Australia Day 2023: The controversial rule imposed by Scott Morrison is abandoned
Major change to Australia Day celebrations as controversial rule imposed by Scott Morrison is dropped
- City councils will not be forced to hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26
- It comes after Labor scrapped the controversial rule made by Scott Morrison
- The government still has ‘strong expectations’ for the ceremonies to take place on that date
Local councils will not be forced to hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26 after Labor scrapped a controversial rule made by Scott Morrison.
The rule introduced by the former prime minister meant that any council that did not hold ceremonies on that date could lose its right to hold citizenship events, as several Melbourne local governments refused to recognize the national holiday.
Councils can now hold citizenship ceremonies anytime from January 23-29.
Councils will not be forced to hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26 after Labor scrapped a rule made by Scott Morrison. In the photo, a woman celebrating Australia Day on the beach.
The rule introduced by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured at a citizenship ceremony in 2020) meant that any council that did not hold ceremonies on January 26 could lose their right to hold citizenship events.
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said his government was “cutting red tape” around the ceremonies, though he added it remained a “great expectation” that they would take place on January 26.
“Australian citizenship is an important common bond for all Australians, whether by birth or by choice, and lies at the heart of a unified, cohesive and inclusive Australia,” he said.
Merri-bek City Council in North Melbourne will no longer hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26
Merri-bek Council is the third Melbourne council to disrupt Australia Day citizenship ceremonies, after Yarra and Darebin councils did the same in 2017.
“The government’s priority is to ensure that when people have made the decision to become Australian citizens, they are given that opportunity in their own communities, with friends and family, in a timely manner.”
Giles also announced that the Yarra and Darebin city councils had regained the authority to hold citizenship ceremonies, after former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stripped them of that right in 2017.
Turnbull described the councils as “out of step with Australian values”.
A third Melbourne council, Merri-bek, announced earlier this month that it would no longer hold events on January 26, and would instead host a mourning ceremony to recognize the experiences of indigenous Australians.
“The very idea of celebrating, having parties and welcoming new people to this country on this day is pretty shameful,” Councilor James Conlan said at a council meeting Wednesday night.
The federal government says there are fewer than 100,000 citizenship applications available for the first time in five years.