THE Australia First Party will not be able to use the eureka flag as its logo on ballot papers in the upcoming election.
With writs for the federal election set to be issued today, the application will miss out on being eligible for use on ballot papers as it has not been advertised for the full 30-day period required by law.
However, the application will be considered again in 100 days time, well after voters head to the ballot box.
The use of the flag as a logo for the far right-wing party has been met with anger from many in the Ballarat community who have debated the merits of protection surrounding its use.
Ripon MP Louise Staley agrees that the flag should not be officially linked to any kind of political party.
Ms Staley recently spoke in the Victorian parliament about the importance of the flag and its future protection.
“My view is that people have used the Eureka Flag and it has been used by many political groups over many years and its meaning remains contested however it has never been registered to a political party,” she said.
“Its meaning can be debated, in a democratic society that is how it should be, but it shouldn’t be tied to any specific political party. One thing that has never been disputed is that it belongs to the Goldfields of Victoria and no Sydney based political party should get to claim it.”
City of Ballarat councillor Vicki Coltman said council were still considering options around having the flag registered so it could not be used officially by political parties as their logo.
“To have a group that is anti-multiculturalism and the things we believe in in Ballarat applying to use the flag, I find that offensive.”
The application also drew the attention of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews who previously said some of the uses for the flag today were not appropriate.
“The Eureka flag is a flag of freedom and democracy and a flag of sacrifice really when you think about those who stood in defence of freedom,” he said. .
“What the flag has never been for is the hate, bigotry, intolerance and lack of respect that it has been misused for in recent times.”
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