TAMWORTH mayor Col Murray believes January 26 is an entirely appropriate day for council to host local citizenship ceremonies.
It comes as the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, revoked Byron Shire council’s right to host naturalisation events after it opted to move its Australia Day celebrations.
Cr Murray said there had been no discussion in moving the celebrations in Tamworth and he was personally a fan of the current arrangement.
“I feel that it’s entirely appropriate,” he told The Leader.
“It’s an opportunity to recognise new residents and their desire to come to Australia.
“It’s a staunch ceremony steeped in history with strong protocols.”
He said January 26 was one just one date set down for citizenship ceremonies in Tamworth, with council hosting an event every eight weeks.
He said ceremonies were a part of a “national policy” and wasn’t convinced it should up to councils to opt out.
The Byron council opted to shift its Australia Day events to acknowledge “the day the cultural decimation and denigration of the first Australians began", which drew ire from the PM who suggested it was “indulgent self-loathing” which didn’t make Australia stronger.
Mr Morrison suggested a new national public holiday to recognise “the great work of Indigenous Australians and their contribution to our nation” and posited May 27 as an option, making the anniversary of the 1967 referendum
Cr Murray said their was a need to better recognise the First Nations people and their strong contribution to Australia as part of reconciliation.