Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman today announced the Byron Shire Council in NSW would be stripped of the right to hold citizenship ceremonies.
Mr Coleman said the move was in response to the Council's decision to politicise ceremonies by refusing to hold them on Australia Day.
The Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code states: "Citizenship ceremonies are non-commercial, apolitical, bipartisan and secular. They must not be used as forums for political, partisan or religious expression or for the distribution of material which could be perceived to be of a commercial, political or religious nature."
"Byron Council has sought to politicise what should be a non-political day of celebration that brings communities together. The Council's actions are divisive and the Australian Government will not stand by and allow this to happen," Mr Coleman said.
In August 2017, the then Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Alex Hawke wrote to all councils informing them that the choice to protest the date of Australia Day by moving their Australian citizenship ceremonies would be viewed by the Government as an act politicising the ceremonies.
The Government's very firm position is to ensure Australia Day ceremonies are not politicised," Mr Coleman said.