The Federal Government’s common sense decision to allow more flexibility for councils to hold citizenship ceremonies around Australia Day has been welcomed by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) today.
The Government has updated the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code to allow councils to hold Australia Day citizenship ceremonies in the period from Monday 23 to Sunday 29 January.
ALGA National President Linda Scott said we have consistency advocated to the Government for councils to decide the scope of Australia Day activities based on consultation with their communities.
“In response to local government advocacy, we welcome this pragmatic update to the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code, allowing councils to hold Australia Day citizenship ceremonies on or around Australia’s national day,” Cr Scott said.
“Common sense has prevailed as Australia Day is an important recognition of our diverse origins and what it means to be Australian. Hosting citizenship ceremonies is a great honour for councils and it’s one we take very seriously.
“It’s also a day where councils welcome our newest citizens and stage associated celebrations and activities for our local communities.”
Cr Scott said: “We have consistently advocated for individual councils to mark Australia Day, and the timing of local events, as a matter for local governments, knowing that we strive to reflect the broad wishes and aspirations of communities.
“It’s the responsibility of individual councils to be responsive and respect the views of our local communities.
“Today’s outcome shows the strong respect and understanding the Government has for local governments and the important role they play in representing our communities and welcoming new Australians.”