POLL: Has Scott Morrison Caved in on Australia Day?
There has been an aggressive campaign over the last few years by the left against Australia Day being on January 26th who deem the day offensive to all Indigenous Australians. First the campaign was ‘change the date’ with last year three Inner Melbourne councils moving their Australia Day festivities from January 26th plus the ABC’s Triple J moving their annual Hottest 100 Countdown from Australia Day.
In the lead up to Australia 2018 the left’s campaign then become one to abolish Australia Day completely as they deemed our nation was not worthy of a day of national pride. This campaign of hate against Australia culminated with the Melbourne organiser of the Invasion Day protest telling the crowd ‘F**k Australia, hope it f**king burns to the ground’.
It is Greens official policy to change Australia Day while Labor is beginning to feel the heat on the issue from its progressive base. Public polling meanwhile shows 71% for Australia Day. Under Malcolm Turnbull’s Prime Ministership the Coalition was united in defending Australia Day and stripped local councils of power to hold citizenship ceremonies if they chose to move Australia Day.
As the left’s assault on Australia Day been brewing for many years some on right knew that it was well time to fight back. Mark Latham’s Outsiders launched the Save Australia Day advertising campaigned headed by Jacinta Price. The True Blue Crew in Melbourne held a public barbecue in Elwood in Melbourne for all those who wanted to openly celebrate the national day.
Now with Australia Day 2019 being four months away the push to change the dated has begun again. Another council this Bryon Shire Council last week it announced was moving its Australia Day festivities a day earlier with Mayor Simon Richardson claiming “currently, Australia Day symbolises great sorrow and pain amongst indigenous mobs”.
Scott Morrison continued the Turnbull Government policy by stripping the council of its authority to hold citizenship ceremonies and accused it by moving the date of trying to deny our history.
Indulgent self-loathing doesn’t make Australia stronger. Being honest about the past does. Our modern Aus nation began on January 26, 1788. That’s the day to reflect on what we’ve accomplished, become, still to achieve. We can do this sensitively, respectfully, proudly, together. https://t.co/uM59Lwrr1p
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) September 23, 2018
However despite his condemnation of the council Scott Morrison made a major concession to the change the date movement suggesting a new Indigenous national day instead of moving Australia Day.
Morrison stated about Indigenous Australia “There’s a lot to celebrate … and I think we can celebrate the fact that this is the world’s oldest living culture”. Ken Wyatt the Age Care Minister and of indigenous descent called the idea “a great step forward” and suggested holding the event during NAIDOC Week in July.
Labor despite the fact that a special Indigenous day has been a suggestion from their own MPs they were skeptical of Morrison’s idea. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott who is now the Morrison Government’s Special Envoy for Indigenous Affairs was coy on the idea worried about its potential divisiveness and that “we’ve already got things like NAIDOC Week and National Sorry Day and so on. And really I think the emphasis – and I’m sure this would be the Prime Minister’s emphasis – is on all pulling together on Australia Day, being proud of what we’ve achieved.”
Another problem with the suggestion is that if it was deemed a public holiday that would another day of economic activity worth around $3 billion to Australia gone. The business community has already complained about the amount of public holidays Australia has and that states having different public holidays adds further disruption to Australian economy activity. But of course indigenous activists would not consider it a proper Indigenous Day if it was not a public holiday.
But the most important point to make about Morrison’s proposal is that this concession will not satisfy the left and the indigenous activists. They are never satisfied and once they obtain a concession from the right they will demand even more. This is what occurred when John Howard and Tony Abbott pledged their support for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, now activists are demanding an indigenous voice to Parliament.
Has Scott Morrison caved in on Australia Day and handed the activists a victory? Will the left be even be more emboldened to call it Invasion Day and continue to attack Australia Day? Have your say in our poll below.