Town of Cambridge councillors against putting Quarry Amphitheatre on State Register of Heritage Places

Carina Roberts and Chihiro Nomura in Five by Night at the Quarry Amphitheatre.
Carina Roberts and Chihiro Nomura in Five by Night at the Quarry Amphitheatre.

TOWN of Cambridge councillors have resisted the move to put the Quarry Amphitheatre on the State Register of Heritage Places.

An assessment of the 556-seat open-air amphitheatre completed in January by the Heritage Council of Western Australia found the venue was of cultural heritage significance, listing seven reasons why, and informed the Town its stakeholders should be consulted on the proposed registration.

The Town’s community and resources committee members councillors Jane Powell, Andres Timmermanis, Sonia Grinceri, Louis Carr and Mayor Keri Shannon all expressed concern on Tuesday night that putting the venue on the state register could limit possible future seating expansions.

A Concept Master Plan for the venue in 2013 earmarked it for up to 950 seats.

Cr Carr said the hands of future councillors would be tied if the venue was on the state register.

“In 20 years time, a different council may want to revisit the plan; promoters can’t make it work with the seating numbers that are there now,” he said.

“Is this a smart move on our part?”

Cr Timmermanis said he saw no reason to increase the seating capacity yet.

“I have no appetite to see the venue expanded, but Cr Carr’s comments are valid,” he said.

“These are seven spurious reasons for what is a hole in the ground; the reasons are paltry at best.”

Councillors were advised that if they wanted the venue kept off the state registry, they must refute its cultural significance.

Cr Powell moved an alternative motion that council not support the move at this time and wait for public feedback, which ends on July 16.

The new motion will be decided at the June 27 council meeting.

The seven reasons why the Heritage Council of WA found Quarry Amphitheatre should be on the State Register of Heritage Places

1. The place is unique in WA as a former limestone quarry that has been adopted for re-use as an amphitheatre;
2. The place is rare as an extant inner Perth metropolitan quarry associated with the development of the limestone quarrying industry in the late 19th century;
3. The stone from the quarry was used in the construction of some of Perth’s early buildings;
4. For its associations with prominent settlers Walter Padbury and Henry Trigg;
5. The place has aesthetic value for its bushland setting and unobstructed views of the city;
6. Social significance to the local and wider community having been a venue for cultural events since 1986; and
7. The place is associated with Diana Waldron, founder of the Perth City Ballet, who with her husband architect, Ken Waldron was responsible for the inception, fundraising and construction of the Quarry.

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