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Warren Mundine slams Woolies, councils as Coles makes call on January 26 merch sales

Jarred Cross -

Supermarket giant Coles have confirmed they will continue to stock Australia Day-themed merchandise in their stores following rival Woolworths' scrapping of similar products ahead of the public holiday.

On Wednesday, Woolies announced their decision citing "gradual decline" in demand and "broader discussion about 26 January and what it means to different parts of the community".

Opposition leader Peter Dutton said it was an "outrage" and urged a "boycott" of Woolworths by consumers.

He also called or Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to "call it out" against the company and others making "crazy decisions…signing up to the woke agenda".

According to reports, Coles will continue to stock themed items alongside other "summer entertaining" products.

"We are stocking a small range of Australian-themed summer entertaining merchandise throughout January which is popular with our customers for sporting events such as the cricket and tennis, as well as for the Australia Day weekend," a Coles spokesperson said, via news.com.au.

Indigenous leader and recent 'Change the Date' advocate Warren Mundine agreed he was "infuriated" by Woolies' move in an interview with Melbourne's 3AW Radio on Thursday.

"Australia is about celebrating what Australians in Australia have done," he said.

"Sure, we had some bad thing in the history like every other country in the world. But in the last 50 to 60 years we've really moved forward as a nation," Mr Mundine said.

"We should be celebrating this. I'm sick and tired of people knocking this country and saying we're a bunch of racists. I reckon we're the most successful country, liberal democracy in the world in how we all work together."

Mr Mundine echoed Mr Dutton's sentiments of corporate groups falling out of line with the majority of Australians values and drew a line to October's referendum and landslide rejection of the Voice to Parliament proposal.

"You know that These corporates are totally out of touch with a real Australia. The vote was 60 to 40. And yet they keep on coming out and trying to push this this nonsense that don't make us ashamed of who we are and what our country is.

Mr Mundine said he is proud of Australia's multiculturalism and their contributions towards "a better nation" and home to "the greatest people in the world".

He added people should "bugger off" if they "really don't like the place".

Still, he fell short of saying he would following the opposition leader's call for a boycott with concern for Woolworths worker's jobs.

Mr Mundine went on the slam local governments for shifting on January 26 ceremonies.

It's understood more than 80 local councils across the country will not host citizenship ceremonies on the day later this month.

The Labor Government relaxed requirements on councils to do so in late 2022.

Mr Mundine said local governments should instead be focusing on "garbage, rates, roads and rubbish".

"You're not the ministers for foreign affairs. If you really think you are go and get elected to federal parliament," he said.

"Just do your bloody job and stop running your own little petty personal campaigns and putting the knife into into into Australia and making us trying to be ashamed."

Mr Mundine said if Australia were asked the question if whether to changed the Australian flag, which is often splashed on January 26 merchandise, the response would reflect New Zealand's decision to keep it - as happened in 2015 and 2016.

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