PM ‘bully’ over Oz Day move

Herald Sun - - NEWS - JOHN MASANAUSKAS

A MEL­BOURNE mayor who wants mas­sacres against Abo­rig­ines re­cited on Aus­tralia Day has ac­cused the fed­eral gov­ern­ment of bul­ly­ing coun­cils over the na­tional day.

City of Port Phillip mayor Dick Gross backs the re­ten­tion of the Jan­uary 26 cel­e­bra­tion, but has also called for a solemn cer­e­mony in the morn­ing to ac­knowl­edge his­tor­i­cal wrongs against indige­nous peo­ple.

The pro­posal is yet to go be­fore the coun­cil, with Port Phillip this year hold­ing its usual Aus­tralia Day fes­tiv­i­ties.

Cr Gross said his idea was de­signed to make the na­tional day more “palat­able to all Aus­tralians”.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son has an­nounced new rules to en­sure anti-Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tion coun­cils like Yarra and Dare­bin are forced to hold cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­monies on the day, but the re­vised code won’t be in­tro­duced un­til 2020.

But Cr Gross, an ALP mem­ber, said Mr Mor­ri­son’s po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated pol­icy was over the top.

“He’s be­ing a bully, and the way to per­suade peo­ple is to per­suade them by the power of your ar­gu­ment, not pun­ish them,” he said.

Mayor Dick Gross

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