Facebook to reinstate Aussie news after government amends code


Facebook will reinstate Australian news on its platform after the Morrison government agreed to further amend its mandatory media bargaining code.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed the last-minute legislative changes this afternoon after days of negotiations with the social media giant.

“These amendments will provide further clarity to digital platforms and news media businesses about the way the code is intended to operate and strengthen the framework for ensuring news media businesses are fairly remunerated,” he said.

“The government has been advised by Facebook that it intends to restore Australian news pages in the coming days.”

The amendments will give parties more time to broker agreements before they are forced to enter binding arbitration.

The changes also clarify the government’s role in considering commercial deals struck between parties, and give digital platforms one month’s notice before they are formally designated under the code.

Facebook said it was pleased to have reached an agreement with the government after discussions with the treasurer and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.

“After further discussions, we are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes and guarantees that address our core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognise the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them,” the company said.

“As a result of these changes, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days.”

It comes after Facebook removed all news from its Australian pages last Thursday, with some key government agencies – including SA Health and the Bureau of Meteorology – caught up in the news ban.

Facebook has since reinstated the pages that were “inadvertently” impacted, and said the mix up occurred because the “law does not provide clear guidance on the definition of news content”. 

Earlier today, key crossbench senator Jacquie Lambie tore strips off Labor and the Greens for supporting the code.

Lambie says the code, which will require digital platforms to pay for linking to Australian news, will make media organisations even more dependent on the success of Google and Facebook.

Lambie argues the money generated will simply shift from one set of corporate titans to another.

“Shareholders of News Corp and Nine will be delighted that their dividend is about to be fattened up on the back of shareholders in Facebook and Google,” she told parliament.

Lambie said businesses wanting to advertise online would end up bearing the cost of tech giants paying for news.

“This is a bipartisan shakedown delivered by a consensus of absolute stupidity.”

And she savaged a Greens proposal to ensure money that flowed from the code was spent on journalism.

She said taxes were the best way of pumping money into journalism but argued the money shouldn’t go to media companies but journalism itself.

“If we want more money for journalism, let’s tax companies making heaps of money and put that money into supporting journalism, put it directly into journalism,” Lambie said.

“If we want Google and Facebook to pay more tax, let’s make them pay more tax.”

The bargaining code is expected to pass the Senate this week with support from Labor and the Greens, who will seek some minor amendments.

Lambie said both parties should be embarrassed about supporting the legislation.

-With AAP

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McLeod makes amends as Bulldogs overcome Blues in emotional win


Dogs captain Ellie Blackburn was the only other multiple goalkicker for the winning side in a standout, best-on-ground performance.

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She finished with 17 kicks, five handballs and five marks to go with her two majors, following up from 21 disposals and two goals in a round one loss.

“We came in with a real motivation, this is our home deck, we need to have a home-ground advantage and gee I’m so proud right now, it feels amazing,” an emotional Blackburn said after the win.

“The resilience in this group, there’s something special here. I love this football club, I love this group, the young talent we have here, they’re stars.”

For the second week in a row, the Blues looked exposed to speed inside their defensive 50, despite leading for most of the night.

Star forward Tayla Harris kept the visitors in the mix with two massive goals in the third quarter and an incredible contested mark late in the match to help her side close the margin, but the Dogs held on to claim a six-point victory.

The home side dominated in the first term, pounding in 13 inside-50s to three in the opening quarter, but managed just four behinds to the Blues’ one goal.

But the Blues’ tackling pressure was elite, making life difficult for Nathan Burke’s side, who didn’t really get their game going until the start of the final term.

Responding from 10 points down at the final change, the Dogs kicked three goals in the fourth quarter before holding on for a memorable win.

Proud dad

The trainer of champion racehorse Black Caviar, Peter Moody, enjoyed a special moment at the start of Friday night’s match, when two of his daughters – Breann and Celine – kicked off proceedings at the opening bounce.

The two opposing rucks had quite different nights, however.

Carlton ruck Breann had a significant impact across the evening including a massive moment early in the final term when she took a contested mark on the last line of defence while her team led by just four points, before kicking long and finding Harris. Breann finished with nine kicks, four handballs and four marks, while the Blues won the hitouts 24-17.

But it was Celine, despite having a quiet evening with just three touches, who was all smiles post-game after her side clawed over the Blues in a joyful win.

