Claims of racism after Straddie mural defaced

The fence where the mural flag was painted over before indigenous artists repainted the mural on Australia Day.

The fence where the mural flag was painted over before indigenous artists repainted the mural on Australia Day.

THE spirit of true Australia was lost on North Stradbroke Island when an iconic mural of the Aboriginal flag was painted over at Dunwich.

The mural is on the outside of Riverside’s fence near its sand silo storage facility at the Dunwich ferry terminal.

The fence is owned by Riverside, which sells industrial sand. Sibelco rang Riverside when the mural was painted over and a Riverside spokesman said they were not going to touch the mural.

Within hours of detection, indigenous artists repainted the flag mural so it was back on the fence by lunch time on Australia Day. 

Protagonists first took to the mural painting a yellow smiley face inside the aboriginal sun logo.

That prompted others to cover the entire mural with a brown paint.  

Quandamooka man Darren Burns said painting over the flag was a deliberate act of vandalism and highlighted racist undertones on the island.

He said if the Australian flag was defaced on Australia Day, the offenders would be charged.

Mr Burns said it was the third major public aboriginal artwork to be defaced and warned island residents finding it hard to accept Aboriginal culture to leave the island. 

"Racism is alive and thriving on NSI," he said.

"A tree at Sovereign Park Street, Amity Point was defaced numerous times after being repainted.

"Amity is renowned for its bigoted culture but this same bigotry exists across the whole island though does not detract from the truly good people who co-exist and support indigenous rights." 

The mural was originally painted by indigenous activist Patrick Coolwell.

Police on the island have been asked to investigate.

Another sign at One Mile also caused some unrest. 

The sign at One Mile which has caused some island residents to question land ownership.

The sign at One Mile which has caused some island residents to question land ownership.

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