Swan Valley dinosaur park may be history

Swan Valley dinosaur park may be history

PLANS for an interactive dinosaur museum in the Swan Valley were saved from extinction after City of Swan councillors deferred a decision on the proposal.

A council report recommended councillors refuse the Middle Swan museum because it was not in line with the viticultural character in the Swan Valley.

Plans for the museum, which include life-sized dinosaur robots that can roam freely, fossil and skeleton displays and a 36-seat cinema, were revealed in November last year.

One of the City of Swan and Swan Valley Planning Committee’s (SVPC) concerns was the three sheds to house multiple life-size dinosaurs, which they considered too large at 1800sq m and 8.2m high.

Planning officers said the museum and its associated facilities did not meet the planning objectives outlined in the Swan Valley Planning Act 1995.

The lack of detail in the wastewater disposal plan given its proximity to the Swan River was also an issue.

Cr David McDonnell put forward a motion to defer the decision to enable the applicant to provide more details of wastewater disposal plan and arrange a meeting between the council and the SVPC.

“Something like the dinosaur park would add a massive tourism precinct to the area,” he said.

“It wasn’t one of those things I wanted to take lightly. I scripted a deferral motion which invited the SVPC into council so we can understand how they made their decision and it allows the proponent the time (to sort out any issues).”

The City received seven submissions from nearby residents. Five raised concerns about traffic, the size of the proposal, entry and exit points and non-conformity with the character of the area.

Ken Robinson is the proprietor and originally planned the dinosaur museum for Belvoir Amphitheatre.

He said the Swan Valley had a lot of tourism potential and the area could not survive just on wine and grapes forever.

“Everybody likes dinosaurs whether you’re aged two or 102. What we’re doing is interactive and educational and it will be great for schools and parents,” he said.