MP: Reverse decision

POLITICAL pressure is mounting on Fremantle council over cancelling its Australia Day fireworks, with state Labor MP Simone McGurk saying it should reverse the decision.

Labor’s Federal MP Josh Wilson also says the council got it wrong, while newly elected Tangney Liberal MP Ben Morton wasted no time in ridiculing the city’s decision.

“Will Fremantle council move on to banning pavlova and wearing thongs on the café strip?” Mr Morton says.

“The council have clearly spent this year’s $145,000 firework budgets on the new $145,000 sea container sculpture.

“Dumping one of the very few events that bring some 50,000 people to Fremantle to boost local small business, just to cut costs, is really disappointing.”

Ms McGurk says the decision could hinder reconciliation.

“I think there are more sensitive ways to shift the way Australia Day is marked in Fremantle than the path the council has taken,” she says.

“I understand that the council consulted with the local community, but if Fremantle wants to be a metropolitan hub it needs to take into account the views of a wider group.”

Mr Wilson, who prior to being elected in July was a former deputy mayor and a strong ally of mayor Brad Pettitt,  told the Chook he thought the original Australia Day celebrations were appropriate.

“I’ve always thought that Fremantle’s approach to Australia Day delivered the right mix of civic celebration and balanced reflection on our history, including the primacy of our indigenous heritage,” he says.

“The Freo Cracker night was established as a thoughtful and family-oriented alternative to the Skyshow, and in my experience it was a day that reflected our open and multicultural character.

“I am a supporter of an Australian republic and I think when that change occurs it would be an opportunity to also change our national day,” Mr Wilson said.


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