News

OPINION: We need a new Australia Day

I WISH you all a very happy Australia Day.

It's exactly a year since Tony Abbott shot himself in the foot by knighting Prince Philip.

Actually, he shot himself in both feet, his two hands and, I suspect, somewhere in the region covered by his red budgie smugglers.

Possibly between the eyes, also.

What has happened since then? Well, Tony is no longer prime minister; now we have Malcolm Turnbull who was all in favour of a republic in years gone by but has gone rather silent on the matter since taking over.

I rather expect the topic to be raised again after the next federal election should the Coalition retain power. Watch this space.

I'm a (mostly) proud Aussie. I love this country and I think we are truly blessed to live here.

I love our sense of humour, our larrikin spirit and the essence of all things Australian, particularly our tradition of mateship.

I love the fact that only here can we say "Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas" and know that we will be understood.

Not so sure about our dubious reputation as being the only country in the world that eats our coat of arms. I've eaten both and find them delicious.

Also not too sure about the seemingly permanent coupling of our national day with excessive consumption of booze.

Today, once again, we will no doubt be subjected to the inevitable parade of drunken Australians parading on our beaches and in our parks wrapped in our flag, helpfully provided by liquor companies alongside a slab or six of golden ale.

Despite my column last week that accepted substance abuse as being the lifeblood of many creative spirits, loutish drunkenness doesn't quite cut it.

And this new jingoism that has emerged in recent years, the "If you don't like it, go home" attitude that was displayed shamefully in the Cronulla riots of 2005, continues to worsen and has resulted in hellish situations in places like Nauru and Manus Island, with there are sexual assaults, self harming and children behind razor wire.

Just as sad is the fact that indigenous Australians cannot celebrate January 26.

How about giving us a national day that we can all be proud of, instead of a day our indigenous population rightly sees as a day of mourning.

February 13, 2008, the day that a moving speech that apologised to our First Nation for the Stolen Generations was delivered in parliament, was - I believe - the day this country truly came of age.

We have proven our courage on the bloody battlefields of the world, but the day that Kevin Rudd did what the spineless Howard refused to do is the day we should celebrate Australia Day.

Topics:  australia day, opinion



PHOTOS: Firies battle North Coast bushfire

NSW Fire and Rescue crews at the scene of a bushfire at East Ballina.

NSW Fire and Rescue crews are fighting a bushfire at Ballina

Car rollover puts five family members in hospital

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was tasked to a crash at Woodenbong last night. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Five members of the same family taken to hospital

Flights resume as Bali ash cloud clears

Tourists are finding themselves caught in Bali, or unable to fly, after a volcanic ash cloud developed over the Indonesian island.

Jetstar was forced to cancel seven flights on Tuesday

Local Partners

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction