Jacob’s Ladder: City of Perth to seek reclassification for greater authority over stairway

Lunchtime joggers using Jacob’s Ladder the week before it closed indefinitely. Picture: Caitlin Tiller
Lunchtime joggers using Jacob’s Ladder the week before it closed indefinitely. Picture: Caitlin Tiller

THE City of Perth will move to have Jacob’s Ladder reclassified by the State Government as part of a push for greater authority over the popular King’s Park stairway.

The stairway has been plagued by structural integrity problems and noise complaints from nearby residents.

The council voted on Tuesday evening to seek the Minister for Lands’ approval to close Jacob’s Ladder to the public between 7pm and 7am.

Council also resolved to begin advertising its intention to enact the daily closure.

Current remedial works on the stairway will include gates at the top and bottom to be locked overnight.

The City originally intended to pursue the Minister’s permission under section 58 of the Lands Administration Act because Jacob’s Ladder is technically a “road”, being classified as an extension of Cliff Street.

But hours before Tuesday night’s meeting the City changed tactics, opting instead to pursue the matter under section 59 of the same Act, which will enable the City to ask the Minister to reclassify Jacob’s Ladder as a pedestrian “mall reserve”, allowing the City greater power and flexibility in terms of administering the site.

Councillor Janet Davidson said this would enable the City to better maintain the area, including monitoring with rangers and CCTV cameras “so we have no anti-social behaviour”.

Deputy Lord Mayor James Limnios backed the move as one that would give the City more leeway to administer Jacob’s Ladder in a way that “takes into consideration the needs of all stakeholders, including residents”.

Under the Act there, must be a 35-day advertising campaign inviting public comment on the proposed closure before the council can ask the Minister to take action.

See Opinion, page 6