Councils happy to stick with January 26

Cecilia AllenSound Telegraph

The City of Rockingham and Kwinana will continue to celebrate Australia Day as is, despite a Greens campaign to dump the celebrations on January 26.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale last week pledged the Federal party’s support to Greens councillors if they launched campaigns to shift local government celebrations out of respect for Aboriginal people.

The campaign has been slammed by many on both sides of politics, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

City of Rockingham mayor Barry Sammels said the City would continue to celebrate Australia Day on January 26 through its increasingly well-attended community event, which last year drew a crowd of about 25,000 to the Rockingham Foreshore.

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“Should that position ever change, it would be driven by a majority of councillors acting in what they saw as the best interests of the community, not in response to any campaigning from major political parties,” he said.

“To date, no approach has been made to change this position and none is anticipated.”

City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said the council had not indicated it would like to review any of its future Australia Day celebrations and citizenship ceremonies, so the events would remain on January 26.

A handful of councils nationwide, including Fremantle, have switched to celebrating Australia Day on another day, rather than on January 26.

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