Australia to force local councils to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day

Australia to force local councils to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day

The Australian Local Government Association says most other councils already hold a ceremony and if they don't it's usually because it's too expensive.

"The federal government's strong focus on drawing a link between Australia Day and citizenship ceremonies is freakish", Cr O'Loughlin said.

Under changes to the code, which would be introduced in 2020, councils will also have to hold a second citizenship ceremony on September 17 - Australian Citizenship Day - with new citizens required to adhere to a strict dress code banning board-shorts and thongs.

Mr Coleman acknowledged that "there is no requirement" forcing councils to hold their citizenship ceremonies on the 26 of January and that Government was planning to engineer that requirement.

ALGA President, Mayor David O'Loughlin, said that most councils likely won't be opposed to the Federal Government's proposed changes to the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code but councils will have valid concerns, not excuses, that will need to be addressed.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said didn't rule out supporting the plan, but guaranteed he would keep the public holiday if in government.

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"This is what happens when you let Labor run the money and run the books", Morrison, who leads the governing federal Liberal Party, told reporters.

Both councils were stripped of their power to hold citizenship ceremonies.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the Sunday Telegraph the government would protect the national day, ensuring it is respected.

Australia Day marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the first British fleet to Sydney Cove where the British flag was raised on the continent marking the start of colonisation.

Mr Morrison is scheduled to spend Wednesday and Thursday in Port Vila before leaving for Fiji. "And Australia Day, of all days, in a country that is the most successful migrant country on earth should be the day that you should have the opportunity to be provided with your citizenship", he said.

"We have been dealing with that issue between the governments over the last few weeks, including directly from leader to leader", Morrison said on Monday. They come along and dress appropriately and I think, out of respect for what is being offered, that great responsibility and privilege of citizenship, people should dress accordingly.

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