A note from Mayor Jock Barker:
Earlier this month the Town of Claremont sent each household a survey asking for their feedback on events at Claremont Showgrounds. This was a result of two actions:
• Increased complaints from residents in relation to safety concerns from the Showgrounds; and
• Request from the Royal Agricultural Society of WA (RASWA) to conduct more concerts and events at
Subsequently, it has been reported that this survey is an attempt to ‘evict’ Royal Agricultural Society WA (RASWA) and the Royal Show from the Showgrounds. RASWA has perpetuated this inaccuracy, which diverts attention away from the real issues and intent of the survey - to ensure the safety of the community by trying to minimise the negative impact of certain events.
As a local Council, one of our core functions is to listen to our residents’ feedback, ascertain its validity and use it to make informed decisions. As the type of events held at the Showgrounds has changed, and the frequency of events increased in recent times the Town has seen a correlating increase in the number of complaints from residents. These complaints vary, and include things anyone in the community would find unacceptable: public defection on private property; verbal abuse; damage to homes and vehicles and injured patrons.
The survey has received a significant amount of attention and a high level of responses to date. This suggests it’s an issue people want to provide feedback on. The Town will collate the findings of the survey when it closes on 29 January. A summary of the findings and a report to Council will be made public in March. The aim is to use the findings to assist in discussions with RASWA on issues such as security, lighting, traffic management and noise restrictions to help us mitigate any negative impact of events on our community.
As I’ve stated publicly, I believe there are potentially more suitable locations for the Royal Show and RASWA, to ensure their ongoing viability and relevance to the community. As a family with deep connections to farming in this State, I personally want the Royal Show, and RASWA to be successful and self-sustaining long into the future. Unfortunately the types of events that are allowing RASWA to be sustainable appear to be creating safety issues in our community. This coupled with RASWA’s request to have approval for more each year is our predominant concern.
For the purpose of clarity, the Town of Claremont has no control over where RASWA, or their events, are located. This is a matter for RASWA and the State Government, the landowners.
Myself and my fellow elected members are fully supportive of events in the Town of Claremont and believe that if events are well managed, they can add to the fabric and vibrancy of life in Claremont.
Mayor Jock Barker