Like a dog with a chew toy, the Greens just can’t seem to let it go.
It’s as if the party of social justice warriors have nothing else to do. Sadly, by continuing to hammer on the nation’s Australia Day celebrations, the party is only sowing discontent and increasing division.
But then as a minor party, perhaps that’s to their benefit.
Despite their latest efforts, a Sydney council is likely to reject a push by the Greens to ditch its Australia Day celebrations with fears it will be punished by the federal government.
Inner West Greens councillor Tom Kiat will move a motion next week calling on the council to ditch its Australia Day event on 26 January and acknowledge the date marks the ‘beginning of the British invasion’ for Aboriginal people.
He also wants the council to stop referring to the public holiday as Australia Day in its communications.
‘It’s pretty clear coming from the indigenous community that January 26 is not an appropriate day to have an Australia Day event,’ he told AAP on Thursday.
‘I think that’s shared by probably a majority of people in the inner west who are not indigenous.’
Cr Kiat will propose that the council should instead consider hosting or funding a commemoration of 26 January, led by the indigenous community.
But it seems likely the motion won’t pass.
Labor has five of 15 members on the council including Mayor Darcy Byrne and they’re expected to vote ‘no’.
There are also two Liberal councillors and three independents.
Mr Byrne will use his mayoral minutes to urge council to continue its festivities, but ensure it is a ‘day of reflection and commemoration’ rather than celebration. In a statement to AAP, Mr Byrne stated:
‘I’m proposing we consult with the local Aboriginal community about how the nature of council’s January 26 events can further evolve to recognise the history of indigenous Australia’.
Mr Byrne noted Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has already removed the power to conduct citizenship ceremonies from other councils that have cancelled their 26 January events. The mayor stated:
‘I’m not going to play into Peter Dutton’s hands and have migrants in the inner west, the birthplace of Australian multiculturalism, being prevented from becoming Australian citizens in our community…
‘Punishing migrants to make a political point would do no-one any good.’
The Australian Tribune with AAP