Has the Albury Council CEO lost his marbles? What a disgraceful, sneaky and deceitful proposal the Albury Council has introduced to snub traditional Australia Day celebrations and activity without wide consultation for what can only be described as kowtowing to the woke agenda. To add further insult to our community it seems that knowledge of the proposal was kept closely guarded. So much for open and transparent governance in Albury Council. The CEO deserves the highest condemnation for this travesty and, by default, needs to have his tenure closely monitored to determine his integrity for the position. He's been found out on this issue but what else has he and his woke acolytes hidden from view? January 26 is not a celebration of the federation of Australian states as some have commented. That occurred January 1, 1901. Rather it is a commemoration of the landing of the First Fleet in 1788 at Sydney Cove, an event which I understand is not even taught as part of Australian history in our primary schools or so my daughter and my nephew explained to me some years ago. ACC has made a not unreasonable decision that is in keeping with increasing public sentiment across the nation that questions the relevance of the event. It's pleasing that the decision was made in such a way so as to avoid a confrontational approach which would only polarise sections of our community for no good reason. It is with significant disappointment that I read the news that Albury Council has decided not to hold any ceremonies on Australia day. Modern Australia began with Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet in 1788. Modern Australia has much to be proud about and provides a comfortable and secure lifestyle for the great majority of its citizens and with its great diversity of cultural backgrounds. To help resolve the discomfort that some feel about celebrating modern Australia I propose that the weekend before Australia Day become "celebrate culture" weekend. All citizens can then celebrate aspects of the culture from which they claim some heritage such as holding parties or events that celebrate traditional costumes, dances and food plus passing onto the new generations the traditions of the heritage culture. The tribes that originally occupied Australia can connect with their original lifestyle for the weekend and keep alive their tribal lore. Australia Day can then return to its place as a celebration of modern Australian culture by its citizens and a day where we can welcome those who chose to become citizens. Those residents who feel that celebration of modern Australia is beyond them can walk around with black armbands for the day in a mark of their disapproval and admonition of those who are proud of modern Australia including its faults. In reference to Ms Ley's petition to the Albury CC to reverse its Australia Day decision, I will be a firm "no" on that one. 'Hand on my heart' Sussan, my reasons will be along the lines of not enough details are given by you and if you don't know, vote no. MORE COMMENT Never thought I'd agree with anything Sussan Ley had to say, but it's happened. Albury City Council, you are a disgrace. Do your job and leave the politics to the politicians. It beggars belief that an employee of Albury City Council has so overreached themselves that they believed that they could make a decision about Australia Day that affected the whole community, without wide consultation. What hubris! The job of any council, and its employees, is to deal efficiently with rates, roads and rubbish and leave other decisions to, at a minimum, elected councillors and if necessary, community consultation. As demonstrated at the recent referendum, the vanity of one side in believing that it spoke for all Australians was quickly demolished by the result, showing that it is not wise to assume the will of the general population. It seems Albury City Council is a slow learner and has once again demonstrated an arrogance that they know best by failing to consult the community. Albury City have been in the local news headlines twice this week. The first time was about the ongoing debacle regarding the development of Eastern Hill. The second occasion was their Australia Day decision. Whatever people's viewpoints on these issues, the bigger issue is that we have a council who believe they know best and make little genuine effort to seek community opinion and input. By taking this approach all they are doing is creating division and tension within the community. How many similar decisions have been made behind closed doors without community consultation? Why are Albury City afraid to get out of their offices and talk to the community? I fully support Albury Council's decision on Australia Day. The planning reflects the reality of current attitudes to Australia Day, a day which has gradually lost importance for most Australians and is especially difficult for Indigenous Australians. Clearly there needs to be a change and Albury's plan is well thought out. It retains January 26 as the central day, whilst placing the citizenship ceremony and citizens of the year on either side. This allows Australians to celebrate on January 26 as they see fit, with freedom to attend the other ceremonies.