Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow did not appreciate the image chosen to run with the editorial.
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow did not appreciate the image chosen to run with the editorial. Allan Reinikka ROK220316astrelow

Mayor apologises to PM 'on behalf of our community'

A FRONT page cartoon depicting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as a clown has stirred some negative reaction, including from Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow.

The Bulletin ran the opinion piece which was aimed at calling on the PM to give regional and rural Queensland a fair go.

It carried the headline: "Stop clowning around Malcolm".

In the editorial, the Bulletin put it to Mr Turnbull that "desperate times call for unusual tactics".

"And these are desperate times for regional Australia, particularly those communities smashed by the mining downturn in central Queensland," the newspaper said.

"Our people die earlier than your neighbours in Wentworth in Sydney.

"We are poorer, we have worse health outcomes and less employment opportunities ...

"So far your government has failed to demonstrate it has a coherent plan to move the dial.

"There are any number of reasons Pauline Hanson's One Nation party is surging in the polls in this area.

"A lack of faith our people have that the two main parties will make a difference is a key one of those."

However, Mayor Strelow did not appreciate the image chosen to run with the editorial.

"Malcolm the front page of today's paper does not represent our community," she said on 990 4RO this morning while Mr Turnbull was in the studio.

"We are delighted to have you here and I do look forward to catching up with you later today.

"But I just wanted to apologise for the paper - the sentiment - the thing that says we need help is real but that image was inexcusable so please accept our apology."

Mr Turnbull was appreciative of the Mayor's apology, but said it was not necessary.

"We are committed to Northern Australia, we're committed to Central Queensland, we're committed too investing in water, we're committed to investing in road infrastructure, we're committed to ensuring that Northern Australia continues to realise its potential," he said.

"It is the frontier, the great growth frontier of Australia."

The clown caricature was inspired by the New Zealand Herald's notorious cartoon which depicted Wallabies coach Michael Cheika as a clown, and created a widespread response.



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