Heritage Council makes Langley Park grab

YET another organisation is making a grab for land currently controlled by the Perth City Council.

First the East Perth Redevelopment Authority extended its boundaries to include much of the eastern gateway to the CBD.

Then the WA Government set up the Central Perth Planning Committee which will have a say on planning in the CBD.

Now the Heritage Council of WA is making a grab for Langley Park and the Esplanade Reserve.

The Heritage Council wants to enter the two reserves onto the State Register of Heritage Places.

If this is allowed, council will have to ask the Heritage Council’s permission to lease the reserves for public events.

This means events such as Rally Australia could be in jeopardy.

It could also hurt council’s plans to upgrade the reticulation systems on the foreshore parklands.

Part of this $4.8 million plan involves putting two water storage lakes on the Ozone and Esplanade reserves.

Council has been fighting running battles with the Heritage Council for the past two years.

Much of the animosity between the two bodies sprang from council’s plan to turn the old caretaker’s cottage in Queens Gardens into a new home for the Perth City Band.

The Heritage Council blocked those plans at the eleventh hour resulting in considerable cost of the council.

Councillor Noel Semmens said he felt the Heritage Council was expanding outside its role.

“The Heritage Council seems to be moving into the empire building business,” Mr Sem-mens said.

“It seems to me we don’t have the opportunity to properly manage this city,” he said.

“This land is the domain of the council.”

Councillor Laurance Good-man said the management of the city had been entrusted to the councillors.

He said he was sick of non-elected people trying to take control of Perth.

“We’re elected. We’ve done our best and I think that’s been pretty good,” Mr Goodman said.

“A lot of people are trying to get a finger into the pie.

“We should stage a fightback to retain control of the city.”

Councillor Bert Tudori, council’s representative on the Heritage Council, said he believed the body meant well.

“If we’re going to be tough on this we should be tough on the EPRA,” Mr Tudori said.

However, Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass said he did not share Mr Tudori’s feelings with regard to the good intentions of the Heritage Council.

“We nearly lost Cartiers because the Heritage Council came up with some ridiculous requirements,” Mr Nattrass said.

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