Prespakis class

Young gun Madi Prespakis again showed why she’s in an elite group of AFLW midfielders, driving her side in the narrow loss.

Georgia Gee chases Kirsty Lamb in Friday night’s AFLW clash between the Blues and Dogs.Credit:Getty Images

Prespakis was outstanding despite the result, finishing with 14 kicks and 10 handballs as well as six tackles. Mimi Hill and Jess Hosking were also busy for the visitors, while father-daughter recruit Abbie McKay did not look out of place with 16 disposals.

Maiden goal

It was a memorable night for Bulldog Jessica Fitzgerald, who kicked her first goal in AFLW football in the second term of Friday night’s win.

The 18-year-old, in just her second game, collected a crucial intercept mark in the centre of the ground and stormed down the corridor, booting the ball forward before following up and finishing her good work with a sharp goal.

WESTERN BULLDOGS: 0.4 2.4 3.6 6.6 (42)
CARLTON: 1.0 3.3 5.4 5.6 (36)

GOALS
Western Bulldogs: Blackburn 2, McLeod 2, Huntington, Fitzgerald.
Carlton: Harris 2, O’Dea, Loynes, Gee.

BEST
Western Bulldogs: Blackburn, McLeod, Lamb, Fitzgerald, Georgostathis.
Carlton: Prespakis, Hosking, Hill, McKay, O’Dea.

INJURIES
Western Bulldogs: Hunt (left calf).

CROWD
3479 at Whitten Oval.

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New Hawthorn skipper Ben McEvoy vows Hawks are determined to ‘make amends’


“As a collective, we feel the streamlined approach of having a captain and vice-captain worked really well last year,” Demons’ head of AFL performance Alan Richardson said.

At Waverley, the Hawks leadership group will also feature existing members Liam Shiels, Jack Gunston and Tom Mitchell, along with the addition of emerging midfielder, and 2019 best and fairest, James Worpel. Mitchell, who hopes to return to his Brownlow Medal form this season, after a shoulder reconstruction, had expressed interest in the captaincy.

McEvoy, a former Saint, was used in a new role in defence last year which he said had “reinvigorated” his football but is expected to also spend time in his customary position as ruck this season.

“To be voted in by my teammates and receive the support of the club is an honour,” McEvoy said.

“This club has given me a lot over the years, and I see this as an amazing opportunity to give back and play my role in ensuring we continue to make the Hawthorn family proud.

“The entire playing group is intent on making amends for our disappointing 2020 campaign and this has been reflected in the energy and intensity on the training track.“

Isaac Smith, who opted to defect to Geelong, and Stratton are the only omissions from last year’s leadership group.

McEvoy, who linked with the Hawks after the 2013 season, knows all about success, having been a key cog of the Hawks’ 2014 and 2015 premierships. The 222-game veteran has been a part of the club’s leadership group since 2019 but faces an immense challenge to lift the side at a time when the Hawks are rebuilding.

“I am asked to drive and then everyone else needs to join in to try and improve on last year which, as I said, was a really disappointing year for us,” McEvoy said.

“The reality is we finished 15th last year – there is really only one way from there.”

The father if three takes charge after a difficult off-season when forward Jonathon Patton was stood down from all club commitments after allegedly sending lewd images to women on social media. He has been investigated by the club’s integrity committee, with the Hawks declaring that “any behaviour of this nature would not be tolerated”.

Wingman Tom Scully has since taken personal leave to deal with marriage difficulties. There is no guarantee he will return to the club, having had form and fitness issues last season.

The Hawks, amid ongoing speculation over the stability among key management and coaching positions, are also on the hunt for a new head of football, after the highly respected Graham Wright quit in December and later agreed to join Collingwood as the replacement for retiring Geoff Walsh.

Alastair Clarkson, the Hawks’ most successful coach, is off-contract after the 2022 season. Whether he stays, by then having completed 18 seasons, retires or seeks a new club will be an intriguing debate the new head of football and president Jeff Kennett will have.

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Demons head to Gold Coast as AFLW amends first two rounds


The season opener between Carlton and Collingwood at Ikon Park on Thursday night will remain unchanged as the AFL attempts to minimise changes to the original fixture released in December.

In round two the Bulldogs and Carlton will still kick off pride round, however Melbourne will now play Richmond and Collingwood will play the Gold Coast as a result of the border restrictions.

