Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull does not support changing the date of Australia Day, despite a growing local government push to consider a new date for the national holiday.
City of Launceston passed a motion at its meeting on Monday to support a local government push to lobby the federal government on the date.
The motion was moved by Alderman Emma Williams on the eve of NAIDOC Week. A similar motion was passed earlier in the year by Hobart City Council.
Hobart City Council wrote to City of Launceston seeking its support for a motion to be presented at the Australian Local Government Association conference last week in Canberra.
In a narrow vote at the annual National General Assembly of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), delegates approved a motion for councils to consider ways they could lobby the government to switch the date from January 26.
A spokesman from the Prime Minister’s Office said his position on the matter had not changed.
“The government’s position has not changed. We have no plans to change the date of Australia Day.”
Earlier in the year, Mr Turnbull said he firmly believed Australia Day should remain on January 26.
“Australia Day should remain exactly where it is on January 26. It's Australia Day and it is our national day and I don't think, with all due respects to the council, I think that the vast majority of Australians expect our national day to remain exactly where it is.”
The City of Launceston motion was carried 10 votes to one, with Alderman Robin McKendrick voting against the support motion.
He said the council had not consulted the community for its view.
“Apart from a few people in the community that have spoken to me about it, quite frankly it hasn’t been a huge number, it has not been hundreds and hundreds of people,” he said.
“I can’t in all conscience speak here today on behalf of the community of the City of Launceston
“We have not consulted.”
The council meeting was held on June 26.