Posts hit wrong note with Anzac Day cancellation claim

What was Claimed

The South Australian government has cancelled the Anzac Day public holiday.

Our Verdict

False. April 25 is enshrined as a public holiday and existing legislation recognises this date as Anzac Day.

It is being claimed that new state legislation will cancel the Anzac Day public holiday in South Australia.

This is false. The legislation in question establishes the official dates of future public holidays in South Australia, including April 25. 

Separate state legislation enshrines in law that ANZAC Day "means 25 April in any year".

Various claims have been made on social media, including this Facebook post (screenshot here) which states: “How can the South Australian Government cancel Anzac Day has (sic) a public Holiday.”

This post claims the state's Labor government has "removed ANZAC day from existence" while other posts describe the changes as a "ban" on Anzac Day.

A screenshot of one of the Facebook posts.
Posts are spreading misinformation about Anzac Day in SA.

Similar claims can be found here, here, here and here.

The claims relate to the Public Holidays Bill 2023, which comes into effect in 2024.

Page 4 of the bill establishes the 12 days which are full-day public holidays in South Australia, but they are listed without the actual names of the holidays.

The only exceptions are the Easter public holidays because of their variable places in the calendar each year.

The Labor state government said this was done to protect the penalty rates of workers.

Some have criticised the lack of the words "Anzac Day" on the bill (examples here and here) while others have claimed the bill has cancelled or banned Anzac Day and/or the Anzac Day public holiday.

But rather than cancel anything, the legislation ensures April 25 remains as a public holiday.

What's more, Anzac Day's link to April 25 is enshrined in South Australian law with the ANZAC Day Commemoration Act 2005.

On the Act's first page, it states: "ANZAC Day means 25 April in any year."

South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas
Premier Peter Malinauskas says the date of Anzac Day will not change.

South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas has stated "the legislation made no changes to the dates of Australia Day, Anzac Day or Christmas Day, which fall on January 26, April 25 and December 25 respectively".

He said the bill is intended as an industrial relations measure to protect penalty rates for workers when public holidays fall on weekends.

RSL South Australia president Dave Petersen also refuted the claim, issuing a statement to clarify the bill formally protects the date of Anzac Day.

"For the first time ever, we are now guaranteed to have a public holiday on the 25th April and it will be called ANZAC Day," he said.

The premier has now asked for an amendment to the bill to include the names of the holidays in brackets next to the date to be drafted for the next parliamentary session.

The Verdict

The claim the South Australian government has cancelled the Anzac Day public holiday is false.

While the Public Holidays Bill 2023 does not name April 25 as Anzac Day, it protects the date as a public holiday.

Further, a separate state law enshrines April 25 as Anzac Day and protects the date as a day of remembrance.

False - The claim is inaccurate.

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