Australia day celebrations; when should they occur?
Australia day celebrations; when should they occur? Peter Holt

The great Australia Day date debate: Gympie has its say

WHEN is it a good time for us to celebrate Australia?

The controversial change the date debate has revived, with Yarra Council coming under fire for voting to stop referring to January 26 as Australia Day, and Channel Nine personality Karl Stefanovic making a public statement in support of a change.

However, Gympie leaders and residents are less enamoured with the idea.

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien said the date should stay as is, and encouraged Australians to unite and find a way to respect each other and celebrate together.

"I respect the role our first Australians have in our community, and the great contributions they have made and will make into the future and believe we should celebrate together,” Mr O'Brien said.

"I think it should stay on the 26th, it represents the beginning of the time it became the nation it is.” MP Llew O'Brien Patrick Woods

Member for Gympie Tony Perrett said changing the date would be bending to the whims of an overly loud minority.

"This is political correctness and the neo- Marxist rights industry bullying us once again,” Mr Perrett said.

"They will never be satisfied with any day because all they want to do is trash our history, divide communities and dismantle our institutions.

"Australia Day is when we maturely celebrate and commemorate our rich history, warts and all, our heritage, traditions and the values underpinning our culture.”

"It is a load of nonsense... in order to appease a vocal group of infantile activists who hate Australia.” Tony Perrett Frances Klein

Our online readers were a little more divided.

Ron Hall shared Mr Perrett's stance, asking for the date to be left alone: "I'm sick of minorities stamping their feet.”

However, Jason McPherson took a different view.

"I'm fine to change it if our Aboriginal majority believe it will be solved for ever and accepted to be a appreciation,” he said.

"We can't change history but we can show respect to a historic culture.

"I always thought Australia Day should start off in morning celebrating the original owners' culture and by lunch time if you wanted move to celebrating the Anzacs that made us safe.”

"Council has had no reason to consider a position on the matter. Should that situation arise, it would be put to a council meeting.” Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch Renee Albrecht

Helen Smith called for it to remain as is.

"We are all Australians,” she said.

"And none of us can change history but we can move on together to build an awesome country together.”

Lillian Wallace agreed.

"No don't change it,” she said.

"If it ain't broke don't need to mend it.”

Norman Brownlie took a a very Australian position on the subject.

"Actually Jan 26 is the wrong date but what the hell she'll do,” he said.

And back again to Jason McPherson, who suggested another popular way to answer the question.

"I know we should have a postal vote,” he said.

Gympie Times


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