on air now

“Give me a date then”: Australia Day debate flares up … again

3aw mornings

The now seemingly annual Australia Day debate has flared up again after Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a declaration at the weekend councils will be forced to hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26.

It’s led to fierce backlash from some who say the date is offensive to Indigenous Australians.

Samantha Ratnam is the leader of the Victorian Greens and said it was a “cynical ploy” from the PM with an election coming up.

She was previously on Moreland City Council, one of the councils which divided opinion by refusing to hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26.

“When I was on council, we heard for years – particularly through our reconciliation advisory committee – that our first nations people wanted us to take on this issue,” she said.

Ms Ratnam said a national conversation was needed about that date.

But that drew a swift response from a frustrated Tony Jones on 3AW Mornings

Tony Jones: “Give me a date. It’s all very well for people to say it shouldn’t be on January 26 – well, when should it be?”

Samantha Ratnam: “I don’t think that’s up to me.”

Tony Jones: “This is the point. Every time I ask that question to people who oppose January 26, I never get an answer.”

Click PLAY below to hear what happened on 3AW Mornings

3aw mornings