Celebrations expected to continue as normal
AUSTRALIA Day celebrations are here to stay in Rochester and district.
After two Victorian local councils, Yarra and Darebin, dumped the January 26 celebrations last month, Campaspe Shire and Greater Bendigo City Council said they held no position on the issue.
However, neither council responded when asked whether or not they have had discussions with local aboriginal people about their feelings towards the national day.
Campaspe Shire mayor Adrian Weston said the issue had not been discussed and there would be no changes to the current Australia Day celebrations across the shire.
‘‘Council has a strong relationship with local Aboriginal groups across the shire,’’ he said.
Greater Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke said the council did not have a position on changing the date for Australia Day celebrations and would not be commenting on decisions of other councils.
‘‘Australia Day celebrations in Greater Bendigo are very popular and well attended,’’ she said.
‘‘Council will continue to hold its Australia Day celebrations and citizenship ceremony on January 26.’’
Cr O’Rourke said council enjoyed relationships with their local Aboriginal community.
The city enjoys positive relations with the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung people
‘‘The city enjoys positive relations with the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung people and has recently adopted a Reconciliation Action Plan,’’ she said.
The decision to stay away from the controversial issue seems to be common across central Victoria, with Mitchell Shire also not holding a position.
Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said Mitchell Shire was continuing to support Australia Day activities.
‘‘Council acknowledges the rich history of the Aboriginal community and that they are our nation’s first people,’’ she said.
‘‘The relationship with our local Aboriginal community is strong and we value the rich contribution that our Aboriginal community makes in the shire.
‘‘Our community is increasingly diverse and we appreciate the day has different significance for different people.’’