JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder council approves mosque during fiery meeting

Date

Liam Ducey

The City of Kalgoorlie Boulder approved the construction of a mosque in the inland city during a heated council meeting on Monday night, passing the motion six votes to four.

Acting mayor Allan Pendal said it was clear from the start of public question time the issue would be hotly contested, with what he described as a "vocal minority" clearly opposed to the planned construction of the mosque on Park Street in the suburb of Williamstown.

An alternative motion was put forward during the meeting that would have seen the application sent back to the council's all-purpose committee to seek more information.

The vote on that motion was deadlocked at 5-5, with Cr Pendal using his casting vote, as presiding officer, to defeat the motion.

The original motion was then moved and passed 6-4.

Cr Pendal said the council was bound to judge the application on planning grounds, something he believed the anti-mosque supporters couldn't comprehend.

"It was the biggest council meeting I've seen in nine years, we couldn't actually fit everyone in the council chambers," he said.

"There was strong representation against the item. They were very vocal but they couldn't seem to understand that we couldn't judge the application on political or moral or religious grounds.

"This was a planning decision and they didn't understand that despite me explaining it to them five or six times."

He said the heckling of the anti-mosque group reached its peak during the debate of the item and at several points descended into abuse of council.

However with the motion passed, he expected that would be the end of the issue for the vast majority of Kalgoorlie residents.

"There were supporters of the mosque there, they were very quiet but you could see the support on their faces," he said.

"Now that it has been passed, that should be the end of it - I'm sure some people will continue to try and fight it but once the decision has been made, council are the only ones that can reverse it and that's a very difficult process. I would say it's extremely unlikely to happen.

"Having said that there are a lot of conditions on the mosque that the applicants have to meet, and they have a long way to go before this will be up and running."

The group "Stop the mosque in Kalgoorlie" has railed against the decision on itsFacebook page, saying that City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder councillors repeatedly ignored their questions.

"There were many valid points raised by some concerned citizens about the planning and extremely briefly what social impacts islam brings to a host community, every question, every query COMPLETELY IGNORED AND UNANSWERED," they wrote.

17 comments so far

  • Can someone please help me with my dumb question: what are the parameters that define a "town planning issue"?

    Commenter
    Eliot Vlatko
    Location
    Kalgoorlie
    Date and time
    July 29, 2014, 12:46PM
    • It amazes me that there are people afraid of things like a Muslim takeover or the introduction to Sharia law in Australia. Amazing that this was the biggest council meeting and people will go there based on something fed to them in the media, but which they probably have not seen or experienced first-hand. I would say that the fear they are feeling must be a small iota of what the Aborigines must have felt once they realised the whites were in their lands to stay. Quite extraordinary, the fearful, little, mean country we have become.

      Commenter
      Anthony
      Location
      Hamilton Hill
      Date and time
      July 29, 2014, 2:09PM
      • I know right! why on earth should people be afraid of Sharia Law? It's as ridiculous as being afraid of fascism or communism. I see where you're coming from. The Aborigine's rightly so were fearful of the white invaders but why oh why should anybody currently residing in Australia be afraid of anything? How dare we be afraid. We should be as generous as every other nation and show everybody how we're not fearful. Just like the Coptic Christians in Egypt, our fear of Islamists is totally unfounded.

        Commenter
        Shazza's Law
        Date and time
        July 29, 2014, 2:40PM
      • Of course people shouldn't be afraid of things like a Muslim takeover or the introduction of Sharia law in Australia. Once they see how well it works they will be rejoicing in the streets. Look how well it is going in Britain.

        Commenter
        It Is Going to Happen
        Date and time
        July 29, 2014, 5:36PM
      • Although your snide remarks might sound like a rational reason why you might be afraid of Sharia law and Islamification of Australia. You, by your very own actions are promoting the princples that you fear in a Sharia law state.

        Freedom to practice religion is an important personal freedom. When a state acts to prevent people from practicing their religion how is it any better than Sharia law? You advocate opression in order to preserve freedom (your white, middle class freedom). You are a hypocrite and it is actions like yours and these groups that create extremism and fundamentalism.

        Australia practices separation of church and state specifically to remove religious bias from decision making processes. There is nothing inherently dangerous about Islam that does not already exist here in Australian fundamentalists of any other faith. Your particular hatred of a people based purely on faith is ample demonstration of that.

        Commenter
        MrSmith
        Location
        Perth
        Date and time
        July 29, 2014, 6:20PM
    • I have an easy solution for the people of kalgoorlie, bury a pig on the proposed site and it can no longer be used. I would do it in a heartbeat if i lived nearby.

      Commenter
      Luke
      Date and time
      July 29, 2014, 2:40PM
      • Yea gods what a foul person. Possibly dangerous as well.

        Commenter
        Patrickb
        Date and time
        July 29, 2014, 4:50PM
      • Great idea! Absolutely, a pig should be buried on the site of the mosque, there is no way a mosque should be being built anywhere in Australia!

        Commenter
        nomosque
        Date and time
        July 29, 2014, 5:16PM
    • Can someone explain to me how having an official place of worship is going to make a damned bit of difference in terms of anything, up to and including, any kind of Muslim takeover.

      Even if we take the flawed premise that Islam is going to destroy the vibrant culture of alcoholism and legal prostitution that is Kalgoorlie, there are already Muslim's in Kalgoorlie, that's who they're building the mosque for. Making them worship in the back of a shop or someone's home instead of a building doesn't make them any less Muslim.

      Commenter
      Chris
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      July 29, 2014, 3:02PM
      • Vibrant culture of alcoholism and legal prostitution? Sounds like a fabulous place.

        Commenter
        Catherine
        Date and time
        July 29, 2014, 4:12PM

    More comments

    Make a comment

    You are logged in as [Logout]

    All information entered below may be published.

    Error: Please enter your screen name.

    Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Please enter your comment.

    Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

    Post to

    You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

    Thank you

    Your comment has been submitted for approval.

    Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

    Featured advertisers