Wingecaribee Shire’s official Australia Day celebrations are set to proceed on 26 January, however the traditional Grand Parade which normally features at 12 noon will be removed from the program given the current bush fire crisis.
Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Duncan Gair said the decision to exclude the parade from the program was taken in the interests of public safety.
“In light of the continued bush fire threat and potential for high temperatures in the coming weeks we’ve decided that we’ll rest the Grand Parade for this year,” he said.
The Grand Parade traditionally features members from various community and volunteer groups followed by a procession of vintage cars, tractors and emergency services vehicles.
“We’re mindful that active fires are still threatening our Shire and our emergency services personnel may be called for duty,” Mayor Gair said. “It wasn’t a decision made lightly but we’re sure the public will understand.”
At this stage the remainder of the program remains unchanged with the Citizenship Ceremony, Australia Day Ambassador address by Dr Brendan Nelson and announcement of the Shire’s Australia Day recipients to take place from 9.30am at the Berrima Court House.
Family entertainment including the Vocal Muster, rides, a farmyard nursery and market stalls will also proceed as per normal in the Berrima Market Place.
“Together with the Historic Berrima Court House Trust we will continue to reassess the weather conditions in the lead up to the event,” the Mayor added.
“Should conditions or circumstances change we’ll notify the public accordingly.”
The Mayor said in lieu of this year’s Grand Parade the public would have an opportunity to show their gratitude once the bush fire threat had abated.
“We know that people want to thank our local Rural Fire Service members, emergency services personnel and volunteers for their efforts during the fire crisis,” he said.
“Once these fires have passed and we all pull through together, we’ll organise a very special Thank You event.
“Until then rest assured that our Australia Day Grand Parade will return bigger and better next year.”
Wingecarribee Shire’s official Australia Day program starts at 9.30am on Sunday 26 January 2020 at the Berrima Court House.
Entry to the Shire’s official Australia Day celebrations is free.
For more information visit Council’s website at www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/australia-day or phone 4868 0888.