Council was divided in a long-running debate over the Australia Day fireworks, deputy mayor Belinda Coates has said.
In an opinion piece for The Courier, Cr Coates said she argued against the fireworks taking place, but a majority of councillors were in favour of the traditional January 26 event going ahead.
Cr Coates said "multiple opportunities" had been missed to shift the event.
She said she wished her fellow councillors had taken the chance to follow the lead of the City of Melbourne and Greater Geelong, where fireworks had been cancelled.
Three councillors argued against the fireworks taking place, with councillors Daniel Moloney and Mark Harris joining Cr Coates' calls for the event to be cancelled.
"I want to celebrate as a proud Aussie but I also don't want to do that at a time that is upsetting to our first Australians," Cr Moloney said.
A change.org campaign against the event had also circulated in recent months, with the online petition of more than 6500 signatures sent to the council this month.
Founded by advocate Sissy Austin of the Koorie Engagement Action Group, the petition argued the fireworks should be cancelled out of respect for bushfire victims and the concerns of local Aboriginal community.
City of Ballarat ultimately opted to continue with the fireworks, with funds to be raised for bushfire relief at the event.
Ms Austin has been vocal in her criticism of the decision, lambasting the local MP for Wendouree Juliana Addison on social media for refusing to go public with a decision not to not attend the event.
There was also a protest outside Civic Hall on Friday to protest against the decision.
Meanwhile, councillor Grant Tillett accused Cr Coates of being "opportunistic".
He said he believed the argument to cancel the event had nothing to do with fires.
"I can't see the nexus between the disaster which is clearly evident in parts of Victoria and New South Wales [and the fireworks]", he said.
"We're talking about entertainment for the population.
"What are you going to do? Are you also going to stop Summer Sundays out of respect? Life has to go on."
He also played down arguments that the fire danger should make lead to the event's cancellation, saying: "If it is extremely dangerous, we will not get a permit on the day...It's subject to control by the CFA."
He also said Australia Day was declared by our national government.
"When the federal government changes its point of view, then the City of Ballarat has a responsibility to respond."
Mayor Ben Taylor said the council had come a long way, highlighting the Survivor Day Dawn Ceremony and the fact the Aboriginal flag would fly at half-mast on Sturt Street on Sunday.
"We have got to make sure we have got the right balance," he said.
"We've got multiple people in the community, and let's have that conversation about what's best to do about Australia Day, how we can be inclusive and respectful of everyone around that."
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