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Brisbane Bans Filming For SBS 'Poverty Porn' Show Struggle Street

Highlighting diversity, or taking the mickey?

19/05/2016 7:35 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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SBS / Fairfax Media
Struggle Street depicted a family affected by addiction, disability and disadvantage.

Queensland's political big guns are trying to stop SBS show Struggle Street from setting its second season in the southern Brisbane suburb of Inala.

Struggle Street takes an unflinching look at the lives of disadvantaged Australians, with its first season delving into a Mt Druitt family dealing with disability and drug addiction, as well as homelessness and crime.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk on Monday said he would not approve the production company's filming permits as all Inala residents could be "unfairly tainted with the stigma of poverty, drugs, abuse and dysfunction without the ability to present a contrary point of view".

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Inala is in State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's electorate, and she echoed Quirk's disapproval, saying she welcomed storytelling in Inala, but was concerned Struggle Street would not communicate the multiculturalism and diversity of the suburb:

I want to see documentaries or reality shows that highlight the good in communities, that don't focus on the negatives.

And out in Inala we are a very proud people.

My grandparents came there after the Second World War, my father grew up there, I was raised in (neighbouring suburb) Durack.

The last thing we want to see is people turn a negative spotlight on a suburb just so they can have a laugh at a couple of issues or a couple of incidents.

Palaszczuk said Inala had been systematically improved with education initiatives, community renewal programs and street landscaping.

"And the last thing we want to see is an SBS show in there that takes the mickey out of people," Palaszczuk said.

"It is not on."

An SBS statement, however, said there was no intention of humiliating Inala residents, instead hoping to "shine a light on social and economic disadvantage in Australia through a raw, honest and compassionate account of individual and community stories of challenge, triumph and adversity".

"The intention is to be a fair representation of people and communities, capturing stories from a diverse multicultural cross-section of the community," the statement said.

"We anticipate stories of resilience, community support and family love in what will be compelling and insightful storytelling that doesn't shy away from the reality of hardship faced by millions of people."

Even without council approval, the show can still film within an individual's home.

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