Almost ready to sparkle

THE 2021 Skyworks looks likely to go ahead provided WA’s Covid-19 rate stays flatlined.

Commissioners will decide at this week’s council meeting whether to press the start button on planning the big Australia Day show following premier Mark McGowan’s urging to go ahead. The decision will also affect Christmas and New Year’s festivities.

Staff had previously recommended a quick cancellation over fears they could spend thousands only to pull the pin if new Covid-19 cases threw WA’s recovery roadmap into disarray, but chair commissioner Andrew Hammond told this week’s council briefing he didn’t think it was his place to cancel.

“I don’t believe it’s the role of the commissioners to make such a huge policy decision about taking Skyworks off the annual event calendar, because that really is a decision for the council and lord mayor when they return,” he said.

The longer the city waits to cancel the more it costs. 

A last-minute cancellation would wipe out the entire $2.7m budget and leave the council with 45 tonnes of fireworks to be cautiously shipped back to the manufacturer.

Cmmr Hammond said planning should go ahead, but if strict social distancing rules were back in January 2021 it would have to be cancelled. 

He said there wasn’t unanimous support for the Skyworks, with local traders saying they didn’t benefit much from an event down on the foreshore.

Cmmr Hammond has also asked staff to investigate moving the Christmas nativity from the Supreme Court Gardens. He’s after a “very, very Christmassy family Christmas event in Forrest Place simply because our retailers need that activation”.

of negative media coverage and public sentiment, particularly from residents and ratepayers.” 

By DAVID BELL

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