Plans to Repair River Walls

Media Response 11 October 2013
South Perth Foreshore

Please attribute the following comments to City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty:

What section of the river walls will have maintenance repairs done in this tender?
The City of South Perth plans to complete maintenance repairs on the South Perth Foreshore river wall between the western beach and the Narrows Bridge (vicinity of Queens Street).

Does the City see these repairs as a viable solution? Are they happy with the decision to repair the walls?
Unfortunately, the City has no other choice other than to make the repairs to prevent further degradation along the river wall. Repairs to the walls in this area will not restore them to the preferred condition but will extend the life of the walls by 10 years or so with ongoing maintenance.

State governments over time have not allocated sufficient funds for capital works improvements to maintain river infrastructure at an acceptable level. The cost of replacing the walls is extremely expensive at around $5,500 per metre.

What would be the ideal outcome of the riverwalls in the City's view?

The City is disappointed that to date the State Government has not fulfilled its election promise to partly fund the cost of replacing the Swan River walls either side of the Mends Street jetty. The State Government needs to significantly increase funding to improve the quality of river infrastructure.

How does the City feel about the closure of the Swan River Trust? Does the City feel the Department of Parks and Wildlife will respond to their river wall concerns?
With the announcement that the Swan River Trust will be absorbed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, it raises further doubt as to whether funding for the river walls will be provided in the near future. Local Governments require certainty of funding for realistic planning of river management including the replacement of infrastructure.

With boundary changes, the City's boundary will move to the middle of the river, does this mean the walls will be more of the City's responsibility and less of the State Governments?

We are unclear of the significance in the proposed shift of the local government boundary to the centre of the river. It would be totally unacceptable if the river wall infrastructure were to become the sole responsibility of Local Government.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

The City values and acknowledges the funding received from the Swan River Trust to enable work to be carried out on the walls of the iconic Swan River.

It is disappointing that other areas of the South Perth foreshore continue to be neglected and the City has now been forced to fence parts of the Swan River in two high profile locations to protect the public and manage risks associated with the walls.

Media contact

For media enquiries, please contact the City’s Communications Officer.