Tue, 6 Nov, 2018Tiana Gullotta

Christmas banned in this Australian suburb – is it yours?

Christmas banned in this Australian suburb – is it yours?

Christmas is usually a time for festivities and walking quiet suburban streets with your family to see breathtaking Christmas light displays out the front of houses.

While some may think Christmas isn’t complete without decorations to mark the special holiday period, Casey council in Victoria has decided to make the festive tradition a sombre one, forcing the south-east Melbourne suburb of Narre Warren to pay the council up to $23,000 or they will shut down their annual Christmas light displays.

The residents of Hugo Court have taken to Facebook to share the absurd news with their fans stating, “with thousands of people coming to check out our Christmas court, we now have got too big.

“Due to the number of visitors we are getting we are now classed as an event and to run an event we must supply traffic management and public liability insurance which costs tens of thousands of dollars, traffic management alone is $23,000,” according to the Hugo Court Facebook post.

Sadly, “there will be no lights this year at all”, the Facebook group wrote. Without council assistance the displays are said to have become “too big to handle”, confided a display organiser.

A follow-up Facebook post shared that the Christmas light show has put a lot of strain on neighbours in surrounding streets as “they have to put up with not being able to get into their properties, noise, rubbish and people parking on their lawns”.

People on social media have reacted with backlash towards the council for lacking Christmas spirit, even comparing the council to the famous Dr Seuss character the Grinch.

Other followers offered support by suggesting a public protest and setting up a GoFundMe page to raise the necessary funds to enable Hugo Court to maintain their Christmas light show tradition.

In a comment on the follow-up post, Geordie Nicholson spoke on behalf of the council stating, “The residents of Hugo Court alone made the decision not to conduct their much-loved annual Christmas light display this year.

“Sadly it appears it has become a victim of its own success, following concerns around traffic management and anti-social behaviour over the past few years.”

Nicholson also shed light on the council’s participation in previous years and revealed the “council had been working hard with the residents to find ways to conduct the event safely including offering financial assistance and training for volunteers”.

She concluded “should the residents decide to conduct the event in future years, Council stands ready to assist”.

Do you think Hugo Court should turn their Christmas lights off this year? Let us know what you think in the comments.