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January 26: Government shouldn’t be pressuring local government over plans to change citizenship ceremonies 

The Australian Greens commend the Byron Bay Council for wanting to move their citizenship ceremony so as to avoid a day that causes hurt to members of their community and are very disappointed by the thuggish approach coming from Canberra to those Councils seeking to make this change.

“We urge Councils around Australia not to be put off by the bullying coming from Canberra, Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Local Councils are the level of Government closest to the community and they are well placed to consult with First Nations peoples and the community.

“The Government should stop their 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.

“It’s great that we have Councils like the Byron Bay Council advocating for social justice in their community.

“Australian Greens MPs are prepared to 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.”

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