Bellingen Shire councillors are set to make the controversial Aus Day decision.
Bellingen Shire councillors are set to make the controversial Aus Day decision. Bev Lacey

Council may change date of Australia Day ceremony

JUST as Byron Bay has done a back flip on its divisive decision to change the date of its Australia Day celebrations, Bellingen councillors will this week decide whether they will make the controversial move.

At Wednesday night's meeting, Bellingen Shire Council will discuss shifting the ceremony forward to the night of January 25, the day before Australia Day.

The council's Australia Day Committee however simply attributed the desire to move the ceremony to Australia Day 'falling on a Saturday' of a long weekend, saying it would attract a greater audience if it is held on the Friday.

The committee has also proposed for future years that the council review the success of the 2019 date shift through a community consultation process to gauge the community's sentiment.

Just this morning it was announced Byron Shire Council has backed down on their decision to do the same next year.

Byron Bay's date change last month drew the ire of Prime Minister Scott Morrison who dubbed it as 'indulgent self-loathing” on Twitter.

"Our modern Aus nation began on January 26, 1788. That's the day to reflect on what we've accomplished, become, still to achieve,” the Prime Minister wrote.

The Federal Government last year stripped two Melbourne councils of the power to hold citizenship ceremonies after they voted to shift the dates.

The date of Australia Day has been the subject of heavy debate and division across the nation with many dubbing it 'Invasion Day', proposing the date be changed out of respect of Australia's Indigenous people.