'Speak English': Racist poster targets backpackers in far north Queensland

A poster with racist overtones has targeted backpackers in the far north Queensland town of Ayr.

The poster appeared in a local shop window.

The poster appeared in a local shop window. Source: Townsville Bulletin

A poster has appeared in a far north Queensland town attacking backpackers of non-northern European descent.

The poster, which was put up in a shop window in Ayr, said: "unless you are of northern European descent, speak English and you are not a thot or degenerate f--k off, because you are not welcome".

"Thot" is misogynistic slang, often linked to the word prostitute.

"Ayr is a backpacker-free zone," it said.

The poster in Ayr.
Source: Townsville Bulletin

The region is an agricultural hub, considered one of Australia's most productive sugar cane growing areas.

Consequently, Ayr attracts many international travellers looking for farm work.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said she was shocked by the "racist" poster.

The person or persons responsible should hang their heads in shame

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin

"I am appalled by the vile messaging in this poster. The person or persons responsible should hang their heads in shame," she said.

"We wholeheartedly welcome backpackers to our region, not only for the crucial work they do in our horticultural industries but for the cultural diversity they add to our community," Ms McLaughlin said.

"Our cultural diversity makes the Burdekin a great place to live and enriches our way of life."

Police are currently investigating the matter.

It comes only weeks after racist posters appeared around Ryde in Sydney, calling for an end to 457 visas, a ban on Asian immigration and a crackdown on foreign business owners.

Anyone with information about the poster and those responsible is encouraged to contact the police by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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Published 5 June 2018 at 12:23pm
By Nick Baker