South Perth residents make last-ditch plea to save Sir James Mitchell Park

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

A GROUP of about 450 residents made a last-ditch plea to City of South Perth councillors to vote against a proposal for a cultural centre at Sir James Mitchell Park.

The crowd packed into the South Perth Community Hall last Thursday for a special electors’ meeting, which was requested by the City of South Perth Residents Association about the proposed Westralian Centre.

It is proposed the centre would occupy 2200sq m on the South Perth foreshore about 300m west of the Coode Street Jetty. It would include an outdoor area, recreation and interpretation space, and buildings for social and civic events. The loss of parkland and the estimated building cost of $7 million, which the City plans to get from state, federal and private sources, have been among concerns raised by some residents.

After statements from the public, most of whom spoke against the development, a motion to oppose the development and call on councillors to vote against it was passed.

City of South Perth Residents Association chairwoman Cecilia Brooke said the outcome of the meeting was excellent and she was pleased with the number of people who attended.

“To have 450 people voting on the motion with only about three people voting against it was resounding,” she said.

“We will continue to campaign about the issue and we encourage people to attend the agenda briefing session and the ordinary council meeting this month.”

The motion will be considered at the agenda briefing session on June 20 and the ordinary council meeting on June 27.

The council will consider a progress report at its June meeting on the business plan, community and stakeholder consultation, site and management investigations, and potential external capital funding sources for the purposes of an initial review before proceeding with the project.

City of South Perth chief executive Geoff Glass said at the meeting the foreshore had always changed and the South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan gave guidance to that.

Three other motions were also passed at the meeting relating to planning and consultation, including a motion of no confidence in the City’s ability to accurately answer questions from ratepayers.

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