LANGUAGE BARRIER: Kalka Bait and Tackle.
LANGUAGE BARRIER: Kalka Bait and Tackle.

Speak English or get out

DEAN Ruff will sell bait to anyone who walks into his store ? unless they don't speak English.

Mr Ruff, the owner of Kalka Bait and Tackle in Rockhampton, said he was tired of "ignorant immigrants'' coming into his store and not being able to communicate with him.

In his frustration yesterday he called 4RO's Jeff Goodwin and on air said he was considering putting a sign up stating: If you don't speak the language you are not welcome.

"This is Australia, not Little Italy or some other place,'' said the 21-year-old owner of the Lakes Creek Road store.

"These people might want to buy a hook or something, but they don't know how to say it, it's ridiculous.''

Mr Ruff, who has owned the store for about three months, said he was annoyed by people who did not speak the language coming into his store at least three times a week.

"It's mainly the meatworkers that come in that I have a problem with,'' he said. "The tourists are generally okay.''

Many of the labourers at the Teys Brothers Abattoir on Lakes Creek Road are from countries such as Vietnam and Brazil.

Not all businesses along Lakes Creek feel this way.

Lakes Creek Hotel manager Michael Fritz welcomes people of all languages and cultures.

"There are some that are hard to understand, but we get to know them through sign language,'' he said.

He could not understand why a business would take issue with a person who did not speak English.

"I think he is overreacting,'' he said.

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