The Lake Burley Griffin foreshore Australia Day ceremony will be a little different this year with the traditional flag raising event being swapped out for a helicopter flyover in light of recent changes to the Regatta Point venue.
The annual ceremony, which has been held at Regatta Point previously, will welcome a group of new citizens at Rond Terrace on the lake's northern foreshore on Tuesday morning.
The event is attended by Governor-General David Hurley, who has historically been responsible for raising the Australian flag on the city's iconic Canadian flagpole at Regatta Point.
But the nearly 40-metre flagpole, which was first erected in 1957, was removed in November 2020 due to safety concerns after it was damaged by Canberra's massive hailstorm and identified as having "significant rot" upon inspection.
With the flagpole no longer in service, the event's organisers opted for a more creative flag raise.
At around 9.30am on January 26, a Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter carrying a giant Australian flag is expected to fly over the event for around 20 minutes as the national anthem is being played.
The Department of Defence said the size of the flag would be 23 metres by 11 metres and the total cost of the alternative arrangements equated to $3578.
The helicopter will make the journey over from Nowra's HMAS Albatross to RAAF Base Fairbairn, where it will pick up the flag. Once the flag's lake flight has finished, it will be returned to Fairbairn and the helicopter will head back to Nowra.
Defence said the flights between the South Coast and Canberra were being used as crew training and currency flights.
The flight adds a small figure to event's total amount with contract notices published on the government's tender database showing the event's delivery costing the public purse at least $957,000.
Meanwhile, the future of a replacement for the Canadian flagpole is still being decided with a decision not expected for many months.
A National Capital Authority spokesperson said arrangements about a replacement were still being discussed between the Canadian and Australian governments
"The Canadian High Commission and the National Capital Authority, on behalf of the Commonwealth, continue to discuss a possible replacement or some other alternative," an authority spokesperson said.
"A decision as to the possible use of any usable part of the felled flagpole is part of the overall discussion with the High Commission."
The authority said the flag still had a presence along the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in the middle of the International Flag Display along Queen Elizabeth Terrace.