Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) today (January 18, 2022) endorsed invitation-only award presentations as the preferred option for the Region’s 2022 community Australia Day celebrations.

TRC Australia Day coordinating committee chair and Deputy Mayor Cr Geoff McDonald said the decision allowed the Region’s local Australia Day organising committees to proceed with their events in line with current Queensland Health directives or postpone community functions.

Cr McDonald said Council’s decision considered current health guidance indicating the peak of the Omicron strain of the Coronavirus was expected in coming weeks.

“Council’s primary concern is to host safe community Australia Day events across the Region,” Cr McDonald said.

“Our volunteer local Australia Day organising committees indicated they wanted direction from Council, as the main organiser, around our advice for staging this year’s Australia Day community celebrations.

“While state government health directives allow outdoor events in line with all covid safety rules, Council is mindful of the risks involved in organising large attendance events that could coincide with the current spread of the Omicron strain.

“Local committees have the experience of hosting safe functions last year. Several committees have amended their plans for smaller, invitation-only events, while other committees, such as Cambooya, Millmerran and Oakey are keen to proceed with outdoor programs on Australia Day.

“Council recognises the importance of hosting community celebrations, particularly the announcement of our Region’s award winners, to mark our national day.

“Health, emergency services and other community providers have risen to all the challenges posed by the pandemic since March 2020.

“Council’s decision shows our support for their selfless service and indicates we will continue to abide by the highest standards to ensure we safeguard our community and limit undue pressure on our health system during the predicted surge in virus cases, many of which will require hospital treatment.”

Updated Toowoomba Region Australia Day community celebration details will be released following discussions with local organising committees.