The Australian Greens urge councils across Australia to resist the intimidation and bullying coming from Canberra on when they can hold their citizenship ceremonies.
“We strongly support local council pursing social justice in their communities and actually listening to what First Nations peoples want, Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“We really need to get back to the heart of the issue. This is a painful day for First Nations peoples and they do not want to celebrate it.
“January 26 marks over 200 years’ of on-going dispossession and oppression for First Nations peoples. Dispossession and oppression that meant the forced removal of children from their families, brutal frontier violence and massacres, indentured and slave labour and violent attempts to wipe out First Nations language and culture.
“As the traditional custodians of this land we must respect their wishes and find a day where we can all come together as a community and celebrate Australia.
“I will call this for what it is every single time. This is ideological bullying and interference of an elected body trying to do their job.
“It should be up to councils, in consultation with their communities to decide when they hold their citizenship ceremonies.
Australian Greens MPs will officiate citizenship ceremonies for councils that have been stripped of their power and still want to hold ceremonies.
All Australian federal MPs have the power to conduct citizenship ceremonies within their own electorate.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180