LOCAL governments in the Echo News readership have distanced themselves from the Australia Day debate, with the January 26 date remaining a bone of contention among the community.
The change the date campaign, spearheaded by Greens leader Richard Di Natale, maintains the January 26 date is offensive to Indigenous Australians and crafts a “cult of forgetfulness” to the realities of that date.
In 2017, the City of Fremantle was equally applauded and condemned for forgoing Australia Day celebrations in favour of a day of multicultural celebration on January 28.
With the change the date push gaining steam, Echo News asked the Cities of Swan and Kalamunda and the Shire of Mundaring where they stood in the debate.
All three local government organisations played an exceptionally straight bat to the query.
Kalamunda Mayor John Giardina said “Councillors are elected to represent the interests of the community locally, not those of a political party, and I encourage community members to give us their views on the issue.”
City of Swan Deputy Mayor Kevin Bailey said he was happy to celebrate Australia Day on the date set by Federal parliament, whatever that date may be.
“Australia Day is important to celebrate because it is the one day of the year that all Australians can come together, irrespective of beliefs and ideologies, as one country and one people, and celebrate,” he said.
Mundaring Shire president John Daw said there were no plans to change the date of Australia Day in the hills.
“Mundaring Council is first and foremost concerned with the community’s interests and issues at the local level,” he said.
“The date of Australia Day has not been raised for formal discussion by the current Council and at present there are no plans to change the date of the Shire’s Australia Day celebration.”
With Claire Ottaviano