Australians have overwhelmingly rejected a push by the left-wing lobby to change the date of Australia Day, with almost 80% of voters claiming to be proud to celebrate the landing of the First Fleet on January 26.  Rejection by mainstream Australia of the culture war being fuelled by the Greens-backed Invasion Day rallies has been revealed in a national poll that has confirmed that there was no mood among voters for changing the date of Australia Day.  With activist group GetUp also escalating its campaign for change by describing January 26 as celebrating a “massacre”, the poll shows that 92% believing the nation was now hostage to political correctness that had gone too far.

The poll was commissioned by the conservative lobby group Advance Australia and conducted by Mediareach, which polled 1659 voters nationally on January 14.  The group claimed it wanted to get ahead of what had now become an annual debate.  Labor leader Bill Shorten this week was forced to pledge that Labor, if elected, would keep the status quo this year after Scott Morrison’s decision to strip councils of their citizenship ceremonies if they did not hold them on Australia Day.  The poll showed 73% of Labor voters claiming to be proud of January 26 being Australia Day.  This was more pronounced among Coalition voters with 98% claiming the same position.

In a warning that the issue could be a vote changer, almost half of voters claimed they would not vote for their local MP if they didn’t support Australia Day being held on January 26.  Only 14% of voters believed the day represented nothing more than a public holiday, with 66% claiming they believed it was a day of inclusion and a “coming together” of a nation.  A majority of all ages supported keeping the date of Australia Day.  Only 3% believed it should be a day of protest. Indigenous communities broadly refuse to recognise January 26 and the arrival of the First Fleet as Australia Day, with many marking it as the beginning of the illegal occupation of their land.

GetUp has since taken up the issue as a left-wing political issue, embraced primarily by Greens voters with 81% supporting scrapping January 26, according to the poll.  Advance Australia national director Gerard Benedet said the results showed people expected January 26 to be an inclusive day rather than a day of protest.  “The poll proves mainstream Australians are overwhelmingly united in wanting to celebrate our country together, because we are all Aussies, and mateship comes first,” Mr Benedet said.  “More and more Australians now understand the historical significance of the date, with 67% recognising it as the day the First Fleet landed in Sydney Cove.

“However, it’s not all good news. Australians have stated, loudly, that they believe politicians are more concerned with political point-scoring rather than real matters of importance, with 84% in agreement.  “Most Australians believe moves to change Australia Day are solely for political point-scoring purposes, and not for the benefit of our nation.  It’s political correctness on steroids.  “So while the results are overwhelmingly in favour of keeping Australia Day exactly where it is, the issue does not stop here.  We should be proud of our country and who we have become.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports 

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