

Mr Brennan told council he had never understood the value of a flag until “I hung that Ukrainian flag outside the restaurant” and people started approaching him about it.

“The reason it was important to them was because it was a signal that we understood,” he said.

“It was a safe place that we could come in and they could talk about what they were feeling and what their family was going through back home and what they were going through as a people.”

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