Opinion: Westralian Centre is not wanted

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

I share concerns over the proposed Westralian Centre concept. It’s claimed to be viable and popular with the community.

This flies in the face of actual public opinion.

The concept was developed by the City of South Perth council behind closed doors.

Some residents received a “marketing-like questionnaire” which did not ask if they wanted a Westralian Centre.

It asked for comments on the one and only concept.

The majority of respondents were not in favour of the concept.

When residents became aware that the concept meant a large capital building project on the foreshore, removing green space and impacting rates, they wanted to know more.

At a Special Electors’ meeting on June 8, almost 500 residents rejected the concept.

The key concerns were:

1. Why do we need a Westralian Centre? Information is accessible and will be duplicated.

2. Why was there only one concept considered? Who is championing it?

3. It is non-essential infrastructure which ratepayers will have to pay for.

4. Why destroy green space recreational areas which are highly utilised?

The Council says thousands will flock to the centre and it will be financially sound. The cost is approximately $7.5m to build. Running costs and ratepayers’ contributions are unknown. The main income apparently comes from hiring the facility out.

This reeks of optimistic stories told about the likes of the Bell Tower and Perth Convention Centre. An expensive white elephant is a more likely scenario.

Isolated from public transport, car parks, services, it doesn’t make sense. Additional support infrastructure will be needed but we have not been told about this.

We all have smart phones and iPads now and go online to get information. No need for expensive oldfashioned bricks and mortar.

Seriously Council, the boom is over. Where are your priorities?

Focus on cutting waste, reducing budgets and rates.

COLIN BAILEY

South Perth