PEOPLE seeking citizenship at official Australia Day events could be kicked out for wearing thongs under changes that will go before Mount Alexander Shire councillors on Tuesday.
The council has been told to provide a current copy of a dress code to the department of home affairs ahead of January's Australia Day celebrations.
Mount Alexander staff have drafted a code which would apply to officiating officers and those seeking citizenship at official citizenship events.
Officials will be expected to wear business attire or official uniforms while those seeking citizenship will be asked to wear casual attire or their own national, traditional or cultural dress.
Beach wear will not be allowed.
Neither will thongs or bare feet unless part of someone's cultural attire.
Also out are slippers, sleep wear, sports apparel and fancy dress costumes.
People will be asked to remove or cover up clothing containing profanity, nudity, racism, remarks, slogans, offensive images and insignia "or anything deemed offensive by another are not worn to any citizenship ceremony".
Senior council officers will have the power to refuse entry to people breaking the proposed rules.
Each case would be decided on a case-by-case basis by council officers at the event in question.
"Citizenship ceremonies are important events in the lives of residents in our community," shire chief executive Darren Fuzzard said.
"They are meaningful celebrations for people who have chosen to make Australia, and the Mount Alexander Shire their home.
"In 2019, the Federal Government updated the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code, which includes new dress code requirements.
"The code states that 'the attire of attendees at Citizenship Ceremonies should reflect the significance of the occasion'.
"To fulfill the requirements of the code, Mount Alexander Shire Council has drafted a Citizenship Dress Code Policy, which will be reviewed by Councillors on Tuesday 24 November at the Ordinary Council Meeting.
"The draft Citizenship Dress Code Policy is to provide guidance to conferees, and does not apply to guests.
"While the draft policy is still subject to debate, I am reluctant to pre-empt the outcome of those discussions until Councillors have reached a resolution following Tuesday's Council Meeting."
The Australian government revised its citizenship ceremonies last year to make it compulsory for councils to hold the events on Australia Day.
It was in part a reaction to some Australian councils cancelling citizenship ceremonies on January 26 in recent years.
Those councils often cited concerns that Australia Day's current date could exclude Indigenous citizens because it coincides with the arrival of the First Fleet and hundreds of years of ill-treatment and persecution.
The federal government argued it was important to celebrate citizenship on Australia Day in a multicultural nation.
Mount Alexander Shire and other councils in the region continued to hold citizenship ceremonies through that period, often adding that they were in consultations with local Indigenous groups about events held on January 26.