All Show and no go
CLAREMONT councillors are sceptical about the claimed success of last month’s Perth Royal Show.
“I thought the Royal Show was very quiet this year, despite the good weather,” Cr Jill Goetze said at a council meeting last Tuesday.
“There was very little parking in the streets, but maybe people were using the train to get to Claremont.”
A Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) spokeswoman said the numbers would be obtained after a “thorough” count of admission tickets.
She said this year’s show was a “resounding success” when measured on the values of children learning about agriculture, showgoers’ satisfaction in visitor surveys, spending on rides, food and drinks, and the number of commercial exhibitors.
Earlier this year, Claremont Mayor Jock Barker challenged the event’s ability to survive, given the falling crowds and RAS debt, and he proposed the event be moved to a specially-built Swan Valley venue.
RAS figures record 450,000 visited the annual event in 2013, 410,000 in 2014, about 350,000 in 2015 and 311,000 in 2016.
In response to less visitors, the RAS said it would return the event to its roots of agriculture and family entertainment to attract the public this year.
Cr Peter Edwards said he saw a motorbike ride operator packing up to leave at 10am on the final day.
“It appeared some vendors had decided they were not making money and needed to cut staff and their hours,” Cr Edwards said.
Martin Graham has written about his journey to positive mental health. Picture: Andrew Ritchie