Cheap civic values

Resident George Beacroft outside the old bowling site.
Pic: Andrew Richie
Resident George Beacroft outside the old bowling site. Pic: Andrew Richie

AN “extravagant” $4 million civic garden plan by the City of Canning has been rejected by council because it was too expensive.

The Civic Gardens Masterplan sought to transform the former Cannington Bowling Club site into a vibrant, public open space.

It would have incorporated a plaza, water feature, sensory and native gardens, parkland, communal turf space and an arboretum for community events.

Instead, council rejected the officer’s recommendation and resolved that the site be levelled, reticulated and vegetated as a temporary measure.

Canning Mayor Paul Ng said he was disappointed but understood that $4m was too much in current economic conditions.

“It’s a financially more responsible decision to commit a smaller sum of money,’’ he said.

“The money will be used to beautify the land for the community’s enjoyment.”

Cannington resident George Beacroft was not surprised the Masterplan received mixed reviews.

“It was ridiculous; $3.6m on a garden with $300,000 allocated for design alone was outrageous,” he said.

The former councillor was a member of the old bowling club on George Street West for more than 20 years before it was closed by the City in 2017.

“The site has been fenced off for the past two years, it’s an eyesore and a waste of space,’’ he said.

Mr Beacroft said a decision by council to divert buses past the site to avoid congestion along Manning Road and Albany Highway was rejected by residents.

He believed council may have an agenda to put a high rise building at the site and the increased traffic flow would boost its likelihood of approval, a claim flatly denied by Mr Ng.

Wilson resident Simon Doust expressed disappointment with the “dust sandpit”, urging council to act promptly. Work is expected to be completed in the 2019-20 financial year.