In areas with a large migrant population across Australia, it’s not uncommon to see business signage in a language other than English. But Strathfield Council in Sydney is looking at a plan to reduce this.
If the proposal goes ahead, foreign text will be required by law to be 30 per cent the size of its equivalent in the English language, reports SBS News.
The proposal was moved at the last council meeting by Independent Councillor Matthew Blackmore. He says the policy is “designed to set a standard in the presentation of signs in shops”.
The NSW Business Chamber has expressed its support, with chamber spokesperson Damian Kelly saying “There may be some potential customers who may feel they’re unwelcome in that particular shop, restaurant, cafe, whatever business it is” but added that they are apprehensive about the added red-tap.
If the plan goes ahead, the chamber called on the council to work directly with businesses in the transition.
According to the last census survey conducted, Strathfield is home to two in three people who speak a language other than English, the most common being Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese.
While the signage called into question sees the foreign language as the dominant one, English is also included, but not at the ratio the council is proposing.
If the policy change is passed, Greek-owned businesses are not immune, and could be adopted by councils across the country.
Strathfield Council is currently open to community feedback on the matter.