on air now

Government MPs push for law change, protecting Jan 26

A group of conservative Coalition MP’s is pushing for Australia Day to be enshrined into law.

Some campaigners want celebrations to be shifted, claiming the 26th of January is disrespectful to indigenous Australians.

But Liberal Senator Dean Smith is considering moving a private members’ bill, to safeguard the date.

He tells John Stanley January 26 is “symbolic”.

“I think Australians are mature enough to be able to reflect on both our indigenous heritage and culture, the success of European settlement, but also recognised part of that journey’s been torturous for some people.

“But I think we are a big country… and we can think about these things in a holistic way, rather than a binary way.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview 

Senior government minister Peter Dutton tells Ray Hadley it’s a good idea.

“The 26th, it’s a significant day for Australians.

“It doesn’t mean that we need to neglect the indigenous history of our country. We celebrate that.

“But Australia Day is a significant national day for our country.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview