River­side jewel to be re­vamped

The West Australian - - NEWS - Liam Croy

The City of Vin­cent plans to re­de­velop a prime chunk of land over­look­ing the river and Op­tus Sta­dium with a fo­cus on re­tain­ing its nat­u­ral beauty.

Banks Re­serve, tucked be­hind the dis­used East Perth power sta­tion, has been de­scribed as “a bit of an un­touched jewel” by Vin­cent mayor Emma Cole.

It is the coun­cil’s only river­front lo­ca­tion.

The 3.5ha re­serve in Mt Law­ley is ex­pected to be­come busier be­cause of the sta­dium and in­creased res­i­den­tial den­sity.

Vin­cent coun­cil will vote on a mas­ter­plan on Tues­day night.

Plans in­clude raised board­walks, an up­graded na­ture play­ground and bas­ket­ball mini­court and a com­mu­nity fire pit.

There would be a bridge over Wal­ters’ Brook and wider prom­e­nades for cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans

The ex­ist­ing pavil­ion would be re­placed with a plaza with kayak stor­age and po­ten­tial for a cafe.

Hon­our­ing Whad­juk-Noon­gar cul­ture would be a pri­or­ity.

The re­serve sits within the bound­aries of three reg­is­tered indige­nous sig­nif­i­cant sites.

Noon­gar el­der Noel Nan­nup, who was in­volved in the plan­ning, said he sup­ported the City’s ef­forts to pro­tect the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

“I love this part of the river,” Dr Nan­nup said.

“There is noth­ing more ther­a­peu­tic than be­ing un­der a sheoak tree, lis­ten­ing to the wind blow­ing through the leaves and the wa­ter lap­ping on the shore.

“Places like this are so im­por­tant and we need to pro­tect them.”

Ms Cole said the coun­cil had taken in­spi­ra­tion from Kings Park, where new de­vel­op­ments Im­age: UDLA seemed to blend with their sur­rounds.

“I think the key thing for me is that Banks Re­serve is a place of in­cred­i­ble nat­u­ral beauty and one of the top prin­ci­ples go­ing into the mas­ter­plan was that re­ally needs to be pre­served and en­hanced,” she said.

“It’s lush — ev­ery­thing grows so well down there.

“You can sit up high on the bank and over­look the river.

“You have stun­ning views of the sta­dium and the river.”

Ms Cole said she could see it as a des­ti­na­tion for peo­ple look­ing for a peace­ful stop be­fore or af­ter vis­it­ing the sta­dium.

An artist’s im­pres­sions of the re­vamped re­serve.

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