Three in four want Australia Day on Jan 26

Daniel McCulloch
(Australian Associated Press)


Three in four people believe Australia Day should continue to be celebrated on January 26.

Polling commissioned by right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs shows just 10 per cent of 1000 people surveyed want to change the date of the national day.

Ten days out from Australia Day, the Greens have offered to host citizenship ceremonies on behalf of local councils who refuse to hold events on January 26 out of respect for indigenous people.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison plans to force councils to hold ceremonies on Australia Day and enforce a strict dress code at official events in an attempt to preserve the date.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has declared he will never move the date of Australia Day if he becomes prime minister.

Mr Shorten also said he had no desire to be the “fashion police” telling people what they could wear at citizenship ceremonies.

“I just think we’ve got to leave the politics alone, catch up with our family and friends, and on Australia Day my wish is for all Australians to realise what a great country we live in,” he told the Nine Network on Wednesday.

The opposition leader refused to buy into the Greens’ idea on citizenship ceremonies.

“Some days I’d like to put the Greens with Tony Abbott and a few of the right-wing in the Liberal Party in the same room, tell them to sort it out, and the rest of us can just get on and cook a snag on the barbie,” Mr Shorten said.

“What happens in Australian politics is sometimes the extremes – because they say radical things – grab a headline.

“I’m not going to get distracted by that – the Greens can say or do what they want – Labor is not going to go down that path. We’re not going to have big political debates about the day of Australia Day.”

Health Minister Greg Hunt is confident the vast majority of people support Australia Day.

“It celebrates what we are as a contemporary nation and this game that’s played out every year is simply a diversion and self-serving,” Mr Hunt said.

“Australia Day is about celebrating a nation that is a multi-ethnic success, with all of the challenges of any country.”


Like This