The government has poured cold water on a push for a revamped national anthem that would delete words considered offensive by some Aboriginal Australians and introduce a third verse paying tribute to the Dreamtime and Indigenous history before colonisation.
The proposed anthem, the brainchild of Victorian Supreme Court judge and poet Peter Vickery, would replace "for we are young and free" with "in peace and harmony", to acknowledge the occupation of Australia by Indigenous people for more than 50,000 years.
A new verse, in addition to the infrequently sung second, celebrates the "first peoples of this land, the Dreamtime told from red rock heart to distant shores of sand" and finishes with "respecting country let us sing, advance Australia fair".
Justice Vickery pitched this anthem to the Turnbull government, but a senior public servant from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has replied and said the anthem should be performed as proclaimed but "there may be occasions when your version of Advance Australia Fair could be performed as a patriotic song".
The Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, senator James McGrath, had a blunt reaction to the proposal: "Hell no."
A spokeswoman for Mr Turnbull said there were no plans for change. Official protocol requires the anthem be treated with respect and dignity and encourages people not to make modifications when performing it.
Advance Australia Fair has been the national anthem since 1984 when it replaced God save the Queen.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said a tweaked anthem was less relevant to the lives of Indigenous Australians than a discussion about reparations for the Stolen Generations.
Twenty years since the release of the Bringing Them Home report into children forcibly removed from their homes, the Healing Foundation has called for Commonwealth reparations for members of the Stolen Generations.
Responding to the call for reparations, Mr Shorten said compensation for the "gross violation of human rights" should be considered.
"I think it is time for this Parliament to discuss re-connection, recovery and reparations," he said as he left a Parliament House breakfast also attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Shorten first backed a discussion about reparations in February when responding to the latest Closing the Gap report, which showed continual failure to address Indigenous disadvantage.