PM disappointed by call to move Aus Day

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is disappointed some people want to change the date of Australia Day, saying it would divide the nation.

The Greens want Australia Day's date moved, but it doesn't have Barnaby Joyce's support.

The Greens want Australia Day's date moved, but it doesn't have Barnaby Joyce's support.

In a video posted to Twitter following a call by the Greens to move the January 26 date, Mr Turnbull says Australia Day should be a day that unites all citizens.

"I'm disappointed by those who want to change the date of Australia Day ... seeking to take a day that unites Australia and Australians and turn it into one that will divide us," Mr Turnbull said in the video on Monday.

"We recognise that the history of European settlement here in Australia has been complex and tragic for indigenous Australians ... Australia Day is a day to come together."

Greens councillors across the country who launched local campaigns to move Australia Day from January 26 have been told they can count on the full support and resources of the national organisation.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale believes it's time Australia stops papering over an issue which, he says, has been divisive and painful for so many for 200 years.

He doesn't necessarily think the change will happen soon, but hopes there is an important national conversation over the next couple of years.

"We can only gain from moving Australia Day," Senator Di Natale told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.

"People can continue, if they want to, to commemorate the arrival of the First Fleet."

He dismissed claims he was promoting a "black armband view" of history, insisting changing the date could make the day bigger, better and more inclusive.

"We'll continue to celebrate Australian music, we'll continue to celebrate all the things that we do, have our barbecues, have our games of beach cricket," the senator said.

"But we'll be able to do it in a way that brings the country together."

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce rejected his push, accusing the Greens of dwelling on the philosophical.

"We are building the inland rail, they're talking about Australia Day. We are building the Regional Investment Corporation, they think that Lachlan Macquarie and Captain Cook were bad buggers," he told reporters in Parkes, NSW.

"They dwell in the philosophical. We build the things that actually make our nation stronger."

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has also said he does not support changing the date.

Indigenous leaders have been pushing for the change, saying January 26 marks the date the First Fleet landed in Sydney Cove in 1788, the beginning of British colonisation.

The Turnbull government has already stripped councils who abandoned January 26 celebrations of their power to hold citizenship ceremonies.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott took to social media on Monday to urge the Greens to accept January 26 as the best available date to celebrate all that's good about life in Australia.

"There are 364 other days a year for the Greens to be politically correct," he tweeted.

Senator Di Natale joked there should be a national holiday when Mr Abbott retired from parliament.

"That would bring the country together in a way like few other national days," he said.

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