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Are the Rabbits Randwick Council’s Pet?

By Jessica Issa on May 8, 2013 in News

Photo: Randwick City Council

Photo: Randwick City Council

Concerned Randwick residents have objected to the huge South Sydney Rabbitohs banners recently seen around the Randwick municipality. Paid for by ratepayers’ funds, the banners were put up on March 5 to mark the start of the NRL season, and taken down on March 24.

Supporters of other clubs, as well as people with no interest in NRL, shared their frustration about the use of their money to promote the Rabbitohs. They felt the money could be better spent for the benefit of the community.

Randwick City Council responded to the matter as follows:

“Generally, Randwick City is considered the home of the Rabbitohs… Council works closely with the Rabbitohs on a number of social projects… We’re proud to support our local side and hope they continue their good form.”

Randwick Council runs a banner program each year; the Rabbitoh’s banners were one of a range of campaigns. Each year up to 15 different banners are seen around Randwick City. Currently, ‘Shopping Local’ banners are up.

“Council produces a variety of banners each year to activate and bring colour to our town centres and beaches and to help celebrate major events and occasions,” a Randwick City Council spokesperson said.

Long-time Maroubra resident and Roosters supporter Christina (surname not supplied) is displeased with the council using her money to promote and advertise a team she does not support.

“I’m upset they’re using my money to pay for it. I think if they’re going to be advertising teams, I would like to see a series of banners supporting all NRL teams. It would be fairer,” she said. “Or even generic NRL banners that say ‘Support Your Team’; something non-biased. Supporting the whole concept of the league.”

If it were up to Christina though, the money would be better spent on something worthwhile.

“Why not use this ratepayers’ money to support children’s sport? Instead of using money to make banners, use the money to help the local juniors clubs that are struggling. Ratepayers’ money going back into the community. Then Council would be helping the children of the ratepayers who play in the area,” she said.

Life-long Rabbitohs supporter Hercules (surname not supplied) from South Coogee had a very different opinion.

“If they don’t like it, tough. They can move out of the area. I don’t mind it at all. It generates a good harmony for the community and if people don’t like it they can go and live in the area they support. I happen to live in the area and I choose to support the local team,” he said. “If you support Melbourne Storm, go live in Melbourne. If you support the West Tigers, go and live in Campbelltown. The council wastes money in other areas, so why not generate harmony into those people who support the team? I don’t think it’s unfair to the non-supporters. If they don’t like it, too bad.”

While the banners have certainly stirred mixed emotions throughout the Randwick community, Council is standing by its decision to fly them.

“The banners have created some lively discussion and seemed to have opened up old-fashioned Easts verses Souths rivalry,” said a Randwick City Council spokesperson.

To read more about this discussion, visit Randwick City Council’s Facebook page.