Five local counsels have decided against marking 26 January as Australia Day following debate about whether the day should be moved to a less controversial date. In response, Mark Latham and Jacintha Price have together launched the Save Australia Day campaign which will be run on radio and television. Latham has argued that 26 January has always been a vital date in Australian history:
Ill-informed Leftists are spreading the furphy that Australia Day on 26 January is a recent invention. In fact, the early settlers celebrated each 26 January anniversary and in 1818 (the 30 year anniversary) Governor Macquarie declared it a public holiday. Always been vital date.
— Real Mark Latham (@RealMarkLatham) January 10, 2018
Alice Springs Councillor, and Indigenous leader, Jacintha Price has argued that not all aboriginal people feel like victims of Australian history.
Irrelevant Greens Senator, Lee Rhiannon, told Channel 7: “It’s ridiculous. It might be Mr Latham’s latest way to grab a headline. But it’s just totally out of touch. We need to change the day.”
In an interview on The Drum, Price rightly said:
What I’m seeing is political divisiveness coming from a minority group of people who claim to be offended because of what took place in 1788. Because of this claim of offence, it is now pushed upon the rest of the Australian people to accept that because they’re offended, we should simply change the date.
Price went on to point out that, contrary to the claims of some, Australia Day is not a celebration of genocide or Aboriginal suffering. Rather, on the day we celebrate “what we are and the country that we have all worked together to create right now. There is more than just Indigenous people and white people in this country.” Price continued:
It’s a choice to be offended… It’s an emotion that they are claiming to feel. If people feel angry, do we encourage people to act on that impulse of anger? If people have anger management issues, we tell them to get help to deal with that particular emotion because it’s their responsibility. It’s not for the rest of us to change in order to suit that person’s emotion.
I just would like to see us grow up as a country a little bit and be more responsible in that regard, responsible for our own feelings, responsible to also act forgivingly toward the rest of non-Indigenous Australia, considering they weren’t actually responsible for what happened to Aboriginal people in 1788.
The latest advert for Save Australia Day can be viewed below: