The department for Immigration and Border Protection has threatened to revoke Lismore City Council’s right to hold citizenship ceremonies, if it changes the date of its Australia Day celebrations.
In a strongly-worded letter, Assistant Minister Alex Hawke stressed councils must not use citizenship ceremonies as a promotional tool for an anti-national day event.
It comes three weeks after Councillor Vanessa Ekins moved a motion for council to consider changing the date.
“It’s a bit of chest-beating by the Federal Government – I think they’re feeling a bit on the back-foot but what we’re trying to do in Lismore is start a conversation with our community”
Lismore is one of a handful of councils across the country, looking into alternative dates for Australia Day celebrations.
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