Categories
Australia

Australian national anthem: Annastacia Palaszczuk backs change calls

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has put aside her bitter rivalry with New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian and supported her call for a change to the national anthem.

The two premiers have been at odds with each other over the border closure during the Covid-19 pandemic and communication has deteriorated between the pair. 

The border is currently open to New South Wales, though Greater Sydney residents remain locked out. 

Meanwhile, Ms Berejiklian has been focussed on other matters and put out a call for a national discussion on the Advance Australia Fair anthem last week. 

She claimed changing the phrase from ‘young and free’ to ‘one and free’ would be an acknowledgement of ‘our proud Indigenous history’.  

‘There should be a national discussion on this involving all Australians including Indigenous Australians,’ she said.

‘I think it’s about time we recognise the tens of thousands of years of the First Nations people of this continent. Unity is so important.’ 

On Thursday, Queensland reporters took the matter to Ms Palaszczuk to gauge where she stood on the topic.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has put aside her bitter rivalry with New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian and supported her call for a change to the national anthem

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has put aside her bitter rivalry with New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian and supported her call for a change to the national anthem

Meanwhile Ms Berejiklian has been focussed on other matters and put out a call for a national discussion on the Advance Australia Fair anthem last week

Meanwhile Ms Berejiklian has been focussed on other matters and put out a call for a national discussion on the Advance Australia Fair anthem last week

The Queensland premier said she was open to the idea of changing the lyrics, though admitted the issue rested with the Federal Government.  

‘I don’t think it’s a bad idea,’ she said.

Communities, Housing and Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch told The Courier Mail it was ‘well overdue’.

‘Our national anthem should reflect the ancient origins of this country and the fact that we are home to the oldest continuous living cultures on the planet,’ she said.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt said many Indigenous Australians were ‘troubled’ by the anthem’s lack of acknowledgement.

He added the suggestion to change the lyrics ‘highlights the fact that the commonwealth certainly does need to think about how they can make our national song more inclusive’. 

MS Berejiklian said changing the phrase ‘young’ indicated ‘we’re not really young as a continent’. 

‘We’re tens of thousands of years old when it comes to human inhabitants. Respect is important. Inclusiveness is important.’  

Ms Palaszczuk’s support comes after she asked Queenslanders to help her write a text to Ms Berejiklian following Queensland’s State of Origin series win on Wednesday. 

‘Many people have asked me what I text NSW Premier Gladys Berijiklian,’ she told reporters on Thursday. 

‘Well I’m asking Queenslanders what should I text the NSW Premier.

‘I’ll be looking forward to hearing your comments and the best one I’ll be sending.’  

The text message adds to the previous saga where Ms Palaszczuk ignored a message from Ms Berejiklian following her state election win on October 31.  

Ms Berejiklian claimed changing the phrase from 'young and free' to 'one and free' would be an acknowledgement of 'our proud Indigenous history' (pictured, Wallabies sing the national anthem)

Ms Berejiklian claimed changing the phrase from ‘young and free’ to ‘one and free’ would be an acknowledgement of ‘our proud Indigenous history’ (pictured, Wallabies sing the national anthem)

Text message receipts sent from Ms Berejiklian showed her congratulating the premier and saying she hoped to ‘work together’ to open the state borders.    

‘Hi Annastacia, congratulations on your election win,’ the text read, according to news.com.au

‘I can imagine how difficult that was during a pandemic! Hope we can work together to get our borders open. Gladys.’ 

According to Ms Berejiklian, the Queensland premier smugly responded on November 4 about her state’s victory in a State of Origin rugby league game. 

She typed: ‘Queenslander, great game.’

She made no mention of the contentious border restrictions issue. 

Queensland Maroons celebrate winning the decider in the 2020 State Of Origin series on Wednesday

Queensland Maroons celebrate winning the decider in the 2020 State Of Origin series on Wednesday

Responding on November 6, the Queensland leader told a scrum of journalists she is ‘always happy to to speak to Gladys, she has my [phone] number’.  

She then accused Ms Berejiklan of being ‘misleading’ after telling the media she ‘had phoned me when she did not phone me.’ 

2GB radio host Ben Fordham felt Ms Palaszczuk’s text message was ‘rude’, before telling her to ‘grow up.’  

‘While people in Sydney can’t see their families in Brisbane that’s the best that Annastacia could come up with — a smart-ass response about a football game,’ he said.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.