The AFLW’s head of women’s football, Nicole Livingstone, said the players and staff were committed to getting the season up and running next week.

“The adjustments made to the first two rounds provides certainty into the early part of the season and allows the competition to remain as adaptable as possible as the season progresses in a constantly changing environment,” Livingstone said.

Revised AFLW fixture, rounds one and two

All times AEDT

ROUND 1

Thursday, January 28

Carlton v Collingwood, Ikon Park (7:15pm)

Friday, January 29

St Kilda v Western Bulldogs, RSEA Park (7:10pm)

Saturday, January 30

Gold Coast Suns v Melbourne, Metricon Stadium (2:10pm)

West Coast Eagles v Adelaide Crows, Mineral Resources Park (2:10pm)

Sunday, January 31

Geelong v North Melbourne, GMHBA Stadium (12:10pm)

Richmond v Brisbane Lions, Swinburne Centre, Punt Road (2:10pm)

Fremantle v GWS Giants, Fremantle Oval (1:10pm)

ROUND 2

Friday, February 5

Western Bulldogs v Carlton, Victoria University Whitten Oval (7:45pm)

Saturday, February 6

GWS Giants v West Coast Eagles, Norwood Oval (12:40pm)

Collingwood v Gold Coast Suns, Victoria Park (3:10pm)

Melbourne v Richmond, Casey Fields (5:10pm)

Sunday, February 7

North Melbourne v St Kilda, Arden Street (1:10pm)

Brisbane Lions v Geelong Cats, Hickey Park (2:10pm)

Adelaide Crows v Fremantle Dockers, Norwood Oval (4:40pm)

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Melbourne City keen to make amends against Brisbane Roar


Melbourne City won’t fall into the trap of under-estimating a Brisbane Roar side tipped to struggle this season.

City’s A-League title bid kicks off on Tuesday night at Dolphin Stadium, the Roar’s new home ground after their decision to abandon Suncorp Stadium.

The Roar played two A-League games at the boutique Redcliffe venue last season, one of them against City, who led 3-1 before losing 4-3 in windy conditions in front of a packed house of 10,000 fans.

New City coach Patrick Kisnorbo was the club’s assistant coach at the time, and promised City would not again become complacent on Tuesday night.

“The lessons we’ve learnt is that for 90 minutes you’ve got to stay in the game (and) concentrate – you can’t take things for granted,” Kisnorbo said.

“We’ll respect them for what they are because they are a good team.”

While Kisnorbo regards the Roar as a “good team”, Brisbane have been largely written off heading into the season, with most predicting them to finish well outside the top six under coach Warren Moon, who replaced Robbie Fowler for the closing stages of last season.

Not that Kisnorbo cares for predictions.

“I don’t listen to what people say about expectations because one person last season said that we wouldn’t make the six and we finished second, so I never really listen to what people have to say about that,” he said.

“We’ll respect Brisbane Roar because they’re a good side with good players and a good coach.”

“We put our own expectations on ourselves. The expectations is to try to play as best as we can, week in, week out.”

The Roar will need strong performances from the team’s spine of goalkeeper Jamie Young, central defensive pairing Tom Aldred and Macaulay Gillesphey, Irish midfielder Jay O’Shea and attacking weapon Scott McDonald to have any chance of beating City.

Captain Aldred is relishing his battle with City’s Socceroos striker and former Brisbane marksman Jamie Maclaren, last season’s Golden Boot.

“I’ve played against a lot of good strikers in my time and I won’t change for him, just like I’ve never changed for others,” the England-born former Scotland under-19 international said.

“I’m excited to play against him, (and) I’m sure he’s excited to play against me. I’m looking forward to it.”

City’s side is expected to include former Roar and Burnley midfielder Aiden O’Neill, as well ex-Melbourne Victory star Andrew Nabbout.

Brisbane’s line-up may feature midfielder Riku Danzaki, one of their two new Japanese imports.

The other, striker Masato Kudo, trained with his new teammates on Monday for the first after finishing his quarantine spell.



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Mares out to make amends in Belle of the Turf


Ironically, a wide draw in the Belle Of The Turf where she can get to the outside could pay dividends for a mare who is capable of reeling off the best final 400m in the race.

