Ditch Australia Day, MAP argues
A NEW Australian political party says it is time the nation grew up, adopted January 1 as our national day and dumped the current flag.
The Mature Australia Party has yet to adopt the positions as policy but is testing the waters of public opinion and advocating the case at the same time.
Spokesman Col Walker, a former political director of the National Party in Queensland, said January 26 is the date the Australian continent was claimed in the name of King George 111 of England to become a dumping ground colony for Britain's overcrowded prisons.
Mr Walker said no other country celebrates the day it was annexed by another country as its "national day".
"The January 26 celebration of "Australia Day" is an absurdity of Australian politics that should have been confronted and rectified, long ago, to present Australia to the world as we really are, now ..... and have been (mostly) for 115 years,'' he said.
"It was on January 1, 1901, that we officially became an independent nation, the Commonwealth of Australia - a federation formed by the states. In a practical and functional sense however, we retained legal and constitutional ties with Britain carried on for generations. Some ties still remain."
He said January 1, 1901, was the date when we formally became Australia with a Coat of Arms that symbolised who we are.
Mr Walker said the issue of a change of the national flag and the change to an Australian head of state were issues that would not go away.
"New Zealand is a bloody sight more mature than us on this," Mr Walker said.