WA POLICE reported “only a small number of arrests” by late last night but an early morning incident has overshadowed good crowd behaviour on Australia Day.
In a statement at 11.20pm yesterday, State Commander Alf Fordham said the people of Perth “obviously enjoyed themselves and celebrated Australia Day with a great spirit and sense of community”.
Hours later at 3.30am, a 26-year-old man was stabbed to death at the Esplanade train station.
A police spokeswoman confirmed a man was taken to Royal Perth Hospital and died after a brawl involving about 20 people.
“Further updates in relation to the areas currently being cordoned off from public access will be provided in due course,” the spokeswoman said.
“The area should be avoided by all commuters for the time being.”
Major Crime Squad detectives are treating the incident as a suspected homicide.
The Esplanade station is closed and commuters travelling to the city can disembark the Perth Underground station.
The police spokeswoman said there was limited access to and from the Perth Bus Port at the escalators on the Esplanade and the concourse for commuters walking towards the Adina Hotel at Mounts Bay Road was closed.
According to the Transperth website, bus services in the city and surrounding suburbs were expecting “significant delays” and some bus services would be affected even if the route did not travel through the CBD.
Police reported about 300,000 people watched the fireworks along the foreshore and at Kings Park and about 700 boats moored on the Swan River for the event.