News National Move Australia Day: Tim Fischer

Move Australia Day: Tim Fischer

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Australia Day should be on the last Friday in January to boost productivity and address the “invasion day” debate, former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer says.

Mr Fischer proposes a floating Australia Day instead of the fixed January 26 date, which marks the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788.

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“It is tied to the date of the arrival way back then. It’s time we had a look at it,” Mr Fischer told AAP on Saturday.

He said changing the date would help address the concerns of people he said were fixated on “invasion day” – which many mark as the date English oppression of Aboriginal Australians began.

He also said moving the date would help businesses, which could then plan on a long weekend every January.

“This would boost productivity by reducing the number of sickies which inevitably occur when Australia Day is on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday,” Mr Fischer said.

Under his plan, Australia Day in 2017 would fall on January 27.

Mr Fischer raised the idea of changing Australia Day in a speech at the Tamar Valley Writers Festival in Launceston and said his comments caused a stir among the crowd.

He said the proposed change should be debated at a Council of Australian Governments meeting.

The former ambassador to the Vatican also said Easter should be fixed each year.

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