But drawn much further in is luckless Canberra five-year-old Sausedge, who should have won at least two of her last three when powering to the line after striking all sorts of trouble.

She was a certainty beaten in the Snake Gully Cup at Gundagai when held up for a long time and losing her spot early in the straight before flying late, and then again rattling home to just miss in a benchmark 78 at Rosehill.

But in another display of what should have been, Sausedge found bother and became unbalanced just 10 days ago at Randwick before again picking up and attacking the line into another luckless placing.

She’s also beautifully weighted on the limit 54kg for this tougher test and should get a soft run back in the field, but punters will be praying for clear air from the 400m.

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Speaking of patience and payback, supporters of tough local sprinter Liberty Sun can cash in via a class 4 handicap (1200m) to close the meeting.

The five-year-old has not finished worse than fourth in seven runs for Gosford trainer Greg McFarlane.

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Bulgariaʼs Parliament amends tax laws, cuts VAT for restaurant-delivered food | The Budapest Business Journal on the web


 Regional Today

 Monday, November 23, 2020, 16:30

Bulgariaʼs Parliament passed conclusively amendments to the value added tax Act, reducing the (VAT) rate for food cooked at and delivered by restaurants from the standard 20% to 9%, effective between December 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, local news agency BTA reported. 

According to another revision of the law, a person established in the territory of the European Union, registered for VAT and registered in an EU Member State other than Bulgaria to carry out distance sales of goods imported from third countries is now entitled to deduct input tax according to the standard rules for goods and/or services whose place of transaction is in the territory of Bulgaria.

A person who is not established in Bulgaria but is registered in another EU Member State to apply a Union scheme, a non-Union scheme or a scheme for distance sales of goods imported from third countries and who has failed to charge VAT for supplies whose place of transaction is in the territory of Bulgaria will be liable to a fine.

 

 





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Yang Hengjun’s release is important in making amends with China


The release of an Australian journalist detained in Beijing would be an important step in alleviating tensions between our nation and China, writes Dr Robert Wood.

THERE HAVE BEEN recent reports of the ongoing mistreatment of Yang Hengjun, who is an Australian journalist currently detained in Beijing. In my capacity with PEN Perth, I have been following Yang’s case since last year.

It is important for readers of Independent Australia to know about this issue, just as they have learnt about Kylie Moore-Gilbert. Yang’s case concerns freedom of expression and the plight of an Australian citizen overseas. It is topical now if only because he has spoken out about his torture and interrogation, also because of the arrest last month of another Australian journalist, Cheng Lei and the withdrawal of journalists Bill Birtles and Mike Smith.

When people speak of the escalating tensions between China and Australia, it has impacts on individual citizens just like Yang and Cheng, just like you and me. As readers will be aware, there are several current concerns when it comes to the relationship between China and Australia.

This includes an impact on internal state-federal relations in Australia, which one sees when Prime Minister Scott Morrison overruled Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ government decision to join a Belt and Road project signed independently between China and Victoria. Even Liberal ex-Premier of WA Colin Barnett was on the record saying Morrison had gone too far in limiting Andrews’ power. He stopped short of supporting Andrews, but he called a spade a spade and said this federal intervention is about China.

Such clarity from his federal colleagues would be admirable right now. Like WA Premier Mark McGowan, Barnett and other West Australian politicians show a level of savvy when it comes to our biggest trading partner if only because it is in our mutually beneficial interests to maintain the export of resources from iron ore to others.

A second worry is, of course, the influence of Chinese officials on freedom of expression as it happens here, which is seen most obviously in the case at the University of Queensland between domestic student Drew Pavlou and Chinese diplomat Xu Jie. I do think there is often a paranoid Right-wing nationalism that undermines a sophisticated discussion on what can, should and is said, but it has been pitched as a battle about liberalism and communism that undermines the realpolitik nuance that is needed at the minute. No matter where you come down on this side of the debate, what matters is whether it is conducted in good faith.

This matters, too, for other issues of freedom of expression and geopolitics in general. We cannot turn away from universal problems that happen on China’s soil, including in the western provinces. This is a human rights abuse on a massive scale and is happening in our lifetime, in real time. Millions of people have not seen their families, have not practised their religion, have been prevented from work, from language, from culture.

Australia has its own shameful record when it comes to the ongoing genocide of Aboriginal people include the removal of children and imprisonment of many and it is important to speak from a place of humility. But we can call for the better treatment of ordinary citizens in China as well, especially for Uighur people.

