City of Cockburn won’t host Australia Day fireworks, but councillor wants to revisit idea in future

Cockburn councillor Kevin Allen believes Cockburn says he may revisit the idea of Cockburn hosting an Indian Ocean fireworks display in the future.
Cockburn councillor Kevin Allen believes Cockburn says he may revisit the idea of Cockburn hosting an Indian Ocean fireworks display in the future.

THE City of Cockburn will not host an Australia Day fireworks display over the Indian Ocean in 2018, but one councillor has flagged revisiting the idea in the future.

The annual Australia Day tradition was recently abandoned by the City of Fremantle on cultural grounds, prompting its neighbours to the south to consider the merits of hosting a similar event.

On Thursday Cockburn councillors passed a City officer’s recommendation calling on elected members to decline the opportunity to host a $300,000 fireworks event from next year.

That advice came off the back of a report by consultancy firm Project 3 suggesting Coogee Beach was the only viable location for the event, although it was unlikely to bring in the 50,000 people Fremantle regularly attracted.

Also highlighted was the risk an evening event could have on the success of Cockburn’s Australia Day Coogee Beach Fest morning event, which attracted a record-high 7000 people in January, and the lack of any major economic benefit to the area.

The item was voted through en bloc, with no alternative recommendation put forward.

Chatting to the Gazette after the meeting, Cockburn councillor Kevin Allen – who in September called for a fresh look into the viability of hosting a cracker show because he believed a previous council-produced report was slanted to encourage the council to vote ‘no’ – said he may call for the idea to be re-visited in the future.

“At some stage I think we need to come back and do it,” he said.

Councillor Allen said his vision was to see the City work jointly with a neighbouring council or business group to produce a fireworks display off the coast, confident it would cost less than the $300,000 estimated in the City’s latest report.

“At the end of the day – if you’ve got the will it can be done,” he said

“But you’ve got to have the will – you need to have the fire in the belly.”

Cockburn Central was also considered by Project 3 as a venue capable of hosting a fireworks display, albeit one smaller than desired.

If the City was to push forward with a fireworks display it would have put itself up against The Fremantle Business Improvement District.

It ran its own successful Australia Day fireworks display on January 26 and has plans to continue in the future.