COCKBURN council will hold a beach festival in Coogee on Australia Day, despite Fremantle and other councils across the nation ditching celebrations on January 26 because they feel they are insensitive to Aboriginal people.
The Coogee beach festival includes a watermelon-eating competition, live music, amusement rides and multicultural dance groups.
“The city will not hold any additional or alternative events to commemorate Australia Day in 2019,” Cockburn mayor Logan Howlett told the Herald.
He says the council would review the date of next year’s celebrations at a meeting in May.
“Any further broader community consultation to be undertaken on the issue will also be considered at the same meeting.”
This month the Morrison government announced it was revising the citizenship code to make it compulsory for councils to hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26 from next year. The changes also ban people from wearing thongs, boardies and singlets at citizenship ceremonies.
Mr Logan says the change won’t affect Cockburn.
“The city has held citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day and throughout the year as needed so there is no change to what has been happening in the city.
“The city encourages individuals and families to wear their national dress if one is available.
“This request has been strongly supported and adds to the vibrancy and importance of the event.”
If you want to participate in the Australia Day debate, Fremantle Network will be holding “Politics in the pub: Should we change the date of Australia Day?” on Tuesday January 29, 7pm, at The Local Hotel in Freo.
Cockburn’s AD celebrations will be held at Coogee Beach Reserve from 8am-noon.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK