Council have backed down on a decision to hold Australia Day citizenship ceremony on a different day, owing to a breach of the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code.
Council staff confirmed with The Echo The Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony, hosted by Byron Shire Council, will be held on January 26, 2019. Council’s media spokesperson said, ‘Byron Shire Council’s Australia Day Awards ceremony will be held on the evening of January 25.’
Staff say the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman, wrote to Council after its decision to move its Australia Day Awards ceremony to January 25.
They said, ‘Minister Coleman advised Council that to hold an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony on January 25 would be in breach of the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code, and Council was therefore excluded from presiding at any future citizenship ceremonies.’
‘Council recognises that for many people, being able to become a citizen of Australia at a ceremony in the Byron Shire, surrounded by family and friends, is important. Council wrote to senator Coleman to say that we would continue to hold an Australia Day Citizenship ceremony on January 26 in keeping with the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code.
‘Minister Coleman has now advised Council that he has accepted this undertaking and Council is now able to preside over future citizenship ceremonies.
‘Byron Shire Council’s official Awards ceremony recognising the contribution and efforts of our local residents will be held on January 25.’