Mosque proposal divides residents
ACT planners have been told that women in burqas will scare children in Gungahlin if Canberra's Muslim community proceeds with plans to build a mosque in the area. The ACT Planning and Land Authority has received more than 50 submissions in response to the proposed development on The Valley Avenue.
It follows a campaign by a group called the ''Concerned Citizens of Canberra'' that urged residents to object to the development because of its ''social impact'' and concerns about traffic and noise.
The Canberra Times revealed on Saturday that the group's spokesman, Irwin Ross, is a Christian fundamentalist activist who describes himself as a pastor with Olive Tree Ministries.
More than 30 submissions lodged with ACTPLA object to the development on grounds including traffic, parking, design, lack of consultation and, according to one anonymous submission, claims the mosque is not ''compatible with Australian values and Australian law''.
But a further 20 Canberra residents wrote to the government in support of the development, some complaining about the anonymous anti-mosque flyers that were delivered to their homes. (...)