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Council to consider flying Ukrainian flag at Albany’s Anzac Peace Park in lead up to Ukraine Independence Day

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - OCTOBER 19: Ukrainian flags fly above the graves of soldiers killed in action following the Russian invasion on October 19, 2022 in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Camera IconKHARKIV, UKRAINE - OCTOBER 19: Ukrainian flags fly above the graves of soldiers killed in action following the Russian invasion on October 19, 2022 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images

The City of Albany will fly the Ukrainian flag in Anzac Peace Park as a show of support for the country if the council votes in favour of a motion set to be tabled at its ordinary meeting next week.

The motion, set to be tabled by Cr Chris Thomson, asks the council to consider buying a big Ukrainian flag so that it can be raised at Anzac Peace Park in the week leading up to Ukraine Independence Day on August 24.

It also asks the council to instruct the City’s chief executive to engage with Albany’s Ukrainian community to invite them to a flag raising, invite Australia’s ambassador to Ukraine to Albany to see the flag flying and draft a letter to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy informing him of the City’s gesture.

In his reasoning for the motion, Cr Thomson said the City did not “usually involve itself in broader political matters”, but pointed to a recent precedent where the Albany Town Hall had been illuminated in the rainbow colours in conjunction with the Pride Festival.

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He said prohibitive costs as well as limitations on when the hall could be illuminated had led him to come up with a “powerful alternative” to raise and fly the flag at Anzac Peace Park to leverage the “park’s message of peace to help promote peace”.

“Australia’s support for Ukraine is not contentious,” he said.

“Ukraine has received bipartisan support from our nation.

“This includes the former Coalition government sending Australian-made Bushmaster 4WD vehicles, and the current Labor Government authorising the training of Ukrainian volunteers by Australian soldiers. “

Data from the City’s .id community profile shows that 62 Albany residents had Ukrainian ancestry as of 2021.

A letter of support from the Albany RSL sub-branch is also attached to the agenda for the meeting and Cr Thomson’s reasoning notes a big Ukrainian flag would cost $100.

An officer comment provided by City of Albany community services executive director Nathan Watson at the end of the motion states the flag poles at Anzac Peace Park are mobilised for “special occasions”.

“There are no other known barriers to officers implementing the actions listed within the notice of motion should this be supported by the council,” he said.

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