Hard line on Aus­tralia Day date

Sunday Mail - - NEWS -

ROGUE coun­cils threat­en­ing to scrap Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tions on Jan­uary 26 will be forced to stick to the date, with the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment declar­ing: “There will be no more warn­ings.”

NSW’s By­ron Shire Council had warned it would fol­low the lead of two Vic­to­rian coun­cils – Dare­bin and Yarra – to move cel­e­bra­tions to a dif­fer­ent day out of re­spect for in­dige­nous Aus­tralians. The Gov­ern­ment stripped the two Greens-dom­i­nated coun­cils in Mel­bourne’s north of their right to hold cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­monies.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son warned By­ron Shire Council it would also be banned from host­ing cer­e­monies.

The Gov­ern­ment then wrote to all 538 lo­cal coun­cils, is­su­ing a Novem­ber 2 dead­line to de­cide whether they would hold cel­e­bra­tions on Jan­uary 26 and warn­ing a fail­ure to do so could be in breach of the Aus­tralian Cit­i­zen­ship Cer­e­monies Code, which states they are con­sid­ered non-com­mer­cial, apo­lit­i­cal, bi­par­ti­san and sec­u­lar.

No coun­cils de­clared plans to shift cel­e­bra­tions, in­clud­ing By­ron Shire.

Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter David Cole­man said Aus­tralia Day is our day of na­tional cel­e­bra­tion.

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