Claremont councillors doubt claimed success of Perth Royal Show

Claremont councillors doubt claimed success of Perth Royal Show

CLAREMONT councillors continue to be sceptical about claimed success and crowds at last month’s Royal Agricultural Society’s 2018 Perth Royal Show.

“I thought the royal show was very quiet this year, despite the good weather,” Cr Jill Goetze said at the council meeting last Tuesday.

“There was very little parking in the streets, but maybe people were using the train to get to Claremont.”

An RAS spokeswoman said overall crowd numbers would be obtained after a “thorough” count of admission tickets.

The spokeswoman said this year’s show was a “resounding success” when measured by how children and youth had learned the value of agriculture, showgoers’ satisfaction in visitor surveys, spending on rides, food and drinks, and the number of commercial exhibitors.

Earlier this year, Claremont Mayor Jock Barker challenged the event’s ability to survive given falling crowd numbers and RAS debt.

Mr Barker proposed the annual event be moved to a specially-built Swan Valley venue.RAS figures record 450,000 visited the annual event in 2013, 410,000 in 2014 and about 350,000 in 2015 and 311,000 in 2016.

In response to falling crowds, the RAS said it would return the event to its roots of agriculture and family entertainment to attract the public this year.

“My major observation was there were a lot of empty space for exhibitors for things like trinket stores and food vendors, particularly near the grandstand,” Cr Peter Edwards said.

Cr Edwards said he saw a motorbike ride operator packing up to leave at 10am on the final day.

“It appeared some vendors had decided they were not making money and needed to cut staff and their hours,” Cr Edwards said.