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IT was a day to celebrate all things Australian but it quickly descended into an afternoon of violence and racism echoing the ugly stain of the 2005 Cronulla riots in NSW.
Once the embodiment of all things good about the country, Australia Day today became a scene of brawls and vandalism across NSW - with anger spreading from Shellharbour in the south to Port Macquarie in the north, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Wild brawls were also reported on the Gold Coast at Burleigh Beach, with hundreds of teenagers coming together in a series of violent confrontation on the popular family beach.
The brawls occurred at about 3pm and a heavy police presence was on hand. Several arrests were made.
In the Sydney subrub of Manly, hundreds of youths draped in "Aussie pride" livery wore slogans declaring "f--k off we're full" as they smashed car windows and ran up the famous Corso targeting non-white shop keepers.