Major projects and future directions

Media Response 10 July 2017
Journalist’s background: We are looking to soon run a series of articles about the changing face of Perth and its suburbs in the run-up to the State’s 200th birthday in 2029.
And I was hoping you could help.

So, I am chasing details of (if possible):

• Any major infrastructure project currently underway that will be finished before 2029.

• Any major infrastructure project that hasn’t begun but is due to finish before 2029.

• Any “future directions” framework or plan that could prove transformational if introduced before 2029 (for example, light rail, pedestrian malls, higher density living, etc).

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

South Perth Foreshore

One of the major infrastructure projects the City of South Perth is currently undertaking is the revitalisation of the South Perth foreshore.

Over one million people visit and use the foreshore each year, it is highly valued by both the City’s local community and our visitors from Western Australia’s broader community.

As custodians of the foreshore, it is vital for the City to ensure this reserve continues to be sustainably managed. The South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan (SPF Plan) gives guidance to this and aims to balance the competing demands for use, development and management of this precious regional reserve with the need to conserve and enhance a functional healthy river and foreshore environment. The SPF Plan identifies ten nodes, each with distinctive characteristics, opportunities and management issues, and strategies for each.

The City has engaged extensively with the community and stakeholders on the development of the SPF Plan to improve the amenity, access and sustainability of the reserve.

Implementation of the SPF Plan has commenced with various nodes along the foreshore receiving much needed upgrades to replace damaged river walls, as well as the creation of new rock headlands and beaches, new paths, seating, decking, lighting, landscaping and amenity facilities.

Connect South is a key project of SPF Plan and in 2016 the City successfully secured $2.5 million in Federal Government funding for the project from the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) to match the City’s contribution of $5 million.

The aim of Connect South is to enhance and invigorate the Mends Street precinct and foreshore area by creating a positive environment, both economically and socially. The project is focused on improving public amenity via place activation, improving wayfinding, access to transport, and greater economic opportunity.

The first stage of the project focuses on Mends Street between Mill Point Road and the foreshore along with parts of the South Perth Esplanade. It will deliver a piazza on the foreshore as well as streetscape and amenity improvements, landscaping upgrades and place activation activities.

The recent opening of Elizabeth Quay on the northern foreshore of the river has linked the Perth Central Business District to the Swan River. There have been large increases in ferry passenger numbers since Elizabeth Quay opened.

The Connect South project presents a similar symbolic linkage opportunity through the development of an accessible and highly attractive entry point to Mends Street, the Perth Zoo and greater South Perth – such as for ferry visitors.

The City will be working 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 outside the current City funding arrangements. The City will make separate representation to the State Government about the need to upgrade its jetty at Mends Street.

Within the SPF Plan, Coode Street is also identified as a node for improved activation. Strategies outline that the area should be activated to become a better serviced family recreation space, with improved facilities and diverse activities. Also, the City will advocate for the ferry to be reinstated to journey to and from Coode Street.

South Perth station

The City of South Perth is strongly advocating for a station to be built in South Perth within the next 10 years for the train.

The South Perth station was first proposed as part of the Perth to Mandurah Rail development in 2002. At a cost of $3 million, the Kwinana Freeway was realigned to leave provision for the train station platform to be constructed at a future date to accommodate the train. The identification of a future station at Richardson Street in South Perth subsequently informed planning for the area as a transit-oriented centre.

The  South Perth Station Precinct Plan was prepared in 2011 by the City of South Perth and the Department of Planning to establish a vision and planning controls in the area that would drive commercial development within the precinct to encourage the delivery of a train station by the state Government.

A key component of the redevelopment of the South Perth Station Precinct (SPSP) was to encourage patronage of the proposed train station; destination uses such as office and commercial development within the 800 metre walkable catchment and improved access to the City’s community facilities, heritage and visitor attractions such as the Perth Zoo.

The provision of a station is a necessary component of the public transport network servicing South Perth as the City comes to grips with other State Government policies requiring another 6,000 to 8,000 residences to be built in the City. The resulting urban infill from the State Government’s densification of South Perth must be accompanied by the provision of adequate public transport infrastructure. Indeed, the Federal Government’s Smart Cities Plan clearly outlines the need for better transport infrastructure and connections to deliver jobs closer to homes.

It is predicted that given the developments already under construction in the precinct, the South Perth station could achieve boardings of around 4,500 to 5,500 train passengers per day by 2026, generating fare revenue of approximately $7.3 million to $9.1 million per annum. These passenger numbers are far in excess of patronage numbers at numerous existing stations on Perth metro rail lines and would make the South Perth station along with Canning Bridge train stations some of the “busy” WA train stations.

The station would provide improved access to the City’s local community and sporting facilities, heritage and visitor attractions such as the Perth Zoo and South Perth foreshore. It would be much more than a commuter station and its value as a tourism asset would provide a significant added amenity.

With the growing population and increase in commercial and retail employment in the area, the train station would help to get people out of their cars, ease the increasing traffic growth and provide a transport alternative that’s easy, close and reliable. The provision by the State Government of accessible and adequate public transport options is critical in achieving the vision for the South Perth Station Precinct and the State Government plans to have thousands more residences in South Perth.

The Perth Zoo, located within walking distance of the proposed station location, had 695,000 visitors in 2015-16 and over the past decade visitor numbers have increased by an average of 10,500 people each year. The station would service Zoo visitors and also service special large-scale events in the City such as the Australia Day celebrations and act as a transfer station between rail and bus networks.

The Public Transport Authority (PTA) in 2012 estimated the construction of the South Perth station to cost approximately $40 million over a two year construction period. The PTA also advised that the new station would require two additional rail cars, worth approximately $10.5 million each. The City hopes that the State Government will look at innovative solutions to the physical location of the station, such as over the freeway, to minimise any impact on nearby sporting facilities and green open space at Richardson Park.

