In one of the most racist A Current Affair stories we’ve seen (and yes, that is saying something), the story titled “All-Asian Mall” examines the apparent “Asian invasion” of a local shopping mall in Castle Hill.

Host Tracey Grimshaw introduces it as: “The battle between Aussie shopkeepers and centre management who are kicking them out to make way for businesses who directly target the suburb’s Asian population.”

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“The Castle Hill mall was once an ordinary Australian shopping centre,” announces ACA reporter Ben McCormack. “But now it’s owners have decided it needs a makeover. An Asian makeover. Overnight the Aussie shopkeepers who have had their businesses here for for more a decade have been told they have to move to make way for other retailers.”

Cue a bunch of old white people saying they don’t like the increase of Asians in their community. You know any sentence that starts with “I suppose it sound horrible and racist …” is going to be horrible and racist.

Pauline Hanson is even dragged out to say “I don’t like it” and calling on the Australian government to “please explain”. A supermarket, butcher, fishmonger and fruit shop all aimed at targeting the Asian market will be introduced in to the centre.

“Proud Australian” Hanson says she is “shocked and disgusted” by this unAustralian behaviour.

Apparently others are concerned the shopping mall changes are just the beginning and “it’s only a matter of time before the suburb becomes an Asian enclave”, declares McCormack, as pictures of restaurants and streets with Asian people fill the screen.

But luckily the good folks at The Hills Shires Times, the local rag in Castle Hill, are holding ACA to account and have debunked the yarn. As Hills Shires Times journo Alex Cauchi explains:

“No businesses have been kicked out of the centre and of the businesses that have moved, two are owned by Asians. One of those moved is the Chinese Medicine Centre.

“… Matthew Wright from Shelton’s Quality Meats said that while he was concerned about having competition from the new MD Meat store, he didn’t care whether the new stores were Asian or not.

“‘There have been Asian shopkeepers in this centre for a long time. From the bread store, to the Chinese medicine shop, to the florist.’

“While I am concerned about have competition from another butcher, I’m glad that this centre is finally getting a makeover.

“They also said in the report that my shop was being forced to move, which it isn’t.”

Now it seems ACA has returned to Castle Hill this morning (another story broken by Cauchi). When Cauchi tweeted the news, McCormack replied:

Stay classy McCormack. Cauchi replied that he’d not found the ACA reporter in the mall, but was happy to take him round to meet the retailers he’d interviewed. Stay tuned for the ACA follow-up …

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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