Council to defy PM, move date
Bellingen Australia Day awards ceremony to be earlier next year
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.