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Debate | Vision WA
vibrancy, opportunity and diversity that you
see in Perth.
In regional WA we’re doing everything we
can to accelerate land supply. In the Pilbara,
for example, we’re doing subdivision releases
of up to 450 lots at a time and releasing
them, quite often by ballot, at a set price.
We don’t auction and we give preference to
first-homebuyers and local businesses. We do
everything we can to decrease any speculative
element and make land as affordable as possible.
Similarly in Broome, we’re trying to get ahead
of the game to make sure prices aren’t driven up
by any resource developments. We have an area
called Broome North with about 4000 lots. People
say we’re selling land too cheaply and devaluing
the rest of Broome, but we’ve tried to respond to
the concern of affordability.
Coastal limitation is an issue in regional WA
but I don’t think it should scare off development.
Risk-averse people say we shouldn’t be
developing land subject to periodical – once
in 50 or 100 years – flooding. But why can’t we
design for periodic inundation? We need to be
open to more innovative or pragmatic solutions
rather than put up barriers. The Pilbara is a
classic example. Port Hedland is very constrained
geographically, but we could access low-lying
areas and design to fit that situation. We’ve
got to look at the broader value equation – the
broader cost benefit and solutions rather than the
‘why-nots’. Unfortunately I think risk-averse
attitude is getting worse.
The successful outcome, in 20 years’ time, is
that Perth will still be one of the most liveable
cities, with all the amenity and lifestyle benefits
that people associate with Perth. High-quality,
higher density, high-amenity areas that people
live in or gravitate to. But it won’t just be about
Perth. Lifestyle opportunities in Regional WA
will be at least equal to Perth. Towns will have
the same vibrancy, buzz, diversity and choice,
“People say we’re selling land too cheaply and
devaluing the rest of Broome, but we’ve tried
to respond to the concern of affordability”
but they will have their own feel – they will
hook into the local character of the region.
Overall, WA has to be an affordable place. We
need to get far smarter and get on the front foot
with the affordability issue. And we have to
diversify the economy.
For any development to go forward you need
good leadership. Perth Waterfront is only
happening because the Premier is on side. Take
him out and you’ve got nothing. All of these
projects are the same. Without Brendon Grylls
and the Premier pushing Pilbara Cities, it wouldn’t
happen. You need the leadership. You need the
planning. You need the delivery capacity. And you
need the funding. Anything only happens when
the planets are aligned.
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