Future of event in jeopardy: GM

Mess. Circular Head Council general manager Tony Smart has expressed his disappointment following the Lighting of the Christmas Tree in Smithton on Friday night.

The event has been overshadowed by complaints of the irresponsible use of ‘Silly String’.

“We’re extremely disappointed in the outcome of the event,” Mr Smart said on Tuesday.

“It totally spoiled the night [and] has put the future of the event in jeopardy.”

The issue is set to be discussed with councillors and staff, along with the possibility of cancellation or restrictions to such community events.

Mr Smart said Smithton Christmas Parade organisers have expressed concerns as well.

“It got to a point where it became dangerous, the entertainment were concerned for their equipment,” he said.

“We’re still trying to clean up the mess.”

Circular Head Business Group chairperson Kay Free said she was “extremely disappointed” by the behaviour displayed at the event.

“It’s very, very disappointing.

“The children didn’t only stop on the silly string, they were also trying [to use] shaving cream and, if they had had their way, would have used tomato sauce bottles as well.”

Ms Free said she had received feedback that patrons had left the event early because of the behaviour.

“There is a lot of work that goes into a community event and it’s very disappointing when children run riot and spoil it,” she said, adding there were positives to the night.

“The rest of the event was very successful with most businesses having a great night.”

The event also caught the attention of police, with Smithton Police Sergeant Lee-Anne Walters saying lack of parental supervision was partly to blame.

“Many children were simply dropped off by parents and went on to cause havoc by creating mess, spraying silly string in the face of other persons or over property,” Sergeant Walters said.

“All members of the community are ultimately affected by this behaviour with the cost of clean-up, and added resources required, for what should have been a fun family event.”

She said police will be working with the council on strategies to minimise such incidents.

“Consideration for future events may include persons being prosecuted for littering or committing a nuisance and the confiscation of items, such as silly string.”

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