Santa’s costly security

PROTECTING the CBD’s Christmas ornaments and events cost Perth city council near $450,000 in payments to a private security company.

In 2018 someone wrecked one of the giant baubles on the city’s Christmas Lights trial, so commissioners spent an extra $100,000 on security last year. It was also hoped a strong security presence would encourage families into the city after a series of media stories about homelessness and troublemakers. 

The city’s latest list of payments reveal the final bill to Ace Security to protect our 2019 festivities was $447,500, including: 

• $292,000 to guard the Christmas Lights trail;

• $64,000 for security of Christmas decorations;

• $20,000 to protect the nativity scene;

• $14,800 for security and crowd control at the Christmas Carnivals;

• $43,000 for New Year’s Eve security.

The PR industry was the other big beneficiary: Initiative Media Australia was paid $259,000 for the Christmas advertising campaign and $54,000 for the New Year’s campaign. 

The festive spend comes at the start of a lean period for PCC: The latest financial statement only runs to February 29, just before the effects of coronavirus really started to empty out CBD carparks, but already their parking income was $1.5million under budget for the year to date.

They recouped some of that with fines: Since July 2019 they’ve brought in $592,000 more in infringements than they budgeted for.

by DAVID BELL

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