‘That’s hypocrisy’: Sam Armytage grills Melbourne mayor after council dumps Australia Day
Sunrise co-host Samantha Armytage has grilled a Melbourne mayor after her council became the second to dump Australia Day celebrations in the space of a week. Darebin Council followed in the footsteps of Yarra Council, despite surveying just 81 people about the issue.
In an interview on Sunrise on Tuesday morning, Ms Armytage asked Mayor of City of Darebin, Kim Le Cerf, why 81 people made the decision for a shire with the population of about 148,000. “How is that a true reflection of what is going on in your shire?” Ms Armytage asked.
The council voted to drop Australia Day from the calendar despite only asking 81 people (file photo). Source: AAP
“This isn’t a question of making a decision that is popular,” Cr Le Cerf said. “We feel that is inappropriate o be holding celebrations on that day. “As I said before, we do live in a democracy and people can have differences of opinion.”
City of Darebin councillors on Monday night voted to move citizenship ceremonies from January 26, a date they described as inappropriate for a national day of celebration because it marked the anniversary of the British invasion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands.
“What we found and what some of the councillors were concerned about, was that our role is advocating on behalf of our community,” Cr Le Cerf said. “What we have been doing for many years. Given we are the closest level of government to our community, we are in touch with the centre about community, and we are giving voice to that sentiment.”
Mayor Kim Le Cerf said the decision came after hearing from Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders in the community. Source: Sunrise
When asked by Sunrise co-host Samantha Armytage asked whether Cr Le Cerf stood by her comments that “if more Australians were educated, they would be ashamed of Australia Day”, she responded, “Yes, I do.”
Cr Le Cerf also shot down suggestions Darebin Council would move its citizenship ceremonies to January 25.
Ms Armytage asked if Cr Le Cerf would be showing up to work on January 26. “You can’t say that you don’t believe in Australia Day and then still take the day off. That’s hypocrisy,” Ms Armytage said.
Cr Le Cerf said the decision was not to hold council-sanctioned events on Australia Day except for ones that the community think are appropriate.
“So, Kim. I’m just failing to understand. Will you come to work of January 26 or not?” Ms Armytage asked. “The decision made by council was not to change a public holiday,” Cr Le Cerf said. “With all due respect, it’s a yes or a no,” Ms Arymtage asked. “I work everyday for our community,” Cr Le Cerf said.
Darebin plans to replace Australia Day events on January 26 with other community celebrations to be held on another day.
It will include awards recognising community service and the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents.
Darebin snubs Canberra’s Oz Day warning
Australia, History, Human Rights