‘It’s a national issue’

‘It’s a national issue’

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The City of Armadale said it would listen to residents about their views on Australia Day. Photograph - Toby Hussey.

The mayor of Armadale said if residents had an issue with the traditional Australia Day date they could contact the council to let them know.

Celebrating Australia Day on January 26 has become contentious in recent years with two Melbourne councils announcing this year they would abandon traditional celebrations in favour of events acknowledging Aboriginal Australian history and culture.

The City of Fremantle came under fire earlier this year when it held a separate event called One Day on January 28.

Mr Zelones said while there had not been a debate in Armadale about changing its celebrations the city welcomed opinions.

“Decisions about national days and celebrations are made at a national level,” he said.

“Residents of the City of Armadale have not raised the issue with council as occurred with other local governments.

“They can do so at any time they wish by attending council meetings, petitions, their local councillors or direct with me.”

Armadale’s Australia Day celebrations this year attracted 40,000 people and Mr Zelones said it was designed to be as inclusive as it could be.

“It is well supported and attended by members of our Noongar community,” he said.

“The Citizenship Ceremony welcomes new members to our community and celebrates our growing diversity.”