PM proposes ‘Indigenous Day’ to end Australia Day debate


The Prime Minister has flagged a national day to celebrate Indigenous Australians. Scott Morrison has weighed into the debate over the appropriateness of the date of Australia Day.

Missy Drage reports.

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The PM is rejecting calls to move the date of Australia Day, instead proposing a new national public holiday to celebrate Indigenous Australians and their culture.

The federal government has also stripped Byron Shire Council of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies, after their refusal to hold them on January 26.

Mr Morrison says changing the date isn’t necessary, and that Australians should embrace the day.

Scott Morrison, Prime Minister: “We don’t have to pull Australia Day down to actually recognise the achievements of Indigenous Australians, the oldest living culture in the world.”

Opposition leader Tanya Plibersek took to Twitter, saying the announcement is disappointing and disrespectful.

But Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk supports the PM’s idea.

Graham Quirk, Lord Mayor: “I think the Prime Minister’s proposal for a separate day of acknowledgment and recognition is very important, and one that I would certainly support.”

The PM says he wants to hear Australians’ opinions.

Scott Morrison, Prime Minister: “I’m happy to have a consultation about that, talk to the states and territories, Indigenous communities and hear back from Australians.”

Missy Drage, QUT News.