Online hate speech by leading tourism figure

WARNING: THIS REPORT QUOTES LANGUAGE SOME MAY FIND OFFENSIVE.

 

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

A leading Alice Springs tourism figure, Wayne Thompson, has described in social media a rock thrower as a “filthy piece of shit” and was later part of a thread in which an abbreviation he used – LBC – was interpreted as meaning “Little Black Cunt”.

 

Post by Mr Thompson: “Heavitree Gap 3 LBC’s throwing rocks at cars and coaches … already done 4 grand this month on glass and freight.”

 

“What’s an LBC?” posted Jessica Lee Coombe.

 

“Little black cunt I am assuming,” replied Kris Sut.

 

Mr Thompson posted: “Little black child, yes.”

 

He is the manager of a major bus company, ATG Downunder, and was until last year the NT chair of the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC).

 

Its Managing Director Peter Shelley says Mr Thompson is still the “quasi representative” for Alice Springs.

 

The industry organisation, which Mr Shelley says does not receive government funding, describes itself online as the “peak industry body for Australia’s $43b billion tourism export sector [representing] more than 800 members across Australia including large national and multinational companies”.

 

In 2017 Mr Thompson was honoured for his “Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to ATEC or an ATEC Branch”. He is pictured above (centre) with Minister Steven Ciobo and Julian Barry (Qantas).

 

There has recently been an increase in rock throwing in Alice Springs, known to be carried out mostly by juveniles, and resulting in injuries as well as significant vehicle damage.

 

Ironically, Mr Thompson was part of a small private group seeking to establish extensive services for young people.

 

The venture has not proceed. Mr Thompson would not comment on that project when the News contacted him recently.

 

Neither Mr Thompson nor Mr Shelley responded to invitations to comment on today’s report.

 

IMAGES from ATEC website.

 

 

 

UPDATE 5.26pm

 

Mr Thompson has breached copyright by publishing on Facebook the draft of this report, ahead of publication by the News, and sent to him for the purpose of comment and right of reply.

 

 

 

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13 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Morgan
    Posted September 7, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    What’s the old saying about sticks and stones? I can’t recall it offhand, but it’s probably outlived its usefulness in these enlightened times we live in. I’ve thought up a replacement saying for our Current Year: “Let’s ignore the roadside rocks and the LBCs who lob ’em. Those who dare using naughty words, now THEY’RE the real problem!”

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  2. Surprised!
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    @ Tim: Interesting and emotional comment here Tim. Unsure where it comes from but I am also a long time local. I note that Erwin actually provides a significant amount to the benefit to all of us in the town.
    He reports unbiased, truthful and relevant news, without financial gain. I’d suggest that is pretty impressive and shows commitment.
    Back to the LBC. Perhaps start a fund with proceeds coming from, say 10% of all royalties.
    We’d need a TRUSTED body to mange them and claims would be processed when a PROMIS number was produced.
    This would not fix the issue of the LBC but as the government won’t, at least people wouldn’t be out of pocket.

    View Comment
  3. Chris
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Someone needs to be held accountable for these little cherubs.
    The big question is who. You always hear calls of taking them out bush and let there kin deal with them.
    Are these the same kin that drive to town, get drunk, fight and pass out somewhere leaving the kids to run amok?
    Great role models.
    As for the article, sounds like victim blaming to me. The government really needs to grow a set and do something drastic, to hell with the bleeding hearts and do gooders, because if / when someone is killed by one of these rocks, I can only imaging the rage and repercussion that would follow.
    It’s a sad state indeed when instead of admiring the beautiful rock formations in town, you are busy trying to spot if you are going to be a target or not.

    View Comment
  4. Uncle Hucklebuck
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 3:03 am

    What’s wrong with Little Black Child?
    That’s just calling it as one sees it.
    People should be blaming this Kris Sut for assuming instead of Mr Thompson.

    View Comment
  5. Michael Liddle
    Posted August 31, 2019 at 7:45 am

    It’s a hard one alright. People are becoming frustrated at the lack of respect that is being practiced by Aboriginal kids and the damage that can happen and does happen.
    Aboriginal people have to work harder at standing up and saying to all the mob that this is not good behaviour and it’s gotta stop!
    No education around acceptable behaviour and bad behaviour, only when they are caught and then in the lock up are kids being subjected to rules and then its a different form of bad behaviour that is expressed because the individual can’t cope and has never ever been grown up around right, wrongs, please and thank you.
    Big mess and big money!

