Fireworks canned but brekkie still on

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Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser
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Romany and Tasmans Stevens, both 9, celebrating Australia Day last year.
Camera IconRomany and Tasmans Stevens, both 9, celebrating Australia Day last year. Credit: Jakeb Waddell

Broome is gearing up for another year of Australia Day celebrations this Saturday, but the beloved fireworks spectacle has again been left off the list of festivities.

Lions, Lioness and Rotary Clubs and Roebuck Lodge will fire up the barbecue and kick off the patriotic day by hosting a community breakfast at Town Beach, an outing that attracted more than 1000 last year.

The event will also include live music, children’s activities and an address by Australia Day Ambassador Dr Robert Isaacs.

A total of 20 people from 12 different nations will officially become Australian citizens during a ceremony at the breakfast, followed by the presentation of the community citizen of the year awards.

But, for the third consecutive year, the fireworks display will not go ahead in the Kimberley town.

The Shire of Broome canned the showcase last year after a costly cancellation because of bad weather in 2017.

The fireworks were regarded as the crescendo of Australia Day activities in Broome after being held annually since 2013, attracting thousands from across the region.

Shire president Harold Tracey said it did not make financial sense to back the fireworks.

“Council made the decision last year to no longer run a fireworks event for Australia Day, primarily because of the uncertainty of Broome’s weather at this time of year and the possibility of having to cancel at short notice as happened in 2017,” he said.

“Instead, the Shire of Broome will again support our community service clubs to run their morning event at Town Beach.

“There are costs incurred in organising a fireworks event even if it has to be cancelled due to weather, and so the decision was made not to use ratepayers’ funds on an event that they may or may not get to enjoy.”

Last year, the Shire said it cost $15,000 to call off the popular event in 2017.

Mr Tracey said the national holiday was an opportunity for the community to come together in celebration, to welcome new citizens and to recognise the contributions of locals to the town.

“Broome’s community service clubs have been putting on an Australia Day breakfast for the community for more than 25 years now, and we’re pleased to be able to support them in their efforts,” he said.

“(We) would encourage everyone to come along to Town Beach to kick off the day.”

The breakfast will start at 8am on Saturday and a hot meal will be served for $2.

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