Covid puts Freo’s One Day on hold

Freo has had to put its One Day smoking ceremony on hold.

FREMANTLE council has postponed its One Day event planned for this Sunday as WA’s Covid outbreak continues to worry authorities.

While Cockburn’s Australia Day festival went ahead at Coogee Beach on Wednesday with heavily reduced activities and muted crowds, Fremantle mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge said Omicron clusters in Coolbellup and Willagee were a bit too close to home.

“After careful consideration and with heavy hearts, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone this weekend’s One Day smoking ceremony due to uncertainty around the Omicron Covid-19  variant,” Ms Fitzhardinge said.

Disappointing

“We understand this decision is disappointing for many of you who look forward each year to celebrating an inclusive event for all people and cultures, however the health and safety of our community is our top priority.

“The beauty and uniqueness of our award-winning One Day event is its informal, intimate and interactive nature, and due to the uncertainties of this ever-changing pandemic we can’t deliver that experience in a Covid-safe environment.

“With that said, we look forward to bringing back One Day once we’re confident we can deliver a Covid-safe event that doesn’t put our vulnerable community at risk.”

Ms Fitzhardinge told the Herald as the council was weighing up the decision that the low vaccination rate within some of the state’s Indigenous communities was a concern for organisers.

“The growing clusters in nearby Coolbellup and Willagee are concerning for Fremantle, so we’ll continue working with our Elders and the Aboriginal community in general, who currently have significantly lower vaccination rates than the rest of the population, on ways to ensure they are safe during this pandemic.

“The great thing about One Day is that it is held on a day that is an alternative to January 26 – and that can be any other day of the year.

“So we look forward to holding this event as soon as it feels safe to do so – hopefully one day soon.”

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