Hooray for Australia Day in Echuca-Moama

September 02, 2017

AUSTRALIA Day celebrations are here to stay in Echuca-Moama.

AUSTRALIA Day celebrations are here to stay in Echuca-Moama.

After two Victorian local councils, Yarra and Darebin, dumped the January 26 celebrations recently, Campaspe Shire and Murray River Council said they hold no position on the issue.

Although neither councils responded to whether or not they have had discussions with local aboriginal people about their feelings towards the national day.

Murray River Council said they have no position on the issue, nor on the actions of Darebin and Yarra councils.

‘‘I consider this is a matter correctly left for an incoming council to consider,’’ administrator David Shaw said.

‘‘Murray River Council enjoys cordial relationships with the various aboriginal communities within the council area.

‘‘Staff are working to strengthen those relationships by exploring opportunities to achieve mutual beneficial outcomes in the new merged council area.’’

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.

The option to stay away from the controversial issue seems to be a common decision across central Victoria with Greater Bendigo City Council and Mitchell Shire also not holding a position.

Greater Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke said the council does not have a position on changing the date for Australia Day celebrations and will 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 the council enjoys relationships with their local aboriginal community.

‘‘The city enjoys positive relations with the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung people and has recently adopted a Reconciliation Action Plan,’’ she said.

Mitchell Shire mayor Rhonda Sanderson said they are continuing to support Australia Day activities.

‘‘Council acknowledges the rich history of the aboriginal community and that they are our nations 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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