AUSTRALIA FAIR?: Lismore Council has voted to inform the prime minister of the feelings its residents have on January 26 being a suitable date to celebrate Australia Day.
AUSTRALIA FAIR?: Lismore Council has voted to inform the prime minister of the feelings its residents have on January 26 being a suitable date to celebrate Australia Day. Flickr

Australia Day: Lismore council debates the date

A SURVEY asking what the date January 26 meant to Lismore residents has revealed less than half believe it's the best date to celebrate Australia Day.

For hundreds of thousands of people across the country, January 26 means a day off a work, a barbecue and chance to relax.

For many others - almost 13,000 in 2018 - it's the day they officially become Australian citizens at ceremonies held around the country.

However Lismore Greens councillor Vanessa Ekins has previously stated celebrating Australia Day on January 26 is "just wrong".

Do you think Australia Day should be on January 26?

This poll ended on 14 September 2018.

Current Results

Yes

57%

No

40%

I don't care

2%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

At the Lismore Council meeting on Tuesday night, Cr Ekins and Cr Eddie Lloyd moved that council should inform the Australian prime minister that residents felt January 26 was not the day to celebrate the founding of the nation.

Councillors discussed the survey, which was held between May 25 and July 15, to gauge what January 26 meant to people.

One of the survey's secondary purposes was to inform the broader community what the date meant to Lismore's Aboriginal community, but while the Aboriginal Advisory Groups supported the survey, it was important to understand the project was an initiation driven by council.

Council was informed 43 per cent (214) of respondents indicated that January 26 was appropriate for Australia Day, while 50 per cent (251) said it was an inappropriate date to celebrate.

They were informed some respondents indicated that like Anzac Day, January 26 should be considered a day of reflection rather than celebration.

However, Cr Greg Bennett said he refused to vote for the motion because January 26 was "the day that Australia was actually formed".

"The modern Australia that we live in started on that date," Cr Bennett said.

After some discussion, it was resolved that the council will write to the Prime Minister, local members and relevant Federal and State ministers to inform them of the survey results.

Councillors Elly Bird, Darlene Cook, Ekins, Adam Guise, Lloyd and Isaac Smith voted in favour, while Gianpeiro Battista, Bennett, Nancy Casson, Neil Marks and Bill Moorhouse voted against.



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