25 January 2021

SUBJECTS: Change the Date poll; ABC using term Invasion Day and Australia Day; COVID vaccine rollout concerns; Disney+ blocks children under 7 viewing certain films due to racism and depicting cultural stereotypes.


KARL STEFANOVIC, HOST: Good to have your company this morning. Well, fewer than one third of Australians support a change of date for Australia Day. That's the findings of a Nine newspoll on the eve of our day of national celebrations. It comes as the ABC defends its decision to describe January 26 as invasion day. Plenty to discuss this morning. I'm joined by Northern Territory Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, and Triple M's Gus Worland. Good morning, guys. Nice to see you. Malarndirri, to you first of all, the Change of Date campaign just doesn't have the support it needs to, even though we have this debate every year. But that support not quite there. Is that, was that a surprise to you?

MALARNDIRRI MCCARTHY: Oh, look, it's not a surprise. But again, Karl, just this time of year, it is the predictable conversations that are occurring around the 26th of January. I believe that the focus should be on changing attitudes. And we have so much to do in our country that we can do and should be doing. And I'd like to see a lot more energy into changing the attitudes of Australians towards not only First Nations people, but how we can actually work together going forward on the 26th on January.

STEFANOVIC: It's odd, isn't it, that it seems to be that this is only ever discussed in the days leading up to Australia Day and that and then it goes for the rest of the year?

MCCARTHY: Well, I don't know, is it odd? I don't know. I just think in the last three or four or five years, it just seems to have gone, escalated into a much more frenzied sort of discussion and debate to the point of some people feeling really uncomfortable to talk about it. And I don't think we should see anyone being uncomfortable to talk about their feelings and views about this particular day.

STEFANOVIC: Just on the 26th, I mean, should we walk away from the difficult things that need to be acknowledged and confronted and then and then maybe we come together as one, after we acknowledge those things on that day?

MCCARTHY: Well, I don't think we should walk away. And I think what you're saying is we should actually acknowledge it. Is that right, Karl?


MCCARTHY: Yeah, yeah. So, I would think, you know, early morning sunrise, I think you do that in Sydney with special ceremonies there. Certainly around Australia, there's been different thoughts of, you know, whether you have a minute's silence or you have early morning sunrises and actually have a healing ceremony. I think those are really beautiful things and our country shows we can do that on other particular days and especially Anzac Day. And whilst I'm not comparing the two directly, I'm trying to point out that we are capable as the people of Australia and we can do all of it. So say let's make sure, as you pointed out, let's talk about the past and the history and acknowledge it in the morning and then go and do whatever it is you do to enjoy being in this country.

STEFANOVIC: I mean, I just can't listen to you anymore. You don't make any sense. [Laughter] Gus, I mean, that makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

GUS WORLAND, TRIPLE M: Exactly. Absolutely nailed in 35 seconds, which is exactly what exactly we should be doing this type of stuff. But I've never quite understood why we couldn't get really good people together and all decide what day do we want it and celebrate that particular day. And like you say, all the we've just heard this morning is perfect.

STEFANOVIC: The ABC is now calling it Invasion Day as well as Australia Day. Is that more divisive?

WORLAND: I think so. I think I mean I imagine what they're doing is that the national broadcaster is saying, look, if we say something, then it's going to start a debate. But I think we're already sort of past that. I think what we've heard in the last couple of minutes is much more sensible. And I just think being divisive at the moment is probably the last thing we need to do after the year we've had. And the fact that we've got so much sort of unknown going into 2021.

STEFANOVIC: Malarndirri, just on your proposal, which I think makes perfect sense. Are there going to be some members of the Indigenous community that just aren't happy with that at all?

