Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has blasted the decision to once again honour controversial Australian tennis icon Margaret Court in this year’s Australia Day honours.
The 24-time Grand Slam singles champion is set to be promoted from Officer of the Order of Australia to the prestigious Companion of the Order of Australia, the highest tier available.
It has sparked widespread outrage, given Court’s outspoken views on same-sex marriage.
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Andrews says Australia must stop celebrating Court and should no longer give her a platform to voice her beliefs.
“I do not support it,” Andrew said. “I do not believe she has views that accord with the vast majority of people across our nation, that see people particularly from the LGBTIQ community as equal and deserving as dignity, respect and safety.
“I don’t give out those gongs, that’s not a matter for me, that’s for others. You might want to speak to them about why they think those views, which are disgraceful, hurtful and cost lives, should be honoured.
“I’m sick of talking about that person every summer. I’m sick of having this discussion in one form or another, every single summer.”
Court, 78, is now a reverend in Perth. In 2013, she wrote a letter criticising the birth of Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua’s child in a same-sex relationship.
In 2017, Court penned another open letter saying she would boycott Australian airline Qantas over its support of same-sex marriage.
In recent years, there has been widespread calls from current and retired tennis professionals to rename Melbourne Park’s Margaret Court Arena.
Court’s promotion to Companion of the Order of Australia will be made official on Australia Day.