Australia Day: PM Malcolm Turnbull Brushes Off Attempts To Change


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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has brushed off new attempts to change Australia Day after one city took the radical step of cancelling its January 26 celebrations.

The port city of Fremantle in WA created the controversy when it cancelled its annual fireworks because the day of celebration was insensitive towards indigenous people.

Then the city announced it would go even further by moving all of its Australia Day activities to January 28 this year.

Mr Turnbull acknowledged there was “controversy” about the January 26 date, which marks the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, but left no room for hope he would change it. “Let’s stick with Australia Day on the 26th,” Mr Turnbull told radio station 3AW on Friday. Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettit said the city wasn’t stopping individuals from celebrating on January 26.

“We were never trying to say to people they couldn’t do anything or shouldn’t do anything on Australia Day,” he told The West Australian. “We’re simply offering what I think is a really good alternative.” Fremantle’s January 28 event will be called “One Day” and will include musical performances from John Butler, Dan Sultan and Mama Kin. A group of local traders has gone against the city’s position and funded their own skyshow event for January 26.

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