Proposed Westralian Centre concept

Media Response 28 April 2017
Westralian Centre

Journalist’s background: I'm just touching base with you after attending the Ordinary Council Meeting last night. Once again, public question time was dominated by questions about the Westralian Centre concept.

Please attribute the following quotes to City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty.

Geoff Glass commented last night that the public consultation for the Westralian Centre would include a 500-person survey and the Your Say portal, why were these functions chosen?
The City of South Perth is committed to providing the community and stakeholders with opportunities to participate, engage and contribute to decisions on issues that affect them. The City has in place Policy P103 Communication and Consultation which gives guidance by relevant best practice and industry standards which includes the IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum to guide in the communication and consultation process.

Such consultation is one part of the information gathering upon which decisions are based. The City undertakes a range of consultation strategies and processes according to the particular purpose or activity that is being promoted or assessed.

The Westralian Centre is a specific development site and consultation in relation to that proposal flows from the already very extensive consultation that occurred in relation to the Council’s adoption of the South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan (SPF Plan). The Council listened and is responding to the community in considering the location of Foreshore Node 9: The Flagpole with the proposed concept of the Westralian Centre. In respect to this proposal, the further consultation that has and will be undertaken relates to both those considered to be stakeholders as well as the broader public.

With respect to stakeholders, formal and informal consultation has and is occurring and with respect to the broader community a number of approaches will be applied. The City plans to use its ‘Your Say South Perth’ engagement portal to gather community comment. ‘Your Say South Perth’ is the City’s primary source for consultation and allows the City to receive feedback, thoughts, ideas and views on all consultative matters from the community. In addition, there will be a customised online survey of approximately 500 people with the survey questions currently being prepared. The City has engaged independent consultants Thinkfield to conduct the survey. This survey will be statistically valid and assist the Council in understanding the views and feedback of the South Perth and broader metropolitan and regional Western Australian community.

The Council authorised the City to commence community and stakeholder consultation. This researchand consultation is required to determine the level of support for the proposed Westralian Centre concept amongst the City’s residents and ratepayers as well as the wider West Australian community. The research findings will be used in further presentations and discussions with City Councillors as well as State and Federal Government funding bodies. It is therefore essential that the survey be robust in terms of sample size and representativeness, providing confidence that the results are true to the sentiment in the community.

How will the council choose the 500 people to take part?
The Council will not choose the survey participants.

The City has engaged independent consultants Thinkfield to develop a customised online survey which will be sent to a representative sample of the West Australian population, as well as an additional sample of City of South Perth residents. This would allow a number of questions to be asked to gain an in-depth understanding of people’s reactions to and level of support for the proposed Westralian Centre concept.

Thinkfield have been engaged to conduct the online survey with participants to ensure a representative sample by age and gender from across Western Australia.

In reference to the Federal, State and private funding for the project, what meetings has the
council and its representatives been involved in so far?
Formal and informal consultation is and has been occurring with a range of stakeholders.

How confident is the council about receiving the $7 million required for the project?
The City will make best endeavours to secure financial support from the State and Federal Governments as well as private funding. The South Perth Foreshore is a magnificant asset to the City and all Western Australians and as such, deserves good and proper planning and high quality results as the community identified through the SPF Plan process. If the proposed Westralian Centre concept proceeds on this landmark site it would be one of Perth’s premier tourist attractions and a civic public space that would complement other tourism destinations and attractions within South Perth and the greater Perth Water area.

Would the council consider to have the facility built around Mends St?
Concept plans for the Westralian Centre have been developed within the context of the City’s SPF Plan and the proposed project would deliver on the vision for the Node 9 Flagpole site identified through the stakeholder engagement and community consultation process.

The City believes that Node 9 Flagpole is the most appropriate site for the proposed Westralian Centre concept. It is a landmark site, representing national, state, local and Aboriginal significance, that expresses the historical background of the area.

The proposed location has been chosen to maximise the opportunity for formal civic and public occasions. This will leverage and complement the proposed future streetscape and amenity improvements, landscaping upgrades and place activation activities planned for Mends Street Connect South at the Foreshore Node N1: Mends Street (Piazza and Promenade).

The proposed location also creates symmetry between the State War Memorial in Kings Park and Elizabeth Quay, with the three significant tourism attractions located in a triangular formation, visible to each other.

Is there anything else you would like to add? 
The City encourages the community to have their say on the proposed Westralian Centre concept when community consultation commences next month. The community can find out more by visiting the Projects & Places page of the City’s website.

Media contact

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