Last year, the Victorian government dubiously cancelled their Australia Day parade due to Covid. It was an unpopular decision that fuelled civil bitterness toward Premier Daniel Andrews and his government, who were quite rightly accused of playing politics with public health orders.
Melbourne City Council has cancelled the Australia Day parade again, only this time they admit it’s definitely political.
‘No, no, no, not at all,’ assured Acting Premier Jacinta Allan, confirming the cancellation had nothing to do with Covid. ‘This has got everything to do with how, as a community, we choose to mark the day differently.’
By ‘differently’ Allan means ‘not at all’.
While there are still some mediocre Australia Day activities on offer – described excitingly as a ‘full range of inclusive and accessible events for the Victorian community’ – most people come out for the parade. Not to worry, the Invasion Day dawn service and Invasion Day rally are set to go ahead, although they don’t sound particularly ‘inclusive’ (or fun).
According to the Herald Sun, the decision to axe the parade was due to ‘overwhelming support from stakeholders and attendees of last year’s events’. It’s all bad news for Victorians who are sick of their national holiday being hijacked by angry activist groups bent on dismantling cultural activities.
Even the official Australia Day website for New South Wales, which has not cancelled its parade, seems a bit morose with the tagline, Reflect. Respect. Celebrate. The sentiment is followed by nauseatingly apologetic statements indicative of a country that has lost faith in its ability to celebrate its achievements.
At least Victoria is no longer hiding behind the banner of ‘public health’ to further its anti-Australian regime that appears determined to make Australians of European descent feel guilty about their identity and the legacy of their ancestors.
The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, is particularly proud of her dismissal of the Australia Day parade in favour of the Invasion Day rally, insisting it is, ‘a way of supporting an event that reflects that ancient Australian history.’ Capp was present at the 2021 Invasion Day dawn service held during Covid restrictions.
The Canberra Bubble might rejoice at the cancellation of the Australia Day parade and salivate over its imminent eradication from the calendar, but the general public have never been on board. Poll after poll maintains that support for Australia Day on January 26 is strong, with most people – regardless of their ethnicity – wanting to have a celebration.
Given the delicate state of society in Victoria, cultural events are more important than ever to the social health of the community. It is inappropriate for the state government and city council to double-down on identity politics when people should be out enjoying Australia Day together – preferably in a parade.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.