A Melbourne council is poised to dump all references to January 26 as Australia Day amid growing calls to find a new date to mark the country’s national day because of concerns about the impact on indigenous people.
Yarra City councilors will vote on Tuesday night on a series of measures that would see the council stop referring to January 26 as Australia Day from 2018 and end its tradition of holding citizenship ceremonies on that date.
A report prepared for councilors says consultations with local residents of the inner northern municipality revealed strong support for a wider campaign to change the date of Australia Day, which many indigenous people regard as “invasion day”.
The report recommends councilors adopt its 13 recommendations, which includes a call for council to consider ways to lobby the federal government to change the date.
The report says – “Recognition of Yarra’s position as a local government leader in its work with the local Aboriginal community means actions resulting from adoption of recommendations in this report are likely to have a high level of influence on other local governments in Victoria and beyond,”.
Tuesday night’s vote comes after the Australian Local Government Association narrowly approved a motion encouraging councils to lobby the federal government to find a new date for Australia Day in June.