No changes planned for Aus­tralia Day

Gatton Star - - NEWS -

WHILE the Aus­tralia Day de­bate con­tin­ues across the na­tion, the Lock­yer Val­ley and Som­er­set re­gions will not fol­low suit of other re­gions push­ing to change the date.

Som­er­set Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Graeme Lehmann said Jan­uary 26 was a day for Aus­tralians to unite in ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the na­tion.

“Aus­tralia Day is in­clu­sive and recog­nises all Aus­tralians and I do not be­lieve we should change the day or the cel­e­bra­tions that oc­cur on this day,” Cr Lehmann said.

“Aus­tralia Day is, and has al­ways been, a day where we all come to­gether and cel­e­brate what’s great about be­ing Aus­tralian and put aside our dif­fer­ences.”

Both Som­er­set and Lock­yer Val­ley Re­gional Coun­cils will con­tinue to hold their Aus­tralia Day award cer­e­monies on Jan­uary 26.

Lock­yer Mayor Tanya Mil­li­gan said the day recog­nised the re­gion’s di­ver­sity, of­ten re­fer­ring to it as a “patch­work quilt”.

“It is about recog­nis­ing

❝Aus­tralia

Day is in­clu­sive and recog­nises all Aus­tralians ...

— Graeme Lehmann

our past, look­ing out for each other, ap­pre­ci­at­ing where I live, those around me and op­por­tu­ni­ties that are avail­able to us in this very lucky coun­try,” Cr Mil­li­gan said.

Spirit of the Val­ley pres­i­dent Idell Wadley, who or­gan­ises mul­ti­cul­tural events across the Lock­yer Val­ley in­clud­ing Naidoc and Colours of the Lock­yer, said chang­ing the date would bet­ter re­flect mod­ern Aus­tralia.

“Chang­ing the date will not change the past, how­ever I think Au­gust 10 would be a sig­nif­i­cant date that bet­ter re­flects a mod­ern Aus­tralia,” Ms Wadley said.

“This was the date the ref­er­en­dum re­sponse be­came law and all Aus­tralians were recog­nised and counted.”

PHOTO: ROB WIL­LIAMS

DIF­FER­ENCE ASIDE: Som­er­set Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Graeme Lehmann does not be­lieve the date or cel­e­bra­tions should be changed.

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