The City of Mandurah Council last night decided to not proceed with the 2022 Mandurah Crab Fest.
An annual feature of Mandurah events program, Crab Fest is one of the largest free community events in regional Western Australia and was scheduled to run from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 March 2022. The City commenced initial event planning in August 2021 and while there has been minimal expenditure associated with the event to date, the City would be required to enter various contracts and pay the relevant deposits within coming weeks.
Mayor Rhys Williams said the decision to not hold the much-loved event had not been made lightly, but that it ultimately came down to common sense.
“We’re at a crucial stop-go point right now where we need to weigh up the risks of proceeding or not proceeding with the event, based on what we know at this point in time and are able to assume from experience elsewhere,” Mayor Williams said.
“We’re taking a common-sense approach based on the current significant uncertainty around holding major events. We can also learn a lot from what’s happening in the Eastern States and people’s cautious behaviour around attending big events.
“Crab Fest generates an impressive $8.3 million for our local economy, but achieving this requires significant investment of money, time and resources from the City, stakeholders and local businesses.
“With everything we know right now, it would simply not be a responsible decision to proceed.
“Crab Fest is a much-loved highlight of the State’s events calendar and we understand the impact this decision will have; however, the impacts may be bigger if we continue with planning Crab Fest only to be forced to cancel closer to the date once significant investment had already been made, particularly by our local small businesses.
“At this stage the event could proceed, however there is too much uncertainty and risk, including Government flagging the very real potential for increased restrictions when Crab Fest is planned.
“We need to protect our stakeholders, partners and local businesses, and that’s why we’re at the critical decision making point. We’ve been really thoughtful in our consideration of this decision, but couldn’t delay it any longer.
“Currently the City’s main concern is for the local businesses and partners involved, who are wonderful contributors to this event.
“Funds earmarked for Crab Fest 2022 will now be used to deliver an exciting events and activation program in the second half of this year, which will be delivered in a way that will be largely adaptable to any potential COVID-19 restrictions.”