3AW radio presenter Tom Elliott has slammed the Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s plan to fly the rainbow flag in place of the Australian flag for next month’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

The flag at the Woodend clocktower will be swapped for the week of IDAHOBIT because there are not enough flagpoles for both.

The council’s offices in Gisbourne and Kyneton will similarly lower their Torres Strait Islander flags to accommodate the rainbow flag for the week.

Elliott called the temporary removal of the Australian flag “terrible”.

“You don’t take down the flag that unites all Australians to put up one that is politically divisive,” he said last week.

“The reason we have the Australian flag above all council buildings is to remind us all that we are united. We are all Australian. We are all equal under the law. It is our country. That’s every person who lives here.

“I have no problem with councils flying these different flags but you don’t remove the Australian flag to make room for it. The Australian flag is there for all Australians, the LGBTQI flag is not.”

The council in Central Victoria is one of several districts that have flown the rainbow flag to acknowledge IDAHOBIT in recent years.

Mayor Janet Pearce said the council planned to develop a formal policy about flying the rainbow flag.

“We obviously need to reflect on this now that it is being brought up by people,” she said.

“We had a lot of positive feedback about the flags being raised.

“It’s an important message to stand as part of, and be supportive of.”

IDAHOBIT is celebrated in more than 100 countries each year on May 17 to raise awareness of LGBTI rights issues.

Events will be happening in cities around Australia to mark the day this year, with details set to be circulated soon.

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