PM ‘bully’ over Oz Day move
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