News

Sorry's not enough as mums to protest pool breastfeed ban

Liana Webster – pictured with Kylan, 6, Jayda, 5, and daughter Rori Webster-Camilleri – has faced discrimination after breastfeeding at the Bribie Island Aquatic Centre.
Liana Webster – pictured with Kylan, 6, Jayda, 5, and daughter Rori Webster-Camilleri – has faced discrimination after breastfeeding at the Bribie Island Aquatic Centre. IAIN CURRY

AN APOLOGY to a young mum asked not to breastfeed at a public pool was not enough.

That is the view of more than 30 mothers who plan to protest on Saturday outside a council-owned  pool.  

Liana Webster, 26, said she was humiliated and in tears after being asked to stop breastfeeding her youngest child at the side of the public pool while she was watching her other youngsters swimming.

Liana Webster, 26, was visiting Bribie Island Aquatic Centre, run by the Moreton Bay Council, with her three children.

Ms Webster said she was left embarrassed and ashamed when told by an employee she was not allowed to breastfeed while sitting alongside the pool.

A council spokeswoman apologised yesterday for the incident.

Ms Webster said she was told to move to the baby change room or to a more secluded area and to cover herself.

"I said that telling me to stop feeding was illegal, but the staff member insisted that it wasn't," she said.

"I was told I was offending other patrons."

Ms Webster said the incident made her cry due to the embarrassment of being told in front of her children.

"My boys are five and six," she said.

"They heard everything that was going on and they asked me why I was upset.

"We were at a pool where people were showing skin in all kinds of directions. It made me feel as though I was doing something I should be ashamed of."

Ms Webster said she asked for a refund as the family had to leave, but was refused.

More than 7000 people shared Ms Webster's Facebook posts about the incident.

Since then Ms Webster has started an open Facebook group inviting mothers to a nurse-in at the pool on Saturday.

"Anti-discrimination laws were broken and I was left publicly humiliated," Ms Webster said.

"I have organised this nurse-in to spread the word to as many people as possible that no matter what your opinion is, breastfeeding in public is not illegal."

Dr Maya Griffiths, from the Australian Breastfeeding Association, said under federal law breastfeeding was a right.

A Moreton Bay Regional Council spokeswoman said staff at the Bribie Island Aquatic Leisure Centre had received a complaint about a mother breastfeeding in the pool from a family also in the pool.

"Moreton Bay Regional Council regrets any distress caused to the mother or her family, and staff have been made aware of the relevant legislation in this area," the spokeswoman said.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman said the council had no policies, protocols or local laws preventing a mother from breastfeeding in council venues, facilities or on community land, unless it was a safety risk.

>> ILLEGAL OR NOT?

The breastfeeding bare facts:

Under Australian Federal law, breastfeeding is a right, not a privilege.

Under the Federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984 it is illegal in Australia to discriminate against a person either directly or indirectly on the grounds of breastfeeding.

In Queensland, breastfeeding discrimination is explicitly illegal.

Topics:  breastfeeding editors picks parenting


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Give the next gen a chance: Men's Shed founder

IDEA: Les McKenzie has a plan to help youths stay off benefits.

Les McKenzie has proposed an idea to help young people

Give a gift for dogs and cats in shelters

RAISING HOPE: Alice Thorn, with help from her rescue dog Penny, is leading a fundraiser to buy a Christmas present for every shelter animal on the Coast.

Student aims to buy every shelter pet a pressie

Grateful council says thanks for giving heaps

MIGHTY EFFORT: Cr Jess Glasgow, Noosa volunteers Robyn and Paul Jenkinson with Cr Joe Jurisevic at the special brunch.

Noosa volunteers day in the sun

Local Partners

Facebook solves stolen car mystery

THE social media site might get a bad wrap from time to time but this week it's proven to be a crime-solving wonder.

9 reasons to take the kids to Woodford Folk Festival

FAMILY FREINDLY: Woodford Folk Festival has something for everyone.

If you're thinking about leaving the kids at home, think again

130,000 music lovers get set for folk festival

Getting into the music at Woodford Folk Festival.

Pre-festival ticket sales up 15%

Market-goers are gobbling up the Christmas puddings

Puddling Lane Queensland Christmas puddings.

Christmas wouldn't complete without a traditional Christmas pudding.

Spiderman star used fake name to research role

Spiderman star Tom Holland.

Spiderman star went undercover at Brooklyn highschool

What's on the small screen this week

A scene from the TV documentary Running Wild: Australia's Camels.

TWO new Aussie docos will pique your interest.

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Business council backs higher buildings

ARIA's proposed No. 1 Esplanade at Mooloolaba.

BUSINESSS Council supports council plan to relax the height limits

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!