Council slammed for cancelling Australia Day fireworks to avoid offending people

While there might be several months before Australians gather to celebrate its national day preparations are already underway and in

While there might be several months before Australians gather to celebrate its national day preparations are already underway and in Fremantle, Western Australia, a decision has been made that the 2017 Australia Day celebrations will not feature fireworks.

Local councillors voted against the event over Indigenous cultural sensitivities, citing that some Aboriginal people and activists consider January 26 to be ‘Invasion Day’.

However, the decision has been met with backlash and condemnation.

Indigenous Labor MP Ben Wyatt wrote in The West Australian that “cancelling fireworks is a facile response and likely to cause more division”. He says the cancellation of such popular events in the name of reconciliation does not advance the cause.

“The relationship between Aboriginal people and Australia Day is profound,” Wyatt says.

His sentiment is echoed by the prime minister’s top indigenous advisor, Warren Mundine, who slammed the decision as “a silly mistake”.

“Let’s have a sensible conversation about shifting the date so we can all come together, but banning fireworks doesn’t help — it just spoils the day for people,” Mundine told Macquarie Radio.

One of Fremantle’s councillors, Doug Thompson, said he voted to cancel the fireworks because they came with a $145,000 price tag.

“I think it’s a waste of money to spend that amount of money for such a short event,” Thompson says, highlighting that for 30 to 40 minutes he would expect a much better return on investment.

However, mayor Brad Pettit says cost has nothing to do with it.

“There has been a growing movement that January 26 is increasingly becoming a day that is ‘not for all Australians’,” he says.

What do you think of the Fremantle council’s decision to cancel Australia Day fireworks? How do you feel about Australia Day? Would you support a motion to have the day moved from January 26?

  1. Are we to assume that if the date is changed, fireworks can go ahead? Why do some councils pretend to know what is good for people without talking to them first. Saving the money sounds a more stingy reason to hold off celebrating a national day, AUSTRALIA DAY, is it not worth celebrating, I think it is.

  2. J Taylor  

    My comment is probably quite different from most people’s. I think we should ban ALL fireworks everyday. I have several reasons for my view a) the cost is exorbitant for say 10-15 minutes of pleasure which could be used to house the homeless or feed the hungry Australians. B) At a time of global warming, record breaking temperatures our wild life struggling and we are pumping all this pollution into the atmosphere all over the world. C) dogs, cats and wildlife become terrified while we enjoy a few minutes spectical.
    I would also like to see a ban on balloons released intO the atmosphere which also end up damaging the wild life. Our generation should know better, we have seen more and changed the world more then any other generation and should be trying to leave a better world. A few minutes pleasure a lifetime of sorrow. That’s without even thinking of the Aboriginies – sorry if I offend anyone.

    • Dee  

      I also agree that there are far better ways to spend our rates and taxes. Not to mention the number of dogs that get terrorised, jump fences or cower under beds when the fireworks are on.
      However, it really is time we chose a more appropriate date for our national day that pleases everyone. Fremantle council is one of the most forward thinking on many things and its great to see one step in the right direction.

    • Maria Dingjan  

      I agree with your sentiments and views on this issue totally.

      • Pat. King  

        The pollution issue should be addressed in this day and age , surely Australia Day can be celebrated without the enormous waste of money going up in smoke

  3. I think they should cancel the fireworks, but not because they may offend somebody, simply because they are a hideous waste of public money. Millions of dollars, Australia wide literally go up in smoke. This money would be better spent on addressing the public housing shortage, the homeless problem, healthcare for low income earners, not cutting pensions etc etc. in fact in all the areas that funding has been cut for “lack of public money”.

    • PC eggheads!  

      Do you REALLY think that if every fireworks display, in this Country, in a year, was cancelled, that that money would go to one of the ‘worth causes’ you’ve listed?
      I’m ‘telling you, Kim, you’re dreamin’!

      It would more likely go into the ‘pockets’ of non-worthy causes!

      Fireworks, & football matches, are the modern version of ‘Bread & Circuses’ from ancient Roman times, where the populace was treated to largesse from the Emperor.
      It keeps the minds’ of the citizens’ off any possible ‘bad governmanship’!

      So let’s have our ‘fun day’, & those who don’t like it can [email protected]$) off, or GBTWYCF, whichever is the easier option!

  4. Fed up!  

    Here we go, yet AGAIN, with blatant PC’ism, frightened of ‘offending’ a very minority group.
    What utter balderdash!

    This is a celebration for 99.9% of Fremantle’s population.
    If the aboriginals’ are offended, stay away then.
    We don’t get you to cancel your ‘corroboree’s, if they might offend US!

    Sounds possibly more like a ‘stingy’ Council, maybe ‘using’ the indigenous ‘excuse’.

    Between them, & the Muslims, we’ll soon have ‘nothing’ year round to celebrate in case of ‘offending’ someone, or some minority group

    It’s getting beyond the pale, & stupidly so.

    Man up, Australia, & just plain stop NOW, this utter craziness!

    • Jane Fisher  

      I agree with you, so many bleeding hearts are turning Australia into a sooky la la country, we need strong leaders who are willing to stand up for our ideals.

      • Robert Green  

        Yes, draw a line under all this rubbish. If you come here or are part of the country already, it has a character, a belief and legal system, and a way of doing things.

        If this upsets you, pull your head in or go find a place you will be happy.

        If you want our peace our safety and our land, shut up, step up and become one of us Aussie of many colours and learn to live with it.

  5. Valerie Bush  

    Yes there is a cost to the fireworks display….but it also brings in money from the people that come and spend money for the day…it provides employment and social fun. Stop pandering to minorities, I did not invade Australia, I enjoy Australia Day, it is Australia….and if it was not the English that landed here and they did not land with troops and weapons to invade! If the English were not the ones who colonised who do you think it would have been? Do you really think the country would have been left alone?

  6. Pam Newman  

    This is just getting ridiculous, do we really think cancelling special celebratory events that mean something to Australia and it’s people is going to help ???? These indigenous people and religious people want to rule the world, well it’s about time we do something about it. Adapt to our way of living or get out. The world has gone mad, there is always someone complaining about our way, live in Australia, become Australian by all means but adapt to our ways, we don’t want to change our idealisms. We want to celebrate Christmas, Easter, Australia Day etc etc, live with it or leave.

  7. Horse Kulcsar  

    Leave Australia Day where it is. Allow the fire works …… is a day for celebration for All Australians . If someone doesn’t want to acknowledge the day then stay at home in bed with a sheet over your head. Those that live here are lucky to be here including the Aborigines.

    • Mack Carson  

      Leave it alone.
      It’s our way of celebrating being AUSTRALIANS.
      I’m 75 and been an Aussie since 1975

      The primary cause for segragation and Discrimination in this country.
      Is because “Abbo’s” insist on themselves as being called such.
      I’m a “Pom”mate is a “Dago” and Dave a Dago….They only words.
      It’s the inflection A person puts into it that causes the problems.

      The day they call themselves “Australian”. and the majority do something for the country.
      Is the day it will ALL disappear
      Not a day before.

      Don’t call US names.
      we’re trying…..

  8. Lyn Mellier  

    The majority of Australians like to celebrate Australia Day on 26th January, fireworks, barbecues etc, what is so wrong with that? Here we go again with the minority groups wanting to ruin our enjoyment. Its one days celebration. Can you see Americans cancelling their 4th July celebrations which also include fireworks. What a bunch of narrowminded killjoys we have in this country. Who is really behind the push to do away with Australia Day on 26th January – identify yourselves or please just stop it & let us true Aussies celebrate & enjoy ourselves.

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