Making Sparks Fly

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CHAMBER CONTINUES TO OPPOSE THE CANCELLATION OF THE 2017 AUSTRALIA DAY FIREWORKS

Tonight the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce will continue its opposition to the cancellation of the 2017 Australia Day Fireworks at the August City of Fremantle Council. If you wish to join us please do so. The meeting starts at 6pm this evening, but the agenda item (FPOL 1608-4) is deep into the evening’s proceedings so be prepared for a night out/in.

The Chamber’s objection to the decision is all about reputation, profile, economic impact AND the process taken. There was a lot that City HQ didn’t think about and still hasn’t. We met with the Mayor and council staff last week to discuss but our position remains unchanged. It is not good enough that such a profile event is cast aside after admitting the “process has not been ideal”.

The Australia Day Fireworks are a significant event for Fremantle with it driving over $2.5million into the local economy – especially in the hospitality and marine industries. The Chamber has never claimed it to be a great day for retail but it is an extraordinary day for profile. Never more than now do we need people to come to Fremantle, this event is a great reminder that we are open for business

The City may well believe there were a lot of right reasons to head into “researching alternatives” but rushing the 2017 cancellation through has not delivered a good enough replacement for what has become one of the great family events of the region.

With Council factoring in 5% cuts across operations for the 16/17 budget, the Australia Day Firework budget was magically/strategically cut by 37% taking the brunt for other project areas. Well before it went to Council for ratification the Fireworks were doomed to fail.

Tonight the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce will call for the decision to be deferred, and:

  • The 2017 & 2018 Fireworks to proceed, giving Council staff adequate time to consult across the community (including the business community) as to an appropriate celebration;
  • The restitution of the budget for the Australia Day Fireworks; and
  • The implementation of a comprehensive consultation and engagement program across the community to ensure the decision of Council for future celebrations reflects the outcome of this consultation process.

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