Suafa and Lupetina Tuu’u at the Bundamba Swim Centre on Australia Day last year.
Suafa and Lupetina Tuu’u at the Bundamba Swim Centre on Australia Day last year. Claudia Baxter

Australia Day spirit still thrives

WITH the region still coming to terms with loss of life and livelihood as a result of flooding, residents are being encouraged to come together and let their Aussie spirit shine.

Events are planned across the Ipswich, Lockyer and Fassifern valleys to thank those in the community who have given tirelessly to their community and to remember those affected by flooding as part of Australia Day celebrations tomorrow.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Steve Jones said he wanted the community to come together in Gatton on Australia Day to grieve, to support their neighbours and friends, to re-unite as a community and to re-commit to the massive recovery and rebuilding task ahead.

Cr Jones said while he thought Australia Day events were important services for national and local communities, it was difficult to ignore the community’s pain and anguish following a series of devastating floods, which started on December 26.

“The focus of Australia Day and the thoughts, prayers and goodwill of our fellow countrymen and women should be in the Lockyer Valley and other parts of Australia that have been devastated by recent floods,” he said.

“If Australia Day is a time for us all to celebrate what it is to be Australian, a good part of that is standing up for your mates and getting behind them when they’re down.”

Cr Jones said he wanted to celebrate Australia Day in a way that respected the grief and sorrow of his constituents and brought the rest of the country behind his community to use the day to launch a nationwide commitment to rebuild the Lockyer Valley.

Australia Day celebrations will kick off at the Laidley Pioneer Village from 7am before official proceedings start at 8.30am.

Ipswich City Council Mayor Paul Pisasale said he wanted residents to try and enjoy themselves despite recent tragedies.

“What we really want is to be able to put a smile back on their faces,” he said.

To help do that council is encouraging residents to head down to the restored Bundamba Swim Centre for a free family fun day.

The event will be open to everyone from 10am to 4pm with residents encouraged to dress in Aussie gear for a chance to win great prizes.


DUE to extensive flooding across the Somerset Regional Council area this month, council has been forced to cancel its Australia Day celebrations.

A council spokesman said the Cormorant Bay Festival and Kilcoy KPC Gift had both been cancelled.

“The Australia Day awards ceremony and citizenship ceremonies will be postponed to a more appropriate time,” the spokesman said.

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