Shire looks into date debate

Council hosting forum with Indigenous community about national day

THE Strathbogie Shire Council has voted in favour of a resolution to ‘investigate the Indigenous community’s appetite to change the date of Australia Day’ at a recent council meeting.

After a vote of 4-3 in favour of the amendment brought forward by councillor Kate Stothers, the shire will host a forum made up of individuals and representatives from the Indigenous community to discuss the date, which they say will be held in ‘six to eight weeks’.

Mayor Amanda McClaren said the motion was inspired by a number of local governments making the January 26 date one that councils should reconsider, due to the offence it can cause- especially to the indigenous community.

“This is an issue that’s become something local government has been tackling over the past few months, and it’s something we felt we should address,” Cr McClaren told the Gazette.

Not all of the councillors were of this view.

Councillors Mick Williams, John Mason and Malcolm Little voted against the amendment, and expressed their vehement opposition to the idea that local government should get involved in the ‘date debate’.

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