Population increases and infill targets

The City of South Perth’s current estimated population is 46,728 people and that is forecast to grow to 52,250 by 2026 and 56,922 by 2031.

The State Government has set the City of South Perth’s infill housing target at 8,300 by 2050 and the City will reach this mandated target. Strategic planning proposals will ensure future development of additional dwellings in activity centres including the South Perth Station Precinct and its immediate surrounds, Canning Bridge and Bentley-Curtin Precincts, along activity corridors such as Canning Highway, and in areas of specific redevelopment need such as the Waterford Triangle near Curtin University and the Department of Agriculture land on Kent Street in Kensington.

South Perth Station Precinct

Perth and Peel @ 3.5 Million is the primary strategic plan for the metropolitan region – which was released by the State Government in 2015. It aims to address population growth scenarios and land use patterns for an expected population of 3.5 Million people by the year 2050. 

A major emphasis of the State Government plan is to increase the level of growth accommodated within existing city areas to 47% of total growth. This growth within the existing city is intended to be focused within existing activity centres where residents and business can enjoy the benefits of public transport, retail and other amenities while largely preserving the attractive leafy tree lined character of surrounding single residential areas with their larger lots and backyards for children.

Under State Planning Policy, the South Perth Station Precinct and its immediate surrounds (the South Perth Peninsula) is identified as a District Activity Centre. As with other District Activity Centres such as Canning Bridge, this Activity Centre status establishes the South Perth Peninsula as a key area for the State Government’s required infill development and population and employment growth.

The strength of developer interest and activity in South Perth and specifically within the South Perth Station Precinct has demonstrated a high level of confidence in the market for high-density residential development. Based on constructed buildings, buildings currently under construction and active approvals an additional 42,860m2 of commercial floor space, and a total of 688 apartments and 190 short stay serviced apartments will be constructed in the precinct, generating employment opportunities and considerable demand for a station in South Perth.

South Perth Station Precinct Place + Design study

The City has recently undertaken a place and design study of the South Perth Station Precinct.

A primary focus of the study, has been to review the existing vision against the community’s current aspirations for the Precinct and immediate surrounding area. 

The team, led by consultants RobertsDay, collaborated and worked extensively over a six month period with the City staff, Councillors and stakeholders including community group representatives, individual residents, developers, business owners, land owners and government representatives, building on the existing vision, consultant research and stakeholder input to date.

A report released in May 2017 is the culmination of this work, and puts forward a wide range of recommendations related to planning, transportation, public realm, built form and placemaking which the City will consider and prioritise.

The Council is committed to responsibly managing development within the Precinct and indeed throughout the City. There are real limits to what the City can do.

Development applications for large developments, such as high rise apartments in the peninsula, are determined by Development Assessment Panels and not the council, and
The Minister for Planning has final approval of the local Town Planning Scheme and not the Council. 
As the City moves forward it is crucial to balance the needs of all parties including local residents, ratepayers, developers and act for the good of the greater community.

The City and Council act to ensure that developments enhance the City and make a positive contribution to this unique and iconic part of Perth.

Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan

The City’s Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan (CBACP) came into effect following the Minister for Planning’s approval of Town Planning Scheme Amendment No. 47 in February 2017.

Amendment 47 is the culmination of an 11-year-long study of an area centred on the Canning Bridge train station - which has turned out to be a much busier train station than originally envisaged in particular as Curtin University continues to grow in size. 

The purpose of Amendment 47 is to give statutory effect to the CBACP, enabling development of the Activity Centre to proceed according to the CBACP’s provisions and desired outcomes.

The precinct surrounding the Canning Bridge now provides opportunities for revitalisation and increased densification of the area with a mix of office, retail, residential, recreational and cultural uses, maximising opportunities offered by its unique ‘transport hub’ location.

Construction of the Manning on-ramp

Funding for construction of an on-ramp from Manning Road to the Kwinana Freeway has been included in a $2.3 billion road and rail infrastructure package for Western Australia formally announced by the Federal and State Governments in May 2017. 

Immediately following the change of Government at the March 2017 State election, the City’s Deputy Mayor and CEO, successfully, lobbied the new Labor Premier to match the former Liberal Government’s commitment to funding the construction of an on-ramp from Manning Road to the Kwinana Freeway in partnership with the Federal Government.

The project is currently in the development phase. Construction is anticipated to begin in mid-2019 with completion by early 2020. Once completed this critical infrastructure will ease substantial bottle necks and safety issues.

Over a long period of time, the City has strongly advocated the need for this on-ramp to be built as a major priority. It is an important component of transport infrastructure in the Canning Bridge Precinct and there is strong widespread community support for it.

As the City’s population continues to grow, we must ensure we accommodate the increasing number of cars on our roads with appropriate infrastructure. The on-ramp will greatly benefit residents of the City and the wider community through improved connectivity and accessibility to the Kwinana Freeway.

Additionally, it will improve commuter travel times, reduce traffic congestion at the Canning Bridge interchange and on Canning Highway. Safety for all motorists using this regional and local road system is paramount.

To date, motorists wanting to get onto the Freeway south from Manning Road have a long, slow, congested and circuitous route to go south on the freeway. Manning residents had to drive north up to the Canning Highway Overpass before they then head in entirely the other direction to head south down the ramp onto the Freeway, leading obviously to greater congestion and delays on this Overpass.

This has been an on-going issue since the Freeway was extended south of Canning Bridge. It adds travelling time both for motorists who are trying to travel south on the Kwinana Freeway from Manning Road as well as adding to the travel time for those using the interchange at Canning Bridge.

Media contact

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