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City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas praises ‘courageous’ Skyworks show

City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas has lauded the Skyworks show and hit back at critics who wanted to cancel the event.

In a social media post on Thursday morning, Mr Zempilas said the City did not take the easy option.

“Canceling was the easy call — we didn’t take the easy option,” he tweeted.

“We have to be sensible but we can’t live in fear. Courage & common sense is our way forward.”

The WA nursing union had urged people to boycott the Skyworks, held on the Swan River foreshore, fearing it was a COVID super-spreader event.

“Ideally, we’d like to see the Skyworks cancelled,” Australian Nursing Federation WA secretary Mark Olson said on Tuesday.

“But failing that … Stay away, watch it on TV.”

Previous Skyworks have attracted up to 250,000 people but this year’s show was a much more subdued affair, with Omicron making itself felt in the community.

However, by 8pm last night a reasonable crowd had turned out for the event, with many saying it was one of the best they had seen.

Mr Zempilas called it a “spectacular show”.

“Thank you to our amazing @CityofPerth team who overcame all obstacles,” he posted.

Others agreed, with Caryn Sundelius saying it was “the best fireworks I have ever seen”.

The amazing fireworks display.
Camera IconThe amazing fireworks display. Credit: The City of Perth/The City of Perth

Just before the show kicked off, open spaces on Riverside Drive became hard to find, forcing families previously sprawled out across the grass to cram in beside one another.

But as crowds lining the Swan River foreshore grew, so did the reluctance to socially distance and wear a mask.

For some, the rise in crowd numbers was a welcome relief.

“It was starting to look a bit sad,” Kathy Rinley said of the lonely scenes in the hours leading up to the City of Perth’s fireworks display.

For others, it was enough to send them packing.

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