Bill Shorten's decision to commit Labor to a bi-partisan stance on celebrating Australia Day on January 26 has put paid to any risk the annual chestnut could be conflated into an election issue.
It will also help draw the fangs of those left-wing councils that chase publicity at this time of year by vowing not to hold citizenship ceremonies on the anniversary of the landing of the First Fleet.
Shorten's stance is also pragmatic. It recognises that while Australia Day's critics are remarkably vocal, they are not representative.
Two recent opinion polls found overwhelming support for the celebration of Australia Day, including citizenship ceremonies, on January 26 across all age groups.
According to a poll conducted for the Institute of Public Affairs by Research Now 75 per cent of respondents believed January 26 should continue to be the date. Only 10 per cent wanted it changed.
The same poll found 76 per cent of respondents believed Australia had a history to be proud of. 87 per cent were proud to call themselves Australians.
Another poll, commissioned by Advance Australia, a conservative lobby group, delivered similar results with 71 per cent of respondents saying the date should not be changed. More than 90 per cent of Liberal voters and almost two thirds of Labor voters favoured the status quo.
Both surveys found a majority of respondents believed Australia Day should bring people together, not drive them apart.
Prerequisites for any future shift in the date include the need to come up with a credible alternative date that can be assured of widespread community support and a sweeping rejection of the legacy of European colonisation and settlement.
Nobody has managed to answer the first question yet. There is no reason to believe a universally self-evident alternative date will be made manifest at some future time.
It is highly unlikely the second prerequisite will ever be met given it would require Australians to disavow the efforts of the convicts, the squatters and the pioneers; the sacrifices made by Australians in two world wars; and the nation-shaping revolution that was the post-war immigration boom.
Australia is too big, too complex and too diverse for its' national day to be defined by a single narrative.
Those who object to the way in which Australia Day is now celebrated may find it more profitable to focus on the format rather than the date.
Much of what Australians choose to celebrate every January 26 was achieved at great cost to the original inhabitants of this country. The anniversary of European settlement does cause real pain and distress to their descendants.
More could be done, and should be done, to use Australia Day to reflect on the poor state of health, life expectancy, incarceration, employment and education in the indigenous community with a view to finding ways to bridging the gulf.
By acknowledging all aspects of our long and conflicted heritage we may yet be able to make January 26 a day for all Australians.