Upper House MPs who don’t support a new date for Australia Day will soon be outed, with an upcoming motion calling for celebrations to be moved away from January 26.
Daylight Savings MLC Wilson Tucker will raise the change the date pledge in Parliament on Wednesday, calling upon Premier Mark McGowan to ask the Federal Government for a formal date change.
The move comes after Federal Labor MP for Perth Patrick Gorman last month admitted he was “wrong” for not backing calls for a new Australia Day.
He said he wanted to say something “sooner rather than later” on the issue, rather than wait until the debate heated up again in January.
Mr Tucker said as Australia becomes more multicultural, issues of identity and belonging were becoming more important.
“Having such a narrow-minded holiday may not have been an issue 60 years ago when ‘White Australia’ was the law of the land and Indigenous people were not counted as part of the census, but it’s not something that can fly today,” Mr Tucker said.
“Fear of change should not stand in the way of progress.
“And the consequences of failing to make progress on this issue are obvious ... more and more indigenous Australians will feel as though this country is not their own.”
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson refused to comment on whether he supported a date change.