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Call to leave smart phones behind at 2012 Australia Day Festival

16 Jan 2012

Mayor of Hurstville, Cr Steve McMahon is calling on the community to leave their smart phones and other technology behind and get out and enjoy the great outdoors this upcoming Australia Day (26 January).

Mayor McMahon is urging residents to celebrate what is great about our wonderful country with family and friends at Council’s Australia Day Festival at Oatley Park.

“As an incentive, Council will be giving away 3,000 tennis balls on the day to encourage people of all ages to get out and play,” he said.

“All I ask in return is that kids spend the day not playing with their computer and electronic games and to enjoy nature and sport.

“Additionally, I am also encouraging Mums and Dads to shun their smart phones and spend time with their kids.

“Whilst I am probably one of the worst offenders, my Australia Day pledge is to push the kids on the swing using both hands for a change, not with one hand on the swing and the other on my phone.”

Mayor McMahon said Council would lead by example and discourage the use of smart phones by all but essential Council staff on the day.

“Council’s General Manager will request all managers refrain from sending emails to staff so that they too can get out with their family and friends and celebrate Australia Day without receiving work-related messages,” he said.

“However, it should be noted that Council’s after-hours phone number will be operational in case of emergencies.”

Mayor McMahon said the event will enable residents to celebrate locally without having to travel to Kogarah, Sutherland or further afield.

“Oatley Park has it all – it is a quintessential Australian park which boasts hectares of natural bushland, the banks of the Georges River and picnic and barbecue facilities,” he said.

“Australia Day is all about people coming together locally to reflect and be proud of our heritage, sense of community spirit and cultural diversity.”
Mayor McMahon said the festival aims to appeal to residents of all ages through a variety of activities, Australian-inspired live entertainment and traditions.

“The day will feature food and market stalls, amusement rides and a range of activities for children at Steam Roller Park,” he said.

“There will also be a big backyard cricket competition and a barbeque cook-off at Oatley Park Oval.

“To register, visit or contact Christine Irwin on 9330 6067.”

Mayor McMahon said as part of the celebrations, a special Citizenship Ceremony will be held on the day.

 “A group of new citizens will be able to proudly call themselves Australian for the first time on our national day,” he said.

Mayor McMahon said the event will also provide local families with a fun-filled day of activities close to home.

“At a time when family budgets are becoming more stretched with rising utility bills, living costs and global financial uncertainty, free community events are becoming increasingly popular,” he said.

“They provide a low cost day of entertainment and good fun for people of all ages.”


Media contact: 
Tanya Abraham
Manager Public Relations and Events
9330 6008 or 0411 748 953

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