20/06/2006 - 22:00

Cockburn coast to get makeover

20/06/2006 - 22:00

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The Cockburn coast, south of Fremantle, is first on the list to undergo major urban renewal as soon as legislation for a new redevelopment authority is passed, the state government has confirmed.

The Cockburn coast, south of Fremantle, is first on the list to undergo major urban renewal as soon as legislation for a new redevelopment authority is passed, the state government has confirmed.

Stretching from South Beach in South Fremantle through to the southern end of Port Coogee, the Cockburn coast incorporates the old power station and the deteriorating Robbs Jetty freight terminal.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said an improvement plan had been put in place ahead of the legislation to begin transforming the Cockburn coastal strip into a thriving beachside residential and mixed-use area.

Members of a steering committee to oversee the plan include Cockburn Mayor Stephen Lee, Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri, and representatives from the Department of Planning and Infrastructure and LandCorp.

In April, Ms MacTiernan announced the consolidation of LandCorp, East Perth Redevelopment Authority and Subiaco Redevelopment Authority into a super planning authority that would streamline urban development processes and speed-up the revitalisation of degraded areas.

The decision to target the Cockburn coastal area is no surprise to many in the property industry. The area has been the subject of several disputes between councils over building height limits, while community action groups have protested against private residential developments at South Beach and Port Coogee.

The fate of Port Coogee was sealed last year when developer, Australand, won a Supreme Court decision over the Coogee Coastal Action Coalition. As a result, the developer has proceeded with its plans to develop a $500 million marina and 950 residential lots on 87 hectares of land.

In anticipation of the 20,000 people expected to move to the Cockburn area, the improvement plan will ensure that beach access is improved, coastal cafes and shops are introduced, roads and services upgraded and power station buildings given a makeover.

Property Council of WA executive director Joe Lenzo said the area was the best real estate along the coast and it was unfortunate the coastline had been left derelict.

He said the creation of a new redevelopment authority by the state government was an indictment on the fact that the existing planning system did not work.

In this regard, he said, local councils remained concerned that government would make the ultimate decisions on most projects.

Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) executive director Marion Fulker echoed the Property Council’s concerns that the redevelopment authority would be operating outside the centralised planning system to make large projects move ahead.

“What is in the planning system that is not working?” Ms Fulker said. “Sure, the minister is frustrated with local government, but we object to the authority having separate planning powers.”

She said LandCorp was moving into more joint venture projects and it was important the private sector was given more opportunities to contribute to developments.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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