The importance of making up with China

Returning to the case of Yang Hengjun, with which I opened this article, it matters to us here and now if only because he is still locked up. There have been reports of hours of interviews; of shackles, blindfolds, masks; of being detained in solitary confinement for days on end; of forced confessions; of violence and threats of execution.

Yang is a democracy activist and a scholar whose blog was deemed a threat to China’s ruling party. Where his fate matters now also acts as a barometer of what might come to pass between China and Australia. His case matters in and of itself, but also as a sign of geopolitical tensions. He, like Kylie Moore-Gilbert, is in the crosshairs as international governments work it out.

What does all that mean for ordinary Australians? It means we should watch what is happening with Yang very closely, just like the newer development with Cheng. We should put pressure on our own government to work harder for his release. We should make sure we can make amends with China and act as an intermediary in the superpower showdown between them and the United States. This is the beginning of a long and protracted power struggle that will determine the shape of the world for the next century or more.

Australians need to be prepared to learn a great deal more and to demonstrate sophistication and nuance about Chinese history, politics and culture. This matters if they are to re-negotiate the international landscape to their own benefit and that of everyone else. We can care about Yang and our own relations as well as the fate of a free people like the Uighurs, but it means our tone and tenor has to become as complex as the world we are living in.

After all, we need to remember that geopolitics often ensnares middling powers like Australia despite our best intentions. Good to hold one’s ground, but important to know one’s limits as well.

Dr Robert Wood is chair of PEN Perth. A Malayali with East Indian Ocean connections, he lives on Noongar Country in Western Australia. The author of four books, Robert has held fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

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It’s time to make amends for the crimes of our forefathers


More efforts need to be made to embrace the Indigenous history of our country and educate future generations, writes Peter Wicks.

THE CONTINUING Black Lives Matter protests in Australia have shone a light on pseudo-supporters of Indigenous Australians. Supporters that are happy to wave the flag when all is good, but are not so supportive when things become a touch risky. Some on the Left seem to have become not only fair-skinned friends but also fair-weather friends.

COVID-19 has provided a “get out of gaol free” card to many who have a vastly lower chance of needing one than the nation’s First People, whose rights are being fought for by Black Lives Matter supporters. It has provided them with the perfect chance to tell people not to take part in the rallies because of health risks.

Perhaps if the rallies were held at Chadstone Shopping Centre, would it have been okay? Crowds are safe there, we’re told.

“Someone could die because of your actions,” is what some are preaching.

While this is a point that cannot be argued, it also needs to be put into perspective. After all, we do know exactly how many Indigenous lives have been lost as a result of our inaction.

There have been 434 Aboriginal deaths in custody since the 1991 Royal Commission Into Aboriginal Death In Custody.

While there is a chance that doing something may result in a COVID-19 outbreak, the evidence tells us it’s certain that not doing something will result in deaths. Not hypothetical cases — real deaths. That has been proven 434 times. Let’s not forget what the Black Lives Matter campaign is about — lives.

The difference between these two scenarios is that doing nothing puts Indigenous lives at risk, while doing something may put White lives at risk by potentially spreading COVID-19 out into the suburbs. This means those fair-weather friends think it’s best to leave any risk firmly on the shoulders of Indigenous communities and put rallies off to a time when they will be vastly less effective.

If the rallies were about WorkChoices, would some of these people have thought the cause warranted risking COVID-19? I guess we’ll never know.

With this level of support from those claiming to support Indigenous causes, it’s little wonder Indigenous Australians find themselves in the position where they need to rally.

This year’s Reconciliation Week finished with a bang — although not the bang we were seeking.

Mining giant Rio Tinto blew up Juukan Gorge, an important Indigenous heritage site that dates back 46,000 years. Gone with the press of a button.

Can you imagine the outcry if a mining company blew up the pyramids in Egypt? Or bulldozed Stonehenge?

Here in Australia, we send out a huge police force to protect a statue of Captain James Cook, but when mining giant Rio Tinto blows up an Indigenous site of worldwide historical significance, the outcome is a few long faces and a few crocodile tears from serial hand-wringers.

I know there is some collective finger-pointing going on at a Senate hearing, but where is the anger from our government over this disaster? How did legislation pass that green lights this awful vandalism to make a few quid? And why did it take something this catastrophic to put it on the agenda?

Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive Chris Salisbury provided an apology for a “misunderstanding”. The Traditional Owners of the site believed it to be a sacred place of immense importance, beliefs Rio Tinto executives “misunderstood” for desires to see it totally destroyed. Easy mistake.

However, this “misunderstanding” excuse doesn’t hold water.

In 2015, Rio Tinto themselves funded a documentary film titled Ngurra Minarli, or “In Our Country”. Back in 2015, there was no “misunderstanding” about the historical and spiritual significance of the site. In 2015, Rio Tinto’s board thought its significance was to be celebrated and preserved on film.

Five years later, its significance was to be utterly destroyed.

Last week, I sought comment from Rio Tinto seeking details of what reparations they were making with Traditional Owners after the destruction at Juukan Gorge. I wanted to know if the mining giant would be paying any financial compensation, or offering profits from the site to Traditional Owners, or Indigenous charities. It seems to me they wouldn’t do something this controversial if there was not going to be a significant financial return, so I was wondering if Rio Tinto’s executives were discussing paying a share of profits to the Traditional Owners.

Despite the written request, Rio Tinto has thus far failed to respond.

Whether there is financial compensation or not, the most important thing is that they are in discussions with Traditional Owners. The Puutu Kunti Kurrama people and the Pinikura people are represented by PKKP Aboriginal Corporation. Their traditional names actually originate from the area where the Juukan Gorge site used to be before it was destroyed, so one can only imagine their sorrow.

The Labor Government in Western Australia is currently working on new legislation to ensure this can’t happen again. What is being worked on was detailed in a release from Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, which also has a history with Juukan Gorge.

One thing that I believe should immediately cease is the use of what is known as a “Section 18”. These are used when an agreement cannot be reached between landowners and Traditional Owners. These have allowed sites to be salvaged and later destroyed and I have yet to hear of an application for one being rejected. It is a tool regularly used by mining corporations and Traditional Owners are not able to apply.

Australia’s Indigenous population continues to suffer disadvantage at a disproportionate rate. Aside from the Apology to the Stolen Generation that took way too many years and a change of government to deliver, no real reparations have been made to the First Peoples despite opportunity presenting itself time and time again.

An example of the lack of political will to honour Indigenous history is the shrinking number of electorates bearing Indigenous names. One that was removed in 2015 was Toongabbie. That NSW electorate changed name after former Premier Nathan Rees quit politics and didn’t recontest his seat in the 2015 Election.

Rees, who incidentally was the premier responsible for the biggest handback of Indigenous land in the state’s history, voiced his anger at this decision in his Valedictory Speech to parliament:

“Personally, I think removing the Aboriginal name of Australia’s third settlement from the list of New South Wales electorates is pretty bloody ordinary. They have replaced Toongabbie with Seven Hills, named after the Seven Hills of Rome.”

We can’t be proud of our country and ignore its history.

We’ve been told over and over again by countless reports commissioned by all levels of government about how to reconcile. Maybe it’s about time we listened to what Indigenous communities are telling us and implement their recommendations. Why ask if the response is only going to be ignored?

We are blessed with the history of the oldest continuous human culture known on Earth. We should be embracing it and teaching it to future generations with pride, but instead we are letting the prejudice of a few ruin it for the many.

For those rallying for the Indigenous custodians of our land, I say: “More power to you. The difference you are making is immense and history will look back on you fondly.”

To the Labor councillors in Sydney’s Hills Shire who have been trying to have a Welcome To Country and Indigenous recognition put on the council agenda for years only to be outvoted by the Liberals, I say: “Keep up the fight and if you have to use shame as a weapon, use it mercilessly.”

To those claiming to support the cause while denouncing the actions, I say: “Pick a side. Sitting on a fence only achieves splinters in your arse.”

To Indigenous readers, I say: “I may not feel or know your pain, but I understand your anger and frustration. Meaningful change comes in steps and I’m hoping that this step turns into a leap.”

There is a time to demand our government acknowledge the crimes of our forefathers, make amends, educate future generations and ensure that First Nations people have a real voice and a real say in how this country is run.

That time is now.

Stand up or get out of the way.

Peter Wicks is an Independent Australia columnist and a former Federal Labor Party staffer. You can follow him on Twitter @MadWixxy.

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