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Litchfield Council joins the push to postpone Cracker Night over fire concerns

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The Litchfield Council is the latest to support a push to move Cracker Night due to concerns about the risk of fires.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner rescheduled Territory Day to August 29 after the coronavirus outbreak to coincide with Freedom Day, an important Indigenous celebration.

At a meeting last night the Litchfield Council unanimously agreed to lobby the Northern Territory Government to further delay the event.

It follows a decision by the City of Darwin Council last week, to push for Territory Day to be postponed until April.

Litchfield Mayor Maree Bredhauer says the decision was based on the advice of fire authorities, experts and community concerns.

“I personally and certainly the Council and my fellow elected members have all had multiple residents ringing to express their concern about this particular date,” Councillor Bredhauer says.

She says with Territory day now well in the past, the focus is solely on crackers and August presents an unacceptable risk.

“The 29th of August is very close to a date when last year in the fire season we had absolutely catastrophic bushfire conditions.”

The fires affected Humpty Doo and southern parts of the municipality and “people are genuinely frightened,” she says.

In addition to the risks to people and their homes, crops are also vulnerable.

“The municipality grows 25 per cent of Australia’s mangoes, mango trees, farms have been known to catch on fire,” Mayor Bredhauer says

There have already been two fire bans across the Northern Territory since the start of July, with several bushfires in the last week.