Freo's View


Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, local government, western australia by freoview on September 2, 2016

It looks like Fremantle will have fireworks on Australia Day after all with Mayor Brad Pettitt telling the Fremantle Herald that he would not oppose fireworks organised by the Fishing Boat Harbour Traders.

This shows Fremantle Council really never properly investigated the issue before it went to Council and it again shows the often ad-hoc and inconsistent decision-making in Fremantle.

If the Mayor and Elected Members are genuinely concerned about cultural sensitivity for our Noongar people they cannot possibly now reverse the decision and say fireworks are o.k. as long as not organised by the City. That is hypocritical bullshit!

It is clear that the backlash from the business and wider community, state and federal politicians and the media has left our Elected Members shaking in their boots, and this will be a convenient and coward way out of the debacle they created.

Values and principles no longer exist in governments, be they federal, or at state or local levels, because nowadays it is only ever about getting good positive media reports.

Although I support the end of Australia Day fireworks for many reasons, I agree with the business and wider community that the issue should have gone through proper consultation first before Council made this feel-good decision that has now backfired on them. They will now have egg on their face by not opposing a privately organised fireworks

Roel Loopers

18 Responses

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  1. Lionel said, on September 5, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Ok but do we agree that is what Cr Wainwright is saying? I don’t see how else his comments can be interpreted.

  2. freoview said, on September 5, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    No that is not what I am saying. You read my blog posts, Lionel, so you know why I don’t like the fireworks, so don’t put words in my mouth.


  3. Lionel said, on September 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    So you think we should start cancelling family fun activities because of a few nutters? Spare me.

    “The Fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists.”

  4. freoview said, on September 5, 2016 at 8:16 am

    There is social media crap from far right wing nuts who have made threats of violent action against Fremantle Council, Lionel, and I think we should be very worried about that.


  5. Lionel said, on September 5, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Fireworks are magnets for families, not far right nut jobs. It is the far left nut jobs we should be worried about.

  6. Mark said, on September 5, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Amazing now fireworks are a magnet for racists.
    Just like those who racists who have Australian flags
    This whole argument is ridiculous

    I would also like to see a break down of what this 145 thousand is spent on?
    Is it all fireworks or are the fireworks just a portion of that figure?

  7. freoview said, on September 4, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    There have been threats made by right wing groups against Fremantle Council Lionel. I saw a video myself on Thursday that one of those loonies recorded.


  8. Lionel said, on September 4, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Are you kidding Sam? Enjoying fireworks now makes someone racist in your eyes? This council has lost its head up its own self-important arse.

  9. freoview said, on September 4, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    I agree with you Sam.


  10. Sam Wainwright said, on September 4, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I think it would remain more that a “feel good gesture”. Having said that I think it would be very silly for a group of traders to do a half-baked private fireworks show. It would be both really insensitive on their part and a magnet for the really ugly Reclaim Australia hard core racist nut cases. That would inform my judgement in the event it came before council, but I can only speak for myself on that score.

  11. freoview said, on September 3, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I agree Council decision was correct, as mentioned a few times here on this blog Sam, but if Council decide it will now allow the privately organised fireworks we are not really doing anything. It’s just a feel good gesture.


  12. Sam Wainwright said, on September 3, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    I can guarantee you Roel that “I’m not shaking in my boots” over the criticism over the decision to drop the fireworks, quite the opposite. The nature of that criticism has confirmed my view of the stunted and immature level of understanding of history in this country and indeed outright denial-ism over the violent dispossession of Indigenous Australians. For example most Australians wouldn’t even know about the Coniston Massacre that took place as recently as 1928. This has confirmed my view that the council decision was 100% correct.

  13. Steve said, on September 3, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Sounds to me freo council saved $150k from going up in smoke. If the private companies want to foot the bill because they benefit from it then they should be allowed to. Stopping them would be overreaching and draconian.

    It’s not the role of freo council to decide if fireworks are insensitive, it is their role to decide how to spend the taxpayers money. I’m glad they didn’t light $150k on fire, there’s plenty of better things they can do with that money than play second fiddle to Perth city’s fireworks.

  14. Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog said, on September 2, 2016 at 5:21 pm


    Can you give me one example of when i have said ever said “fireworks are culturally insensitive to Aboriginals”?

    While some aboriginal people have expressed that view to Council, my view has consistently that our primary focus should be on the benefits of a more inclusive event/day (although i accept the media have struggled with the nuance around this one!)

    I am proud there is now a conversation that is now underway nationally around rethinking Jan 26.

    This conversation can be had without the vitriol. You should try it. As an example, I think the Project do this well:


  15. Rob said, on September 2, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    This debacle just keeps giving

  16. Lionel said, on September 2, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Brad, on your own blog you said:

    “I believe this has the potential to be both more culturally appropriate and still have a positive economic impact for Fremantle.”

    You clearly believe that fireworks are culturally insensitive (rightly or wrongly) to Aboriginals. To then allow them to go ahead with private money is the definition of hypocrisy.

    The funny thing is, with the first decision to cancel you put a lot of families in Fremantle offside, and with the flip flopping to allow private fireworks you put everyone who initially agreed with you offside. Talk about your all time political backfires. Stick to the minor leagues.

  17. Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog said, on September 2, 2016 at 2:49 pm


    This was never about stopping others from making their own choices or waging some sort of war on Australia Day.

    It was about offering up a more inclusive way of celebrating being Australian. It was about the City of Freo putting its money where its value lie so to speak. Unfortunately this nuance has been lost in some of the debate.

    Council believes there’s better, more inclusive event options we can fund than fireworks on Australia Day.

    But we’re not here to tell others what they should or shouldn’t do on Australia Day. That’s for everyone to decide for themselves.

    If private groups or other councils want to fund fireworks on Australia Day that’s entirely their decision and we respect their right to make that decision and fund them.

    What we will focus on is a great inclusive alternative event. We’ve given staff the challenge of making a family event that’s even more stimulating and memorable than a cracker show and I’m confident they can pull this off.

    cheers, Brad

  18. abetterbeacy said, on September 2, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Well said

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