Australia to force local governments to induct citizens on national holiday

Australia to force local governments to induct citizens on national holiday

Reuters  | Jan 13, 2019 12:30AM ET

Australia to force local governments to induct citizens on national holiday

By Alison Bevege

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's federal government has ordered local governments to hold naturalization ceremonies for new citizens on Australia Day amid controversy over the holiday, which some claim is offensive to its indigenous people.

The government is proposing that all local government bodies in Australia, typically referred to as councils, must hold induction ceremonies for new citizens on the Australia Day holiday on Jan. 26 and the Australian Citizenship Day holiday on Sept. 17 or have their authorization revoked, Immigration Minister David Coleman said in an emailed statement on Sunday.

Australia Day marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the first British fleet to Sydney Cove where the British flag was raised on the continent marking the start of colonization.

Aborigines trace their lineage on the island continent back 50,000 years and for them, the date marks the start of the loss of their cultural heritage and suffering under discriminatory policies.

The holiday has become controversial with pressure by activists to change the date from what they call "Invasion Day".

The country's 700,000 or so indigenous people track near the bottom of its 25 million citizens in almost every economic and social indicator.

Several local councils have stopped holding citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day because of concerns the date is insulting to Aborigines.

At a press conference televised by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday, Immigration Minister Coleman said more than 100 of the country's 537 councils do not hold citizenship ceremonies on the Australia Day holiday.

However, Australian Local Government Association President David O'Loughlin said councils hold multiple citizenship ceremonies throughout the year and the majority of those who skip Australia Day do so for practical reasons.

“It's a very expensive undertaking to do a public event on a public holiday,” he told Reuters on Sunday. “About two or three only moved the day for ideological reasons.”

© Reuters. Tourists stand atop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge next to flag poles flying the New South Wales state and Australian national flags in Sydney

The proposed changes to the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code are planned for introduction by the first half of 2019, the minister's statement said. Coleman plans to write to the councils and receive feedback on the changes, the statement said.

Related News

Latest comments

Add a Comment
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Discussion
Write a reply...
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.

Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

English (UK) English (India) English (Canada) English (Australia) English (South Africa) Deutsch Español (España) Español (México) Français Italiano Nederlands Português (Portugal) Polski Português (Brasil) Русский Türkçe ‏العربية‏ Ελληνικά Svenska Suomi עברית 日本語 한국어 中文 香港 Bahasa Indonesia Bahasa Melayu ไทย Tiếng Việt हिंदी
Sign out
Are you sure you want to sign out?
NoYes
CancelYes
Saving Changes

+