Journalist’s background: Here are some questions about the Westralian Centre, which the Council gave in-principle support to during February. Some concerns were raised from the public at the March council meeting.
Please attribute the following quotes to City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty.
How big would the Westralian Centre be?
The proposed site for the Westralian Centre is approximately 300m west of the Coode Street jetty and in the South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan (that covers an area of 62 hectares) it refers to this location as Flagpole Node 9.
As a concept, the plan proposes to occupy a total area of approximately 2200sqm, comprising an outdoor area, recreation and interpretation space, as well as buildings of approximately 1100sqm.
The Centre would be a low scale building set into the landscape and partially covered by grass minimising the visual impact on the area.
Is the City concerned the centre would take away the flexibility of the area (e.g. the ability to put up temporary marquees and take them away)?
The City believes that the proposed Centre has the potential to enhance the flexibility and use of the area, with public toilets, kitchen facilities in the restaurant/café and the provision of essential utility services such as electricity and water. These additions would enable the area to become the landmark event space for civic and social events that were identified through the South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan consultation.
Flanked by expansive public open space, the site provides ample opportunities to put up temporary infrastructure when required.
Does the Council believe the concept accurately reflects community wants and needs as represented in consultation over the past five years?
Since 2012, the City has met and engaged with various stakeholder groups such as the Sir James Mitchell Park and Sustainability Community Advisory groups, a wide range of State Government agencies, Aboriginal groups, local business, schools and young people, the Council, residents and the wider community. Through this extensive engagement process the City identified the needs and wants of the community for the South Perth Foreshore.
Feedback from 978 residents, businesses and park users on their ideas, opinions and priorities for the South Perth Foreshore was received by the City in 2013. This feedback received was integral to the development of the 2015 South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan (SPF Plan). It is the SPF Plan that identifies Foreshore Node 9 N9: The Flagpole as:
- A landmark site, representing national, state, local and Aboriginal significance, that expresses the historical background of the area; and
- A landmark event space for calendar civic and social events that provides recreational facilities throughout the year.
The City will be seeking feedback from the community and stakeholders on the Westralian Centre concept to ensure their wants and needs are being met, and also that it delivers on the vision the community helped to define for this area of the foreshore.
Where did the concept of the centre come from? (who's idea was it?)
The Westralian Centre concept was initiated by the City as a result of the SPF Plan, which identifies this site as being appropriate for formal civic and public occasions, with the Westralian Centre proposed to be a central focus for events of local, state and national significance. The plan would be for the proposed Centre to host permanent and temporary exhibitions that promoted uniquely Western Australian stories, which aligns with the objective from the SPF Plan to “recognise and celebrate history and cultural heritage”.
How will the City engage the public about the concept?
Within the next month, the City will commission an independent survey of a broad sample of the Western Australian and local community.
In addition, consultation will be undertaken with both residents and ratepayers in the City and visitors to the foreshore area who have come from other parts of Perth and beyond. This will enable the City to obtain an understanding of how they may reach or use the Westralian Centre.
Will any parts of the land be required to be re-zoned?
The Westralian Centre is proposed to be situated on “Reserve 34565” which has been placed under the care, control and management of the City of South Perth by the Minister for Lands. The Management Order states that the care, control and management of Reserve 34565 is placed with the City for the purpose of “recreation” and for purposes ancillary or beneficial to the purpose of “recreation”.
Is there anything else to add?
The proposed Westralian Centre on South Perth foreshore would be a destination that explores and explains many of the key themes running through our rich history. Highlighting stories from our local Aboriginal culture; telling tales of a remote but steadily growing community; celebrating the emergence of a modern and vibrant society; and commemorating the tragedy and triumph associated with our military contribution to global conflicts.
It is envisaged that these important historic military themes would be enshrined within a riverfront architectural landmark; looking out across spectacular Swan River to the Perth CBD, and up to King’s Park where the State War Memorial sits on Mt Eliza.
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