Bah, humbug - Christmas cancelled in Casino
You won’t see over-sized baubles or tinsel on the roundaboutsof this town, and the only lights illuminating the main street come from white fluorescent tubes.
Richmond Valley Council is one of the few in Australia that is not dressing up its main town centrethis holiday season, but the council’s director of works, Gary Murphy, said there was good reason for the humbug.
“It is a terrible thing, but there isn’t an easy solution to the problem,” he said.
Three years ago a risk assessment report found putting up Christmas decorations on shop awnings was unsafe for council staff.
“Casino is a bit different because there isn’t really the infrastructure in the CBD to hang decorations, and we can’t legally hang anything off our light poles,” he said.
With a $2 million Commonwealth-funded CBD upgrade due for Casino next year; Mr Murphy said buying temporary decorations would have made no economic sense.
Mr Murphy said the inclusion of Christmas decorations had been considered for CBD upgrade designs and decorations should make a comeback next year.
Richmond Valley Council hasn’t brought Christmas cheer to Evans Head, Broadwater, Coraki or Woodburn this year either.
“Christmas decorations for those towns just don’t exist,” he said.
“Decorations for those towns has never got funding approval from council, maybe when the Casino CBD has decorations it will put the pressure onto provide decorations for other towns,”he said.
Scrivener and Webb chemist manager Vicky Williams said not having decorations on the sidewalk was ‘tragic’.
“There isn’t any Christmas spirit in town and it doesn’t really feel like Christmas,” she said.
Richmond Valley mayor Col Sullivan said not having decorations could have an economic effect on the town this year, as people seem to spend more if it feels like Christmas.
“I love Christmas but it would have been a waste of money if we bought a whole lot of temporary decorations for this year,” he said.
Decorations should make a comeback next year, he said.