Flap over a flagpole
AN IPSWICH man says he cannot understand why the retirement resort he lives in won't allow him to keep a flagpole and fly the Australian flag.
Peter Madden, 72, said after January's floods devastated his home and others at the Bremer Waters retirement resort, he wanted to fly the national flag after moving back in as symbol of their recovery from the disaster.
He said his flag had lifted the spirits of those in his street, including a Vietnam veteran, but was told to take the flagpole down off his balcony.
Mr Madden then moved it to the courtyard next to his house, where it currently stands, and has been told again to take it down.
A manager at the site said he had no problem at all with the flag, just the flagpole itself, with concerns over its safety.
On site manager John Goyen said it also violated an agreement signed by Mr Madden and other residents at the Moores Pocket Rd site.
Mr Madden said if the matter went to mediation and the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, he would argue the flagpole wasn't a fixture or structure, which are not allowed on site without permission.
The matter will go to mediation and the tribunal if Mr Madden receives three breach notices – so far he has one.
“I'm just a proud Australian. My grandfather was an Anzac and I wanted to put it up as a sign of our recovery,” Mr Madden said.
“I fly the flag correctly – I put it up in the morning and take it down at sunset or when we leave the house – and treat it with the respect it deserves.”
He said he was considering taking down the pole for the time being, but said nothing would stop him flying the flag on Anzac Day.
Mr Goyen said after Mr Madden initially put the flagpole up on his balcony on April 4, he was told it had to be taken down because it contravened his signed agreement.
He said management had no issue with people displaying flags, with other residents displaying flags draped over their balconies, but in this instance they had a problem with the flagpole and its safety.
“We're not being unpatriotic. The flagpole is the issue,” Mr Goyen said.
“He signed an agreement like every other resident.”
He said Mr Madden did not initially seek permission to put up the flagpole. Mr Madden, who has lived on the site for 14 months, only recently moved back into the house after January's floods.