Did Tasmanian homophobia force real estate developer Stephen Roche to abandon his resort plans? It depends on who you ask.
Roche began building in Penguin, Tasmania, last year and hoped to create an idyllic vacation spot an hour away from Melbourne. Some Penguin residents objected, however, and insisted that Roche’s plans would lead to an infusion of “gay Sydney men,” the most fearsome of all gays. Kidding aside, the town’s reaction took an especially ugly turn as Roche received death threats and once found a dead wallaby nailed to his door. Not cute.
Now, as you’ve gathered, Roche has ditched his dream. Gay rights activist pinned the blame on Tasmania’s “old, dominant homophobic culture that reigns supreme and unopposed.”
Roche, however, claims otherwise: “…I don’t feel as though I’ve been pushed out at all. It’s a very small minority that have had any sort of homophobic prejudice. Tassie’s probably got a way to go with acceptance of gay people.”
And, of course, wallabies! What kind of monster could kill such a sweet-faced little creature?
A Tasmanian resort an hour from the Victorian capital? How is that possible? Teleportation?
I would like to comment on the article in the Tasmania’s Advocate Re
*Fears of pink backlash –
Roche pullout may turn gays off Tassie, says activist*.
I am a gay man in a thirty year relationship.
My partner and I own and manage a wilderness Eco retreat just out of St
We do not agree with the comments made by Julian Punch that there will
be a “Pink Backlash” due to Stephen Roche pulling out his development in
Like Stephen and his partner we have found prejudice within the
community but I must stress that it has been from a very small minority
and we have no intention of fleeing Tasmania.
Prejudice has to be challenged or otherwise it will continue.
We have found the Tasmanian community to be very accepting and
understanding and also very forgiving towards same sex couples and the
We lived most of lives in inner city Melbourne and found prejudice’s to
more prominent on the mainland than in Tasmania.
We moved to Tasmania as “seachanges” and we know of several other same
sex couples who have started business in remote and rural areas and
no-one has experienced so called “old, dominant homophobic culture”
Mr Punches comments are incorrect and ill informed to state the
following, “There is a very strong element within the Tasmanian
community that is homophobic and is violent and is having an effect on
P O Box 195
St Marys 7215
The homophobic attacks on Stephen Roche were denounced very publicly by local community leaders and the local press. This is something which was inconceivable in Tasmania ten years ago. The Penguin development issue shows not how little Tasmania has changed, but how much. We now have the best anti-discrimination and relationship laws in Australia, and community attitudes have shifted remarkably. There is still homophobia in Tasmania, as there is everywhere. But we are tackling it far more proactively than any other Australian state.
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