Politics

This Melbourne Mayor Has Written A Scathing Editorial About Scott Morrison’s Australia Day Plans

"A thinly veiled attempt to drive a wedge into communities across the country, all for the sake of politics."

Darebin Susan Rennie slams Scott Morrison over Australia Day

The mayor of the City of Darebin in Melbourne has hit out at Prime Minister Scott Morrison over his handling of the debate about Australia Day, in an impassioned editorial for The Age.

Morrison caused a stir earlier this week after declaring that it would be compulsory for all local councils to hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26, pushing back against the growing number of local councils around the country who have moved their Australia Day celebrations to different dates out of respect for Indigenous Australians.

“Darebin Council believes the national day to celebrate Australia should be on a different date, so the celebration can be genuinely celebratory, inclusive and meaningful,” wrote Mayor Sussan Rennie on Tuesday. “That is why in 2017 we chose to stop recognising January 26 as Australia Day. Our community told us this was an important issue for it and one they wanted its council to make a stand on.”

Rennie called Morrison’s recent announcement “yet another thinly veiled attempt to drive a wedge into communities across the country, all for the sake of politics”.

“At best it was a bizarre and pointless missive, at worst a public relations stunt designed to further divide this country and stir the dying embers of a culture war.”

“The calls of the First Nations peoples to change the date continue to be disregarded by the federal government, while the Prime Minister states that the day before January 26 would be a good day to celebrate First Nations peoples,” she wrote. “The absurdity of that suggestion is quite breathtaking.”

We are not anti-Australia Day, nor opposed to the celebration of national identity – we are simply opposed to celebrating our national identity on a date that is not inclusive and respectful of First Nations peoples.”

You can read Rennie’s full editorial here.