Sales plan is ‘panic’

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Kensington - Su­sanne Reilly

VIC­TO­RIA Park MLA Ben Wy­att says the State Gov­ern­ment’s plan to put 20 gov­ern­ment land sites on the mar­ket is a re­ac­tion rather than a plan.

Last week, the State Gov­ern­ment an­nounced it had iden­ti­fied 20 sites, in­clud­ing the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Food Head­quar­ters in Kens­ing­ton, to be sold to help re­duce the State’s debt.

Mr Bar­nett said the Gov­ern­ment ex­pected to gen­er­ate about $250 mil­lion for the state.

“Th­ese pieces of land, all in the met­ro­pol­i­tan area and from a range of port­fo­lios, would be bet­ter trans­ferred to pri­vate own­er­ship to be rede- veloped or re­stored,” Mr Bar­nett said.

“The sale process will vary from one piece of land to another with some sites ready to go to mar­ket now, and oth­ers that will take more work to get ready for sale.”

Mr Wy­att said while it was valid for Gov­ern­ments to as­sess their bal­ance sheet, it seemed this was a pan­icked re­sponse.

“The sale of the DAFWA HQ is par­tic­u­larly short­sighted as it re­moves from con­sid­er­a­tion an im­por­tant Gov­ern­ment as­set in plans to cre­ate a univer­sity city in the Curtin precinct,” he said.

South Perth MLA John McGrath sup­ports the sale and said it seemed the land was sur­plus to de­part­men­tal needs and should be put to bet­ter use. “The land is ide­ally sit­u­ated for in­ner-city res­i­den­tial use or mixed use, ei­ther of which would com­ple­ment Bent­ley Tech­nol­ogy Park and Curtin Univer­sity,” he said.

“Con­sid­er­a­tion would need to be given to the ef­fects ad­di­tional ve­hic­u­lar traf­fic would have on the sur­round­ing area.

“The City of South Perth is al­ready af­fected by sig­nif­i­cant through traf­fic on ma­jor roads which could re­quire up­grades to ac­com­mo­date ve­hi­cle move­ments gen­er­ated by any re­de­vel­op­ment of the land.”

Lands Min­is­ter Terry Red­man said the Depart­ment of Lands was in the process of as­sess­ing all Gov­ern­ment-owned land as­sets to de­ter­mine lev­els of ef­fi­ciency and use.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

The Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Food, one of the build­ings the State Gov­ern­ment has iden­ti­fied for sale.

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