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Community input call for Australia Day

December 12, 2023 8:58 am in by
File image [Geelong Broadcasters]

Geelong councillor Eddy Kontelj wants the city to take the debate over January 26 back to the community.

The council resolved earlier this year to stop referring to the date as Australia Day from 2024 and reschedule citizenship ceremonies to another day within three days of January 26.

However Councillor Kontelj has put forward a motion to be discussed at tonight’s meeting, saying a six-month community consultation was to guide councillors.

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He says there were 952 survey responses in the final community engagement report, which included 447 from First Nations people and more than 500 from the broad community.

Cr Kontelj says the responses equate to 0.34 per cent of Geelong’s total population.

There has since been strong backlash and concern from the broader Geelong community over the dumping of Australia Day.

He has proposed the city endorse recommencing extensive community engagement for three months.

Councillors will also vote on whether to revert to acknowledging January 26 as Australia Day and hold citizenship ceremonies on the day.

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