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Detailing a vision for the future of the city

A VIBRANT capital city blending both new and old developments is the vision City of Perth Deputy Mayor Judy McEvoy holds for her home of 22 years.

Cr McEvoy, who stepped into her new role early last month, believes there is place in city streets for heritage buildings and modern developments, but said achieving the right mix and keeping everyone happy at the same time was a big challenge.

“West Perth in particular is a problem area, there are lots of little houses people bought as investments years ago which they want to develop,” Cr Mc-Evoy said.

“Personally, I believe if there is a street with six or eight of these houses on it, then they should be kept … they would make an interesting attraction and heritage is important.

“But I don’t think that if there is one little house in the middle of a street of new developments that the owner should be made to keep it.”

Incentives too, could be used to encourage developers to keep or incorporate parts of the heritage buildings in project plans, she said.

“There are many incentives possible, such as plot ratio or even monetary benefits, these are ideas that have been bandied about for some time,” Cr McEvoy said.

It is this “some time” element of council that frustrates Cr McEvoy who, after running the City Hotel in Murray Street for more than two decades, makes business decisions on a daily basis.

“Every day I make a decision, be it good or bad, but it takes so long to make a decision on the council … that is the most frustrating thing,” she said.

“Everything is researched in a lot of depth and there is an extreme amount of consultation and input.

“But it is because we are investing ratepayers’ money in projects.”

However, when the projects do come to fruition, there is a great deal of satisfaction involved.

Cr McEvoy was on council when it gave development approvals to the inner city apartment building projects, and she is looking forward to seeing the vitality she believes they will bring to the city.

“Inner city residents are important to have in any big city, you need people in the CBD to give the city life and activity. Simply having people around also helps solve some safety and security issues, ” Cr McEvoy said.

“Right now you could fire a shot down St Georges Terrace after 7pm.”

Another project Cr McEvoy is eager to see under way is the redevelopment of the Swan River foreshore.

But the recent change of Government has brought with it doubt as to the future of the project.

Along with boating facilities, restaurants, entertainment and retail outlets, the project also involves the popular idea of a Children’s Pathway, which is planned to wind past a Gumnut Babies factory and the Florence Hummerston Children’s Museum.

“The Gallop Government has indicated it will not be putting any more money into the CBD and will be concentrating on the regions,” Cr McEvoy said.

“This is frustrating when we have to have government funding for the project … I thought it was coming along quite well.

“The foreshore project is very important to the City of Perth, it will create a new focal point.

“And Perth is the capital city of WA. All tourists from the regions, interstate or international, come through the city whether they are arriving by bus, planes or trains.”

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