Mayor Tom Tate has been forced to apologise for a racist joke made about Chinese people.
He had been attending a disaster management conference in Townsville on Monday before addressing the media.
The Mayor was discussing the type of help that could be provided to victims of natural disasters.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“When the storm comes and goes away the devastation’s still there for people who, the small thing like helping them fill their insurance claim and having a peace that they can stay and feel that they’re not in a hurry to find another accommodation.
“We’re saying it’s fine here.
“Bring your pets with you too I don’t mind that.”
But the Mayor then stunned reporters with a poor attempt at a joke mocking Chinese.
“You’ve got to segregate you know, you cant, everyone’s not the same. You’ve got to give them comfort.
“You wouldn’t want to put a Chinese next to someone who’s got a cat, you know. She might be breakfast.”
Late this afternoon, the Mayor issued an apology.
“I apologise for my clumsy sense of humour,” he said in a statement.
“There was no intention to cause offence.”