'Backpacker-free zone': Outrage over 'racist' poster

A racist, misogynistic poster slamming backpackers has been found pinned to a shop window in Queensland’s north.

The image was discovered at a shop in Ayr, 80km southeast of Townsville, on Sunday and claims the town is a “backpacker-free zone”.

“So unless you are of Northern European descent, speak English and you are not a thot or a degenerate, f*** off because you are not welcome here,” the poster read.

The word thot is an acronym of ‘that ho over there’ and is a derogatory term for women.

The poster was seen in the window of a shop in Ayr. Source: Facebook/ Australia Backpackers
The poster was seen in the window of a shop in Ayr. Source: Facebook/ Australia Backpackers

Burdekin Shire Council has condemned the poster and reiterated that backpackers are welcome in the region.

Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said she was “appalled” by the “vile message” and it did not reflect the views of local residents.

“We wholeheartedly welcome backpackers to our region, not only for the crucial work they do in our horticultural industries but for the cultural diversity they add to our community,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Our friendly community embraces backpackers and appreciates their wonderful contribution to our shire.

“Many of the backpackers who come here to work get to know our local families and become part of community life.”

She said she hoped foreign visitors would not be deterred by the poster and hoped they could come and enjoy Burdekin’s “country hospitality and authentic Australian lifestyle.”

The poster has been reported to Queensland Police, who are now investigating the matter.

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