Albanese rebukes Bandt over Australian flag move

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called on Greens leader Adam Bandt to “reconsider his position” on removing the Australian flag from his press conferences.
Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has rebuked Greens leader Adam Bandt for his position on the Australian flag and called for him to “reconsider”.
Mr Bandt had the Australian flag removed from the background of his press conference at Sydney’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices on Monday, flanked instead by only the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
He said the Australian flag was removed as it represented “lingering pain” for First Nations people.
“For many Australians, this flag represents dispossession and the lingering pains of colonisation,” he said.
Mr Bandt said he would like to see “a flag that represents all of us”.
“Through treaty with First Nations peoples and by moving into a republic, we can have a flag that represents all of us,” he said.
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On Wednesday, Mr Albanese told reporters in Hobart he was “quite surprised by the comments that were made” by Mr Bandt.
“I’m always very proud to stand in front of the Australian flag and I think anyone who is a member of the Australian Parliament should do so as well,” the prime minister said.
“Reconciliation is about bringing people together … It is undermined if people look for division rather than look for unity.
“I just say to Mr Bandt that he needs to think about the responses that have been made and reconsider his position … to promote unity and work to promote reconciliation.”
The prime minister said that his priority for “constitutional change” during this term of government is “recognising the great privilege that we have of living in and sharing a continent with the oldest continuous civilisation on the planet” through an Indigenous voice to parliament.
“The truth is Australia didn’t begin in 1788. We should be proud of the fact that our continuous culture goes back at least 65,000 years,” he said.

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