City of Melville councillors affirm support for retaining Australia Day on January 26

Stock image.
Stock image.

ON the same night Melbourne’s Yarra Council voted to drop all references to Australia Day, Melville council reaffirmed its support for the national holiday.

The City of Melville will write to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull requesting Australia Day remains unchanged on January 26.

In June, the National General Assembly of Local Government narrowly passed a motion encouraging Australian councils to consider lobbying the Federal Government to change the date of Australia Day.

In response, Councillor Matthew Woodall proposed a motion at Tuesday’s Melville council meeting stating the City’s support for retaining Australia Day as is.

Cr Woodall said Australia Day was a Federal responsibility and it was not appropriate for local government to become involved.

He also pointed to two national polls that showed overwhelming support for retaining Australia Day on January 26.

“January 26 is no longer about the past but instead looks to the future,” he said.

“Elitist attempts to change the date of Australia Day lack popular support, are divisive and corrode the fragile unity of our nation.”

Cr Patricia Phelan said Australia Day had become a political football popular with activists.

“This is a storm in a teacup and should be ignored and not given any kind of media attention or importance in our society,” she said.

“I think Australians really enjoy Australia Day, including indigenous people.

“It’s time to stand up and say enough; you activists have had your say now go away.”

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