Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 February 2017) . . Page.. 540 ..
Sussex Inlet RSL Club
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (6.19): Yesterday in the Assembly Ms Cody made a false and hateful attack on the RSL and a Sussex inlet business. Her speech was seemingly intentionally designed to cause division in our community and disrespect a veterans organisation and its members. I see she is now laughing as I speak. In her speech Ms Cody said the following of the Sussex Inlet RSL Club, which members should note is a trading business and not part of the veterans organisation that goes by that name:
Let me say that again: in 2017, in Australia, in a club that promotes itself as championing our values and respect for our national heritage, men are expected to urinate on Aboriginals.
That is not true, members. I have looked at the photos and it is clear that no-one would or could urinate on anyone. To identify tiles on a wall and then accuse an organisation of expecting men to urinate on Aboriginals is false and is inciting the worst sorts of hatred. Ms Cody went on to say:
The Sussex Inlet RSL are a disgrace. They are a disgrace to themselves, a disgrace to the veterans they claim to represent and a disgrace to Australia.
The president of the Sussex Inlet club has provided a written response, and I will quote from that:
To Whom It May Concern,
Sussex Inlet RSL Club prides itself on its policy of non-discrimination. The ceramic tiles depicting Aboriginal figures were installed in a major refurbishment in 1971. In the past 46 years there has never been an official complaint made by a member of the public in regards to the tiles.
Labor Politician Ms Bec Codey’s description of the placement of the tiles in the bathroom facilities is incorrect. They are on the side walls of the men’s toilet, at least half a meter from the urinal.
Up until his recent passing, an Aboriginal elder was a patron of the Sussex Inlet RSL Club for many years.
To date Ms Codey has never officially approached Club Management or the Board of Directors before her speech in parliament. If this matter had been raised in the formal matter as per our Club’s constitution, the matter would have been addressed in the appropriate manner.
Regardless of the fact the Sussex Inlet RSL Club is not part of the RSL but is a separate business, Ms Cody went on then to launch a broad and hateful attack on the RSL and its veteran members, saying:
I wish this did not fall into a long history of disgraceful behaviour by this organisation … I do hope that leaders of this RSL club, people who either are or