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Can Tamworth really be this heartless?

Hot on the heels of the Madcap Redhead's proclamation that South African immigrants have AIDS and are of no use in Australia, the Tamworth City Council voted on Tuesday night to reject the establishment of a refugee resettlement centre for five Sudanese families.

The reason? The Sydney Morning Herald quotes Tamworth mayor James Treloar as saying they didn't want a "Cronulla riots type situation" in Tamworth.

The local newspaper, the Northern Daily Leader, asked each of the nine Tamworth City councillors why they voted the way they did (3 in favour, 6 against). The remark by Cr Phil Betts that "at this point in time Tamworth demonstrated they were not ready to become a resettlement centre" is particularly sad if it's true.

Today's Leader reports that there is likely to be an attempt to have the Council reverse its decision at its next meeting. The sticking point, however, appears to be Mayor Treloar.

The proposal put to council last Tuesday night, recommending the establishment of the refugee resettlement centre, can be found on pages 14 to 19 of this PDF business paper. The minutes of Tuesday's council meeting are not yet online.

I have a suggestion if Tamworth still can't come to the party - do a swap with Adelaide next year: Country Music Festival for Womadelaide.