08/11/2007 - 13:16

Belmont Park turf war decided

08/11/2007 - 13:16

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The Town of Victoria Park will retain the landmark Belmont Park Racecourse site, following the state government's decision to knock back a district boundary amendment proposal by the City of Belmont.

Belmont Park turf war decided

The Town of Victoria Park will retain the landmark Belmont Park Racecourse site, following the state government's decision to knock back a district boundary amendment proposal by the City of Belmont.

In advising the minister for local government, Ljiljanna Ravlich, the Local Government Advisory Board concluded there was insufficient justification to support the proposal to divide the Burswood Peninsula between the two local governments and decided it would not be in the best interests of local government or the affected stakeholders, current and future.

After lodging its proposal with the board in January this year, the City of Belmont was met with stiff opposition from Victoria Park, which likened the move to a blatant land poaching attempt.

At stake was an estimated $5 million in annual rates revenue when the racecourse is eventually developed for housing.

City of Belmont mayor Glenys Godfrey said it was disappointed with the decision, which would mean Perth's racing community would continue to deal with two councils.

The WA Turf Club, known as Perth Racing, owns Belmont Park and Ascot Racecourse.

"We have been united with the WA Turf Club on this issue and will continue a strong relationship with them into the future," she said in a statement,

"This decision means that the boundary will not reflect the changing physical features of the area."

Ms Godfrey said it put its case forward following a recommendation from the state government that WA council's review their boundaries.

An advisory board report into structural and electoral reform of local government released in 2006, found potential for a division of the Town of Victoria Park between the cities of South Perth and Belmont.

Town of Victoria Park chief executive John Bonker said last week it was confident Belmont's proposal would not be accepted based on Victoria Park's experience with development on the Burswood peninsula.

Mr Bonker said he understood there had been some past frustration for Perth Racing but the town was ready to help it progress the redevelopment plans.

 

The full text of an announcement from Ms Ravlich's office is pasted below

Local Government Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich today accepted a recommendation by the Local Government Advisory Board to reject a proposal by the City of Belmont for an amendment to its boundary to incorporate the Belmont Park Racecourse.

Ms Ravlich said the board had found insufficient justification for the proposal, which did not adequately address the significant future developments planned for the area.

In accepting the board's decision, the Minister said the decision was the right one in that it recognised a long historical connection as well as the ongoing benefit of the peninsula remaining under the auspices of a single local government authority.

"From a planning perspective the board argued that dividing the Burswood Peninsula between two local governments was not a desirable outcome and for the benefit of all stakeholders, current and future, the area should remain under the control of the Town of Victoria Park," she said.

"The Belmont Racecourse was originally under the control of the Victoria Park Roads Board, which was proclaimed in 1894, and there has been a clear historical connection between the Belmont Racecourse and the suburb of Victoria Park over the next 113 years."

Ms Ravlich said the planning strategies being adopted for the peninsula were based on connecting both sides of the freeway through the Belmont Park train station and it was essential that there was connectivity and integration with the developments across the Peninsula.

"The Burswood Peninsula has always been under the control of a single local government authority and I agree with the board's recommendation that this should not change," she said.

"The board assessed the proposal on the basis of future development in the area, working on the basis that the expected population will be approximately 8,000.

"I believe this decision is in the best interests of all present and future stakeholders."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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