Uproar over Carbone’s slur

Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
A car sticker protesting the pit.
Camera IconA car sticker protesting the pit.

Binningup residents are demanding an apology from a Harvey shire councillor after taking offence to a comment he made in last month’s council meeting.

Cr Craig Carbone ignited the Binningup community during a fiery debate about whether the council should extend its communications strategy to include a Facebook page.

Cr Carbone, along with several other councillors, were against the idea after fearing they would get inundated with “negative comments” that would tarnish the reputation of the council and be too hard to control.

He said he had copped flak from the “hairy armpit brigade in Binningup” on Facebook in recent months after submitting a proposal to mine limestone in the area.

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Several Binningup residents have told the Harvey-Waroona Reporter that they were concerned after hearing the comments in the meeting — which was live streamed to the public via YouTube. Alan Ferguson, who has been a Binningup resident for a decade, said he was appalled by Cr Carbone’s comment.

It is slanderous and he should be made to apologise.

Alan Ferguson

“There are a lot of nice people in Binningup.”

Another resident Jane-Ann Crowley said she was far from impressed by Cr Carbone’s comment.

“It is not the 1980s,” she said.

“I had to replay it three of four times because I could not understand why someone would say that while being filmed.

Mrs Crowley said she wrote a letter to the council to question why nobody stood up for the Binningup community.

She said she had a message for the Harvey shire councillor: “we might have hairy armpits, Craig, but at least we don’t have a hairy back.”

Shire president Paul Gillett told the Harvey-Waroona Reporter he regretted not intervening during the meeting.

“Maybe I should have stepped in,” Cr Gillett said.

“If I knew what he was going to say, I would not have let him speak.

“It is hard to unsay something that has already been said.

It was probably not an appropriate comment to be made and it does not reflect the attitudes of the council.

Paul Gillett

Cr Gillett said he believed the majority of the councillors had the whole of the shire’s interest in mind.

In a leaked letter to shire president, Lynn Wallis expressed her concern about Cr Carbone’s comment.

“Does he (Cr Carbone) believe we are … all unemployed, uneducated hippies with nothing better to do,” she wrote.

She was disappointed with the reaction from other councillors at the meeting.

“Are they ready to drive a stake through the heart of this community?” she said.

Cr Carbone is yet to apologise, however the Reporter has seen two messages from councillors Wendy Dickinson and Amanda Lovitt condemning Cr Carbone’s comment.

“I can assure you I did not find Cr Carbone’s comments amusing and was stunned he made the comment,” Cr Dickinson wrote.

“I do not share his sentiments.”

The Binningup limestone war is far from over, with residents preparing to hold an emergency community meeting tomorrow night.

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