Uphill climb for Jacob’s Ladder campaigner


Gavan O’Connor says most users of Jacob’s Ladder would be locked out by a 7pm-7am closure. Picture: Giovanni Torre
Gavan O’Connor says most users of Jacob’s Ladder would be locked out by a 7pm-7am closure. Picture: Giovanni Torre

A JACOB’s Ladder enthusiast is campaigning to ensure the popular King’s Park stairwell is not closed for 12 hours a day by the City of Perth.

Recently, City officers recommended the closure of the stairs between 7pm and 7am daily, a move endorsed by the Council’s works and urban development committee.

When the proposal came before Council, a late amendment put the curfew on the backburner while the City pursues a reclassification of the relevant part of the Cliff Street road reserve as a “Mall Reserve”.

The move, under section 59 of the Local Government Act, would give the City greater authority over Jacob’s Ladder, opening the door for a revival of the overnight curfew plan.

Gavan O’Connor is a regular at Jacob’s Ladder, usually exercising at 5am. A Wembley resident, Mr O’Connor has been handing out leaflets at the stairs in recent days to ensure other users are aware of the proposed closure.

“When I come about 5am, there are usually around 20 or 25 people walking or running up and down and at any time,” he said. “An opening time of 7am would exclude the vast majority of step users.

“The reasons I want the steps open are (for)… access before and after work, even for night shift workers.

“There is a groundswell of support for the steps.”

Mr O’Connor said the noise from patrons was negligible, and certainly did not necessitate the stairwell being closed 12 hours a day.

Asked what the reclassification would enable the City to do with Jacob’s Ladder, and if the City would rule out closing Jacob’s Ladder between 7pm and 7am in the future, a Council spokeswoman said: “The City will not be drawn in to speculation or commentary until such time as a formal proposal, if any, is considered.”