New plan for Perth

PERTH city is close to getting a new town planner and a new town plan.

The Perth City Council began advertising for a town planner in March and councillors expect to be perusing responses soon.

The decision to hunt for a town planner came after the WA branch of the Property Council of Australia branded Perth a ‘rudderless’ city.

The Property Council put in place its own process to develop a plan for the city. That plan, Capital City Coordination for the 21st Century, is due for release after Easter.

Property Council executive director Joe Lenzo said the plan was a management framework for the development of the capital city.

“The document is likely to have support from city stakeholders such as the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” Mr Lenzo said. “It makes some strong recommendations.”

But Perth is not the only Australian capital singled out for such treatment. Property Council branches in other states have gone through the same process.

“We will be doing a presentation to a meeting of the capital city Lord Mayors in Sydney,” Mr Lenzo said.

Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass said the CBD needed a professional planner.

Dr Nattrass, a self confessed planning amateur, said the city could not be planned in an ad hoc fashion.

Councillor Laurance Goodman said Perth needed a plan, not a town planner.

“I think the decision to appoint a planner was knee-jerk reaction to the Property Council’s criticisms,” he said.

“I don’t think we should avoid sharing decisions on the city’s planning with other stakeholders in Perth.

“We have to talk to the best people.”

Retired WA academic Martyn Webb has recommended that Perth City Council be dismantled and replaced by a planning commission government, business and citizen representation chaired by a paid Lord Mayor.

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