HEED OUR HISTORY
AS the City of South Perth drums up support for a train station in South Perth and calls on residents to create a renewed vision for the area termed the South Perth Station Precinct, a little history may be cautionary.
F K Crowley, in his book The History of South Perth (1962), writes that “plans for puffing the district were helped by a rumour that the government was intending to build a South Swan Railway.
“Speculation about the railway improved estate agents' turnover in 1909 and 1910, but although the Municipal Council fully supported the lobbying of the South Suburban Railway League, the government decided that railways elsewhere would be of more benefit to the State.”
Puffery is the exaggeration of the good points of a product, a business, real property and the prospects for future rise in value profits and growth.
Such advertising hype is prevalent in marketing mega tower apartments in the precinct to the public.
After the opening of the Narrows Bridge in November 1959, “the Mill Point ceased to be a long and tree lined dead-end”. Crowley asked whether people realised that "it would become a noisome funnel decorated with stacks of characterless flats”.
"Monotonously tiered and gardenless flats", "a boa constriction absorption of flat dwellers", "apathy by people misguided and misled" were his other expressions.
Crowley asked why the politicians who represented the home builders allowed the creation of so much of South Perth to be dominated by the profit motive and not by the vision of a planner who thought of the comfort of future generations.
"In the past, much of the work of most local governments has been hindered by the constant intervention of State Government departments" he wrote.
Is the above scene similar to what is happening at present?
In regard to "the boa constriction absorption by Perth of Victoria Park, Leederville and North Perth" by 1917, South Perth residents voted against amalgamation, as they did again in February 2015.
Let's not mindlessly repeat the past but use foresight to plan for the future. CAROL ROE, Manning.