Freo's View


I am disappointed, but not surprised, that there is such heated debate about the cancellation of the Fremantle Australia Day fireworks, and sad people see the need for name-calling.

The Chamber of Commerce talks about the triple bottom line for retailers. Fair enough, but I have heard for very many years from retailers that big events in Freo don’t do much for their business, and most retailers and cafes close well before the fireworks are on anyway.

But let’s be realistic and use facts, not hype. The City of Fremantle has not cancelled Australia Day celebrations, only the fireworks in the evening. Instead they are proposing to celebrate the whole long weekend with events, so a short evening event becomes a three day one. Surely that benefits shops and cafes that open during daytime hours.

Fremantle has more events than most other WA cities and the new Falls Festival at Kings Square in January, with pass outs! will have a big impact on CBD businesses one would hope. The Street Art Festival is a huge event for three days over the long Easter weekend, and the Festival Parade and Blessing of the Fleet are also big, to name just some.

There is also a building boom in central Freo that will hopefully see a lot more tourists staying overnight, more office workers and more residents, so that too should be good for our traders.

I have never liked the fireworks because of what it does to the environment and the poor dogs who get frightened, and I believe shooting $ 150,000 in the air in 15-20 minutes is an absolute waste of money.

That money will now be spent on entertainment, so hopefully local musicians, performers, dancers, etc. will receive the benefit and for three long days people can buy fish&chips, sit at the Fishing Boat Harbour, wander through the CBD, shop, eat, drink, have fun and enjoy what Freo really is about, not just the hype of very expensive big bangs.

I believe it is not a “politically correct” issue but what is morally and environmentally right, and the triple bottom business line will probably do better out of it, because very many people only drove into town just before the fireworks started and left straight after they finished, without spending a cent in Freo.

Everyone has their own opinion, but there is no need for name-calling. We just agree to disagree on this, so let’s move on and celebrate life and Freo for the very special place it is!

Have a great weekend and stay dry!

Roel Loopers


5 Responses

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  1. martin said, on August 27, 2016 at 3:40 pm


    The Mayor has come out and said it was not a financial decision.

    Perhaps you could read the “Thinking Allowed” article in this weeks Herald to see what the Chamber of Commerce thinks of the decision and consultation process. Have you read what our prominent indigenous Labor politicians have said? Have you read the chatter on social medial that has resulted from this decision?

    Don’t take my word for it – other than the Mayor’s Facebook followers, it would appear the community at large is scratching their heads about this decision.

    Anybody would think the Fireworks decision was a deliberate ploy to take the heat away from the recent media scrutiny of Council over the Kings Square mess.

  2. freoview said, on August 27, 2016 at 10:53 am

    You like many others do not want to accept that Fremantle is not canvelling Australia Day celebration, but merely changing them to a three day event instead of just blasting fireworks in the sky for 20 minutes.
    We will now have events on every day of the long weekend and that will benefit the retailers in Fremantle.


  3. freoishome said, on August 27, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Your conclusion may, or may not, be correct. We will only know when we see the other activities that are supported by the Council during this period.
    I agree with you, about some of the logic of linking the fireworks explicitly to this issue of insensitivity. Did that come from the Aboriginal community reps themselves, if it did then that would add credibility to the Council decision.
    I think there might be a purely financial justification for doing this, and if that was the core of it, it should have remained solely that.
    I don’t think your comment about the Council having simply lost touch is justifiable.

  4. Jon said, on August 26, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Your right Roel it’s no big deal, people will just choose to take their families else where.
    The celebration will just continue in other cities let them benefit, just another reason for families not to come to Fremantle

    I think nation wide the COF actions have been taken as anti Australian, it is what it is.

  5. martin said, on August 26, 2016 at 6:26 pm


    The Council cancelled the fireworks because it believes it is insensitive to a part of the community to celebrate Australia Day. This is what the Mayor has told us – it is a fact.

    If Council argues that we should not celebrate Australia Day (and cancels the fireworks), it should cancel all Council sponsored activities for the Australia Day long weekend. To do other wise would be hypocritical.

    What you have written above is simply not supported by the facts or by logical thought. You can’t cancel one without cancelling the whole lot!

    Personally I do not much like Australia Day. That is my opinion, and as such I don’t really celebrate it – my choice, but I do enjoy the fireworks.

    However it is Australia Day and will remain Australia Day until the people of Australia decide otherwise.

    Brad Pettit and Freo Council have brought upon themselves the spotlight they deserve, and it reminds me much of the behaviours in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. This Council has simply lost touch with the role it is supposed to fill and the people it is supposed to represent. I have had plenty of emails from over East today asking what the hell is going on here

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