A new barbecue-themed video advert has mocked political instability in Canberra and jokingly suggested merging with New Zealand as a solution.
The commercial, by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), was released on Sunday and is the latest in a long-running series to promote lamb ahead of January 26.
But the ads, which originally involved scenes of jingoism, have recently changed tack to celebrate multiculturalism and confront the controversy surrounding Australia Day.
The latest video opens with a group of bureaucrats lamenting the country’s fortunes, referencing the Australian cricket team’s ball-tampering scandal and the far-right party One Nation.
In the background, an unenthusiastic employee switches an official portrait of Malcolm Turnbull for another featuring Scott Morrison.
“We used to be the greatest country on Earth but we’ve lost the plot,” one says.
“Cheating at sport, we can’t even hang on to a prime minister.”
Another suggests a solution: “We finally make New Zealand part of us.”
The video cuts to a barbecue floating “precisely halfway” between the two countries where lamb cutlets sizzling on the hotplate attract the attention of two curious New Zealand men sitting on inflatable furniture.
The officials suddenly appear and pitch their proposal to unite the countries.
“As we all know Australia is the greatest country on Earth but frankly right now New Zealand is ‘doing Australia’ better than Australia,” one says.
The proposal for “New Australia” fizzles but a second suggestion of “New Australialand” is offered.
The officials suggest that the new country could even have a “new Australia Day” “on a date we can all agree on.”
“Finally” cheers a group of Australians celebrating nearby.
As part of the deal, New Zealand share their popular leader, Prime Minister Jacinda Adern.
“Tell her to come join the party,” one of the Australian party-goers yells to the sound of cheers and a swell of patriotic orchestral music.
Meanwhile, back in Australia a thankless employee waits with a portrait in hand for impending news about the country’s political fortunes.
“Standing by,” he says.