Debate over missing detail at Greens leader's press conference: 'Un-Australian'

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The leader of The Greens has sparked debate after a staffer removed a flag out of shot before he stepped up to the podium for a press conference.

Adam Bandt, the re-elected leader of the Australian Greens, reportedly had a staffer remove the Australian flag out of shot before he addressed the media on Monday.

The removal of the flag was raised by journalist Isobel Roe, who asked Mr Bandt why he did not stand in front of it.

Australian Greens leader Adam Bandt had the Australian flag removed from behind the podium before addressing the press. Source: AAP
Australian Greens leader Adam Bandt had the Australian flag removed from behind the podium before addressing the press. Source: AAP

"He says the country has work to do on racism, and that the symbol is hurtful to many Indigenous Australians," Ms Rose said on Twitter.

"He also says he usually has it removed before he speaks."

The move was quickly branded as "divisive", with some accusing Mr Bandt of being "un-Australian".

Though, some did see why Mr Bandt had the flag removed, with one person saying it was a sign of respect to First Nations people.

One person on Twitter said while they believed Australia needed a new flag, they said it should be alongside the Indigenous flag and the Torres Strait Islander flag as a symbol of unity.

At his first press conference as Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese had the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags placed next to the Australian flag.

The Liberal Party had previously voted down a motion to have the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags placed in the Senate.

Aboriginal flag to fly on Harbour Bridge

It comes as the NSW government announced the Aboriginal flag will permanently have a spot on the Sydney Harbour Bridge by the end of the year.

The installation of a third flagpole will cost $25 million, with premier Dominic Perrottet saying Indigenous history should be celebrated.

"Our Indigenous history should be celebrated and acknowledged so young Australians understand the rich and enduring culture that we have here with our past," he said in a pre-budget statement on Sunday.

The Aboriginal and Australian national flags are seen on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge during Australia Day 2022 celebrations, in Sydney, Wednesday, January 26, 2022
The Aboriginal will be installed permanently on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Source: AAP

“Installing the Aboriginal flag permanently on the Sydney Harbour Bridge will do just that and is a continuation of the healing process as part of the broader move towards reconciliation."

Flying the Aboriginal flag next to the Australian and NSW state flag is part of the state's $401 million investment in this year's Budget, which will prioritise Closing the Gap initiatives.

Flagpoles on the bridge stand at about 20m and the flags themselves are 9m by 4.5m.

With AAP

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