Freemantle authorities have found Australia Day fireworks culturally inappropriate, and hence, have cancelled using them from 2017.
The City of Freemantle councilors instead decided to initiate a family-friendly event to celebrate their nationalism. The date, according to reports, would be a different one and is yet to be decided. A council meeting was held on Wednesday night where the councilors voted for the change. Nine votes went against the Australia Day fireworks while only two were in favor.
The day is significant for Aboriginal people, and it seems a bit difficult for Aussies to accept the decision. The decision has been taken after protesters requested the council to shift the fireworks to some more “sensitive” date. The protest initiated and continued with the hashtag #FireWorksFreeFreo.
West Australia’s Freemantle Mayor Brad Pettit told a media outlet that the fireworks event will be replaced with another event, which may or may not be held on Australia Day. He agreed that it was fun to celebrate the day with fireworks but some conversations with indigenous people indicated their disappointment with the custom. According to them, the day was not to be celebrated by all, he said. He added that the Aboriginal community finds the day as a symbol of sadness, which marked their “dispossession.”
“There has been a growing movement that January 26 is increasingly becoming a day that is ‘not for all Australians’,” Pettitt told 720 ABC Perth. “For many Aboriginal Australians, it is indeed a day of sadness and dispossession. This does not just refer to indigenous involvement but the involvement of many other Australians who feel increasingly uncomfortable with the date and what it represents.”
Where several people have supported the notion, many from the population felt “offended.”
“There’s no reason to go to @CityofFremantle now @bradpettitt takes away one thing that has brought thousands of people (to) it,” Chris Williams commented on the Australia Day fireworks decision.
“As a seventh-generation Aussie I am offended,” another commenter, Rob Smith, said.