PROTECTING Perth’s Christmas lights and making families feel safer could cost an extra $100,000 this year.
Perth council staff have asked for the extra money to try and boost attendance along the city’s Christmas light trail, saying “bored families” might be encouraged back for some Christmas shopping if they felt safer.
It would also help protect the council’s $1 million investment in Christmas decorations, with one of its giant baubles ripped open by vandals last year.
The city’s $1.4 million Christmas/New Year Retail Boost Plan said the extra protection for 40 nights could be additional security patrols or a beefed-up police presence.
It would “reduce the impact of anti-social behaviour on visitors” and counter vandalism, while helping traders by countering “negative media coverage and messaging”.
The plan targets four “psychographic groups” the city is trying to attract; culture lovers, city socialisers, suburban socialisers and the bored families.
With trader confidence at a low ebb and Deloitte’s annual Christmas survey predicting sluggish sales this Christmas, Perth’s commissioners are also opening up three CBD car parks for three hours or free parking on weekends and public holidays.
Cmmr Andrew Hammond said in a media statement the aim was to make the CBD more competitive against major commercial shopping centres such as Garden City, Carousel or Karrinyup.
“We realise the cost of parking was a barrier preventing people from coming into the city, but now that hurdle has been removed we expect to see the the CBD revitalised,” Cmmr Hammond said.
Giant tentacles, most commonly an indication to flee, have been installed to indicate which carparks are free (His Majesty’s Theatre, Pier Street, and Cultural Centre carparks).
The prehensile wigglers, by UK artist Filthy Luker, were recommended by staff in the retail boost plan as they’d “spark interest/intrigue”.
by DAVID BELL