Aboriginal leader and former Labor Party National President Warren Mundine has criticised triple j‘s decision to move its annual Hottest 100 countdown so that it no longer takes place on Australia Day.
Mundine, who supports moving Australia Day away from 26th January, has told Music Feeds that triple j‘s decision to move the Hottest 100 to ‘the fourth weekend of January’ is “causing division” and is “pissing people off”.
Despite triple j saying that it sought to separate the Hottest 100 from any political debate, Mundine believes the station has made the issue “more political” by changing the Hottest 100 date.
“What the production team at triple j does is really their decision… but they linked it to Australia Day, no one else did,” he says. “If that’s the case, they should be coming up with a discussion about where to move [Australia Day].”
Mundine says that after the majority of triple j‘s listeners voted in favour of moving the Hottest 100 date, the broadcaster should have opened another poll “having people come up with ideas where to move [Australia Day]”.
“They should have started a conversation, a debate,” says Mundine, who has previously suggested 1st January (the date of federation) as a possible new date for Australia Day.
“Quite frankly, what’s triple j‘s answer to when we’re gonna move it? I’ve got an answer… and it’s about bringing all of us together as Australians: the indigenous, the colonisers, the immigrants who’ve come to this country.”
Mundine says it’s problematic that triple j‘s next Hottest 100 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 27th January 2018, which is a significant day for the Jewish community, as it marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“Having government-funded organisations who arbitrarily make decisions about things doesn’t help in this process,” he says. “Triple j should be working to help us find a day rather than just arbitrarily doing their own thing.”
Mundine, who says he listens to triple j at least once a week, believes the station “has a great opportunity” to “have a survey of what people think should be the day”.
Mundine’s comments come after Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said he would ask triple j to “reconsider” its decision to change the date of the Hottest 100 countdown.
Voting for the 2017 Hottest 100 will open on Tuesday, 12th December.