Stand taken on thongs

The humble thong has long been a classic of stereotyped iconic Aussie footwear, and from now on they’re also going to be smiled upon at Mount Alexander Shire’s citizenship ceremonies.
Thongs, and their official positioning in the council’s Citizenship Dress Code Policy, came in for a splash of the spotlight at last week’s Mount Alexander Shire Council meeting.
There, newly elected councillors were tasked with adopting the council’s new Citizenship Dress Code Policy aimed at upholding appropriate dress standards suited to the significance accorded formal citizenship ceremonies.
The Code was updated last year, requiring individual councils to set their own dress code policy and provide a current copy to the Department of Home Affairs.
And so a draft policy had been dutifully drawn up for Mount Alexander to adopt.
Items of clothing containing profanity, nudity, racism, remarks, slogans, offensive images and insignia or anything deemed offensive by another were frowned upon and officially not permitted.
In addition the draft ruled out the wearing of beach wear, thongs or bare feet – unless part of national/traditional/cultural attire – slippers, sleepwear, sports apparel and fancy dress costumes.
But in a move as deft as a beach bunny flicking grit from a chaffing personal surface, Cr Christine Henderson inserted an amendment specifying that thongs in general be removed from the banned list – and the Code be otherwise adopted as recommended.
Cr Henderson said that besides being in keeping with some cultural dress practices, thongs were also “appropriate footwear in summer and I think it is unfair to add them to the list of disallowed items”.
She told fellow councillors that alongside the common rubber beach variety, it was entirely possible to obtain some upmarket and really rather chic variations in the thong line.
“These days there are some very stylish thongs available. Some admittedly less so,” Cr Henderson said in defence of the flexible footwear.
And she was quick to gain support around the council table.
“What could be more Australian than thongs,” Cr Stephen Gardener said, seconding Cr Henderson’s amended motion that was then swiftly passed without objection.
Later, outside the meeting, both Cr Henderson and Cr Gardener revealed to the Express that neither of them were great fans of the humble – or even not-so-humble – thong.
“I haven’t got any myself, but I will uphold the rights of thong wearers everywhere,” Cr Henderson said.
“I actually can’t stand them,” Cr Gardner said.

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