Public safety risk from horses at ANZAC parade

Date: Aug 22, 2014

Public safety is behind the decision to ban horses from a World War I ANZAC parade in Albany, Western Australia.

On November 1, the town is holding a parade to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC's departure from Albany on their way to Egypt, then Gallipoli.

According to the chair of the event's organising committee, Major General Dave Chalmers, horses will not be allowed to be part of the march because of the potential risk. More than 60,000 people are expected to attend the commemorations, where the atmosphere could be loud and could spook the animals.

If this were to happen during the event, the horses could pose a serious risk to both the riders and the general public.

"This isn't a re-enactment," Mr Chalmers told The Australian.

"Because of the risks associated with having a large crowd and the light horse re-enactors and horses in the parade, it was a joint decision not to allow them, for public safety."

Horses were an integral part of Australia's efforts during World War I. The country sent 136,000 overseas from 1914-1918, with just one making it home.

However, Mr Chalmers said horses are still an important part of the commemorations and will be recognised at other smaller events in Albany over that weekend. This includes an RSL-led ceremony at the memorial the day before and at a meeting at the Albany Race Club on November 2.

Australian Light Horse Association WA president Harry Ball said the decision was disappointing as there has not been any problems with horses in the Albany ANZAC march for 25 years. He noted this was also the case in the larger Perth events on April 25 each year.

"If they'd just discussed with us the safety issues or maybe included us in planning for the day we could have reassured them," he explained.

Public safety remains the concern of event organisers as if any members of the public, a heavy compensation battle could ensure. This is why many events are scaling down to improve safety across the board.

Public liability claims in NSW

If you suffer an injury in a public place because of the risk posed from an event, and you believe that the owner or a third party was responsible, you may be eligible to make a public liability injury claim.

To support your claim, you must have evidence that the situation was dangerous and that the employees or the owner failed to meet their duty of care responsibility. It is recommended that you contact a compensation lawyer who can advise you on how make your claim and assist you through the process.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.