Politics

Anthony Albanese Thinks Australia Day Should Stay On January 26

"One of the things we need to do is seek ways to unite Australia, rather than engage in culture wars."

Anthony Albanese

Anthony Albanese has been having a hard time lately trying to have his cake and eat it too.

First he was called out for trying to push for stronger climate action, while throwing his support behind coal. Now he’s out there talking about how Australia Day is “difficult” for Indigenous Australians, but also that Australia  should definitely still celebrate it on January 26.

The Labor leader is now copping it after making the comments on Macquarie Radio today.

“One of the things we need to do is seek ways to unite Australia, rather than engage in culture wars. It’s really counterproductive,” he said. “I think that we do need to recognise that Australia Day for Indigenous Australians is a difficult day.

“Yes, modern Australia, is connected with the arrival of migrants, but that had an impact, a terrible impact, a devastating impact, indeed, on First Australians.

“It’s an opportunity to educate people about dispossession and the consequences of it. And it’s given a focus on that day.”

January 26 is the anniversary of the 1788 landing of the First Fleet and the raising of the British flag at Sydney Cove, a day that marked the beginning of white colonisation in Australia (and, you know, kicked off widespread massacres, oppression, theft and discrimination that has left a lasting legacy).

Calls to change the date have been getting louder every year, and this Sunday thousands are expected to march in Invasion Day protests.