Con­cept plan won’t last, says Mayor

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Quick News - By JON BAS­SETT

CLARE­MONT Mayor Jock Barker says a Royal Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety (RAS) con­cept plan for the Clare­mont Show­grounds may not cope with future land needs in an ex­pand­ing Perth.

“I think that in the long term a gov­ern­ment will recog­nise it’s a large tract of land in the city, and it’s very likely a gov­ern­ment will see the po­ten­tial for $700 mil­lion to $800 mil­lion of land for sale, but not in my life­time,” he said.

Be­fore the con­cept was pub­licly launched last week, Clare- mont coun­cil­lors were briefed by RAS pres­i­dent Rob Wil­son on the un­costed ideas for the 110-year-old site, com­pris­ing about seven hectares owned by the RAS and about 22ha of Crown Land in trust for pro­mot­ing agri­cul­ture.

Mr Barker said the con­cept showed cur­rent Show­grounds uses with “just” new build­ings, and the site’s pos­si­ble re­place­ment would not af­fect Clare­mont and its “sense of place” be­cause res­i­dents iden­ti­fied with the Swan River, the grow­ing shop­ping cen­tre, Clare­mont Park and the coast.

Dr Wil­son said the RAS was com­mit­ted to the Show­grounds and the public wanted the site to con­tinue as the Perth Royal Show’s home.

“One of the crit­i­cal el­e­ments of the con­cept plan is the abil­ity for year- round ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties in an agrar­ian set­ting and the pav­il­ion and ex­hi­bi­tion op­tions will pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity to do this,” he said

The RAS spent $250,000 and three years de­vel­op­ing the con­cept that pro­poses de­vel­op­ing homes on a 4500sqm tri­an­gle on As­ton Av­enue land, coun­try stu­dents’ short-term ac­com­mo­da­tion and an arena closer to spec­ta­tors, with the ad­di­tion of a veranda.

Agri­cul­ture re­search and farm ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties could be es­tab­lished, with mar­ket square at a new Davies Road en­try, while Hardy Av­enue in the Show­grounds could be an arts and per­for­mance precinct with agri­cul­tural pavil­ions at the north­east cor­ner of the site.

Dr Wil­son said the RAS would seek part­ners in gov­ern­ment, agri­cul­ture and re­search but, other than the tri­an­gle of land, no other sites would be sold for the re­vamp.

RAS chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Cooper said the con­cept was needed so the RAS could have con­trol over its future, with the first work done in five years.

Public con­sul­ta­tion on the con­cept starts next month. Visit www.ras.wa.org.au

Peter Cooper and Rob Wil­son have ideas for the RAS.

A con­cept for an arena veranda.

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