Australia day celebrations.
Australia day celebrations. Peter Holt

'It's offensive to think changing a date will change lives'

Why Australia Day should stay as it is

IT'S that time of year again. January 26 is approaching and that means another round of the Australia Day debate. 

I'll be straight up - I think Australia Day should remain where it is.

Now before the left unleashes its moral outrage, let me tell you why.

The argument is that the current date is offensive to our indigenous Australians and represents "Invasion Day".

But I'd say the majority of decent hard working Aussies would acknowledge, and do it with more than a tinge of sadness, that like so many first peoples, our first Australians were treated appallingly and have been let down badly.

 

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington. Contributed

As a nation we should always remember what happened following first contact.

But what I find offensive is the notion that moving Australia Day will actually do anything about what should truly be an affront to all of us, and that is the plight of our Indigenous Australians. 

Moving Australia Day will do nothing about the poor life expectancy or job prospects, high incarceration rates or fix issues of overcrowded housing for indigenous Australians.

That's what should be debated in this country, not changing a date.

My husband works with young indigenous people. He has worked with indigenous communities for many years. He is passionate about upskilling local aboriginal youth in agriculture and the benefits of community. Jason is quiet, unassuming, loves his work and he firmly believes these youngsters, his work mates, have the potential to be future indigenous leaders.

When I talk to him about people wanting to move Australia Day he says "you try telling a mother who is simply trying to get her kids to school, find work, and pay their electricity bill that a change in the date will do anything for her, her family or community".

 

AUSTRALIA DAY, GAYNDAH
AUSTRALIA DAY, GAYNDAH Shirley Way

Life threatening but preventable diseases, substance abuse, domestic violence and unemployment are the real issues facing our indigenous communities - not changing Australia Day. 

The quest to change the date isn't about respect or making indigenous Australians lives better, it is about making the politically correct police feel good about themselves. 

By actually holding it on January 26, it serves as a reminder of both the good we have achieved and of the darker parts of our history.

Some will celebrate, some will mourn and that's OK but no other date better reflects both the origins of our country and the nation it has become. 

MP Deb Frecklington,

Qld Opposition leader

Gympie Times


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