A western Sydney council at the heart of a recent COVID-19 outbreak will continue to host Australia Day activities — a move that Mayor Steve Christou defended despite the backlash his comments about cancelling events have attracted.
Mr Christou said last week that cancelling Australia Day events was “completely unacceptable and quite frankly unAustralian”.
“Any cancellation of an Australia Day event is unAustralian and a cheap and lazy excuse to not conduct a COVID-safe event,” Mr Christou told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“It‘s very sad that the bed-wetters and cancel-culture philosophers are dictating our agendas before a health directive has been issued,” he added. “I feel this is taking the easy way out.”
“The reality is COVID-19 has now been around for more than a year,’’ he said.
“There comes a point where you can’t keep cancelling everything; we have to accept for the foreseeable future COVID is going to be around.’’
But most Sydney councils are cancelling events to keep communities safe.
Cumberland’s neighbouring local council area, Canterbury-Bankstown, have cancelled pool parties and concerts on Australia Day, deeming them “non-essential”.
Another neighbour, Parramatta Council, has postponed its Summer Nights Live concerts on January 25 and 26 indefinitely, and has moved it citizenship ceremonies online.
Liverpool, North Sydney, Inner West, and the Hills Councils in NSW have all cancelled events.