I am disappointed that a small number of my colleagues have publicly raised events from more than 100 years ago during the Ottoman Empire as an issue for the Monash Council.
Of course, this is not a matter for Monash Council or for any other local council.
Focusing on issues like this sends all the wrong messages to the Monash and wider Victorian community - especially when it relates to issues which have absolutely nothing to do with our responsibilities as a local council.
I have spoken to a majority of my colleagues and we feel this is an inappropriate matter for consideration in our council chamber. We neither support nor oppose recognition of these events as a genocide. None of us are experts in such matters. It is not relevant to anything which Monash Council is responsible for.
But most unfortunately, it seeks to pit one part of our multicultural community against other parts.
We are in the business of promoting community harmony, cohesion and bringing people together.
We proudly represent one of the most multicultural communities in Australia and we regret that a small number of our colleagues seek to introduce unnecessary controversy and division into our community.
This matter may be appropriate to be debated in the Australian Parliament, but it is not appropriate for our Council chamber. It is regrettable that their actions are impacting on our community and the way in which Monash Council is viewed.
Media Contact: Jo Robertson 0418 391 979 or email Joanne.Robertson@monash.vic.gov.au