Travel company boycotted after owner’s racist rant
A woman involved in a racist outburst at her Aboriginal neighbour in Mildura has had her company boycotted by a business partner.
Karen Ridge and her husband Rob Vigors were caught on video ranting at their neighbour and grabbing at an Aboriginal flag on Saturday.
The disturbing footage resulted in Mr Vigors losing his two McDonalds franchises.
A company that worked with Ms Ridge and her company Mildura Travel & Cruise said they were cutting ties with her.
Express Travel Group, which works with independent travel agencies, said in a statement they were terminating their membership with Mildura Travel & Cruise "with immediate effect".
In a statement the business said: "We employ over 80 staff nationally with diverse backgrounds and cultures all working within our company values of diversity and inclusiveness."
"We are deeply disappointed by the comments made by the owners of Mildura Travel & Cruise who are an independently owned travel business and also hold a membership within the Express Travel Group. In light of these events, membership of Mildura Travel & Cruise has been terminated with immediate effect."
The video of the racist tirade was widely shared on social media.
It showed Mildura artists Robby Wirramanda-Knight and Jackie Wirramanda being harangued by their neighbours Rob Vigors and Karen Ridge.
The video showed Mr Vigors questioning the family's Aboriginality, saying they "make a mockery" of "true" Aboriginals.
"Which one per cent of you is Aboriginal?" he said. "You make me laugh."
He is also heard saying: "OK, you can do nice paintings and everything and I respect that worth. Don't get me wrong, I respect that worth.
"This is the problem with this country and this is the problem with so many people in this area … people like you make a mockery of true Aboriginals."
Mr Vigors said "take that f---ing flag down" before Ms Ridge is seen tugging at an Aboriginal flag in the artists' front yard.
"I'm not racist. I'm not racist," she said before adding: "Which half of you is Aboriginal? You are not Aboriginal."
Police were called to the Dockside Drive home about 1am on Saturday.
The investigation is ongoing," a police spokesman said.
McDonald's said in a statement Mr Vigors was no longer a franchisee.
"McDonald's confirms the Company has taken over the operation of the Mildura and Irymple restaurants, effective immediately, and Robert Vigors has left the system and is no longer involved," he said.
"McDonald's will be engaging with its employees regarding the change in arrangements, to ensure the ongoing operation of the restaurants."