A corroboree at Coogee Beach to mark National Sorry Day.
A corroboree at Coogee Beach to mark National Sorry Day.

Public holiday should be replaced with ‘Corroboree’ day

THIS time next year, Australians should be celebrating "Corroboree" instead of Labour Day, one NSW minister suggests.

NSW Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott believes Labour Day is no longer relevant and should be changed to celebrate indigenous Australians.

"If you polled what Labour Day is, when was it established and what does it commemorate, I reckon 90 per cent of people would have no idea," Mr Elliott­ told The Daily Telegraph.

Labour Day celebrates the labour movement's success in fighting for the eight-hour working day but Mr Elliott said union membership was falling and the day should instead celebrate the 40,000 years of Aboriginal history and stories.

"I would have thought a corroboree would be an opportunity­ for white Australians to learn about the contribution­ of indigenous Australians as much as it is for indigenous Australians to celebrate their success," he said.

Members of Queensland Unions are seen during the annual Labour Day march in Brisbane today. Picture: Darren England/AAP
Members of Queensland Unions are seen during the annual Labour Day march in Brisbane today. Picture: Darren England/AAP

His comments come after Prime Minister Scott Morrison rejected calls to change the date of Australia Day and instead suggested a separate day should be set aside to celebrate the contribution of indigenous people, although this would not necessarily involve introducing an extra public holiday.

Mr Elliott said the Labor Party should back the change.

"If they're serious about reconciliation, they'd embrace it … (they) know full well that union membership­ is becoming increasingly irrelevant," he said.

During a heated interview with 2GB host Steve Price this morning, Mr Elliott said Australians should celebrate the success and achievement of indigenous people.

But Price was not convinced, saying there was already Sorry Day and NAIDOC Week.

"How long are we going to flog ourselves for what people did in the past?" Price asked.

The shock jock said the idea would separate Australians: "We're all Australians mate, we don't need more than one day".

Corroboree at Coogee Beach to mark National Sorry Day.
Corroboree at Coogee Beach to mark National Sorry Day.

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