Penrith City Council has axed this year’s Australia Day events, amidst the surge of COVID-19 cases in the community.
The events on offer would have allowed community members free entry to enjoy Cables Wake and Aqua Park, along with Ripples Leisure Centre at St Marys and Penrith.
Despite the celebrations being largely outdoors and no State Government restrictions preventing them from going ahead, a Penrith Council spokesperson confirmed to the Weekender that the events set for next Wednesday were cancelled because of the current public health risk.
“Penrith City Council, with the interest of public health and safety in mind, has made the tough decision to cancel our Australia Day community events due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the current high local transmission rates,” the spokesperson said.
“This decision has been made in line with our commitment to help keep our community safe, minimise the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the potential impact to our healthcare system.
“While it is disappointing to cancel a community event, we believe this to be in the interests of the Penrith community and is the safest option at this point in time.”
Council ran similar events for Australia Day last year when the state was under harsher COVID-19 restrictions.
The Weekender has confirmed that both Cables and Ripples will still be operating on Australia Day, but the general public will have to pay for entry.
Meantime, Panthers Leagues Club looks to be forging ahead in hosting its Australia Day Carnival from 2pm.
The club will have free entry into the Backyard and unlimited carnival rides will be available for a $30 wristband purchased on the day.
There will be live music, Tim Tam and lamington eating competitions, as well as thong throwing competitions with prizes to be won.
Speciality themed cocktails will be available and a fireworks display is also scheduled for 9pm for all attending if the weather permits.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Emily covers Local, State and Federal politics for the Weekender, as well as crime and general news.