WA Day heads to Burswood

PERTH CBD has lost out on WA Day celebrations after organisers didn’t get the cash they wanted from Perth city council. 

The major events will return to Burswood Park where they took place in 2019.

Perth council had a chance to nab the big June 6 and 7 events but organisers Celebrate WA wanted $500,000 in sponsorship and the council was only willing to contribute $150,000 (“WA Day ultimatum,” Voice, April 17, 2021). 

The $500,000 would be almost double what the council spends on both Perth Festival and Fringe World, which bring people into the city across a month each rather than just the two days of WA Day.

Fringe and the Perth Festival also bring in more people to eat and shop in the city: 355,000 and 325,000 respectively, compared to WA Day’s projected 130,000. 

The return to Burswood was announced by Celebrate WA chair Michael Anghie, whose wife Sandy Anghie is Perth deputy mayor (she had to step out of the chamber while the council voted, along with lord mayor Basil Zempilas whose SevenWest boss Maryna Fewster is on the board, and Cr Brent Fleeton whose day job is working for the company handling PR for Celebrate WA).

The cancelled Perth possibility wasn’t mentioned but Mr Anghie said “we look forward to putting on the events that are loved by Western Australians and giving them a good reason to get out and about to enjoy their special long weekend” after a tough year that saw the 2020 event cancelled.

Burswood Park Board GM Linda Kut was ecstatic about retaining the event, calling it “a highlight of Burswood Park’s busy events calendar. 

“The 2019 event was a terrific success, with tens of thousands of Western Australians of all ages and walks of life enjoying the celebrations in our beautiful parklands.”

by DAVID BELL

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