Melbourne city residents vote to change Australia Day date – but their calls were rejected by Anthony Albanese
- 59.8 percent of Melbourne city residents support changing the date of Australia Day
- 31.6 percent of respondents in the same telephone survey opposed the change
- Melbourne City Council plans to resume naturalization ceremonies on January 26
Almost 60 per cent of Melbourne’s 1,609 residents and businesses said they support celebrating Australia Day on a date other than January 26.
That was twice as many people who don’t want change.
Of those polled, 59.8 percent supported changing the date of Australia Day, compared to 31.6 percent who did not.
Melbourne will urge the federal government to move the date of Australia Day after a clear majority of locals voted in favor of the change (Pictured protesters on the day of the invasion in Melbourne on Tuesday 26 January 2021).
Melbourne’s mayor is the independent Sally Capp, a former Liberal who has formally asked the council to review its approach to Australia Day in July
Even more, 59.9 percent said they believe Australia Day will be pushed back from January 26 within the next 10 years.
The five traditional ownership organizations that make up the eastern Kulin nation also unanimously supported the date change.
If the council supports the vote, it would commit to continuing to issue permits for Australia Day activities by the state government and other organisations.
It would also support activities recognizing First Nations perspectives of January 26 and citizenship ceremonies would continue to be held.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, however, rejected calls to change Australia Day on Sunrise, saying his focus is on recognizing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution.
Anthony Albanese has dismissed calls to change Australia Day on Sunrise, saying his focus is on recognizing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution
The city of Melbourne has a population of just under 170,000 and is heavily left-leaning politically (pictured protesters at an Invasion Day rally in Melbourne in 2021)
“Let us focus on acknowledging the fact that our nation’s birth certificate should proudly acknowledge that we did not begin in 1788, as commemorated January 26, but began the oldest continuous civilization on earth at least 60,000 years ago.
“That should be a source of pride.”
Other polls, particularly national ones, were far less enthusiastic about the date change. A poll by IPSOS in 2021 found that only 28 percent supported the change.
About 90 per cent of respondents to Melbourne Council’s telephone survey, conducted by Redbridge August 4-7, were residents over the age of 18.
The survey had an equal gender distribution.
The City of Melbourne has almost 170,000 inhabitants and is politically strongly left-leaning.
In the 2022 federal election, the leader of the Melbourne Green Party won in a snap with 49.6 percent of the vote.
Melbourne is not a Green-dominated council, with only two of its 11 Green Council members – Rohan Leppert (fourth from right) and Olivia Ball (far left).
Changing the date has been a Green Party policy for many years, but has ditched the party’s electoral platform with its focus on Indigenous people to create a treaty.
In 2017, the city of Yarra voted to no longer designate January 26 as Australia Day. The federal government at the time revoked her naturalization rights.
Melbourne is not a Green-dominated councillor, with only two of its 11 councillors, Rohan Leppert and Olivia Ball.
Its mayor is the independent Sally Capp, a former Liberal who has formally asked the council to review its approach to Australia Day in July.
She acknowledged that January 26 was a “divisive” date.
Melbourne councilors will discuss their options at a September 6 Future Melbourne Committee meeting.