The Australia Day concert scheduled to be held in Canberra has been cancelled as authorities show concern over the speculated storm to hit the venue at the time of the event.
It will be the first time since the beginning of the Australia Day event in 2004 that the lawns of Parliament House will remain vacant. The National Australia Day Council has written a letter to ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, informing him that there will be no annual outdoor event held this year. The information has disappointed the premier, and he has now started threatening to withdraw territory funding from the Australian of the Year awards.
“To cancel the national Australia Day concert attended by tens of thousands of Australians because it rained last year is very disappointing,” Barr said. “The Americans don’t treat Washington this way, the New Zealanders don’t treat Wellington this way, so why do the Federal Liberals feel the need to treat Canberra this way?”
Australian artists and musicians have remained the face of the events every year. Stars like Jimmy Barnes, Guy Sebastian, Matt Corby, INXS, etc. have added life to the event. The regulator has decided to hold the award ceremony in the Great Hall inside the Parliament House. The council’s CEO Chris Kirby justified its decision by claiming the bad weather conditions and expected dangerous storm might ruin the function completely.
The regulator, according to Canberra Times, added that it was still considering the way the public will take the decision and if they “continue to be part of the celebrations.”
On the other hand, Northern Territory chief minister Adam Giles praised the decision taken by the council and said that it would be the beginning of Australia Day Canberra public event becoming a rotating regional event, which would be held at a “different location each year.”
“Most definitely, Australia Day is about Australia, not Canberra; it should be promoted as a regional event,” News.com.au quoted Giles as saying.