Thursday 25th January 2018
An elected Liberal Nationals government will move to protect our communities’ Australia Day celebrations on January 26, Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has said.
Almost all Victorian local governments do the right thing except for three inner-city Greens Labor councils that appear to be obsessed with Federal and State government issues instead of focussing on the job they were elected to do – provide community services.
If elected to government in the November State Election, the Liberal Nationals will amend the Local Government Act to ensure all councils hold a citizenship ceremony on Australia Day (if they have new citizens in their LGA) and recognise January 26 as Australia’s national day.
Mr Walsh said Australia Day was a special day that encouraged all members of our community to come together and celebrate our nation.
“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,” he said.
“The politicisation of our national day by Labor and Greens councils needs to end.”
In 2017 the LGAs of Moreland, Yarra and Darebin voted to not recognise January 26 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.
Shadow Minister for Local Government David Morris said councils should be focused on delivering at the local level.
“Local councils should focus on their core job of community services,” Mr Morris said.
“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.”