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2TM Regional News

3000 people set to attend the Bicentennial Park concert, but not everyone is celebrating

Much loved Australian band The Bushwackers will be headlining a free concert scheduled for January 26th in Bicentennial Park, Tamworth.

Barry Harley from Tamworth Regional Council said the concert will be limited to 3000 spectators to comply with current COVID-19 restrictions for outdoor events.

"There will be postcode checks in place and we won't be allowing hotspot residents to attend," Mr Harley said," There will be a two-point checking system through the NSW Service app and ticket barcodes."

Titled as an Australia Day celebration the event will also include food stalls, fireworks.

Tamworth Regional Council received $10,000 from the state government, but not everyone in the community will be celebrating.

Charles Lynch, Northern Region Councillor NSW Aboriginal Lands Council, said there is a lot of tension and diverse views around when we celebrate Australia day.

"It's a day that brings up a lot of past feelings that weren't acceptable and are not acceptable," Mr Lynch said, "I think there needs to be some truth-telling about the generational trauma that has come with colonisation."

Mr Lynch said the acknowledgment of Aboriginal experience is important.

Barry Harley said they are hoping to have some Indigenous inclusion however he cannot confirm at this point in time.

"All of our events automatically acknowledge the Indigenous community and this one will be no different," said Mr Harley.

One prominent Tamworth based musician has declined an offer to perform at the concert saying they "won't celebrate the day of the dirty deal".

A spokesperson for Gomeroi Dance Company said they have not been approached to perform at the event, however, it's not a day they like to celebrate.

Mr Lynch said the bigger picture should be about educating the community about the 65,000 years of rich cultural heritage.

"Lots of organisations in Tamworth make an effort, but if you look down the main street of Tamworth you wouldn't think that 6500 Aboriginal people live in Tamworth," Mr Lynch said, "We have a wonderful wealth of heritage and culture that could be put on display in the town."

Hundreds of online petitions carry of hundred thousands of signatures from people all over Australia calling for the date to be changed.

"As we all know Australia Day has been moved numerous days previously so for me I don't see what the issue is with moving it again," said Mr Lynch.


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