City of Melbourne residents vote for changing date of Australia Day


Inner city residents vote for changing date of Australia Day – but the PM slaps down the move

  • 59.8 per cent of Melbourne city residents support Australia Day changing date
  • 31.6 per cent of respondents in the same phone poll opposed the change
  • Melbourne City Council plans to continue citizenship ceremonies on January 26 

The City of Melbourne is set to push the Federal Government to move the date of Australia Day after a clear majority of locals voted for the date to be changed in a recent survey.

Almost 60 per cent of 1,609 Melbourne residents and businesses said they support celebrating Australia Day on a date other than January 26,

That was twice the number of people who don’t want a change.

Of those polled, 59.8 per cent supported changing the date of Australia Day, compared with 31.6 per cent who did not.

Melbourne is set to push the Federal Government to move the date of Australia Day after a clear majority of locals voted for the change (Pictured, Protestors at Invasion day protest Melbourne on Tuesday 26 January 2021)

Melbourne's mayor is independent Sally Capp, a former Liberal, who formally asked the council to review its approach to Australia Day in July

Melbourne’s mayor is independent Sally Capp, a former Liberal, who formally asked the council to review its approach to Australia Day in July

Even more, 59.9 per cent, said they believe Australia Day would be moved from 26 January within the next 10 years.

The five traditional owner organisations that make up the Eastern Kulin nation also unanimously supported changing the date.

If the council endorses the vote, it would commit to still issuing permits for Australia Day activities by the state government and other organisations.

It would also support activities that acknowledged the First Nations perspectives of January 26, and citizenship ceremonies would continue to be held.

But Prime Minister Anthony Albanese rejected calls to change Australia Day on Sunrise, saying his focus was on recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution.

Anthony Albanese rejected calls to change Australia Day on Sunrise, saying his focus was on recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution

Anthony Albanese rejected calls to change Australia Day on Sunrise, saying his focus was on recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution

The City of Melbourne has just under 170,000 residents and politically is strongly left-leaning (Pictured, protestors at an Invasion Day rally in Melbourne in 2021)

The City of Melbourne has just under 170,000 residents and politically is strongly left-leaning (Pictured, protestors at an Invasion Day rally in Melbourne in 2021)

‘Let’s focus on recognising the fact that our nation’s birth certificate should proudly recognise that we did not begin in 1788, which is what the 26th of January commemorates, it began at least 60,000 years ago with the oldest continuous civilisation on earth.

‘That should be a source of pride.’

Other polls, especially national ones, have been far less enthusiastic about changing the date.  A poll by IPSOS in 2021 found only 28 per cent supported the change.

About 90 per cent of the respondents to the Melbourne council’s phone survey, done by Redbridge from August 4 to 7, were residents aged over the age of 18.

The poll had an even gender split. 

The City of Melbourne has just under 170,000 residents and politically is strongly left-leaning.

In the 2022 Federal Election Greens leader won Melbourne in a cakewalk, with 49.6 per cent of the vote.

Melbourne isn't a Greens-dominated council, with only two if its 11 councillors Greens - Rohan Leppert (fourth from right) and Olivia Ball (far left)

Melbourne isn’t a Greens-dominated council, with only two if its 11 councillors Greens – Rohan Leppert (fourth from right) and Olivia Ball (far left)

Changing the date has been a Greens policy for many years but dropped off the party’s election policy platform with its First Nations focus instead on the creation of a Treaty.

In 2017 the City of Yarra voted to stop referring to January 26 as Australia Day. It was stripped of the right to hold citizenship ceremonies by the then-Federal government. 

Melbourne isn’t a Greens-dominated council, with only two if its 11 councillors Greens – Rohan Leppert and Olivia Ball. 

Its mayor is independent Sally Capp, a former Liberal, who formally asked the council to review its approach to Australia Day in July.

She acknowledged January 26 was a ‘divisive’ date. 

Melbourne councillors will discuss their options at a Future Melbourne Committee meeting on September 6.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk