No push for date change

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Albany-based Greens MLC Diane Evers says she is not pushing any local government in her region to change the date of their Australia Day celebrations.

Ms Evers, who was elected in 2017 to represent the Greens in the WA Upper House, said she would not pressure any local council to shift celebrations from January 26 despite the Federal Greens pushing the agenda this week.

“I don’t think it should necessarily be coming from me to make it happen,” Ms Evers said.

“You need a groundswell of public support to change it and to let the council know that they wanted the change.

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“But in general, we have a relatively conservative council in the South West, so I don’t expect them to be leading the change.”

Ms Evers said even though she supported changing the date of Australia Day, she found the current discussion damaging.

“This issue has become polarised by people who turned it into a simple story about us versus them,” she said.

“Us versus Them, but it’s not — it’s all of us celebrating a day together.” Ms Evers said.

“We need discussion on what it is we are actually celebrating and why, and when is the best time to do that.

“Not until 1935 did all States and territories recognised the 26th of January as Australia Day - and not until 1994 did all states begin to celebrate Australia day on that day.

“Given that it wouldn’t hurt anybody to change the date and many people would consider it as an appropriate move, then why not change it.”

Shire of Denmark president, Ceinwen Gearon said that she had not received any lobbying from the Greens candidate to change the Australia Day date in Denmark.

“At this point in time, the Shire is not going to put any emphasis to change its Australia Day date celebration,” Ms Gearon said.

“There’s never been any comments from the public asking for the date to change - as such we have not identified this as an area of focus for our Shire.”

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