Melton council’s Australia Day celebrations will be held at Taylors Hill next year.
After a fiery debate at this month’s council meeting, councillors voted to put on the 2018 event at Morton Homestead on Calder Park Drive, Taylors Hill, in lieu of Willows Historical Park.
Watts ward councillor Lara Carli said Morton Homestead was “under-utilised”, and said it was important for the council to showcase different sites.
While councillors Melissa De Santis, Goran Kesic, Kathy Majdlik and Steve Abboushi voted to support the move to Taylors Hill, councillors Sophie Ramsey, Ken Hardy, Bob Turner and Michelle Mendes were against it.
Cr Turner said for eastern corridor residents to travel “15 to 20 minutes” to Willows Historical Park wasn’t the “end of the world”.
“It’s been done [at the Willows] year after year,” Cr Turner said. “You start moving events all over the place, it starts getting difficult.”
While there were concerns about the price of holding Australia Day at Taylors Hill, with councillors Mendes and Ramsey requesting a cost report, corporate services general manager Peter Bean said there should not be extra costs.
“Council currently has to ship everything into the Willows … so I wouldn’t envisage at this stage we’d have to incur additional costs,” Mr Bean said.