Citizenship ultimatum

australia-day-citizenship-ceremony

FREMANTLE council has until the end of business today to bin its January 28 citizenship ceremony or face the wrath of the Turnbull government.

In a letter to mayor Brad Pettitt yesterday, assistant immigration minister Alex Hawke said the council had politicised its One Day in Fremantle event by making it an alternative to Australia Day festivities, and therefore could not hold a citizenship ceremony “under any circumstances”.

“I therefore consider that should a ceremony proceed on this day it would be a serious breach of the Australian citizenship ceremonies code with respect to ceremonies being apolitical,” Mr Hawke wrote.

The assistant minister told the council it had three options: to host a citizenship ceremony on January 26, host one on another day not linked to the One Day in Fremantle Event, or let the immigration department host a ceremony instead.

“In the interests of clarifying the position for prospective conferees and the general public as soon as possible, I ask that you let me have your response in writing by close of business Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) on 8 December,” wrote Mr Hawke.

“If you do not respond by this time, I shall consider other options for resolving this matter.”

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

 

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