City of Perth mayor candidates outline plans for events industry

Mayoral candidates for the City of Perth have outlined their plans for Perth’s events industry, as they fight to secure the council’s top job.

The six candidates vying for mayor have talked about what they would do to reinvigorate Perth

Speaking at RAC Arena, each of the speakers talked about how they would boost events in Perth, corresponding to their own individual platform.

Each candidate identified COVID-19 devastating WA and Perth’s events industry, but each candidate had their own ideas.

Lawyer and retired magistrate Tim Schwass said he understood the importance of events in Perth.

He said COVID-19 and WA’s hard border had made the events industry “impossible” and as mayor he would be “snow plough” to clear the path for the industry.

As part of Mr Schwass’s plan, he pushed to have Australia bid for the 2027 Rugby World Cup to be in Australia, after Argentina’s bid fell through.

Entrepreneur Brodie McCulloch stated that he stood for a smart, vibrant and global city.

He said there needed to be ongoing events but not just from local artists.

“We have the fastest growing region in the world. We need to attract events from around the world,” Mr McCulloch said.

“If we’re going to be a global city, we’re going to need global events.”

Mr McCulloch said his 10 years of experience managing Spacecubed had given him events management experience with “tens of thousands of events” coming through his business.

Mark Gibson said that working in events was “in my DNA” working as a Master of Ceremonies, speaker and facilitator at events and conferences

The former television and radio journalist said he had first hand experience of the impact of COVID-19, with his work stopping when the industry closed in March.

Mr Gibson said he had campaigned on wanting to bring the city alive again and give people a reason to come back to the city.

However, he planned to “aim big” and bring global events to Perth.

Former ABC journalist Di Bain claimed events “are the future of Perth.”

She said it started with acknowledging the pain of the industry because of the coronavirus pandemic.

She believed the industry needed to be activated.

“We as a council are going pump prime activation in our city. We need to ensure that all the cumbersome red tape getting in the way is stripped away,” Ms Bain said.

Ms Bain said that new venues also needed to be found and grassroots events needed to be delivered all year.

Meanwhile, Basil Zempilas said he had “known events all my life.”

The journalist and media personality, who had been known for broadcasting sports events including the AFL Grand Final, Australian Open Tennis and Olympic Games said the events industry was “the lifeblood of the city.”

He planned to bring three big events to Perth including a mining week festival to promote FIFO culture in Perth and bring back the modern giants once a year during the school holidays.

Mr Zempilas also wanted Perth to have its own version of the Vivid festival that he experienced while hosting for Channel 7.

He also wanted to bring the 2027 Special Olympics to Perth as a “feel good” event that would not bring the city infrastructure costs.

Architect Sandy Anghie believed Perth needed to be celebrated.

She said the city was about taking a people first approach and events was about giving people a reason to come back to the city.

Ms Anghie said committees, talk and reports were no longer needed.

“It’s about building a community,” she said.

“We need a year-round calendar of events and experiences for everyone, to give everyone a reason to come to our city.

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