Plea to pro­tect park


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Aaron Cor­lett

A GROUP of about 450 res­i­dents made a last-ditch plea to City of South Perth coun­cil­lors to vote against a pro­posal for a cul­tural cen­tre at Sir James Mitchell Park.

The crowd packed into the South Perth Com­mu­nity Hall last Thurs­day for a spe­cial elec­tors’ meet­ing, which was re­quested by the City of South Perth Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion about the pro­posed Wes­tralian Cen­tre.

It is pro­posed the cen­tre would oc­cupy 2200sq m on the South Perth fore­shore about 300m west of the Coode Street Jetty. It would in­clude an out­door area, re­cre­ation and in­ter­pre­ta­tion space, and build­ings for so­cial and civic events. The loss of park­land and the es­ti­mated build­ing cost of $7 mil­lion, which the City plans to get from state, fed­eral and pri­vate sources, have been among con­cerns raised by some res­i­dents.

Af­ter state­ments from the pub­lic, most of whom spoke against the devel­op­ment, a mo­tion to op­pose the devel­op­ment and call on coun­cil­lors to vote against it was passed.

City of South Perth Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion chair­woman Ce­cilia Brooke said the out­come of the meet­ing was ex­cel­lent and she was pleased with the num­ber of peo­ple who at­tended.

“To have 450 peo­ple vot­ing on the mo­tion with only about three peo­ple vot­ing against it was re­sound­ing,” she said.

“We will con­tinue to cam­paign about the is­sue and we en­cour­age peo­ple to at­tend the agenda brief­ing ses­sion and the or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing this month.”

The mo­tion will be con­sid­ered at the agenda brief­ing ses­sion on June 20 and the or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing on June 27.

The coun­cil will con­sider a progress re­port at its June meet­ing on the busi­ness plan, com­mu­nity and stake­holder con­sul­ta­tion, site and man­age­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tions, and po­ten­tial ex­ter­nal cap­i­tal fund­ing sources for the pur­poses of an ini­tial re­view be­fore pro­ceed­ing with the project.

City of South Perth chief ex­ec­u­tive Ge­off Glass said at the meet­ing the fore­shore had al­ways changed and the South Perth Fore­shore Strat­egy and Man­age­ment Plan gave guid­ance to that.

Three other mo­tions were also passed at the meet­ing re­lat­ing to plan­ning and con­sul­ta­tion, in­clud­ing a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in the City’s abil­ity to ac­cu­rately an­swer ques­tions from ratepay­ers.

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