People power wins out as South Perth Council rejects Westralian Centre

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

PEOPLE power appeared to win out after the City of South Perth decided to reject the Westralian Centre concept.

The council voted not to progress the proposal at its meeting on Tuesday night following negative feedback from some members of the community.

The Westralian Centre was a proposal for civic centre that would have occupied 2200sq m on the South Perth foreshore about 300m west of the Coode Street Jetty.

About 450 people packed into the South Perth Community Hall on June 8 for a Special Electors’ Meeting, where a number of community members voiced their concerns about the proposal.

As part of their decision, council decided to progress the South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan for Node 9 as a “landscape architectural expression” in consultation with the community.

A reference group will now be created to assist with the implementation of a plan for the area.

City of South Perth Residents Association chairwoman Cecilia Brooke said she believed people power won out.

She said the decision to choose a more modest landscape expression of the history and significance of the area would be more consistent with the objectives for the foreshore strategy plan.

“I believe that the City’s commitment to working with the community in developing an inclusive plan will produce a much better outcome in celebrating the City’s local history while providing all the opportunities the area has for events and passive recreation,” she said.

City of South Perth Deputy Mayor Glenn Cridland would not speculate why the council voted not to go ahead with the proposed centre.

“What is clear is that the elected members considered a wide range and significant depth of information on the concept, including a progress report on the proposed centre’s business case and financial viability, community and stakeholder consultation outcomes, site and management investigations, and potential external capital funding sources,” he said.

“There was a real strength of feeling against the concept displayed by the public at the Special Electors’ Meeting, which notably followed the distribution of flyers created by several residents in Garden Street and Mill Point Road who overlook the site proposed for the concept and who opposed the concept going forward.

“I have no doubt that the elected members gave due and serious consideration to the Special Electors’ Meeting and surveys, along with the other information on the concept.”

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