FREMANTLE mayor Brad Pettitt says he won’t block an independently-funded firework display on Australia Day despite having concerns it offends Aboriginal people.
This week the Fishing Boat Harbour traders’ association submitted an application to host its own fireworks.
The application requires environmental health approval from city officers, but the Herald understands it is unlikely to be voted on by council.
“We’re not going to take a fundamentalist approach to this and if people want to fund their own display, then so be it,” Dr Pettitt says.
“If anything it will give people options and make the day more inclusive.”
When the Chook asked Dr Pettitt if he would attend the crackers if invited, he said he would “give it due consideration”.
“Listen I don’t want to personalise this, it was a decision of council.”
The proposed display would be a scaled-down version of the 30-minute original, probably costing around $20,000 and lasting 15 minutes.
Cicerello’s owner Henry Liascos says they’re looking at launching the crackers from the groyne beside Fremantle sailing club.
“It would be more in keeping with the original fireworks displays in Fremantle, which were on a smaller scale and centred around families,” he says.
Be. Serviced Apartments say they’re set to lose money without a fireworks display.
Director Justin Ward says the company’s Marina View apartments at Challenger Harbour have the “best seat in the house” during the fireworks and are booked out every year.
He say Fremantle council has done a great job in attracting visitors to the city, but “the cancellation of the Australia Day Fireworks undermines a lot of this good work and their achievements to date”.
“In the past we have had a significant number of visitors staying with us because of the Australia Day fireworks,” he says.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK