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CBD plans on back burner

REDEVELOPMENT of Perth’s CBD will be put on the back burner under a WA Labor government.

WA Labor leader Geoff Gallop told a Property Council luncheon that his party would focus on the entire Perth metropolitan area rather than just the CBD.

“We believe the Government is focussing too much on the CBD,” Mr Gallop said.

“We would develop sub-centres such as Joondalup and Midland to help service the city.”

Mr Gallop unveiled Labor’s nine other planning priorities:

l Sound financial planning;

l Efficient and effective planning processes;

l Well targeted tax regimes;

l Improved infrastructure planning;

l An educated and skilful workforce;

l Marketing of WA – both Perth and the regions;

l Promoting ecologically viable development;

l Turning Perth into a global city; and

l Making the most of WA’s

proximity to Asia.

Mr Gallop said WA had a capital works budget of $3.3 billion but there was no overall plan to make the most of the money.

“The obvious missing link in public sector processes is infrastructure planning,” he said.

Mr Gallop said Labor would bring together the functions of planning, labour relations, transport and the policy section of Main Roads WA.

He said he wanted to market WA as a clean, green State.

Mr Gallop said simply linking WA’s promotion with marketing of Australia was not enough. Such marketing campaigns seemed to centre only on the nation’s east coast.

“In WA we have created sustainable mining and ecotourism,” Mr Gallop said.

“We are an isolated State and this can work to our advantage.”

Mr Gallop said WA had to start taking the limiting of its greenhouse gas emissions seriously.

“Europe already thinks Australia has not done enough in this area,” he said.

“It is becoming an international business issue.”

Mr Gallop said there was an opportunity to make Perth a truly global city integrated with Asia.

“Perth can become a cosmopolitan, vibrant, safe, affordable, clean and green city,” he said.

“We need to make sure the way the city operates attracts highly skilled people.

“We have to make Perth a city people want to live and work in.”

Mr Gallop said Perth was facing pressures from urban sprawl and cars.

“Support for public transport is crucial,” he said.

“It’s not just a matter of equity. We believe an extension of our rail system both north and southwards to Mandurah wil open up planning opportunities.”

Mr Gallop said WA could not afford to overlook its proximity to Asia.

“The UN has forecast Asia will have 18 mega-cities that will be home to more than 10 million people by 2015 – the US will have five and Europe will have none,” he said.

“These will be key financial centres and markets.

“Hence our need for a cosmopolitan culture.”

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