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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 451

Senator GALLACHER (South Australia) (12:33): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Bernardi ): Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator GALLACHER: It is a bit longer than the last short statement, but it is still short. The opposition opposes this motion, and we proudly celebrate our national day. Australia Day should be a day of national celebration and national pride on which we can celebrate all the good things that it means to be Australian and the great fortune we have to live in this country.

This of course does not mean forgetting our scars, and the opposition understands that for many First Australians this date still carries much sadness, following too many years of injuries and indignities great and small. The opposition believes that we as a nation must honour the keepers of the world's oldest living culture, the caretakers of this ancient continent. We must pledge ourselves to working together for a more equal future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion moved by Senator Siewert, No. 184, be agreed to.