Vision for state landmark

Western Australian Museum chief executive officer Alec Coles in the dinosaur sector.Picture: Marcus Whisson d402866
Western Australian Museum chief executive officer Alec Coles in the dinosaur sector.Picture: Marcus Whisson d402866

Mr Coles was unable to provide specific design details of the almost $430 million museum to be built on its current site.

He said the vision was to create an international attraction.

‘There is a lot of drama about Perth being an isolated city, but that is kind of nonsense.

‘In this day and age, the world’s kind of a small place so there is not any reason why, if we create something good enough, that people shouldn’t come to Perth,’ he said.

Mr Coles, who has travelled extensively in the State since arriving in 2010, said the museum should be as impressive as WA’s landscape.

He said the new museum, expected to be finished by 2019, would be a more integrated facility.

‘The museum has a key role in the Perth Cultural Centre in terms of its presence. There is also the opportunity to feather the edges, so the museum starts to play a much more important part,’ he said.

‘So much about this building, historically, is about keeping people out. The museum needs to be very permeable, something that people can drift in and out of.

‘We have 430,000 visitors to this site… just think what it will be like when we get a new one.’

The museum recently launched one of its public engagement strategies on WA Day, inviting people to record a video explaining why they were proud to be West Australian.

Mr Coles said the initial 2500 responses vindicated his belief that West Australians were proud and less cynical than others.