City of South Perth envisages Westralian Centre will tell stories about area’s history

An artist's impression of the proposed Westralian Centre concept.
An artist's impression of the proposed Westralian Centre concept.

CITY of South Perth has opened up following concerns from some members of the public about a proposed cultural centre on the South Perth foreshore.

In a meeting with the Southern Gazette, chief executive officer Geoff Glass and Mayor Sue Doherty spruiked the idea that the Westralian Centre could tell stories about the history of South Perth.

Ms Doherty said she believed the City was responding to what people wanted at the site by proposing the centre.

“When you look at the South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan, this is what the people wanted and we have listened and we are responding,” she said.

“They wanted some components, including ‘a landmark site representing national, state, local and Aboriginal significance that expresses the historical background of the area’ and we are doing that.

“We talk about it being underutilised. We’ve got a site of Australia Day and other civic ceremonies, the Chinese history of the market gardens and it really is disconnected with the rest of the park.

“It will be a gathering place for people where they can stop and look around.”

In March and April, members of the public asked questions about how the council would consult the public about the concept, how the council would obtain $7 million to build it and whether the foreshore was the best place for it.

Independent consultants Thinkfield have been engaged to develop an independent survey of 500 WA people, including a sample of South Perth residents, and people will be able to use the City’s Your Say South Perth engagement portal.

In June, the City will receive a progress report about the business plan, community and stakeholder consultation, investigation and preparatory works and potential external capital funding sources.

“We have spoken to Brendan Nelson at the Australian War Museum and there may be the capacity to have rotating displays from them,” Ms Doherty said.

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