City of Canning councillors back Shelley Beach Park plan

Councillors Ben Kunze and Patrick Hall.
Councillors Ben Kunze and Patrick Hall.

BANNISTER ward councillors Ben Kunze and Patrick Hall successfully rallied their fellow councillors to approve a motion to potentially activate Shelley Beach Park and establish infrastructure to boost amenity and visitors.

Located on the banks of the Canning River between Watersby Crescent and Beatrice Avenue in Shelley, the pair call the park a “jewel in the crown” of Canning and hope a motion to conduct a community survey for the establishment of a commercial cafe in the precinct will deliver a step in the right direction for redevelopment.

MORE: Canning councillors to push for Shelley Beach park plan

Fourteen years after the City of Canning considered the planning and further development of the parkland, which was dumped in favour of Fern Park in Riverton, Crs Kunze and Hall said now was the time to revisit a master plan.

“In 2002 when they last surveyed the residents, more than 70 per cent of people supported it,” Cr Hall said.

“It’s not just about a cafe; it’s about the whole precinct… there are a lot of big events there but no real plan around it, it’s about how Shelley and Rossmoyne will be in 10 or 20 years… let’s activate the area and put a café in and pay homage to the area.”

The City of Canning received requests from the community to consider the establishment of a cafe at the site and the Shelley Rossmoyne Residents and Ratepayers Association formally requested the City survey the community at the City’s Annual General Meeting of Electors in January 2016.

Cr Kunze said the demand for a cafe was a major trend during his 2015 door-knocking campaign.

“When I was door knocking a couple of issues came up time and again and one was a coffee shop on the foreshore,” he said.

Cr Kunze assured residents there was no guarantee something would go ahead, rather the pair sought to gauge the extent of the demand.

“We aren’t going in gung-ho to build a coffee shop but we hope to go to the community officially and ask if that’s what they want,” he said.

Cr Hall said potential could be endless, suggesting exercise equipment, artistic residency’s and cultural homage.

Cr Kunze said it could give Shelley and Rossmoyne residents a place close to home to enjoy.

The pair hope a telephone survey of 350 people in the area will light the way to a feasibility survey before a master plan would be established with community involvement.

The surveys, with a combined projected cost of around $80,000 would be paid for with the 2015-16 budget surplus.

Cr Hall promised an environmentally sensitive, area-appropriate outcome.

“Anything built would be paired back, sensitive, keeping with the community expectations and keep it about communication with the community. We’re taking it to the people, and asking them ‘what would you like?’” he said.

Speaking for the motion, Cr Jesse Jacobs said while the idea had merit, he hoped to trim the predicted cost.

Cr Christine Cunningham spoke against the motion, saying there was no urgency and the plan could wait six months until the next budget.