Melbourne Mayor looks to dump Australia Day celebrations

Hallmark celebrations to go by the wayside as part of 'woke' agenda

Melbourne Mayor looks to dump Australia Day celebrations
Australia Day is set to change in Melbourne / ABC
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Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp has cited a 'changing sentiment' to Australia Day as part of the city's agenda to review its Australia Day plans which could see celebrations scrapped.

The council passed a motion to review its usual plans for the day with Capp saying that she is committed to reconciliation to celebrate ancient Indigenous culture.

We want to own what we’re doing to celebrate being Australian and how we go about it,” she said.

From as soon as next year, the usual fanfare and events experienced on Australia Day in Melbourne is set to change, with the review seeking to identify alternative options.

Embattled Victorian Premier Dan Andrews confirmed plans for next year’s Australia Day program were underway, but added to the confusion by refusing to confirm what events would be staged.

It’s unknown what impact the move, slammed as 'woke' virtue signalling by critics, will have on the city’s annual Australia Day parade and fireworks display.

The events are run by the state government but supported by the council.

"I recognise that for many people celebrating Australia Day on the 26th of January is important, but there is a changing sentiment around celebrating what it means to be Australian on that day," Capp said during an interview on ABC Melbourne radio.

"I know from discussions with Traditional Owners that many of them see this as a really important aspect of how we can better respect and reflect their ancient culture and history."

Critics argue that a 'changing sentiment' is restricted to elite city circles and not backed by any overwhelming general public support.

 A poll of conducted by the Herald Sun newspaper of almost 2800 people has found 92 per cent want to keep Australia Day the way it is.

Much-loved celebrations likely to be affected include the Australia Day parade, fireworks display, citizenship ceremonies, the Spirit Festival and the Dawn Ceremony.

Councils entering these kind of debates, I think they should stay in their lane and frankly work out how to unite us not divide us,” Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy said in response to the news.

I‘m a supporter of national institutions. I’m a supporter of the flag. I’m supportive of Australia Day, I think we should keep the date,” he said.

It's not the first time a Melbourne council has reviewed its stance and approach to the holiday with Yarra and Darebin councils famously voting to scrap Australia Day celebrations in 2017.

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