Should the national anthem be sung at the start of every council meeting? Make a comment at the bottom of this article.
INDIGO councillor Roberta Horne would like the national anthem sung at the start of council meetings to create a sense of occasion.
It isn’t the first time the idea has been floated.
Former mayor Peter Graham initiated the idea in 2007, saying Advance Australia Fair was under-used.
One councillor has indicated it should not be a regular part of council meetings.
“It should be played at events of significance such as Australia Day ceremonies and the Olympics, not every month at council’s meeting,” Cr Jenny O’Connor said.
“We don’t want to trivialise it.
“Council is there to do business, not perform ceremonial duties.”
Cr Horne said it was the one thing missing from council meetings.
“We start the meeting with a prayer and thank the indigenous people but it struck me we don’t give enough focus on our national culture,” she said.
“I am proud to be Australian and in a way the national anthem is possibly more relevant than a prayer, but that’s not to say we should do away with the prayer.”
Mayor Barbara Murdoch said to council’s knowledge it was not done at any other government level.
Cr Murdoch said councillors were instructed to consult community members and it would be put to a vote at the next meeting in Beechworth on March 19.
“I’m still making my mind up, but it will be interesting to see the outcome,” she said.
Cr O’Connor said she had already done an extensive community survey and the overwhelming response was that it would be inappropriate.
“People have said they would feel awkward or silly,” she said.
Cr Horne said she had the opposite reaction.
“People have said it’s a great idea,” she said.