Public Art Masterplan and Policies

The City’s Public Art Masterplan Part 1 sets out objectives to provide a basis for a considered approach to the acquisition and management of the City’s current and future public art assets. 

The Public Art Masterplan Parts 2-4 also provides guidance, tools and information that will help all those involved in creating public art in the City to identify and align the purpose of public art at a neighbourhood level, and to develop their projects with an understanding of the local environment (in all senses) that will increase the level of connection between artworks and place.

All public art projects within the City, whether City commission, developer commissions or community-initiated projects, should be developed with reference to and in alignment with the curatorial objectives set out for the precinct within which they are to be delivered.  

The Public Art Masterplan is implemented by the City in conjunction with two Public Arts Policies and with the support of the City’s Public Arts Advisory Group.

Arts Advisory Group

The City’s Public Art Advisory Group was established in 2015 as one of the key initiatives set out in the City’s Public Art Strategy, and in 2021 was renamed the Arts Advisory Group (AAG). This group has been established in accordance with the City’s policy P112 Community Advisory Groups. Its function is to provide independent and expert advice regarding the arts-focused actions in the Cultural Plan, the City’s strategic approach to public art, on City commissions and acquisitions for the City's collection, and to review and make recommendations to the City on developer public art proposals. 

The AAG meets at least four times per year. Developers are encouraged to contact the City to confirm scheduled meeting dates and requirements.

Developers wishing to submit concepts for review by the AAG should refer to and develop their project in alignment with the Public Art Masterplan, liaise with the City’s Arts Officer in advance and provide an electronic copy of all documents listed in the Public Art Toolkit Appendix C: Artwork Concept Application at least 10 working days prior to the meeting to ensure inclusion on the agenda.

The AAG’s voting membership consists of up to three elected members (nominated by Council) and up to four arts industry professionals and up to two community representative members. Industry professionals and community members are recruited through an expressions of interest process. 

Policy P101 – Public Art and Art Collections 

The City of South Perth Policy P101 Public Art & Art Collections supports the acquisition/development of public art and art collections in the City by:  

  • Contributing 1% of the construction value of City projects with a value greater than $2 million towards public art in new above ground urban design, public open space and community building constructions and redevelopment projects.
  • Establishing a process to encourage community involvement and/or consultation in City public art projects;
  • Integrating the public art planning process at the commencement of applicable City developments;
  •  Requiring private developers to contribute towards public art commissions within the vicinity of the development according to the requirements as listed in Local Planning Policy - Developer Contributions for Public Art and Public Art Spaces.

Recent commissions resulting from this Policy include public artworks at Manning Hub, Ernest Johnson Reserve, and Mindeerup.

Developer Public Art 

The City also works with private developers who are required to contribute to public art in connection with their development projects within the City. Developer contributions are governed by two key town planning documents. 

Local Planning Policy - Developer Contributions for Public Art and Public Art Spaces  

For most areas within the City, Local Planning Policy - Developer Contributions for Public Art and Public Art Spaces ('the Policy')   facilitate the development of public art in the City in accordance with the Public Art Masterplan.  Where the Policy applies, developers may choose to meet this requirement in one of three ways:

Option A – Provide Public Art on the Development Site 

Provide one or more artworks on the development site itself to a maximum value of $500,000 of the required contribution, with any remaining contribution monies to be delivered as artwork on City land (Option B) or provided as a cash-in-lieu contribution to the City (Option C). 

Option B – Provide Public Art on Land Owned by the City 

Provide one or more artworks within the City to a maximum value of $500,000, of the required contribution, with any remaining contribution monies to be provided as a cashin-lieu contribution to the City (Option C).  

Option C – Provide a Cash-In-Lieu Contribution of Public Art 

Provide the entire contribution requirement as a cash-in-lieu contribution toward the City’s Public Art Fund. Cash-in-lieu contributions may be eligible for a 15% discount to the contribution obligation amount, based on the 1% equivalent total construction value, subject to City requirements.  

Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan

In the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan Area – a town planning partnership project with the City of Melville and the State Government - there are some different requirements and options for developer public art. In the area where this plan applies, private developers of projects with a construction value of $1 million or greater are required to contribute at least 1% of the construction value towards public art. Where the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan applies, developers may choose to meet the public art requirement in one of two ways:

Option 1 - The developer may choose to meet the requirement in whole or in part by making a cash-in-lieu contribution to the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Public Art Fund.

Option 2 – The developer may deliver one or more works of public art within their development.

In all cases developers are encouraged to give early consideration to the public art planning condition and the Public Art Masterplan, and to engage with artists early to achieve the best possible public art outcomes at their sites and for the community. Well considered public art concepts that make the most of opportunities at the site and the talents of the artists and bring diverse public art outcomes into the City are viewed favourably by the City during its assessment of concepts for approval.

Approvals Process

Full details of the approvals process for developer public art are provided in the City’s Public Art Toolkit

Developer public art concepts must be approved by the City before it will issue a building permit for construction of the development to commence.

Developers should give careful consideration to the timing of scheduled meetings of the Arts Advisory Group so as to minimise delays to construction program. Prior to approval, developer public art concepts must be submitted for review by the Public Art Advisory Group at one of the group's scheduled meetings.

The City’s approval, or otherwise, of developer public art concepts is informed by the advice and recommendations provided by the AAG. Formal notice of the outcomes of the public art concept review and approvals process is usually provided within 2-3 weeks of the AAG meeting. 

The approved public art concept must then be delivered in full, and in alignment with the approved concept, and all necessary supporting documentation supplied by the developer before the City will issue an occupancy permit for the completed development.

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