Steve Price has said he is “sick and tired” of the discussion around changing the date of Australia Day, going on a rant about the issue during Monday night’s episode of The Project.
The outspoken host said he was over having the same “argument every year over the date”, adding Australians deserved one day to celebrate without controversy.
Carrie Bickmore kicked off the discussion on the panel when she said the “movement is there” and the “day is changing” already, with 29 per cent of people reportedly not actually doing anything on Australia Day.
“How sad is that, though, that we’re not as a nation able to have one day where we all celebrate about what a great country we live in?” a frustrated Steve Price weighed in.
“I mean, we have to find a date.
“I’m so sick and tired of this argument every year over the date. Let’s find a date, settle on it and celebrate that day as being Australians because we love living in this country.”
Waleed Aly was quick to interject, asking Steve if he “had a date?”
Steve said he was no longer “wedded” to the 26th being the date, having given up on it, but “no-one can come up with a sensible day.”
“I always have been [for the 26th] but I’m not now because I’m so deflated by this argument every year,” he said.
“I want to wake up on Australia Day, put on a stupid hat, wave a flag and say it’s great to be Australian. That’s what I want to do.”
He suggested it simply needed to be put to a vote.
“We should have a poll and we should work it out amongst ourselves and whatever day comes up out of that poll, then settle on it and do it,” he said.
The date of Australia Day celebrations becomes more hotly debated with every year that passes, as many Indigenous Australians and allies call for the date to be marked as one of national mourning for lost First Nations lives and cultures, and others fiercely defend a date they see as integral to modern, multicultural Australia.
The actual date was only declared a national public holiday for all states and territories 27 years ago in 1994, making it younger than many of its fiercest defenders.
Australia Day has actually been celebrated for far longer than that, but not always at the same time, and not always in the same way.
In fact, the first ever celebration of an ‘Australia Day’ took place on a different date entirely – July 30, 1915.
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