Locals defend city's reputation

SUPPORT: Saturday's rainbow balloon ceremony. Picture: LIZ FLEMING

SUPPORT: Saturday's rainbow balloon ceremony. Picture: LIZ FLEMING

FULL COVERAGE: Bendigo mosque: Emotion fuels debate

RESIDENTS, leaders and organisations are continuing to fight for Bendigo's name, with many locals stepping up to promote the message of diversity. 

Bendigo's Haven: Home, Safe have created a Faceboook page This is Bendigo and a twitter account @thisisbendigo to help counter negativity on social media. 

The organisation is also offering free posters - which promote diversity and freedom of beliefs - to help locals show support for the city.

About 500 posters will be available from Haven's Forest Street headquarters from today. 

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan has defended Bendigo's values in State Parliament, saying the city was built from respect and diversity. 

Ms Allan asked her fellow politicians to not judge the town on the actions of a few. 

"It is now known that key agitators on this issue are not residents of Bendigo," she said. 

"It is totally unacceptable for people outside of Bendigo to abuse our civic processes and divide our community in pursuit of their own disreputable agenda."

She said seven City of Greater Bendigo councillors stared down intolerance and intimidation to support a proposal to build the city's first mosque last week. 

"Bendigo is stronger for (that)," she said. 

"As a community we stand proudly for tolerance, respect and diversity."

SUPPORTIVE: Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan.

SUPPORTIVE: Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan.

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