Fire fears for skyshow

AN Australia Day fireworks without any fireworks has been raised as a possibility by a Department of Fire and Emergency Services staffer.

In the Australia Day post-mortem conducted by Perth city council a brief note on page five states, “there were… significant bush fires in the state which required DFES attention”.

“It was raised at the debrief by DFES the possibility of not having fireworks in future years due to the demands on DFES at this time of year.”

Fire and emergency services commissioner Wayne Gregson has been quick to point out the DFES would only recommend restrictions or cancellation “if there is an extreme threat to DFES operations and there are no alternatives”.

“The officer’s points included that the event is held at a time of high bushfire risk across the Perth metropolitan area and southern parts of the state, and when firefighting resources are under great demand.

“Among a number of discussions [at the post-mortem] it was suggested the City of Perth consider an alternative spectacular display, however this is the view of the individual officer and not the department. DFES will continue to be involved in the planning and execution of this large public event.”

Meanwhile, the PCC was shocked to receive a $16,300 bill from Kings Park for staff costs associated with the event.

“The City of Perth had not budgeted for these costs and therefore declined to cover these costs,” PCC staff reported.

“The city already provides a significant level of infrastructure in Kings Park, however, it is anticipated that a request will be forthcoming to cover these costs in 2014.”

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