Freo's View

AUSTRALIA DAY CHANGE ECONOMIC IMPACT

Posted in australia day, city of fremantle, local government by freoview on April 10, 2017

With the discussion on changing the date of Australia Day now going on all over the nation, with Bassendean, Cockburn, Hobart and other local councils considering it, a survey by Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District is worth attention.

BID asked their CBD member about foot traffic and trade figures during this year’s Australia Day, where the City of Fremantle had abandoned the firework, and it is definitely not all doom and gloom.

Around 50 per cent of business which participated in the survey said that foot traffic past their business had not changed compared to previous Australia Days, around 15 per cent registered a decrease and some 30 per cent a significant decrease in foot traffic.

Nearly 60 per cent of those who took part in the survey said there had been no change in their trade compared to previous Australia Days, but some 25 per cent recorded significant decrease in trade and about 15 per cent said they had a decrease in trade.

It has to be noted that less than 11 per cent of BID members decided to take part in the survey.

Festivals are on average good for the hospitality industry but do not show a significant increase in retail trade, so the verdict is still out on the economic impact of a non firework Australia Day and alternative celebrations on another day.

Time will tell if more local councils want to change the date, but WA Premier Mark McGowan is not in favour of it.

Roel Loopers

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