News National Australia Day revellers are warned to behave

Australia Day revellers are warned to behave

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The Australia Day forecast: cloudy with afternoon police presence and a slight chance of republicanism.

Many Australians will do their rejoicing under largely grey skies on Tuesday, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning showers may dampen outdoor activities in Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Canberra and Darwin.

The usual Australia Day festivities will go ahead, however, with Sydney Harbour ferry races, Port Phillip Bay beach parties and Perth’s big fireworks display coinciding with countless morning teas, festivals, concerts, citizenship ceremonies and Hottest 100 parties around the nation.

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Perth bills its fireworks display as Australia Day’s largest, with 300,000 expected to watch.

Sydney will have Jessica Mauboy singing the national anthem from atop the Harbour Bridge, Adelaide will host India against Australia in the Twenty20 cricket, while elsewhere will be thong-throwing and hot air ballooning (NSW), cockroach racing and competitive meat pie eating (Queensland), fun running (NT) and other pursuits that have become a part of the public holiday.

Politics may raise its head following news on Monday that seven of eight state and territory leaders have publicly backed Australia becoming a republic.

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, perhaps wary of the Sir Prince Phillip disaster that overshadowed Australia Day last year, has not yet entered the debate.

Mr Turnbull will instead have a brand new Australian of the Year to introduce.

Concerns about public drunkenness and people taking drinks into alcohol-free zones have sparked stern warnings from police in Sydney.

NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Kyle Stewart warned people who drink too much in public have “a very real chance, given the number of additional police officers, that you’ll be spending the night in one of my cells”.

NSW police have also asked drone enthusiasts on the Sydney Harbour foreshore to keep their toys grounded between midday and 2pm as an aerial display takes place.

Victoria police will be enforcing a 5pm alcohol curfew on Melbourne’s beaches instead of 8pm as part of a plan to reduce rubbish and “alcohol-related anti-social behaviour”, while alcohol will be restricted to some Perth foreshore zones.

Australia Day barbecues have also emerged as a potential hotspot, with NSW Fire and Rescue warning they’ve been called to 40-plus barbie-related emergencies already this year.

“We’ve had incidents where people have left the cooking alone and food on the barbecue has caught fire,” a spokeswoman said.

“In other cases the gas bottle hasn’t been connected properly to the barbecue.”


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