A BAYSWATER community group took home three Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) WA awards for “changing the conversation” around the Bayswater town centre last week.
Future Bayswater was formed in January 2016 to provide a forum for people who want to see viable investment and future development in the town centre and the precinct surrounding the Meltham train station.
The group’s chairperson Paul Shanahan was named the 2017 State Planning Champion while the group won the 2017 Winner of Community Engagement Project award and 2017 Commendation, President’s Award.
Mr Shanahan said it was a “real honour” to receive the awards.
“When we formed, I don’t think we thought that we would be nominated for anything like this,” he said.
“For someone like me, who is not from a planning background, I probably did not realise how important it was to attend the ceremony and saw who we were up against.
“Talking to a lot of people from the planning industry on Friday… it seems they see our community engagement as being a tremendously important thing to be doing along with good planning.”
Mr Shanahan said the group’s Speaker Series held at the Bayswater Hotel and Bayswater Lacrosse Club was the highlight of this year.
“Before we formed it was really only one conversation that was centred around no change, no progress and no future discussion about what needs to happen there,” he said.
“We hope to continue the discussion around the town centre and Meltham.
“We want to see those areas regenerated and become a proper transport-orientated development where there are a variety of housing and the economic performance goes up.”