Rogue councils threatening to scrap Australia Day celebrations on January 26 will be forced to stick to the date, with the Federal Government declaring: “There will be no more warnings.”
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi supports Australia Day staying where it is and has congratulated the Morrison government for standing firm on the issue.
The Sunday Mail reports, Byron Shire Council in New South Wales had warned it would follow the lead of two Victorian councils – Darebin and Yarra – to move celebrations to a different day out of respect for indigenous Australians - a move excoriated by Senator Bernardi earlier this year in the Senate.
The Government stripped the two Greens-dominated councils in Melbourne’s north of their right to hold citizenship ceremonies.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned Byron Shire Council it would also be banned from hosting ceremonies.
The Government then wrote to all 538 local councils, issuing a November 2 deadline to decide whether they would hold celebrations on January 26 and warning a failure to do so could be in breach of the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code, which states they are considered non-commercial, apolitical, bipartisan and secular.
No councils declared plans to shift celebrations, including Byron Shire.
Immigration Minister David Coleman said Australia Day is our day of national celebration.
Senator Bernardi identified the Greens party and its endorsed councillors as the source of the increasing attacks on our national celebration of unity.
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