The head of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council has criticised the Federal Government over its response to two Melbourne council’s decisions to dump their Australia Day celebrations.

Both the Yarra and Darebin councils voted in the last fortnight to scrap their citizenship ceremonies on January 26 and to drop all references to Australia Day, prompting an angry response from the Prime Minister.

Assistant immigration minister Alex Hawke wrote to all local councils warning them they too would lose their powers to hold citizenship ceremonies if they followed suit.

NSW Aboriginal Land Council chair Roy Ah See has condemned the response.