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Kierath opens door for councils

PLANNING Minister Graham Kierath has opened the door for local councils to approach the State Government and establish redevelopment authorities such as those adopted in East Perth, Subiaco and Midland.

“I am not aware of any other councils approaching the State Government seeking a similar authority to be established in their area. If they do, they will be assessed on a case by case basis,” Mr Kierath said.

His comments followed the passing of the Midland Redevelopment Authority Bill.

Mr Kierath said the government had been approached by the Shire of Swan to undertake the redevelopment task.

This is the third urban redevelopment scheme undertaken by the government following the success of the East Perth Redevelopment.

Cabinet approved the drafting of legislation to create the Midland Redevelopment Authority last April.

East Perth Redevelopment Authority CEO Wally Cox has the task of implementing the legislation and defining the MRA.

Dr Cox said, unlike the Subiaco and East Perth redevelopments, the Midland renewal would be industrial and commercial in nature.

Authorities are attractive because they have the power to get the job done quickly. In the case of the EPRA, it is not answerable to constituents – unlike the local council.

In East Perth, the East Perth Residents Action Group has been formed because of inaction by the EPRA in regard to dealing with community concerns.

Residents say they are frustrated at the handing back and forth between council and the EPRA, because of a lack of understanding of the respective duties of each body.

In Midland, the plan is to revitalise the derelict marshalling yards, Tuohy Gardens and land around Ray Marshall Park.

Mr Kierath said he welcomed the first concrete step in revitalising the Midland town centre.

“The Authority will develop a master plan, a redevelopment scheme and financing options for the creation of additional

commercial activities as well as residential properties,” he said.

The new Authority will comprise a five-member board, including two Shire of Swan nominees. The board membership is still to be finalised.

Fingers for the top job of CEO appear to be pointing to Dr Cox. However, he said it would be impossible to do three jobs at one time and do them all justice.

“Setting up the authority provides a wonderful opportunity for the coalition government and Shire of Swan to continue to work together with the community to re-establish Midland as a major service centre,” he said.

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