Media Release

25 January 2018

Morris – Smith: Australia Day

Australia Day

A Liberal National Government will legislate to ensure Australia Day is recognised by all local government councils in Victoria. A Liberal National Government will amend the Local Government Act to ensure councils hold a citizenship ceremony on Australia Day (if they have new citizens in their LGA) and recognise 26 January as Australia’s national day.

In 2017 the LGAs of Moreland, Yarra and Darebin voted to not recognise 26 January as Australia Day.

As a response, the Federal Government stripped Yarra and Darebin councils of their right to host citizenship ceremonies after they voted to shift their traditional Australia Day citizenship ceremony to another day.

Victorians are tired of local councils inserting themselves into national and state political debates around national identity, particularly over the date of Australia’s national day. The politicisation of our national day by Labor/Greens councils needs to end.

Comments attributed to David Morris, Shadow Minister for Local Government:

Local councils should focus on their core job of community services. If local councillors want to change the date of Australia Day, then they should resign from council and run for Federal Parliament.

If Daniel Andrews is honest when he says he believes the date of Australia Day shouldn’t change, he will support this policy.

Comments attributed to Tim Smith, Scrutiny of Government:

This legislation will give State Government’s the authority to sack councils that refuse to recognise 26 January as Australia Day and use ratepayers money to conduct political campaigns against Australia Day.

Last year the Premier sat by and failed to condemn the councils that opposed Australia Day, now’s his chance to finally stand up to the Greens.