The humble Christmas banner could be staying in storage, with a new regulation presented to Bland Shire Council, in southern NSW, deeming it “too offensive”.
In the regulation, which has garnered widespread public interest, council was presented with a draft banner policy which would prohibit advertising of political, sexual, racial or religious material, deeming it unsuitable to hang in the town.
Under the regulation, Christmas and Easter banners would be allowed to be hung by council if deemed “promotional” but banners would not be allowed to be hung by “other parties”.
Former councillor David Bolte called it “political correctness gone mad” when he addressed council in the public forum last week.
“I only ask for the right to remind the community we have the Christmas and Easter holidays because of the birth, death and resurrection of Christ,” he said.
Mr Bolte considered it an attack on Christian groups, questioning if the regulation was “discriminatory”.
He claimed that in the last census, 80 per cent of Bland Shire residents declared they followed a Christian faith.
Mayor Neil Pokoney said a new version of the policy was being reviewed, which would see banners associated with gazetted public holidays allowed.
“The wording of the regulation was just a bit too broad,” Cr Pokoney said.
“Prior to this we didn’t have regulation pertaining to public banners – which is something council should be exercising control over.”
The regulation will be redrafted and at this stage will be presented to next month’s council meeting on August 20.