23/09/2003 - 22:00

Leaders face challenging local issues

23/09/2003 - 22:00


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WA Business News spoke to some prominent local council leaders facing pressure to develop the coastline.

Leaders face challenging local issues

Town of Mosman Park – Dr Bruce Moore, mayor


IN his own words, Town of Mosman Park mayor Dr Bruce Moore refers to his municipality as “small fry”. After all, it has just 600 metres of coastline.

Dr Moore said the cost of maintaining the coastline and its encompassing infrastructure was a burden on councils that could be relieved by coastal development.

The commercial leases associated with development along the coast would go some way to covering the costs of providing and maintaining coastal infrastructure, he said.

“Our philosophy is sustainable commercial development where we want and need certain commercial activities on the beachfront.”

Dr Moore said while urban sprawl had to be addressed, not all coastal areas had to be developed into higher density precincts. Rather, it would be a selective process with areas such as Joondalup, Scarborough, Rockingham and Mandurah becoming more built out with higher density developments.

With regards to the situation in the neighbouring Town of Cottesloe, Dr Moore said it was a residential suburb and that the council had to represent the ratepayers.

“People bought into Cottesloe for the beachside living, not for it to become another Scarborough.”

Dr Moore said he had heard the majority of the residents did not want higher than three or four storeys and that there “would be hell to pay” if the council bowed to the pressure from developers. “I think it will come back to bite them on the backside in terms of impact on residents. It is an important time in the history of Cottesloe.”



City of Cockburn – Stephen Lee, mayor


AS mayor of the City of Cockburn, Stephen Lee is passionate about the beautiful coastline in his city and believes that as many people as possible should be given the opportunity to enjoy it.

Mr Lee’s vision for the city entails medium density development along the coast with generous areas of public open space, parks and promenades.

“It is a wonderful natural asset, let’s get as many people as is practically possible near it,” he said. “The majority of residents look forward to the coastal development because they are sick to death of the noxious industry that has been allowed along the coast from poor planning decisions.”

Mr Lee said that, in WA, there were thousands of kilometres of coastline and, as long as the development was good quality and had significant areas of public open space, allowing the comparatively small section of metropolitan coastline to be developed into vibrant precincts was to be applauded.

Coastal developments slated for the City of Cockburn include Australand’s Port Coogee marina development and the Landcorp, Stockland and South Beach Pty Ltd joint venture’s South Beach development.



Town of Cambridge – Marlene Ann Anderton, mayor


BY definition, a local government’s role is to represent its ratepayers, and according to Mayor Marlene Ann Anderton, the residents of the Town of Cambridge have always come back with a resounding ‘no’ when asked about higher density developments on its coastline and in the suburbs.

“It is the position of the community that it wants to see the coastline,” she said.

Ms Anderton said the community also was opposed to block subdivision, with higher density smaller blocks approved only in new land developments.

“There have been strong presentations from the community that they don’t want to see block subdivision.”

Despite the State Government’s agenda to encourage more high density housing, Ms Anderton said it would not be successful retrofitting higher densities into older suburbs.

“It is pointless telling us to have R60 when it wouldn’t work, we don’t have the public transport. There’s no railway, we don’t have any of the commercial and retail facilities that people expect in higher density areas.”



City of Stirling – Tony Vallelonga, mayor


HOME to the Rendezvous Observation City Resort, the City of Stirling is one of the few local governments in Perth to have embraced multi-story high-density developments.

Under the City of Stirling Scarborough Environs Area Strategy, developments of up to 13 storeys are permitted, however the city retains the right to approve developments that are higher.

Taking advantage of the city’s stance on coastal development are property magnate Ralph Sarich, who has plans to build a $80 million 13-level apartment tower on Scarborough Beach, and Stockland, which recently secured the 1.7 hectare Luna shopping centre site and plans to construct an apartment and retail precinct.

Mayor Tony Vallelonga said cities needed to have a large resident population to be vibrant and visual and many other coastal suburbs that had not embraced change were becoming ghost towns and areas for anti-social activity.

He said future coastal development would become one of those things people had to accept, as the demand for coastal apartments and other developments was undeniable.

“It is only a minor number of people who scream about these issues,” He said.

Mr Vallelonga said developments brought wealth into the city and everybody benefited.

The Town of Cottesloe foreshore was dead, old fashioned and in need of an upgrade, he suggested, and that the development of the Cottesloe Hotel could spark that off.

“We are living in 2003, lets make Cottesloe a vibrant place.”




City of Fremantle – Peter Tagliaferri, mayor


WITH community consultation still under way for Landcorp’s redevelopment of the Leighton Marshalling Yards, the City of Fremantle is yet to field any community concerns about what development goes ahead on the prime beachfront site.

Public pressure has already reduced the development of the site from 13 hectares to 4ha and the City of Fremantle has not established the height restrictions on the development site.

Mayor Peter Tagliferri said he personally did not support high-rise development.

“WA particularly has offered the quarter acre block lifestyle,” he said.

“In this day and age that’s not sustainable; we can’t keep giving everyone a quarter acre block, we need a mix of development and give people the luxury of choice.

Mr Tagliaferri said managing coastal development was a juggling act, balancing both long-term and short-term needs.



Town of Cottesloe – Robert Rowell, mayor


THE $17 million purchase of the Cottesloe Beach Hotel by Multiplex Constructions and its plan for 65 apartments on the site is galvanising the citizens of the leafy beachside suburb.

Town of Cottesloe mayor Robert Rowell has the unenviable job of presiding over any decision about the redevelopment of the hotel.

Nearby watering hole the Ocean Beach Hotel is also being considered for residential conversion.

The council is yet to receive applications for either hotel redevelopment, however.

Mr Rowell said there was no way that the hotel aspect of the iconic Cottesloe Beach Hotel would be allowed to be lost.

“It brings back a lot of memories for a lot of people.”

Mr Rowell said the council was currently in the midst of developing a foreshore development policy.

“We all have this fear of becoming the Gold Coast,” he said.

“We are all so frightened of making a slip up where a large developer inflicts on us something that we don’t want, we don’t approve anything.”


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