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  6. Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    http://www.yesnt.org Check it out. There are answers. We just have to be brave enough to explore them.

    View Comment
  7. Local 1
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Erwin, thanks for contacting me and explaining the reasons for not publishing my [earlier] comment.
    I won’t repeat my words but it is important to maintain my sentiment, and that is I do not condemn the language used by Mr Thompson, apart from LBC (which I could interpret as Lovely Bloody Children (sarcastic), or Loose bloody cannons).
    I would use the same other description, but at your request will not repeat it in my comment here.
    Your headline uses the term hate speech, however I personally believe that it is a symptom of the frustrations and anger felt by this entire community by these actions.
    Even though as you pointed out these actions were probably perpetrated by children, that is no excuse as they are fully aware of their actions.
    Would your jaw be any less broken by a rock thrown by a muscular 14yo than a skinny 18yo?
    Even today outside Yeperenye a child of no more than 8, ran in front of my car by accident, a result of kids just being kids, in this case by the time her mum realised what was about to happen, it was too late.
    After I had braked to avoid it, the kid immediately jumped back, because she knew that running in front of a car could have consequences.
    She knew immediately the consequences of being hit by a car hence her instinct of recoiling at the last second (a lack of attentiveness by me would have certainly seen her hit).
    They know the consequences of being bitten by a snake, so they give them a wide berth, and they know of the consequences of disrespecting bigger, stronger kids, so I do not believe they are too young to understand the consequences of their actions.
    In this case it is reinforced by the TV campaigns.
    As mentioned by other commentators here, it is the frustration of more excuses and sympathy for the perpetrator, and only a cursory thought for the victim.
    Solutions?
    That’s not my job, but of it were it would be as an Aboriginal leader suggested at a recent meeting I attended: 100km out bush on an outstation, on country, run by their kin, and educated on what is expected of them, in the community they live in.
    In all societies, black or white, social exclusion is used until the rules are understood and followed to some degree. It worked in the 70s, it could again, and needs to be seriously considered here.

    View Comment
  8. James T Smerk
    Posted August 29, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    We are focusing on the wrong thing here. Someone is angry that someone else is breaking the law and constantly getting away with it. I would be angry too and wouldn’t hold back from swearing. Let’s get angry at the criminals and not the victims.

    View Comment
  9. Psuedo Guru
    Posted August 29, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Neanderthals remain in the STONE AGE.

    View Comment
  10. David
    Posted August 29, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Seems Mr Thompson is expressing his views about what certain elements do at night by smashing windows etc.
    The whole town is sick of it and businesses pay so much extra for insurance because of it.
    Lock them up and throw away the key.
    Nothing’s changed in 50 years with these people. The NT Government has no solution. And as for Southerners who comment and try to do something they have no idea of the problems faced here.
    I don’t know of a real solution.
    Excuses, excuses all the time from powers that be.

    View Comment
  11. Davo
    Posted August 29, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Maybe some of the millions of dollars created by Aboriginal tourism can be pumped back into programs for Aboriginal youth instead the pockets of greedy obese middle aged white men (GOMAWM).

    View Comment
  12. Erwin Chlanda
    Posted August 29, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Anonymous comment writer “Tim” is invited to provide evidence that I have a “some sort of set” against Mr Thompson.
    His efforts in running a bus company in a small Australian town and serving on a tourism industry body are acknowledged in the report.
    “Tim” may like to expand on that with facts rather that unsubstantiated claims.
    I am very comfortable comparing my efforts, with those of Mr Thompson, for the wider Central Australian region in which I have worked as a journalist since 1974.
    Included are these:
    I co-founded an independent newspaper with a readership averaging 20,000 (Google Analytics), now in its 26th year of publication.
    I produced thousands of television news, current affairs, magazine and documentary reports for all Australian and several overseas TV networks (USA, Europe and Asia).
    I invite “Tim” to consider the quality and amount of national and global attention the region received from that over my 44 years in the town.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor

    View Comment
  13. Tim
    Posted August 28, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Geez Erwin, seems like you have some sort of set on Thommo, I dare say he has done a lot more for the ALICE Springs tourism sector than you will ever manage in three lifetimes. Perhaps he is sick of seeing his town and industry being trashed by the little [abusive term] that the bloody Gunna government has made untouchable.

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