Perth Council pulls plug on Christmas lights over crowd safety fears

A Perth Christmas tradition - the turning on of the Christmas lights in the city - has been cancelled by the Perth council because of "safety concerns".

 

It's an 18-year-old tradition that gets bigger and bigger every year, loved by children and adults alike.

But now the City of Perth says the event draws too many people to the city.

The turning on of Christmas lights has been cancelled by the City of Perth. Source: 7 News

Last year 10,000 people gathered in Forrest Chase to watch the lights go on. Source: 7 News

Last year, 10,000 people gathered in Forrest Chase to watch the lights go on.

This year it won't happen, initially because construction work on a revamp of Forrest Chase was due to be underway.

While that work has been delayed, Acting Lord Mayor Gemma Green said: "We couldn't ensure the safety of all the people coming down."

Acting Lord Mayor Gemma Green said they could not ensure people's safety. Source: 7 News

A new event, called the Christmas Lights Trail, will feature installations spread across the city.

"It will mean more people can enjoy the Christmas Lights experience and it can be done very safely," the Acting Lord Mayor said.

Instead, there will be Christmas installations around the city. Source: 7 News

A City of Perth spokesman told 7 News the council had not received any instructions to cancel the event from WA Police.

Instead, the decision was made through a council meeting vote.

As part of the changes, Perth's iconic 13-metre-high Christmas tree will move from Forrest Chase to Murray Street and there will be a "deconstructed" Christmas tree at Elizabeth Quay.

There will be a "deconstructed" Christmas tree at Elizabeth Quay. Source: 7 News

Similar safety fears have not stopped similar events from going ahead in the eastern states.

Brisbane and Melbourne will both host free parties later this month to light trees, while Sydney will host a free concert as the Martin Place Christmas tree is lit.

Safety concerns have not stopped eastern states capitals, with Sydney hosting a concert in Martin Place. Source: 7 News

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