Civic centre future under a cloud

Cottesloe councillors fear the centre and its grounds could be sold as surplus by any new council after mergers being officially announced today.

There was also a concern the grounds, used for family barbecues and weddings for more than 60 years, could be developed regardless of whether the building remains a government asset or is bought privately.

At last week’s meeting, Cottesloe councillors agreed to ask the Heritage Council that a caveat be added to the 1889 centre’s heritage listing that there be continued use of the building by the public and the RSL, which provided half of its purchase cost as a memorial to fallen soldiers in 1950.

Mayor Kevin Morgan gave limited chance for the application to succeed at the council.

‘I say there’s a nine out of 10 chance they won’t give it to us as it’s beyond the normal parameters of heritage, because it’s not a standard thing like them saying ‘we can only use green paint in the hallway’,’ Mr Morgan said.

However, State Government or Heritage Council refusal to protect public access to the centre is unlikely to be a factor during a transition to a new council.

‘No, there’s nothing you can do about what they are going to announce (about mergers) today,’ Mr Morgan said.

A spokeswoman for Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said the Town of Cottesloe was welcome to discuss a heritage agreement with the Heritage Council.

The council will install a new plaque to mark the centre’s heritage status.