MAKE PERTH GREAT

New Year's Eve fire­works Four-day Aus­tralia Day 13 Christ­mas hot spots

The Sunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - JOSH ZIM­MER­MAN

A PLAN to breathe new life into Perth’s strug­gling CBD in­cludes New Year’s Eve fire­works, more Christ­mas events and ex­tend­ing Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tions over four days.

The City of Perth will also con­sider free park­ing af­ter 4pm on week­days to en­tice shop­pers back to the city cen­tre in the lead-up to Christ­mas.

“We need to re-in­ject ac­tiv­ity and en­ergy and ef­fort back into the CBD,” Cr James Limnios said.

Prop­erty Coun­cil WA chief Lino Ia­comella added: “There has been a lot of pub­lic ex­pen­di­ture on in­fra­struc­ture like El­iz­a­beth Quay and Ya­gan Square and that now needs to be fol­lowed up.”

A NEW plan to re­boot the heart of Perth would see Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tions ex­tended to four days, fire­works on New Year’s Eve and big­ger, bet­ter Christ­mas events.

The City of Perth will this month also con­sider a pro­posal for free park­ing af­ter 4pm in the week be­fore Christ­mas in a bid to con­vince shop­pers to re­turn to the city cen­tre.

And a rad­i­cal pro­posal for an “iconic land­mark” com­pa­ra­ble to the Syd­ney Opera House for Perth’s bi­cen­te­nary in 2029 will take a ma­jor step for­ward if coun­cil­lors agree to splash $50,000 on a fea­si­bil­ity study.

The move to re­vamp WA’s cap­i­tal comes af­ter the CBD was this year la­belled “dead” and as Jemma Green takes on the job as Act­ing Perth Lord Mayor while Lisa Scaf­fidi ap­peals against her 18-month dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion from of­fice.

The City’s Fi­nance and Ad­min­is­tra­tion Com­mit­tee meets on Tues­day to dis­cuss the $1.5 mil­lion plan, which is de­signed to breathe new life into a CBD where both com­mer­cial and re­tail va­cancy rates re­main stub­bornly high.

The strat­egy in­cludes a cat­a­logue of ac­ti­va­tion events through­out the City with high­lights in­clud­ing:

$280,000 for an eight-week Spring in the City cam­paign in­clud­ing flower canopies, pin­wheels, laser tag and ninja war­rior ac­tiv­ity zones.

$180,000 to ex­tend Christ­mas ac­tiv­i­ties to 13 lo­ca­tions across the City in the form of a Christ­mas lights trail.

$120,000 to add fire­works to New Year’s Eve cel­e­bra­tions in North­bridge.

$180,000 to ex­tend Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tions into a four­day long-week­end event with a range of ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the City.

$430,000 to pro­mote the city as a busi­ness des­ti­na­tion and to con­nect firms with land­lords.

If ap­proved, the plan will be pre­sented to the City coun­cil the fol­low­ing week, when Cr James Limnios in­tends to ar­gue the case for free park­ing in the week lead­ing up to Christ­mas.

“I am go­ing to in­tro­duce a mo­tion for free park­ing af­ter 4pm at all City of Perth op­er­ated park­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the week be­fore Christ­mas,” he said. “I’d also like to see firsthour free park­ing on des­ig­nated high streets and heav­ily dis­counted park­ing rates on week­ends to try and at­tract more peo­ple into the city.

“We need to re-in­ject ac­tiv­ity and en­ergy and ef­fort back into the CBD. If we keep ne­glect­ing it and not driv­ing change we’re go­ing to end up a ghost town.”

Ear­lier this year, hun­dreds of peo­ple at­tended a Perth City Sum­mit or­gan­ised by Perth MP John Carey, who de­scribed parts of the CBD as “dead” af­ter his elec­tion.

“One of the re­sound­ing calls for ac­tion from the Perth City Sum­mit was the des­per­ate need for ac­ti­va­tion be­yond For­rest Place and through­out the en­tire city,” he said.

Prop­erty Coun­cil WA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lino Ia­comella said the fund­ing needed to be ac­com­pa­nied by the cut­ting of red tape for busi­nesses.

“Hope­fully it will be sup­ported by changes al­low­ing more al­fresco din­ing and street ac­tiv­i­ties,” he said.

“There has been a lot of pub­lic ex­pen­di­ture on in­fra­struc­ture like El­iz­a­beth Quay and Ya­gan Square and that now needs to be fol­lowed up with . . . ac­ti­va­tion events that at­tract peo­ple to the CBD.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.