Bogan tag attacked

BRIAN OLIVER

Rockingham’s bogan image is offensive to residents who do not associate themselves with the flannelette shirt and double-plugger thong look, according to the City’s cultural advisory committee.

Members also took a swipe at the adult shop on Rockingham foreshore and hotel “skimpies” at last month’s committee meeting, claiming they were tarnishing the positive image the council was trying to convey.

Bogan and Proud founder Mark Stoner said the council could throw as much money at the perceived issue, but it would be a waste of time.

“The bogan tag of Rockingham has been around for as many years as I can remember,” he said. “Rockingham was built on bogan blood.

“If they’re not bogans, they’re going to get offended by it, but it’s Rockingham.”

Rockingham Hotel manager Brian Jarick, who employs lingerie waitresses at the hotel, said people who took issue with bogans had an “outdated mentality”.

“I understand that people still have a negative view of the term bogan, but it’s not the same as what it was 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago,” he said.

“Just because you’re a bogan, it doesn’t mean it’s a negative thing.”

Adultshop.com general manager Malcolm Day said he was yet to field a complaint about the Railway Terrace store, since it opened in 2000.

“I would like to see some evidence from the community that they don’t want our store there,” he said.

Mr Day believed the committee members’ comments were subjective and not representative of the community.

Cr Leigh Liley requested the City’s economic development manager, Cadell Buss, attend next month’s meeting to update the committee about what was being done to address the issue.

Mr Stoner believed it would be difficult for the committee to try to shrug the bogan tag link with the City.

“Good luck to them, if they try and change it,” he said. “It’s a working-class suburb. It’s just the way it is, if you don’t like it, I dunno what you can do — suck it up or move on.”

Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels claimed the bogan label was slowly being eroded through growth and development in the region.

He said he hoped people would not be discouraged from visiting or settling in Rockingham because a tag was being perpetuated.