In a move that has enraged ratepayers, the City of Unley in Adelaide has scrapped its traditional Australia Day celebration without any public consultation.
Alongside three other South Australian councils, Unley decided in May to shift its citizenship and award ceremonies to the day before Australia Day.
Councillor Jack Gaffey stated that the issue had generated "more emails and phone calls than I can remember on any particular issue."
Despite the flood of complaints, the council last week doubled down, voting 8-4 to cancel the Australia Day event that had been a fixture for a decade.
"This is probably the most emotive issue I’ve found on council," said Cr Gaffey, who voted against the decisions.
Unley resident David Sims, who became an Australian citizen in a January 26 ceremony in 1998, expressed his disappointment.
"It was really memorable and I really enjoyed it. It’s so sad that that's been taken away from new Australians now," he said.
Mayor Michael Hewitson sidestepped an on-camera interview, stating that public consultations were expensive and often unrepresentative.
The council cited ongoing public protests and the divisive nature of the January 26 date as key reasons for their decision.