IF all goes to plan, Bathurstians could have a new event to celebrate Australia Day with in 2021.
Since being elected to Bathurst Regional Council, councillor Alex Christian has been calling for a more enthusiastic celebration of Australia Day in the region.
With the support of the mayor, deputy mayor and councillor Warren Aubin, he hopes 2021 can be the year that becomes a reality.
Discussions have begun for how the day can be expanded next year, with one of the ideas on the table being a brand new event in Bicentennial Park.
"We're fully supporting a major revamp of the Australia Day structure; it's been talked about for a couple of years now, but - COVID pending - we want to see a fair-type setup," Cr Christian said.
"We really want a day where people can just come down and grab a sausage off the barbecue, face painting, jumping castles, that sort of thing, and where we're picturing having it is directly across from the swimming pool as well."
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The location of Bicentennial Park would make it easy for people to wander over to the Manning Aquatic Centre for the Australia Day festivities that are now held there each year.
Cr Christian said talks were only in the preliminary stages, but should the new event be added, it would complement other events during the day, particularly the Eglinton Breakfast.
"At the moment, we are talking about something from about lunch time to 3pm," he said.
In addition to a barbecue, he would like to see the event involve all of the emergency services and he also suggested kite flying as one of the family-friendly activities.
"I think with Australia Day there is no need to be flamboyant, I think you can keep things simple," Cr Christian said.
"Really, we're just in the ideas stage right now, but we want to make it palatable for people to come down."
He hopes to involve the community in the Australia Day discussions and was buoyed by the increased interest he saw ahead of this year's celebrations.
"Ironically, it's people from multicultural backgrounds who appear to be more passionate about Australia Day than born Australian citizens and it's wonderful to see," Cr Christian said, adding he'd like to see more people join the committee.
"I think the committee probably needs some new blood; we've got some excellent people on there, but we need a revamp, because what's happening at the moment simply isn't good enough."
As Australia Day could be one of Bathurst's first major celebrations after spending much of 2020 in lockdown, Cr Christian is eager to plan a great day for the community.
"We could really hopefully kick the year off with a bang with our Australia Day celebrations," he said.