10 years on Image

10 years on

Little by little for Docklands Rotary

Away from the desk Image

Away from the desk

The little bent tree

Chamber update Image

Chamber update

Run for the Kids

Docklander Image


Johannesburg to Docklands

Fashion Image


Top five street style trends

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Express workout for corporate workers

Letters Image


Confusion over place names

New Businesses Image

New Businesses

Ultimate Kitchens and Bathrooms; Eyes on Docklands; polepole

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

Bill fails to protect residents

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

A road trip companion

SkyPad Living Image

SkyPad Living

Vertical village parcel delivery

Street Art Image

Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

More support for OCs in the new Bill

What Women Want - With Abby Crawford Image

What Women Want - With Abby Crawford

Do not fear how love can hurt you

Council wobbles on Australia Day

01 Nov 2018

Council wobbles on Australia Day Image

By Meg Hill

There are indications that the City of Melbourne is divided and unclear about the controversy over Australia Day celebrations on January 26.

The stances of local councils towards January 26 has re-emerged after events last month at the Port Phillip Council.

Cr Dick Gross gave notice he was planning to move a motion calling for a ceremony on January 26 to acknowledge the impact of colonialism.

Cr Gross withdrew his motion before the meeting, stating he wanted an opportunity for more discussion.

Some City of Melbourne councillors have expressed their personal view to Docklands News that January 26 is an inappropriate day for the celebrations, but have also said the council does not have a formal position and hasn’t discussed the issue.

Aboriginal portfolio chairperson Nic Frances Gilley said he thought days that marked colonisation events were not useful days for national celebrations.

But he added: “I am unaware of the general feeling of councillors towards this view as we haven’t discussed it formally or informally so there’s not a council view.”

Cr Frances Gilley and Cr Rohan Leppert recently came out in strong opposition to Melbourne Day being held on an “invasion day”.

But Cr Frances Gilley said Melbourne Day was a city conversation and Australia Day was a national conversation.

However, Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said there was a council position and that the issue would have last been discussed by the council informally “weeks ago”.

“The City of Melbourne position is that there is no intention to change Australia Day as it stands, and there’s quite a lot of internal discussion that goes on about these issues,” he said.

He said it was regularly discussed in relation to local government indigenous initiatives such as the council’s Aboriginal Melbourne Plan.

Cr Frances Gilley responded to say that he was sure that he hadn’t been involved in any discussions about Australia Day, but that others might have been.

Cr Rohan Leppert said: “Governments at all levels should do more to respect Australia’s first peoples’ overwhelming opposition to 26 January being our national day.”

“As one white man it’s not for me to unilaterally propose changes to how one local council resources Australia Day celebrations, but clearly if a consensus proposal from traditional owners were to emerge, we should act on it.”

The federal government stripped both the Yarra and Darebin councils of their ability to hold citizenship ceremonies after they both voted to dump January 26 celebrations.

“We fully respect the right of other local governments to represent their constituents and I, personally, believe the federal government has been quite punitive,” said Cr Wood.

The issue has been in discussion at Port Phillip Council since last year.

Share on Facebook

Stay in touch with Docklands. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Docklands News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.

Docklands is Beautiful