Mends Street Connect South

Media Response 12 May 2017
Connect South

Journalist’s background: I'm just touching base with you following discussions that I've had with business owners along Mends Street. It follows on from the second petition, which was received by council at the last ordinary council meeting. As noted in the petition, the business owners are unhappy with the "lack of public parking" around Mends Street, the impact of construction around the street and other issues. Can I get responses to these questions by midday Thursday?
Please attribute the following quotes to City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty.

What measures has the council implemented to help with parking around Mends St (apart from the 1st hour free at the carparks near Mends St Jetty)?
In addition to the City’s ‘First Hour Free’ parking trial on South Perth Esplanade in the Mends Street precinct, the City has and is implementing a number of measures to manage parking in the area.

These include new permanent wayfinding signage that will soon be installed to assist residents and visitors locate the free short-stay parking in the area, including the one-hour free parking available in the South Shore undercover car park. A dynamic sign showing the number of available parking bays at South Shore will be installed as part of the wayfinding project. The introduction of wayfinding signage is vital to ensure residents and visitors are aware of where parking is available.

Council has also approved three new short-term parking bays on Mends Street in place of a previous loading bay.

In addition, the City has introduced parking for construction and contractor workers on Melville Parade, which will reduce the load that these vehicles have been adding to available parking in the precinct.

City analysis shows that apart from when events are being held in the precinct, there is adequate parking available within an acceptable walking distance to Mends Street. The permanent wayfinding signage will provide visual information as to where parking is available.

What measures did the City put in place to help businesses while construction occurs around Mends St and Mill Point Road?
Engagement of our community and stakeholders is a key component of this multi-million dollar major project. The ccommercial and retail traders and property owners within the Mends Street Precinct are important stakeholders and valued partners of the City. 

City representatives have been meeting regularly with the Mends Street Traders group and working with them on a number of initiatives to support their businesses through this period of transition.

The City has and will soon be installing additional promotional signage in the precinct to remind shoppers that Mends Street is still open for business and encourage visitation during the construction and transition phase.

City and place activation consultants will work with businesses to develop activation strategies, activities and events for the area.

The City constantly audits construction activities and works and in collaboration with all stakeholders aims to ensure that the impacts of development on the surrounding road and pedestrian networks are reduced as much as possible.

What actions has the City taken since receiving this petition? 
The petition received at the April 2017 Council Meeting in relation to Mends Street businesses has been forwarded on to the appropriate City of South Perth director for action.

The petition will be the subject of an officer’s report to Council at the Council Meeting on 23 May 2017.

Is the council considering arranging compensation for retailers for reduced trading as specified in the petition?
This is not part of the City’s consideration.

Does the council believe Mends St Connect South project could help the retailers?
Yes, the Council believes Mends Street Connect South will stimulate the precinct both economically and socially to support the growth of the South Perth Peninsula and in particular Mends Street. 

Connect South is a $7.5 million major project to enhance and invigorate the Mends Street precinct and foreshore area and Council believes this will greatly benefit the retailers in the area, specifically on Mends Street.

The vision is to create a transport and commercial hub, where local businesses thrive and the diversity and rich history of the area are celebrated. It is all about creating a dynamic destination at this important riverside location. The project is focused on improving public amenity via place activation, improving wayfinding, access to transport, and greater economic opportunity. 

Does the council have any plans to help stimulate trading while construction goes on?
As part of the Connect South project, the City will be engaging a consultant to assist the traders with activation and stimulation initiatives during the construction period underway at present. The City plans to have the engagement in place in the next six weeks.

Is there anything else to add?
In October 2016 the City was successful in securing $2.5 million in Federal funding for the project from the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) to match the City’s contribution of $5 million over two financial years. 

Connect South is a key project of the South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan (SPF Plan). The SPF Plan established a strategic vision for the future management of the South Perth foreshore between Ellam Street and the Narrows Bridge. The wider community was consulted extensively during the development of the SPF Plan and prioritised the Mends St area (Node 1) as the most important area to start redevelopment works.  

The opening of Elizabeth Quay on the northern foreshore of the river has linked the Perth Central Business District to the Swan River. The Connect South project presents a similar opportunity through the development of an accessible and highly attractive entry point to Mends Street, the Perth Zoo and greater South Perth.
The Perth Zoo is a key project stakeholder. The improved access that Connect South will bring, will reinforce the links between the Zoo, the City and the Perth Central Business District. The Zoo aims to increase visitors from the CBD especially international and interstate visitors who use public transport.

The City’s Aboriginal Reference Group and Elders are part of the SPF Plan and the City will partner with them as stakeholders and others in the immediate vicinity. The area hosts many historical, mythological and cultural sites of significance reflecting the importance of the rivers in sustaining Noongar people.

The City also plans to work closely with the Department of Transport to seek the redevelopment of the Mends Street jetty as a key component of the Connect South project.  The jetty no longer meets contemporary standards of access and amenity, particularly compared to what is provided at Elizabeth Quay.  Mends Street jetty is a State Government asset, so is considered to be outside of the current funding arrangements. The City will make separate representation to the Department of Transport and the State Government about upgrading the jetty. 

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