Urbnsurf spruik wave park site

Artist impression of the previous Alfred Cove wave park proposal.
Artist impression of the previous Alfred Cove wave park proposal.

THE man leading the charge for a Perth wave park has spruiked the viability of the proposed Jandakot site, but says they were far from settled on the final location.

Urbnsurf director Andrew Ross said they would likely make a decision on the project’s home in the next six months, with a 5.7ha government-owned site on Prinsep Road next to Kwinana Freeway and Armadale Road one of a handful of candidates.

Mr Ross said the lack of “river-front NIMBYs” in Jandakot was a positive and there was less chance of the residential outcry which plagued the previous Alfred Cove proposal.

“In terms of opposition, to put this site in that same context, there’s no nearby residents and no nearby businesses that could be affected in any way at all by our presence,” he said.

“That self-interest we saw on show in Melville, we don’t think that will be a real issue with the Jandakot site.”

Mr Ross highlighted the Jandakot site’s proximity to transport arteries such as the Cockburn Central Station and Kwinana Freeway as working in its favour and said the land lent itself to the project.

“We’re able to orientate the lagoon into the prevailing wind, which is important for us and I think it’s in a relatively benign geotechnical position,” he said.

Urbnsurf proponent Andrew Ross at the once-proclaimed wave park site in Alfred Cove.

“It doesn’t face too many challenges from a civil construction point of view, there’s still a lot of work to be done to understand the environmental values of that site, but all the key items we look at to see whether a site might work seem to make sense.”

However, he conceded the Jandakot site was further from Perth than ideal.

“The site is obviously a fair way further south than Melville, we need to do more analysis to see what that could mean in terms of attendance,” he said.

“If you could draw a circle round the site within a 30-minute drive, you want a certain number of people within the catchment.

“As you go further south, it starts to get more on the urban fringe and your circle starts to become a semi-circle.”

Mr Ross also admitted the company was licking its wounds after the Tompkins Park plan fell through when the State Government opted to not sell the crown land to the City of Melville.

“We’re pretty confident about our business model, it’s just about having certainty the investment, time and effort we put in is not going to be for nought.

“We’ve got confidence we can develop a surf park and it can be successful in Perth, it’s just having that certainty we’re not going to be left at the altar for a second time.”

While the government effectively killed plans for the Alfred Cove site, Mr Ross said they had been helpful in helping the project move forward since then and they were enthusiastic about a wave park’s long-term viability.

With Urbnsurf set to open their Melbourne venture in the new year, he wanted to ensure Perth did not miss out as they looked to expand nationally.

“We’re keen to provide this type of amenity or development in each of the capital cities. Perth used to be the state of excitement; that’s what we had on our number plates. I’m not sure we can honestly claim that anymore.”

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