Eurobodalla Mayor calls out fake news

Mayor Mathew Hatcher says it is not true Eurobodalla Council has cancelled its usual Australia Day citizenship ceremony.

“I’m disappointed that our shire has been listed by click-bait news outlets trying to polarise feelings around Australia Day; particularly given the success of our inclusive Australia Day citizenship ceremony last year,” Mayor Hatcher said.

“What we have done for 2024 is change the timing to Australia Day eve. Not as a political statement but for purely practical reasons.”

Mayor Hatcher said the 2023 Australia Day citizenship ceremony brought together existing and new citizens, young and old Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents and performers, federal and state politicians, community groups and even the army cadets in “a wonderful celebration of civic duty”.

“But we don’t rest on our laurels,” he said.

A review of the ceremony highlighted conflicts with other Australia Day events, including Rotary Club’s citizen of the year celebrations, and noted hot weather under a mid-day sun was uncomfortable for some attendees.

“So this year we’re moving the Australia Day citizenship ceremony to the evening before, so participants can enjoy clement conditions in a beautiful garden setting,” Mayor Hatcher said.

“This frees our new Aussies to fully enjoy their Australia Day public holiday with family and friends, and means your elected representatives can get out to attend other Australia Day activities. Certainly we’ve been contacted by some attendees thanking us for this time change.”

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