AN Albury councillor says he wants to stop the "ugly debate" about flying Indigenous flags at Albury's war memorial by reversing the city's previous decision to provisionally fund two new poles at Monument Hill.
Darren Cameron told Monday night's council meeting he was preparing a rescission motion to stop funding for the poles being included in a draft 2021-22 budget.
The Labor member accused Greens deputy mayor Amanda Cohn of wanting to "template her ideas" on to the RSL by pushing for an Anzac Day Welcome to Country and now initiating the motion for Indigenous flags.
"It's ugly and it needs to stop," Cr Cameron said.
"This matter has attracted some recrimination and some ugly debate and I'm afraid that it will attract more if we continue on this trajectory.
"The best thing to do is to support a rescission motion...to remove the amended motion....get rid of that and then go forward."
Cr Cameron said he wanted to see the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags flown at the memorial, but not without the support of the Albury RSL.
Cr Cohn stood by her push for the flags, saying the Albury sub-branch was at odds with NSW RSL policy that the two "must be flown during official ceremonies".
She said Monument Hill was "not owned by the RSL" and council ultimately decided what happened there.
"I absolutely maintain my view that it is appropriate for us to be flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at Monument Hill," Cr Cohn said.
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"The reality for returned Aboriginal service people in this region is really, really dire.
"Aboriginal service people fought not even as citizens, they were not given medals, they were not given land parcels on return home, some of those people died without ever having their service acknowledged."
Cr Cohn said the national flag did not become the "official ensign of all the Australian armed services until 1954".
"A large number of the Anzacs fought under either the red ensign or the Union Jack which we don't insist on flying at Monument Hill for historical accuracy," Cr Cohn said.
The deputy mayor said she was disappointed to be personally attacked in submissions to the council and in the media, a veiled reference to a letter to the editor of The Border Mail by fellow councillor and Albury RSL sub-branch president Graham Docksey.
"That is a disappointing standard for us to be setting for public debate as elected representatives in this community," Cr Cohn said.
Cr Cameron said he believed the clause supporting the extra poles was in conflict with another part of the previous motion that the RSL be consulted over changes.
He also responded to Cr Cohn by saying the city had stewardship over the monument and it had been built by returned servicemen not the council.
Cr Cameron wants his recession motion on the agenda for the council's March 8 meeting.
Debate on the Indigenous flags preceded the adoption of the council's flag protocol.
It will see the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags flown outside the council's Kiewa Street headquarters on poles now used for banners alongside national, state and city symbols.
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