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Waterfront, Perth City Link, east-side precinct and
Kings Park. There hasn’t been a period since the
1900s that you’ve had such a transformation take
place in the city.
The number-one priority is going to continue to be
about protecting the WA lifestyle. And that means
different things to different people. You can join
a tennis club and pay $400 a year to play on grass
courts as good as Wimbledon all year round. You
can join a golf club and play golf all year round, or
you can buy a dinghy and join a yacht club and sail
on the river. Those activities are not the province
of the wealthy in Perth. They are basically available
to all the community and that’s always going to be
number-one priority, to maintain that and protect
that, as well as family living.
I see the role of the government as laying out the
big picture. Government decides we’re going to
have an eastern precinct, we’re going to have a
stadium, and so on. What is up to the industry,
particularly the architects, is to fill in the detail.
Where Perth has fallen behind is in the quality of
some of the architecture. We don’t have enough
striking buildings that stand out. The property
industry can definitely be more innovative in
inner-city housing, apartments, terraces and
townhouses. There are signs of that but we still
have a fair way to go. We need more choices for
people at any point in their life. And we need
better public art incorporated into the projects.
There is a clear desire amongst our younger adult
generation for inner-city living. Congestion on
our roads and freeways is becoming an issue for
the first time in history. It’s the inner-city areas
that can offer the choice and vitality of different
types of lifestyles. As long as we always have the
traditional Australian quarter-acre-or-less block
“What I would hope comes out of this
period is that there are more high-quality
activities and events for young families”
and house as an option, I would encourage the
industry to be more innovative and build some
really attractive, classy developments. A lot of the
townhouses and apartment blocks are basically
spat out of a machine – simple design at minimal
cost. I’d like to see some more exotic design.
Take a look at New York and Paris and see what
architects are doing there.
The city hasn’t had a new five-star hotel for
25 years. There are a couple of big projects on
the horizon, and China Southern Airlines
will now play a big part in Asian tourism,
particularly from China. We’re retaining some
sites for hotels and are looking at development
incentives such as allowing mixed tourism and
residential, and removing height restrictions.
For example, in Cottesloe the town planning
scheme is 20 years out of date, so the State
is taking over the planning of the area. That
won’t be high-rise development like the Gold
“As long as we always have the traditional Australian quarter-acre-or-
less block and house as an option, I would encourage the industry to be
more innovative and build some really attractive classy developments”
Coast, but my view is that at least up to five
storeys should be allowed, along with
better-quality entertainment, restaurants
and bars. It will happen. It’s been frustrated for
a long time and I think the majority of people in
Cottesloe now want to see change – that’s the
feedback I’m getting as Member for Cottesloe.
Scarborough desperately needs to be re-done.
Scarborough is the big public city beach. The
State will take a lead role. It will probably come
under the new Metropolitan Redevelopment
Authority, which will have special planning and
zoning powers to develop some of the vacant sites
to a high standard and then hand responsibility
back to local council.
What I would hope comes out of this period
is that there are more high-quality activities
and events for young families. With a mortgage,
kids at school, and balancing work, school
and sport, young families are the ones who
need the most help. I’d like to see more
opportunity for them to go to free events, such
as Carols by Candlelight, pantomimes for children,
concerts for teenagers – events that bring
people into the city or other venues. I want to
see a culture of people getting out, enjoying
themselves and interacting with other people for
free, or for minimal charge.
My biggest disappointment, in 20 years’ time,
will be if our developments weren’t done well
and corners were cut.
The Perth Waterfront
redevelopment is intended
to give the city a space similar
to Sydney’s Circular Quay.
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