24 April 2023
Over 350,000 public servants are being urged to ignore the Labor Government’s new policy that allows Commonwealth government employees to substitute tomorrow’s Anzac Day public holiday, for an alternative day off.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Barnaby Joyce, has asked Commonwealth employees to ignore the federal government’s public service determination, that came into effect in January.
“In the past there have been many Commonwealth public servants required to work on Anzac Day such as our Federal Police, Border Security, military and staff at the Australian War Memorial.
“However, these employees have always been required to work. In January the Labor Government reversed that, so now any public servant has the right to request that they just swap the Anzac Day holiday for another day and for any reason at all. That devalues what a day of remembrance is all about. Maybe it was a mistake, but mistakes should be corrected” Mr Joyce said.
“Anzac Day is a day off so we can attend memorial services first, not a day off somewhere else to go elsewhere”, he said.
Mr Joyce renewed his call for Prime Minister Albanese to rescind the new policy and revert to the former Coalition government’s policy that ensured ANZAC Day was embedded as a day of national remembrance.
“In my heart I know most Commonwealth employees will ignore the government’s new directive. But my plea to anyone considering taking up the government’s policy, is that they instead stop and remember those who have served and those who have fallen”, Mr Joyce said.
Mr Joyce said Anzac Day was the nation’s premier day of memorial.
“We may not agree with the reasons our nation gets involved in a war, but we never denigrate those who served in one, like the disgraceful treatment of many who returned from the Vietnam War”, he said.
“Australia would never remain unmolested by a foreign power if it were not protected. We would lose our nation and our children would become the footstools of others who would dominate and rule us.
“Even today we see that if a dominant, aggressive power does not like a group of people they just kill them. That part of human behaviour has not changed. So Anzac Day is not only a remembrance of the past, but also a warning of the future”, he said.
Mr Joyce said he would commence Anzac Day with a Dawn Service in northern New South Wales at Glen Innes, before another service at Guyra.
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