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Australia Day date debate gains traction after breakfast speech

Thought Plus
26 Jan 2017

Mr Macfarlane said he had changed his view on Australia Day, and now believes it is no longer appropriate to celebrate on 26th January, the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet, when the date creates discomfort for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

He said it was important for Australians to concentrate on the substantive issue of Indigenous disadvantage, which will be made simpler if the Australia Day debate was settled quickly.

Mr Macfarlane nominated March 1 as an alternative date, marking the anniversary of the date on which the Commonwealth took over many of the powers previously held by the Colonies, such as customs, immigration and the military.

The Australia Day breakfast also heard from Kirstie Parker, CEO of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, who noted the pain felt by many Aboriginal people about a celebration occurring on that date.


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