IT’S the final piece of the puzzle in the story of contemporary Joondalup.
A performing arts centre to match the vision of the city’s founding planners.
A vision of a vibrant place, a university city, backed four decades ago by a State premier and a businessman: Charles Court and his appointee Robert Holmes a Court as chairman of the Joondalup Development Corporation.
Such a performance centre has long been in the current City of Joondalup’s sights; it’s part of its community strategic plan and factored into its 20-year financial management plan.
And this month a proposal for a $100 million facility – significantly funded by the sale of City-owned land at Tamala Park – is expected to finally come before Mayor Troy Pickard and his councillors.
Mr Pickard has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Kendrew Crescent project along with sections of the art community who realise its potential to also house the City’s contemporary art collection.
Others have baulked at the cost and the ongoing cost to run it, with the Connolly Residents Association leadership at loggerheads with the City over projected figures and the cost to ratepayers.
Supporters would counter with asking what the cost of not building it now would be as the northern corridor’s population continues to grow.
Significant financial contributions from the State and Federal governments, and even the support of WA arts patron Janet Holmes a Court, would help.
In the meantime, councillors will face arguably the biggest decision of their careers this month with the backdrop of a looming October mayoral election and conjecture over whether Mr Pickard will run again, who could try to use the arts project against him and if former Environment Minister Albert Jacob will stand.
One thing’s for sure, the choice for or against a performing arts centre will come down to numbers.
Numbers in the project and numbers on the council chamber floor.