Opinion: Belmont has no river front venues for community enjoyment

DESPITE many kilometres of picturesque Swan River frontage and its position as the gateway to Perth from the east, Belmont has no public venues at which to enjoy a meal and a drink and take in the river view.

Thirty years ago you could go to the Sandringham Hotel and look out across the panorama of the Maylands Peninsula; listen to a band on the lawns of Ascot Inn, where ferries pulled in for Sunday sessions; or enjoy a family barbecue under the gums at Ascot Water Playground while the children splashed and played.

Unfortunately, all these venues have gone.

The Sandringham is now a bottle shop and to see Maylands Peninsula you must walk a narrow path overlooked by apartment towers – none of which includes a restaurant or tavern with a river view.

At Ascot, the objections of the horseracing community finally put paid to the inn and water playground, with the playground at which generations of Belmont youngsters learnt to swim now a decaying mess after 13 years of disuse.

Even Ascot Racecourse has no venue between the track and the river to take in the view, and many riverside picnic tables have so much undergrowth between them and the river that you can hardly see it.

The one restaurant between Great Eastern Highway and the river has a very limited river view and is very pricey, while the kiosk at Garvey Park simply does not count.

It is high time the council encouraged a proper licensed public venue on the Belmont riverbank to allow all its ratepayers to enjoy fully their magnificent natural asset again.

PETER HANCOCK, Belmont.