Kiosk walkway plan abandoned

AN APPLICATION to set up a mobile phone kiosk on the upper level Forrest Place Northern Link has been refused by the Perth City Council.

The applicant wanted to set up the kiosk on the walkway opposite Fletcher Jones.

The proposal would have brought council nearly $18,000 per year in rent.

At its August 8 meeting, council over-ruled its Business Opportunities and Savings Committee’s recommendation to allow the kiosk because it wants to demolish the link to open the northern end of Forrest Place.

The walkway draws very little traffic. However, there is little to draw people across it.

Demolishing the walkway is not an easy proposition. Several parties have to agree before any works can be done in Forrest Place.

It is understood at least one of those parties – Albert Facey House which is linked to Forrest Chase by the walkway – is against it.

It could be two or three years before the redevelopment even looks like starting.

Councillor Laurance Goodman, who chairs the Business Opportunities and Savings Committee, is in favour of redeveloping Forrest Place’s northern face.

However, he wants to make some money for council in the meantime.

“The committee has been looking at making council’s properties work harder,” Mr Goodman said.

“We decided to do some short-term leases on that area to get some money.

“But council knocked this back because some time, maybe, in the future, that walkway may be knocked down.

“In the meantime we could have put together a short-term lease with a redevelopment clause.

“One proposal did not have to be at the cost of the other.”

Mr Goodman said council seemed to be better at stopping things rather than making them happen.

“We decided not to go ahead with a New Year’s Eve party because the police said it would be too hard,” he said.

“It seems when ideas come up, council is prone to do nothing.

“Council has a responsibility to work like a business for the good of the ratepayers.

“It is no good coming up with grandiose plans and then raising rates to pay for them.”

Mr Goodman said money raised from the Northern Link lease could have been used to help maintain some of the projects council is already running.

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