Car park contention threatens convention

THE Perth Convention and Ex-hibition Centre deal is teetering on whether the Perth City Council gives the Multiplex Consortium $50 million for a 99-year lease on the 1,500-bay car park that will be built under the centre.

Under its contract with the WA Government, the Multiplex consort-ium has to come up with about $200 million to pay for the project.

But some councillors feel the Multiplex Consortium is asking too much for the car park.

The centre is to be built on government-owned land over the existing Perth Busport car park.

Multiplex has until May 28 to present its package for funding the construction of the centre to govern-ment.

A spokeswoman for Tourism Minister Clive Brown said the government’s contract with the Multiplex Consortium was cond-itional on the consortium raising the money for the project.

“How they go about raising the money is up to them,” the spokes-woman said.

The previous government com-mitted $110 million to the deal, which also includes the construction of a soccer stadium near the Perth Entertainment Centre.

Council leases the 1,200-bay car park on the Busport site from the government and makes a $1 million surplus on the deal every year.

Those funds will cease once work starts on the PCEC.

Councillor Laurance Goodman said it appeared the final decision on the fate of the convention centre was with council.

“Nobody believes the new government will look to set up a new deal if the current one falls through,” Mr Goodman said.

He said factions within council were split on whether they should accept the Multiplex deal.

“Some say the PCEC needs to go ahead at all costs. Others think the whole thing is a rort. Then there are people like me who believe the centre should go ahead but only on sensible terms,” Mr Goodman said.

“The price Multiplex is asking is too high.

“It’s not justifiable on council’s current parking tariffs. It’s true that the centre won’t be finished for another three years and in that time the city’s parking tariffs will rise.

“With the PCEC we’ll have 1,500 bays but whenever there is a convention being held, 600 bays will be used for the convention.

“That leaves council with 900 bays for commuters.”

Mr Goodman said there would be rate benefits to council from the PCEC.

There is at least one hotel on the drawing board as part of the centre.

Multiplex construction director Tim Roberts was unavailable for comment.


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