Ballarat's Catholic Mayor, Josh Morris, says the city's growing cultural diversity should be celebrated and supports the development of a mosque in the city, reports the ABC.
'One of the best things about Australia is its religious and cultural diversity,' Cr Morris said.
'It's really important to note that we as a city are growing, we as a city are becoming more diverse, and therefore there's going to be a need in our community for facilities that are going to meet the needs of our growing and diverse community,'
The Islamic Society of Ballarat's plans to build the city's first mosque, at 116 Elsworth Street East, have been approved by the City of Ballarat, with the building expected to provide enough space for 150 people to pray.
Cr Morris says, while elected representatives have a responsibility to take into account the views of the community, objections to planning applications on the basis of political ideology are irrelevant to the planning process.
The Catholic Mayor says, while living in the United Arab Emirates he was fortunate enough to have access to a Catholic church. 'I think it's really great that we see within an Islamic nation that there was welcoming of people of diverse faiths and people such as myself.'
FULL STORY Ballarat's Catholic mayor speaks up in support of mosque in city (ABC)