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Perth council uses budget surplus to try and snatch back WA Day festival

The City of Perth has dipped into its budget surplus to try and bring the WA Day festival celebrations back into the CBD.

Councillors approved a last minute $150,000 sponsorship grant at a special council meeting on Tuesday night but the offering fell well short of the $500,000 requested by Celebrate WA, the event organiser, which it said was needed to move the event from Burswood.

SOTA could be coming back to the Perth CBD.

SOTA could be coming back to the Perth CBD.Credit:SOTA

The Celebrate WA board is now mulling where to hold the $2.6 million event, which runs from June 6 to 7, after not getting all the funding it was after from the local government.

Board member Fiona Kalaf told the special council meeting $150,000 was not adequate.

“The costs of operating in the city are higher [than Burswood] due to traffic management and other requirements that are of course commensurate with an event of this size and this complexity,” she said.

City officers have suggested the event could run at a smaller scale without giving the full $500,000 and traditionally free events could be ticketed at a cost.

The local government has never previously funded the event, even when it was held at Elizabeth Quay and attracted more than 100,000 attendees.

The $500,000 requested was nearly double of what events like the Fringe and Perth Festival received in sponsorship from the City.

Celebrate WA chair Michael Anghie said following the council decision the organisation was assessing the venue options and requirements.

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