MCCARTHY: Of course. I mean, First Nations people don't all think the same just like anyone else. You know, we all have our different views. We have different areas of land. I come from the Yanyuwa and Garrwa people of the Gulf country. Even in my own clans, there'd be different thinking and viewpoints. I guess for me personally, though Karl, it's –we have to, ultimately, we can always look at our differences – but we have to find the one thing that brings us together to still stay collectively together and respect and reflect on some of the atrocities of the past and some, and even current day with a high indigenous incarceration rates, the high rates of removal of children. So we've got to, we've got to have a fairly balanced approach to this. But just on Invasion Day, if I can just add into that with Gus, I do think that, you know, I wrote an op ed for the NT news up here yesterday and just said, look, whatever you call it, you know, Cricket Australia is going to call it January 26. Someone else is going to call it Survival Day, Invasion Day, Australia Day, whatever day you call it. Can we just respect each other's individual views?

STEFANOVIC: OK, in terms of addressing some of those larger things as well, I think that absolutely has to be done, racism in this country, that they're the big issues that need to be addressed and hopefully we can come together on Australia Day. Let's move on. There's some big questions this morning over Australia's vaccine rollout with concerns our Government is yet to reach a deal to supply one of the world's most effective jabs. To you, Gus, I mean, there's so much talk about this rolling out in late Feb. Are you going to line up and grab it?

WORLAND: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And we spoke about it on the show months ago about the travel side for me. I want to travel and no jab-no travel, so that was the thought for me and my family. But I'm just really surprised that we're not sort of, not probably at the top of the queue because of other country's sizes, but certainly right up there in terms of locking this away and already sort of having ordered up.

STEFANOVIC: Rolling it out.

WORLAND: Exactly. I just feel like we're behind.

STEFANOVIC: I thought the same thing when I was away on holidays and I got back and I've gone, hang on, we still haven't got one yet? Malarndirri, do you think those delays are questionable?

MCCARTHY: Well, absolutely. They're very slow. I mean, we go back to Parli next week and guess what's going to be number one asking questions around the vaccine. Just here in the Northern Territory, where we're certainly looking at it for our remote and regional Territorians. The weather is clearly a big issue given with Pfizer itself is, you know, below 70 degrees Celsius. You've got to store it and ship it. We had a problem with that, obviously, weather wise up this way. So there are just some really practical things that also have to be asked. But the government should have moved a lot faster on this.

STEFANOVIC: Yeah logistically, there's no question this country's hard to move things around in. But I think it should have happened before now. Now, I want to ask you this one. Disney+ blocking children under the age of seven from watching some of its classic movies because they're now deemed to be inappropriate or even racist. Films affected include Peter Pan, which uses the term Redskins to refer to Native Americans and the Swiss Family Robinson, which has yellow face and brown face pirates. Gus.

WORLAND: Yeah, I'm surprised by this. It's so hard to put sort of a 2021 filter on a film that was from the 50s and the 60s and all these classics. At some point, a parent with a seven year old could actually sit down with that, with that movie, watch it and explain things if it ever came up. Surely we shouldn't be banning these classics. Personally, I would like to sit down and do a bit of parenting, and have the best of both worlds and just explain to the kids, we don't use that term anymore.

STEFANOVIC: OK Malarndirri, open up the discussions.

MCCARTHY: Yeah, look, I understood that it was actually the children's section, Gus. Was it, that they?

WORLAND: Yeah. Yeah.

MCCARTHY: I see your point in terms of at some point parents should be there talking with their children through these things. But again, I think it's just symptomatic of where the global sort of atmosphere is with, you know, racism. You know, we talked about Karl, last year, the Black Lives Matter. And even you know, President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, were referring to all of these kind of important changes. I look, I was a bit surprised when I saw that this morning as well. But I guess it just reminds me that we are in a changing attitudinal sort of environment now and we need to make sure it's harnessed in the right way.

STEFANOVIC: I just can't believe how this segment's gone to the pack. I mean, you two, just hopeless. Not make any sense this morning.

MCCARTHY: Can you go on holidays, Karl?

STEFANOVIC: There's no fire in the belly. It's not what it's supposed to be! Hey, thank you you two. Lovely to talk to both.