Report tells Cockburn councillors to reject Australia Day fireworks, cites no ‘economic benefit’ to area

Australia Day fireworks over Fremantle.
Australia Day fireworks over Fremantle.

THE City of Cockburn looks unlikely to host an Indian Ocean fireworks display next year.

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.

But in a report to councillors to be voted on Thursday night, a Cockburn officer has recommended elected members decline the opportunity to host a $300,000 cracker show from 2018 onwards.

That advice came off the back of a report by consultancy firm Project 3 which suggested Coogee Beach was the only viable location for a show of this size, 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.

The report said the event was unlikely to offer a major economic benefit to the area.

“There is a greater opportunity for increased economic benefit to the area if the event was to be held within the Cockburn Central precinct,” it said.

“However this timing … will not benefit all businesses given that it is a public holiday and the event would see the greatest attendance in the evening.

“Restaurants and related businesses would be the most likely to benefit from the event through increased attendance in the area.”

Project 3 consultants considered Cockburn Central a venue capable of hosting a fireworks display, but one smaller than desired.

If the City is to push forward with a fireworks display it would put itself up against The Fremantle Business Improvement District, which ran its own successful Australia Day fireworks display on January 26, which has plans to continue in the future.

Cockburn councillors will vote on the recommendation at its Spearwood chambers on Thursday night at 7pm.