News

"Misguided redneck nonsense" spoiling Ipswich, says minister

QUICK RESPONSE: Multicultural Affairs Minister Glen Elmes met with Raj Sharma after a racist attack on the businessman and his family.
QUICK RESPONSE: Multicultural Affairs Minister Glen Elmes met with Raj Sharma after a racist attack on the businessman and his family. David Nielsen

QUEENSLAND'S Multicultural Affairs Minister Glen Elmes has hit out at the alleged perpetrators of a racist attack in Ipswich, saying they are a minority of ignorant rednecks.

Mr Elmes met with India Mehfil restaurant owner Raj Sharma yesterday, following Tuesday's attack, in which several young people allegedly racially abused and then spat on members of Mr Sharma's family.

National news cameras rolled as an angry Mr Sharma vented some of his frustration on the visiting Minister, as well as Member for Ipswich Ian Berry, who also came to hear more about the problem.

"I am sick of this - my staff are sick of this," Mr Sharma told Mr Elmes.

"I have a restaurant in Brisbane and this does not happen there.

"None of us want to tolerate this any longer; you need to show stronger leadership."

The appalling racism - which followed a violent attack on two of Mr Sharma's staff only a few weeks earlier - may cast a shadow over the city, however the restaurant owner emphasised the fact that the vast majority of people supported him.

Mr Sharma said he'd received an outpouring of encouragement from the Ipswich community since the Queensland Times reported on the attack. In addition to the two State Government representatives, Mr Sharma said he'd received calls from Mayor Paul Pisasale.

Despite the support, Mr Sharma said he and his family could not tolerate further abuse.

"I don't want to leave Ipswich, because the community has been good to me. I ask the people of Ipswich not to abandon us - we are only here because of you," he said.

Mr Elmes said he and Mr Berry would hold discussions with police over the possibility of a greater presence in d'Arcy Doyle Place and other parts of the CBD.

"More importantly, we have got to continue to deliver the message that this behaviour cannot be tolerated," Mr Elmes said.

"This is not something that only happens in Ipswich. It happens in towns and cities everywhere and involves just a small minority of people.

"Queensland has 221 different cultures, 220 languages are spoken and we have 100 religious or belief systems - that's a fact."

He said 20% of Queenslanders were born overseas, so multiculturalism was here to stay.

"It enriches our society and I believe 99% of people get the message. It's that one in 100 people - or maybe even less - who take that misguided redneck nonsense approach."

Topics:  editors picks glen elmes mehfil indian restaurant raj sharma



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Life devoted to Ipswich veterans

Phil Gilbert's coffin passes through a guard of honour after his funeral Tuesday.

Stalwart of Ipswich RSL farewelled

Brendon McCullum to play T20 cricket for Ipswich

COUP: New Zealand legend Brendon McCullum to play T20 cricket for Ipswich-Logan Hornets.

New Zealand legend to inspire young Hornets on Sunday

'Fuming': Graduation two ticket limit has parents upset

A post on Goodna State School's Facebook Page reminding parents only guests with tickets would be allowed into the graduation ceremony.

Parents at Goodna State School are fuming and confused.

Local Partners

FLOOD RISK: Mayors launch plan to protect $260M industry

A COMPREHENSIVE plan to deal with the flood risk to rivers and lakes in the Lockyer Valley has been launched.


Top 5 Christmas events around Ipswich

The Twighlight Christmas Parade was just the first of many events around the region.

THERE are plenty of exciting Christmas activities coming up.

It's official, Christmas has started in Ipswich

TIS THE SEASON: Plenty of families got into the holiday spirit at the Christmas Twilight Parade.

PHOTOS: Annual Twilight Parade draws hundreds, more events to come

What's on this weekend

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

Things to do in Ipswich

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

Leo designs shocker tattoo for Tom Hardy after lost bet

Leonardo DiCaprio has designed a new tattoo for Tom Hardy

Hollywood star at home on the Coffs Coast

FEELING LUCKY, SON?: Scott Eastwood visited the Coffs Coast

Guess which Hollywood star has been seen around the Coffs Coast?

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

PHOTOS: World class CBD to lift Ipswich

An artist's impressions of the future Ipswich city mall.

Grand plans to transform city heart unveiled today

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!