Westralian Centre proposal runs into protests

Westralian Centre proposal runs into protests

THE City of South Perth’s plan to build a multi-purpose interpretive facility within Sir James Mitchell Park has been met with some concern in the community.

The Westralian Centre is proposed to occupy 2200sq m on the South Perth foreshore about 300m west of the Coode Street Jetty and would include an outdoor area, recreation and interpretation space and buildings for social and civic events.

The City plans to seek State, Federal and private funding for the project, which is estimated to cost about $7 million, based on initial design concepts.

In-principle support was given by the council for the proposed project in February and the City has committed to commissioning an independent survey of a broad sample of WA and local community members during the next month.

The City hopes the site will become a tourist attraction but residents raised concerns about the project at the City’s March meeting.

South Perth resident Jennifer Nevard said she had no issue with the design but was concerned with the proposed timeline and questioned public support for the project.

“The timeline looks ambitious; it’s proposed to be built in time for Remembrance Day in November 2018,” she said.

“The City has undertaken public consultation in previous years during which there was a desire expressed for healthy lifestyle spaces and this seems to be at odds with the consultation processes.

“There were consultation periods in recent times when they put together a strategic plan for the area.”

Mayor Sue Doherty said the council believed the proposed Centre had the potential to enhance the flexibility and use of the area with public toilets, kitchen facilities in the restaurant or cafe and services such as electricity and water.

“These additions would enable the area to become the landmark event space for civic and social events that were identified through the South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan consultation,” she said.

Ms Doherty said since 2012 the City had met various stakeholders and identified the needs and wants of the community for the South Perth Foreshore.

“Feedback from 978 residents, businesses and park users on their ideas, opinions and priorities for the South Perth Foreshore was received by the City in 2013,” she said.

“This feedback received was integral to the development of the 2015 South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan (SPF Plan).”

Ms Doherty said the SPF Plan identified the area as a landmark site and event space that represented national, state, local and Aboriginal significance that provided space for civic and social events.

“The City will be seeking feedback from the community and stakeholders on the Westralian Centre concept to ensure their wants and needs are being met,” she said.