A former Wodonga mayor has taken a subtle dig at Albury Council's Australia Day kerfuffle in encouraging anybody to attend his city's official event where they will be able to see the "pride on people's faces" when they become new citizens. Kev Poulton made the comment after officially announcing Wodonga Council's Australia Day activities will be held in Junction Square in 2024 instead of parklands as they have been previously. The shift follows the CBD site being pushed by late councillor John Watson and it being seen as easier for parking and beneficial for nearby traders. The breakfast event, which includes the presentation of community award winners and citizenship ceremonies, was held at Willow Park this year and drew a crowd of 700, with catering done for 800. Cr Poulton, the chair of Wodonga Council's Australia Day committee, hopes at least 1000 will descend on Junction Square with a stage to be set up on the northern end of the grass near High Street. "Being a Friday this year, it's going to be a long weekend, people may leave town, so you haven't got a steady set of figures to compare attendance on, but we hope those that are staying local and are staying in the region kickstart their long weekend by attending this," Cr Poulton said. "And I must say this event is open to everybody, not just Wodonga residents. "If you particularly want to see the pride on people's faces when they're conferred as a new Australian citizen you will be able to see that here on the 26th of January." That is in contrast to Albury, with its city council shifting its citizenship ceremony from January 26 as part of a shake-up that the NSW city's chief executive Frank Zaknich linked to respect for the Indigenous community and falling attendance at Noreuil Park events. Cr Poulton said nobody had approached him about shifting Wodonga events away from Australia Day, but he expected the issue would be discussed by councillors if ratepayers spoke to councillors on the matter. He noted the fate of council-organised Australia Day events would be tied to ongoing interest. "If you have 400 attendees, 200 attendees next year, 100 the following year, you'd have to say there is a justifiable case as to why we keep investing in an event," Cr Poulton said before qualifying his comment by referencing COVID's impact in recent years. Asked about consulting the Indigenous community, Cr Poulton said Wodonga did not have a declared traditional owner registered with the Victorian government. "So in Wodonga's case, versus a lot of other councils around the country, we don't have the one group to work with or the one voice to go to try to get 'what is the best way for us to approach this in your eyes'," he said. "That is not passing the buck and saying it isn't a conversation we can't try to have, we just sort of got this extra stumbling block on this side of the river. "Albury is in the fortunate position where they do have a declared traditional owner." Cr Poulton flagged there would be a tribute to Mr Watson, who he said was unaware of the shift to Junction Square before his death in August. "I know John wouldn't have worn it as a badge of pride for himself personally, but he would have stood here with us and just said 'how great is this'," Cr Poulton said. "This isn't the city he grew up in, it has changed, it has evolved and it is looking more beautiful than it did throughout his lifetime and I'm sure he'd be more than grateful that we've come to this decision." To ensure there is shade in the area, umbrellas will be erected across the lawn area.