Australia Day event cancelled

Australia Day event cancelled

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The City of Armadale’s Australia Day festival usually draws people in from all over Perth – but not in 2025.

Australia Day will lose a little sparkle next year after the City of Armadale announced it has canned its beloved festival and fireworks display.

The city’s Australia Day event has been a fixture since 1993.

It is the largest and most popular annual event on the city’s calendar and is one of the few remaining council-run major events on Australia Day.

“The City of Armadale council has reluctantly made the tough decision to cancel its Australia Day 2025 event and fireworks, due to the impact of the Metronet Byford Rail Extension works,” Monday’s press release read.

The city said the scale of work planned on the rail line during January meant Minnawarra Park would be out of action.

A range of alternative locations was brought to a committee meeting and then a full council meeting earlier this month.

Top of the list was Champion Lakes – a venue that council agreed would make an ideal substitute for this year’s Highland Gathering and Perth Kilt Run in October.

During deliberations about the relocation of the city’s beloved Scottish festival, it was pointed out that the lake would pose a huge risk.

Ultimately, council agreed those risks could be overcome through signage and having organisations like Surf Life Saving WA present.

But mitigating the risks of 7000m of water edge at an Australia Day festival at Champion Lakes during the height of Summer was a bridge too far for councillors.

“Unlike the lake at Minnawarra Park, which is fully fenced for the Australia Day event, the Champion Lakes water body is too large to be fully fenced, hence there will be access to the water,” shire officers warned.

City officers’ biggest fear was a child drowning on their watch.

“The associated and reputational risk of having such an occurrence connected to a major annual event may have long-lasting impacts on the event, staff and volunteers, and the wider community,” they said.

A compromise was offered which split the city’s celebrations into three smaller Australia Day events. But it was ‘no dice’.

“After thorough consideration, council voted to cancel the 2025 event, citing concerns over the safety of patrons at one of the alternate locations, and the option of holding three smaller events without fireworks at different locations being undesirable and untested,” Monday’s press release said.

“Council felt the city would be unable to safely recreate the same scale and experience at alternative sites. Maintaining the integrity of the event is paramount, and the city looks forward to hosting our usual event in January 2026.

“Council voiced the potential for reserving the 2025 funds so they can be put towards hosting a bigger and better event to welcome people back to the city centre in 2026.”