Liberal Sydney Councillor Julie Passas has unashamedly gone full Trump this week, floating an idea to the Inner West Council that a wall be built around the municipality, a la the monument to racism that Trump is working to erect at the US/Mexico border.
Rather than stopping displaced people seeking refuge, the Inner West Wall is more so concerned with parking in the region; quite a step down. Passas was inspired to make the ‘tongue-in-cheek’ suggestion because of regular complaints from Inner West locals about the lack of parking in their own streets. One resident in particular took issue with workers from a local cafe (read: Non-Inner West locals) sucking up what few free parking spots are left.
Passas has broken down the notion into four simple steps. The first one being “Contact President Trump for his wall-building contractor (US/Mexico) to construct a wall around the Inner West.”
According to SBS, the notion also suggests “any cars or people passing through the Inner West to pay a mobility tax to the Inner West Council” and that passports will be needed for all non-Inner West locals.
Speaking to SBS, Passas explained, “It’s a wake-up call. I’m trying to say to the residents we cannot guarantee you a spot outside your home or even in your street.”
If Passas’ joke has you feeling a little off, you aren’t alone. The notion will legitimately be discussed in Council this week and has already rubbed people the wrong way, including social justice lawyer Tom Kiat who told SBS the notion was in “bad taste.”
“We shouldn’t make a joke about the migration crisis we’ve got across the world and the way the governments are treating refugees.” He added. Which is entirely fair: The more ‘jokes’ that get made about racist and cruel immigration policies, the harder it becomes to get the general public to care about the reality of them. Considering our own treatment of refugees, Australia is hardly in a position to be making jokes.
Kiat suggested Passas focus on actual tangible issues with her work time, rather than “publicity stunts.”