In an effort to support Australia Day celebrations on January 26, Senator Cory Bernardi has launched the “Australian Conservatives 100”, a list of 100 Australian songs that can be streamed online, in response to Triple J's decision to change the date of its flagship music countdown, the Hottest 100.
Senator Bernardi has said his music list would provide a good soundtrack to Australia Day barbecues, as the Hottest 100 will no longer be held on January 26.
Yothu Yindi, Jessica Mauboy, Midnight Oil and Christine Anu are just some of the iconic names that can be found on the ‘AC100’.
But some of the artists featured on the list have been vocal about being unhappy to have been included; and only hours after the news broke, the music streaming service used to host Mr Bernardi's playlist released a statement clarifying that they did not champion it.
"Spotify has actively supported marriage, gender and Indigenous equality initiatives over the last five years, and believes in a diverse and multicultural Australia. We want to make clear we do not endorse this playlist, nor do we have any official ties to the Australian Conservatives party nor any other political party."
Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes has taken to Twitter to blast Bernardi for including his song To the Moon and Back.
In a fiery online war, Hayes also tweeted at several prominent Australian artists featured on the playlist, including Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly, Christine Anu and Kylie Minogue, asking if they were ‘cool with the far right Australian Conservatives using our music to promote their agenda’
Jimmy Barnes’ son, David Campbell, jumped in, telling the Senator he thought it was unlikely his dad would want to be associated with him.
Not backing down, Bernardi responded by telling Hayes to ‘get over' himself arguing that ‘music is for everyone’.
Just when you thought things were starting to get heated, The Hilltop Hoods bluntly advised Bernardi to ‘go F yourself’ after finding out he had included their 1955 track in his hot 100.
Despite being titled the 'AC100' and shared over the Australian Conservatives Twitter feed and his own personal account, Bernardi remains adamant that he isn’t using the offending music list for his political party or views.
In an interview with ABC Radio, Bernardi said the artists included on his playlist should be ‘thankful’ because each time their tune is played they earn royalties.
“I want people to listen to great Australian music and I’ve made it easy for them to do so,” he said.
“[Artists] can beat it up and complain, they can threaten me with legal action… the simple answer is: take your songs off the streaming service if you don’t want people to play them and support them.”
It’s not just artists jumping on the Bernardi Backlash bandwagon…
'Keep the day, move the date'
The Change the Date debate continues to be a controversial topic that's sparking international attention.
In a bid to make Australia day one to be shared, Amnesty International has asked people to help change the date by signing their petition.
Amnesty International Australia’s Indigenous Rights Advisor, Rodney Dillon - a Palawa man says we need to celebrate as a country.
“26 January is a hard day for all of our mob. Aboriginal people always feel sad on Australia Day; it marks the end of freedom for our people.”
"We can celebrate our country on a date that unites us, not divides us.”
His comments were backed by Indigenous Rights Manager at Amnesty International Australia, Tammy Solonec, who reminded people that January 26 marks the colonisation of this country.
“Our history didn’t begin on 26 January 1788; it began over 65,000 years ago - and we’re still making it now. Let’s celebrate the survival and resilience of the oldest living culture in the world and change the date.”
The Nigena woman said 'let’s keep the day and move the date'.
“We have a chance to right wrongs. There are 364 other dates in the year when we can celebrate our country on a date that unites us, not divides us.”