HEED OUR HIS­TORY

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

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.

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