PREMIER Colin Barnett said the State Budget will include money for revegetation of the disused Leighton Marshalling Yards and restoration of the coast from North Fremantle to Cottesloe next week.
“It’s a great natural asset that’s not yet been fully taken advantage of by the people of WA, but it most certainly will,” Mr Barnett said about the disused yards when he opened a $1.3 million kiosk and change rooms at adjacent Leighton Beach, North Fremantle this morning.
Community groups have lobbied for funds to improve the yards and coast since plans became uncertain for the realignment of Curtin Avenue through the yards during Budget squeezes several years ago.
This morning, Mr Barnett did not detail the amount of funding for the revegetation, but acknowledged community protests in the 1990s to protect the yard from being over-developed.
He said the yards were still “bare and barren”, and they would be part of a long-term project to restore the coast at the southern end of his Cottesloe electorate.
The City of Fremantle-built kiosk and changing rooms replace a roadside ice cream kiosk that was more than 50 years old before it was demolished for the Leighton Beach development of apartments and a revamped Fremantle Surf Lifesaving Club.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettit said the development was now a proper family and barbecue area, but any anti-social behaviour it may attract, such as burnouts done on lawn next to the new kiosk on Anzac Day, would be prevented by bollards in the future.
A distinctive orange artwork known as the “surfers’ wall” at the former kiosk has been remembered by the new kiosk being painted orange.
Sculpture and pavement art costing $36,000 at the southern end of the new toilets remembers the Poseidon Riders Surf Club of surfies who gathered at the former kiosk in the 1970s.