Waleed Aly has demanded the date of Australia Day be changed – but he doesn’t want a separate day to honour Aboriginal people.
The Project host was discussing calls to change the national day with fellow presenter Lisa Wilkinson on Tuesday night.
‘I think if you could float a really good alternative date people would shift pretty quickly,’ Aly said.
The Project host Waleed Aly was discussing calls to change the national day with fellow presenter Lisa Wilkinson on Tuesday night
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested a separate day for Aboriginal celebrations while keeping Australia Day on January 26, an idea Aly rejected
He proposed moving the national day to March 2, the date when the Australia Act was signed in 1986.
‘The Australia Acts were passed in Australia but also in Britain, and up until that point the British government could’ve more or less eliminated Australia,’ Aly said.
‘They could’ve just passed a law and said Australia no longer exists… and that was in the 80s that we passed that law.
‘So it was only then that we became a proper fully independent or sovereign nation, and the weather’s good in March so let’s get to it.’
Earlier this week, Mr Morrison said Australia Day should remain on January 26.
‘We don’t have to pull Australia Day down to actually recognise the achievements of indigenous Australia, the oldest living culture in the world; the two can co-exist,’ he told Seven News.
It’s not the first time Aly has called for the date to be changed, having pressed for it to be altered while hosting The Project on Australia Day this year.
Aly (pictured with wife Susan Carland) proposed moving the national day to March 2, the date when the Australia Act was signed in 1986
‘I reckon this is the new same-sex marriage, this is the next inevitability. Whatever you view on it, I reckon that’s where it’s heading,’ he said.
‘Eventually, it will be won.’
Aly wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times which detailed the debate over the date of Australia Day.
‘Australian-ness is forever being amended, negotiated, broadened. It is a country that continues to remake itself, less encumbered by the weight of its traditions,’ he wrote.
‘That might be a remarkable trait for running a society. But it turns out it’s an awful one for establishing a national day.’
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia Day should remain on January 26 (Pictured: Two women celebrating the national day)