UPDATE: Moreland has become the third council to dump Australia Day but hopes to hold on to citizenship ceremonies after a heated council meeting.
But the move has been slammed by Assistant Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke, who said he “strongly condemns” the motion passed by the Moreland council.
He said the government would now consider whether to strip Moreland of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies.
Mr Hawke also hit out at comparisons made by one councillor between Australia Day and the Nazi Holocaust, saying it was “deeply offensive to all Australians”.
Citizenship powers have been stripped from a second council who voted to change Australia Day celebrations.
Second council has citizenship powers revoked
“Australia Day, 26 January, 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,” Mr Hawke said.
Councillors on Wednesday night voted in favour of dropping all references to Australia Day and joined the push to change the date of national celebration.
Moreland chose to become the third council after Darebin and Yarra to snub Australia Day, but the council reaffirmed its commitment to holding citizenship ceremonies on January 26 in a bid to avoid losing the right to perform the ceremonies like its inner-city neighbours.
The federal government has barred both inner-north councils from holding citizenship ceremonies after they voted to drop the events from their January 26 schedules.
Aboriginal elder Ian Hunter voiced his disapproval of changing the date during question time, while Wurundjeri representative Gary Murray spoke in favour.
The council will now advocate to the Federal Government to change the date of Australia Day.
The decision backs up a Leader News survey of…