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Invasion Day Parade Going Ahead Despite Australia Day Events Being Cancelled Is Pure Hypocrisy

Written by
19 January 2021
Originally appeared in Herald Sun

This year, Daniel Andrews isn’t just trying to change the date of Australia Day; he’s cancelling it altogether.

Without consulting the community, and under the cover of COVID-19, the Premier has decided the Australia Day parade, which brings all Australians together, will be cancelled indefinitely.

Yet, in June last year, he allowed thousands of protesters to march through the streets of Melbourne for the Black Lives Matter movement. He allowed thousands of people to gather at the MCG to watch the Boxing Day Test. Andrews has even given permission for crowds mill around the streets of Melbourne for the Lunar New Year celebrations. And although he has well and truly canned the parade, he’s still letting Melbourne City Council hold an “Invasion Day” Dawn Service on January 26.

This is pure, unadulterated hypocrisy, and it needs to be called out.

This shows that it was never about changing the date of Australia Day, it was about cancelling the celebration of Australia altogether.

A few years ago, activists on Twitter were clamouring to change the date, but now they are all about getting rid of it altogether.

The group behind the annual CBD protest being organised for January 26, ‘The Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance’, is making its intentions very clear on Facebook with its #AbolishAustraliaDay campaign.

So while our media elite are still stuck on #ChangeTheDate in an attempt to virtue signal, they have well and truly left behind by indigenous activists who have long since moved past pretending that changing the date was about unifying the country.

Through its actions, this government is insulting thousands of men and women who have given their lives for our country and built Australia to be the great nation it is today.

Andrews and his cabinet are completely out of step with mainstream Australians, and they need to start listening to them.

A poll commissioned by the IPA found 82 per cent of Australians are proud to be Australian, 73 per cent believe Australia has a history to be proud of and 69 per cent believe Australia Day should be on January 26.

Of course, it’s not only the state government that is completely out of touch with mainstream Australia. Suburban Moreland, Yarra and Darebin councils are resolutely determined to deprive their newest, rate-paying residents of the opportunity to become proud Australian citizens on January 26.

The federal government provides the authority for these councils to conduct citizenship ceremonies, so its recent threats to strip their powers is entirely justified.

This is the fourth year in which the IPA has surveyed Australians’ about keeping Australia Day on January 26, and over this period Australians have consistently demonstrated overwhelming support for keeping the date.

The percentage in favour of keeping the date has ranged between 75 per cent and 69 per cent, while the percentage wanting to change the date has flatlined at around 11 per cent.

Despite the tired narrative being pushed by a minority of activists to change the date, support for their cause has not moved.

This support for Australia Day bothers Victorian Greens Senator, Lidia Thorpe who wants to fly the Aboriginal flag at half-mast on the 26th. She says that “after more than 200 years of colonialism … many Australians still think January 26 is a day of celebration.’

Last week, Cinema Nova in Carlton pulled the Australia Day ad, “The Story of Australia”, after it received one tweet from a cinemagoer who complained that it made them feel uncomfortable. The ad in question is anything but offensive. Rather, it encourages all Australians to reflect, respect and celebrate the story of Australia that acknowledges Indigenous history.

It is time for companies to stop pandering to a minority of activists. Australians should take great pride in the fact that noisy activists who sit on Twitter complaining about Australia Day ads do not represent the majority of Australian who prefer to celebrate our country.

January 26 marks the foundation of modern Australia, and the freedoms that go with it, which are enjoyed by all Australians. This is something that should be celebrated, not denigrated.

This is a clear case of the fact that we now live in two Australias. On the one side, we have an elite who despise Australia and its values and who are using identity politics to divide us. On the other, we have majority of the population, who are egalitarian, patriotic, and want to celebrate what makes Australia great in a unifying way.

It also goes straight to the heart of the matter. It is not about changing the date of Australia Day, it’s just that they don’t believe Australia is worth celebrating.

Let’s not buy into this narrative. For those choosing to celebrate Australia Day on January 26, know that you are part of the majority of Australians who believe that Australia has a history to be proud of, and are proud to be Australian.

Happy Australia Day.

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Bella d'Abrera

Dr Bella d'Abrera is the Director, Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs

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