Fury over `mongrel' remark

Robert Milliken
Wednesday 23 October 1996 23:02

Sydney - Port Lincoln, one of Australia's most remote towns, has sprung to national attention over a row surrounding its mayor, Peter Davis, who yesterday refused to retract his description of the children of mixed-race couples as "mongrels", writes Robert Milliken.

Mr Davis's outburst is the latest in the debate over non-white immigration, Aboriginal affairs and multiculturalism, which has swept Australia since the election last March of the conservative Liberal-National coalition government led by John Howard.

Outraged ethnic groups called for the sacking of Mr Davis, who said: "If you are a child of a mixed race, particularly Asian-Caucasian or Aboriginal- white, you are a mongrel. That's what happens when you cross dogs or whatever. I'm not a racist ... but I do recognise that cultures are different."

Nine of the town's 10 councillors resigned after he refused to withdraw his remarks.

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