City of Cockburn may save Australia Day fireworks

Fremantle’s Australia Day fireworks have been cancelled and replaced with an event on January 28.
Fremantle’s Australia Day fireworks have been cancelled and replaced with an event on January 28.

COCKBURN could yet save the Australia Day fireworks, which have crackled over the Indian Ocean for close to a decade.

The City of Cockburn is considering hosting the annual event after the neighbouring City of Fremantle voted to abandon its show in 2017.

In a report to Cockburn councillors on Thursday night, a City officer recommended the City not spend $205,000 to take on the fireworks.

But councillors instead voted to back an alternative from Cr Kevin Allen, who called for a new report into the feasibility of the City hosting the event in 2018.

The report is due in April and Cr Allen is keen to see that report outsourced.

“I’m not arguing whether we should or should not take over the Fremantle cracker night, but I feel the officer’s report is lacking in details and appears written solely for the purpose to say ‘no, it’s all too hard’,” Cr Allen said.

“The report does not present enough ways for council to proceed with an Australia Day fireworks display should council ultimately resolve to support such an event.

“I believe a more detailed and comprehensive report needs to be presented to council before it makes its final decision whether to host such an event or not.”

The report said it would be “imprudent to develop a fireworks event in Cockburn for 2017” due to costs, environmental impacts, minimal economical benefitsk, a lack of support from the City’s Aboriginal Reference Group and because the City already hosted a barbecue event.

But Cr Allen said many of the issues in the report were not exclusive to the City of Cockburn and had been managed elsewhere.

“Given the huge popularity of the fireworks night, its is beholden on us on behalf of our ratepayers to investigate all issues fully and comprehensively, so as to ensure that those of our ratepayers that do not wish to battle traffic and drag their families into Perth and relish the prospect of a locally accessible event are not denied that pleasure due to a report that to me is one-sided and lacking in the full details requested,” he said.

“I’m not aiming that we should or should not host the cracker night, I’m just asking we undertake greater and more informed deliberation before ruling either way.”

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