Mitchell family fights for foreshore

Helen Blythe, Judith Crossland, Ben Blythe, Anna Blythe and April Ledger. Picture: Elle Borgward d411737
Helen Blythe, Judith Crossland, Ben Blythe, Anna Blythe and April Ledger. Picture: Elle Borgward d411737

At tonight’s council meeting, councillors will vote on a report that summarises feedback received during consultation for the South Perth Foreshore 2013 and Beyond project.

The council is being asked to approve development of a strategy document and management plan for the foreshore.

At a briefing last week, five people spoke against the report, asking the City to defer this stage, with one person comparing it to a war. Mrs Crossland was one of those who presented a deputation and said she was acting as Sir James Mitchell’s voice and saying what he would say if he was here.

‘It is a priceless heritage to be cherished,’ she said.

She said that Sir James was aware that land bordering the River formed a valuable asset and of the urgency to legislate before the City grew to the water’s edge.

‘He stated that ‘No city in the Commonwealth is so rich with possibilities in this direction as is Perth, particularly in view of the fine foreshore that is available for such purposes’,’ she said.

‘High rise buildings can be constructed and then demolished anywhere but, once destroyed, nature’s pristine glory can never be recovered.’

Residents presented a petition with more than 5000 signatures to the council that asked that the foreshore be preserved for future generations and not degraded through high-density development and commercialisation.

They said the challenge was to convince the council that the park was not safe from heavy impact commercial development.

The report said it was clear from the results that the community valued and wanted to preserve many of the existing attributes but would like some enhancements made.

The most highly rated opportunities for the foreshore were to improve paths, safety and lighting, and to conduct environmental improvements.

The City has reiterated to the public that it does not plan to sell or lease land.