Rain washes out Australia Day for Douglas Shire

AUSTRALIA DAY 2019

Victoria Stone-Meadows

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BIG WET: The Douglas Shire Australia Day celebrations have been postponed in the face of an increased flood risk. Image: Newsport.
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Douglas Shire Council has been forced to reschedule their Australia Day festivities and citizenship ceremony due to inclement weather.

In a statement released today, Council reasoned the safety of attendees was the reason behind the cancellation.

“Flash flooding will make it difficult for attendees from outlying areas to make it to the ceremony and poses an unnecessary risk to these people,” the statement read.

“Council does not want any attendees to feel the pressure of driving in potentially unsafe conditions and is encouraging everyone to limit non-essential travel.” 

The Mossman SES were scheduled to provide a barbecue to the attendees of the event but local area controller, Stephen Burg, said the decision to cancel was right.

“It’s just the nature of the weather and if that keeps going, people aren’t going to be able to get there anyway,” he said.

“The SES here is only a small unit as well so we will need all hands on deck for the work we do when the weather is like this.

“So, it was the combination of our availability and the weather and that’s why Council decided to postpone.” 

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting rainfall between 150 and 350mm to hit the region on Saturday.

A Flood Watch is current for catchments across Cape York Peninsula, the eastern Gulf Country, and the North Tropical Coast.

The Daintree and Mossman Rivers remain under a flood watch warning that was first issued yesterday afternoon.

Council assures Australia Day Award nominees will be notified of the cancellation and a suitable replacement date for the award ceremony will be organised for the coming weeks.

A rescheduled Citizenship Ceremony will be held at 9.00am on Thursday, 21 February at the Port Douglas Community Hall.

 

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