Baking up a storm for Australia Day

Sam Routley with thousands of lamingtons in the lead up to Australia Day. (Louisa Jones) 226012_04

By Luke Voogt

There is no food more Australian than a lamington, according to Sam Routley.

The local baker and his staff are busy making several thousand of the distinctive cakes in time for Australia Day.

“It’s just one of those items that’s an Aussie icon,” he said.

Mr Routley said sales for lamingtons and meat pies were slightly higher than last year, despite COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of major events.

“Everyone is holidaying locally – so they’re picking up something to take away to eat outside or go picnicking.”

Surf Coast Shire has cancelled its Torquay and Anglesea celebrations, announcing an online event instead.

The event features a ceremony for 13 new citizens, music and speeches from mayor Libby Stapleton and Australia Day honourees.

Geelong council has also cancelled its traditional Rippleside Park family fun day and Portarlington celebrations.

Geelong Highway Patrol will be out in force for Operation Amity from today until the end of Australia Day, Senior Sergeant Craig Stevens warned.

“We’re targeting the five main causes of fatalities: fatigue, seatbelts, speed, alcohol and drugs, and distraction.”

He stressed that speed was a factor in a third of accidents, urged motorists to take breaks and share driving during long trips, and warned that police would have “zero tolerance” for mobile phone offences.

Current Victorian COVID-19 restrictions allow up to 100 people to gather outdoors and residents to have up to 15 visitors in their home for Australia Day.

In Melbourne several thousand people are expected to gather at the steps of Parliament House for an “Invasion Day” protest next Tuesday.

But Premier Daniel Andrews has warned against protesting to safeguard public health, with no community transmission in Victoria for 15 days.

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