Woolworths announced that Australia Day products would not be sold in stores this year.
Aldi has said it won’t be stocking Australia Day products either.
Coles jumped into the fray and announced it will stock a variety of Australia Day merchandise.
Woolworths also owns Big W stores where Australian flags are sold all year, not just in the lead-up to Australia Day.
“There has been a gradual decline in demand for Australia Day merchandise from our stores over recent years,” Woolworths said.
The response to the move has been – as you might expect – divisive.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton has called for a boycott of Woolworth because of the decision.
State MP Richie Williamson went so far as to phone Woolworths to express his disappointment.
“I was shocked the company said it was not stocking Australia Day merchandise this year; a day we celebrate all things great in our nation, reflect on the past and look forward to a bright future.
“We are all a part of our story.
“If Woolworths can’t support Australia Day, I can’t support them.”
Mr Williamson called Woolworths and he “politely registered my disbelief at this decision”.
“The company line was “Australia Day means different things to many people” of course this is true.
“Easter means different things to different people too but the hot cross buns were on the shelf on Boxing Day, no questions asked.
“Woolworths, if only you focussed on delivering lower prices at the checkout that would be something we could all support.”
Every year, around this time, the debate about Australia Day happens with moves to change the actual day because January 26 represents Invasion Day for Indigenous Australians as it commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney.
The debate grows louder each year.
In 2018, Triple J moved the Australia Day Hottest 100 music countdown to the fourth weekend in January.
The countdown was part of Australia Day celebrations for many people.
What do you think?
Should Aussie Day products be sold in major stores?
Should we move the date for Australia Day?
IndyNR.com has asked Federal MP Kevin Hogan and State MP Janelle Saffin what their thoughts are about Australia Day products being removed from shops.