MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has not provided details of who made the decision to fly the Pride flag outside its offices.
It has been more than one month since the shire was asked for details by The News following readers’ complaints about costs and decisions connected to the flag being flown.
The shire did not directly respond to questions about whether the flag would be flown permanently, who had decided to fly the flag, were councillors told and could other groups ask for their flag to be flown.
However, following the publication of a letter – Help homeless, not flags (The News 14/11/23) – claiming one of the colours on the Pride flag supported paedophilia, the then mayor, Cr Steve Holland, stated: “That statement is vile, offensive and seriously defamatory, and I have no interest in engaging in any further dialogue with this publication.”
The writer of the letter subsequently admitted the claim was an error and a clarification – Correction flagged – was published by The News on its Letters page (21/11/23).
The News has since asked both the shire and Holland if he had sought legal advice on the alleged defamation and, if so, how much did it cost and would ratepayers be provided with that advice. Holland was also asked who had been “seriously” defamed.
“Is the mayor stating that he will not ‘engage in any further dialogue’ with The News, or just on the subject of flags being flown by the shire?”
Neither the shire or Holland have responded.