Australian Greens Senator for NSW, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has offered to officiate citizenship ceremonies for NSW councils that have been stripped of their power for moving the date of their citizenship ceremonies from January 26. All Australian Federal MPs have the power to conduct citizenship ceremonies within their own electorate. Byron Bay Council has announced that they will move their citizenship ceremony to 25th of January.
Senator Faruqi said:
“I’m proud of the Greens Mayor and the Byron Bay Council for their initiative to listen to Indigenous Australia and the broader community who are concerned that our national day is held on the day of invasion.
“It is mind boggling that the Prime Minister thinks it is okay to intervene and attempt to stop a decision of a democratically led council, but I very happy to put my hand up and officiate a citizenship ceremony if Byron Bay or any other council is stripped of their rights.
“We need to change the date. We can't change history, but it is in our power to move the celebration of our beautiful multicultural country and its people, those who've lived here for tens of thousands of years and the ones who came after colonialism, to a day that all Australians can enjoy,” she concluded.