Despite the broadcaster basing its decision on listener feedback, with the results of two separate independent polls returning a majority in favour of the date change, liberal party MPs are already suiting up for the culture war.
Communications minister Mitch Fifield is one of several libs to blast the move as an attack on Australia Day itself, bellyaching that he is “bewildered by the ABC’s decision to move the Hottest 100 from Australia Day”.
“The ABC shouldn’t be buying into this debate. Australia Day is our national day,” he argued.
While Minister for Resources Matthew Canavan has gone on Sky News to do his bitching and moaning, dubbing the move “disgraceful” and accusing triple J of trying to “undermine our national day”.
“This should be condemned loudly,” he raged. “Our national day is Australia Day and I don’t think it’d for them to start redefining our national culture… I hope they reflect on this decision and change it.”
Elsewhere, liberal member for Mitchell and assistant Minister For Immigration, Alex Hawke, issued his own statement, calling triple J’s decision “disappointing”.
“The constant push to politicise and delegitimise Australia Day being held on 26 January is pathetic and out of step with most Australian’s views,” he writes.
“It is hard to believe that Triple J would not understand that moving a signature event from Australia Day, would be seen as anything other than a political argument against Australia Day continuing to be held on 26 January.”
“You told us how much you love the countdown and most of you are up for a new day. We all agreed that the Hottest 100 shouldn’t be part of a debate about the day it’s on. The only debate should be about the songs (‘Ya joking shoulda been higher’),” they wrote.
Most bizarre of all in the explosion of anti-triple J sentiment to explode from the Australian Government in the wake of the Hottest 100 announcement was that of Liberal senator James McGrath, who somehow managed to link the station’s decision to change the date to the time it banned Taylor Swift from the countdown.
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