ADVANCE Australia Fair will be played at the start of Indigo Council meetings as a result of a 4-3 vote by councillors this week.
One of its opponents, Cr Jenny O’Connor, said it would make the council “a laughing stock” but Cr Peter Croucher offered to play his piano accordion as an accompaniment to the singing.
Cr Roberta Horne initiated the idea, saying it was the one thing missing from council meetings.
“It was never about politics, it’s just about unifying us as we go in to make important decisions,” she said.
“It demonstrates we had the foresight and fortitude to install a new tradition.”
Indigo Council meetings already open with a prayer and a recognition of the traditional owners of land.
Cr Horne, who confirmed she would sing the words, said the first verse would be played but it would up to individuals whether or not they sing along.
Cr Horne, Cr James Trenery, Cr Peter Croucher and Cr Don Chambers voted for the motion, but Mayor Barbara Murdoch and Crs O’Connor and Bernard Gaffney were against.
Cr Croucher said as a former primary school teacher he sang the national anthem every Monday morning at the school assembly.
“I couldn’t see any reason for saying no to the motion and I have offered to play the piano accordion,” he said.
Cr Murdoch was happy to see Cr Croucher offer his music talent.
“Peter plays at our citizenship ceremonies and he does a great job,” she said.
“It will add some vitality and start council meetings off with a reflection about what the meeting is all about.”
Cr O’Connor has long opposed the idea.
“I just think it’s a joke and makes us a laughing stock,” she said.
“I will not be singing and I have made it clear it’s not the way to go.”
She had asked many people and the overwhelming response was that it was inappropriate.
“A lot of people at the meetings don’t want this and that includes staff and journalists,” she said.