As January 26 looms closer, the debate around whether or not Australia Day should be moved rages on.
A number of alternative dates have been proposed, but not all on the Mid North Coast are keen on the idea of changing the date at the moment.
Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker in particular has slammed proponents in support of changing the date saying January 26 has been and should continue to be a day for us to all come together and celebrate what makes us Australian.
“Australia Day is our national day and unites Australians—where we reflect on our achievements, what we are proud of and what defines us as a nation.
“On the 26 January our communities come together and celebrate what is great about Australia and being Australian, with the shared aim of making Australia an even better place for the future,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams says she has spoken to members of the public and in her opinion the date should not change.
“I’ve spoken to many local people in our community and the overwhelming view is that it should not be changed.
“In September 2017 I wrote to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council seeking clarification on their position relative to Australia Day activities and I am very pleased to say they have confirmed they have no current plans to make any changes,” Mrs Williams said.
Mrs Williams said that this Australia Day she will be participating in local activities in both Laurieton and Port Macquarie.
“This year I am looking forward to attending Australia Day celebrations on North Brother Mountain at Laurieton early in the morning before joining in the ‘sail past’ activities on the Hastings River and then taking part in the Port Macquarie Australia Day celebrations on the Town Green.
“I congratulate our local Lions and Rotary Clubs for organising these events in conjunction with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and I look forward to sharing Australia Day with thousands of other local residents.” she said.
CEO of the Birpai Land Council, David Carroll said that while the conversation about a date change may need to be had, the time and place is not in the two week lead up to Australia Day.
“There is a time and a place for this conversation because it should not just be something we talk about before January 26 each year,” Mr Carroll said.
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