Parties scrapped

Story appeared in: Torch | January 9th, 2018

THE hugely unpopular Australia Day pool-party celebrations look set to be scrapped by Canterbury Bankstown Council next year.
The format, modelled on the former Canterbury council's 2016 celebrations, was expanded into Bankstown during administration, after amalgamation in 2017.
The Council's scaled down celebrations have drawn criticism from both sides of politics, as well as the community, with many believing "pool parties" and sausage sizzles were inadequate.
The former Bankstown council had previously hosted an Australia Day festival at Lake Gillawarna, with celebrity artists, that at their peak attracted crowds of over 10,000 people.
Last year Council administrator, Richard Colley told the Torch that the celebrations were scaled back after interest in the larger style events waned. He said at the time residents wanted a centralised and accessible event.
At the last meeting of the Council, Canterbury Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour announced he wanted the pool party concept scrapped.
He believed the format was an inadequate way to celebrate Australia's national day.
"As we're a newly elected council, it was too late to do something for this year," he said.
"This year pool parties, and next year something bigger and better."
Mayor Asfour would not commit to a return to a Lake Gillawarna style celebration.
"All options are on the table. But there's one thing for sure, we will be looking at celebrations that are accessible to all our residents at a central location," he said.
Unlike other Councils though, Mayor Asfour said he would not be seeking a change of date for the celebrations.
"That's not the responsibility of councils, but the Federal Government," he said.

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Publication: Torch | Section: News | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 133925 | Viewcount: 6677