Aussie Day dress code 'over the top' says Noosa mayor
KEEPING Australia Day celebrations on January 26, which marks the day of the arrival of European settlement, needs to be part of national debate.
That is according to Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington, who was commenting on a Federal Government decision to force councils to hold citizen ceremonies on Australia Day or lose the right to hold these services.
And he described the added plan to enforce a dress code for the ceremonies as "overreach”.
"Noosa Council does not have a specific policy position regarding the holding of citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day,” Cr Wellington said.
"Our Australia Day ceremony is just one of five such citizenship ceremonies that we host throughout each year.
"Personally, I think there is a broader, national discussion that needs to be had about whether or not January 26 is the best day for our Australia Day celebration.
"After all, the celebration of nation hasn't always been held on January 26 and it wasn't until 1984 that the National Australia Day Committee was federally funded.”
The mayor said he understood prospective citizens had a 12-month window from when they received notification of their citizenship approval to attend a ceremony.
"Thus the individuals have the ability to determine which ceremony to attend,” Cr Wellington said .
"As for the proposed dress code for those attending citizenship ceremonies, I can only give a personal response.
"Speaking as an individual, I believe dictating what people wear is something of an overreach for the Federal Government.
"In my experience, people attending these wonderful events are always respectful and appropriately attired.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "If some councils as we've seen want to play games, well, you don't have to run citizenship ceremonies: Other arrangements will be made.”
"But we will not undermine Australia's national day.
"Sometimes people show up in dress that's just not appropriate and doesn't show respect.”