Cel­e­bra­tions ex­pected to con­tinue as nor­mal

Campaspe News - - NEWS - By VIVI­ENNE DUCK

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.’’

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