The Project hosts get into a debate about the Aboriginal flag becoming Australia’s national flag

The Project hosts get into a debate about the Aboriginal flag becoming Australia's national flag 2
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A heated argument has erupted on The Project over having the Aboriginal flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and potentially making it the national flag. 

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A segment was aired on 10’s panel show about the NSW government’s decision to permanently replace the NSW flag with the Aboriginal flag over the Harbour Bridge.

But the panel’s discussion over whether Australia was at a point of ’embracing’ the Indigenous flag as the national flag turned fiery when Steve Price rejected the idea.

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A heated discussion has erupted on The Project between Steve Price (pictured) and his co-hosts over Australia 'embracing' the Aboriginal flag as the national flag

A heated discussion has erupted on The Project between Steve Price (pictured) and his co-hosts over Australia ’embracing’ the Aboriginal flag as the national flag

The panel had aired a segment about the NSW government's backflip decision on replacing the NSW flag over the Harbour Bridge with the Aboriginal flag

The panel had aired a segment about the NSW government’s backflip decision on replacing the NSW flag over the Harbour Bridge with the Aboriginal flag

‘I think Australians support the flag they’ve got,’ he said. ‘We don’t need to change the flag, who wants to change the flag?’

Price’s co-hosts, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar, try to provide a response to his question before he continued with his rant. 

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‘We have one flag, and that’s the Australian flag. You want to have a referendum on the flag? Good luck, buddy.’  

Helliar sided with Bickmore over the possibility that the Australian flag may be changed in the future to the Indigenous flag.

The comedian said it ‘could happen in 10 years, 20 years or 30 years’.

Hamish McDonald (left) has opened the discussion to the panel about having the indigenous flag as the national flag, which Price swiftly rejected

Hamish McDonald (left) has opened the discussion to the panel about having the indigenous flag as the national flag, which Price swiftly rejected 

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The NSW government had initially planned to have the Australian, NSW and Aboriginal flag all flying together over the Harbour Bridge until revelations an addition flag pole would cost an astonishing $25million.

Premier Dominic Perrottet disclosed the eyewatering figure last month – despite Poseidon Poles and Flags – the northern beaches company commissioned to install the extra pole – quoting just $200,000.

Mr Perrottet backflipped on the plan and said the money would be better spend on initiatives to close the gap for Indigenous Australians. 

‘This is a practical and pragmatic solution which makes sense and ensures that we celebrate our nation’s ancient heritage alongside its modern history in a continuing story, which we can all be part of, and celebrate together as one,’ Mr Perrottet said.

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NSW Government set aside $25million to permanently fly the Aboriginal flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge

NSW Government set aside $25million to permanently fly the Aboriginal flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Aboriginal flag has been flying above the bridge for the past week as part of NAIDOC celebrations and was due to be pulled down. Instead, it will remain there permanently.

Lauren Mace, from the Sydney pole company, said she guessed there were safety concerns behind the mammoth price.

‘It is a lot (of money) … I think there’s quite a lot of work that needs to go into it, for a flag to stand on the harbour bridge securely,’ she told The Daily Telegraph. 

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She suggested the bridge – one of Sydney’s busiest thoroughfares – would need to be closed if the work was carried out which could account for a large part of the huge cost.

The premier said the price ‘doesn’t seem to pass the pub test’ and immediately ordered the NSW Transport Department to review the contract, before deciding against it. 

The state flag will be relocated to the Macquarie Street East redevelopment, near the Barracks at Hyde Park.

Mr Perrottet is hoping to establish the site as a new historical hub for the city.

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‘The work that we’re doing on Macquarie Street – I will ensure that the NSW flag has a place there of prominence so that people can see it, appreciate it, learn from it and value it,’ he said.

Cheree Toka (pictured) organised a successful petition and raised more than $300,000 towards the cost

Cheree Toka (pictured) organised a successful petition and raised more than $300,000 towards the cost

The Herald reported the price was actually $10million lower than the figure Mr Perrottet made public, but he still decided to channel the funds elsewhere. 

Gladys Berejiklian, the Premier’s predecessor, had previously rejected calls to permanently display the Aboriginal flag. 

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The extra $25million money will be moved into the $400million redevelopment of Goat Island in Sydney which will be handed back to traditional owners.

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