Coun­cil to defy PM, move date

Bellin­gen Aus­tralia Day awards cer­e­mony to be ear­lier next year

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS - JAS­MINE MINHAS jas­mine.minhas@coff­s­coas­tad­vo­

BELLIN­GEN Shire Coun­cil has made a con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion to move the date of its Aus­tralia Day Awards Cer­e­mony a day for­ward to Jan­uary 25.

The mo­tion to hold the awards cer­e­mony on the night of Jan­uary 25 for next year was passed four to one at the coun­cil meet­ing last week.

Coun­cil­lors agreed to re­ceive fur­ther re­ports gaug­ing the com­mu­nity’s sen­ti­ment around the date change for fu­ture years.

The coun­cil's Aus­tralia Day Com­mit­tee had how­ever sim­ply at­trib­uted the de­sire to move the cer­e­mony to Aus­tralia Day “fall­ing on a Satur­day” of a long week­end, ar­gu­ing the cer­e­mony would at­tract a large au­di­ence if it was held on the Fri­day night.

This comes just days af­ter By­ron Shire Coun­cil did a black flip on their de­ci­sion to shift the date of their cer­e­mony fol­low­ing crit­i­cism from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, who threat­ened to strip the coun­cil of its right to hold it at all.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son dubbed the By­ron Shire Coun­cil’s move as “in­dul­gent self-loathing” on so­cial me­dia.

“Our mod­ern Aus­tralian na­tion be­gan on Jan­uary 26, 1788. That's the day to re­flect on what we've ac­com­plished, be­come, still to achieve,” the Prime Min­is­ter tweeted.

Photo: Alis­tair Bright­man

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