The Melbourne suburb of Moreland is now the third in Victoria state to not recognize Australia Day as it is like celebrating the Holocaust.
The January 26 holiday is a celebration that commemorates the arrival of the first British settlers in 1788, however, it has been termed “Invasion Day” by indigenous Australians who claim the holiday marked the decline of Aboriginal culture.
The Australian state broadcaster ABC reported Moreland Socialist Alliance councilor Sue Bolton, while debating the issue on Wednesday, claimed the commemorating Australia Day “would be like celebrating the Nazi Holocaust.”
Bolton’s comments were not well received by the Australian government.
In a statement, the Assistant Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke said the government disagreed heavily with “the extreme and divisive nature of the discussion Greens and Socialist councilors are promoting,” adding Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s administration “strongly condemns comparisons of Australia Day with the Nazi Holocaust as deeply offensive to all Australians.”
“Australia Day is a recognition of our shared history and the Turnbull government, along with the vast majority of Australians, indigenous and non-indigenous, fully support Australia Day remaining on January 26,” he concluded.
Captain James Cook is credited with the discovery of Australia which has made monuments and statues depicting him a target of vandals and protesters.
Several statues dedicated to Cook were defaced in Sydney last month, one of them bearing the words “change the date,” in reference to Australia Day. Other messages on the statues included “no pride in genocide,” and the words “F***ing bow down” were written on a statue of Queen Victoria.
Prime Minister Turnbull, while talking about the vandalism, said:
It is also part of a deeply disturbing and totalitarian campaign to not just challenge our history but to deny it and obliterate it. This is what Stalin did. When he fell out with his henchmen he didn’t just execute them, they were removed from all official photographs – they became non-persons, banished not just from life’s mortal coil but from memory and history itself.
“Statues, inscriptions, monuments are all part of our history not simply because of what they record but of how it is recorded. We do not adopt every inscription on every statue or monument – it is a voice at a point in time,” he added.
Featured Image Via Flickr/Jessica Spengler