Big vision the plan for Council

THIS year Perth City Council will be focussing on the “bigger vision of Perth” according to Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass.

Dr Nattrass said the past two years had focussed on making Perth a ‘prettier’ city through streetscaping works such as those carried out on the Swan River foreshore and King Street.

He said the appointment of Max Hipkins as director of planning meant the PCC now had the expertise to tackle longer-term planning issues.

The PCC has been criticised by other city stakeholders, such as the Property Council of Australia, for not having a long-term vision for Perth.

In 1998, the Property Council branded Perth a rudderless city.

The WA Government has also taken a step into Perth’s planning by creating the Central City Planning Committee.

That committee is made up of the CEOs of the Planning Ministry and the WA Planning Commission, Dr Nattrass, Maria Torre representing city residents and Gerald Major representing the Property Council.

There has been concern from some PCC councillors that the committee is actually there to take the planning of Perth out of their hands.

Dr Nattrass said there were three long-term planning issues in respect of the city that sprang to mind.

The first was attracting more people to the Swan River foreshore.

“We’ll be putting together the ideas we gleaned from a worldwide competition we held some time ago,” Dr Nattrass said.

“We’ll be taking some of those ideas and putting them into practice.”

The second issue was to create a better gateway to the eastern end of the city.

“The government buildings there such as the police headquarters, the old Metrobus depot and the chemical laboratories will go in the short-term,” Dr Nattrass said.

However, the PCC will not have total control of the creation of Perth’s eastern gateway.

The majority of the land is under the control of the East Perth Redevelopment Authority which had its boundaries extended as far south as the northern side of Adelaide Terrace in 1998.

The third issue is finding ways to boost the popularity of CBD shopping.

Dr Nattrass said the return of David Jones to the CBD would throw down the gauntlet to suburban shopping centres.

“We’ll use David Jones’ return to promote the city as the biggest shopping centre in the West,” he said.

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