Park to be houses

EVEN the new WA Govern-ment may not be able to stop land planned to be turned into a park in the affluent East Perth Redevelopment Authority area being used for housing.

EPRA residents had welcomed the Perth City Council’s promise to turn the 13,000 square metres of land it owned on Arden Street since the 1950s into a park.

But in December, then Lands Minister Doug Shave signed the order allowing the EPRA to resume the land.

The Labor Party had promised to keep the site as parkland.

However, both State Member for Perth-elect John Hyde and Planning Minister Alannah MacTiernan say the decision may be out of their hands.

Mr Hyde said his first act as an MP had been to ask Ms MacTiernan to investigate exactly what the EPRA had done and whether it was reversible.

“We are unaware of what third-party arrangements the EPRA has made,” Mr Hyde said.

Ms MacTiernan said it could be a couple of weeks before she received a briefing about Arden Street.

“We have to see what the consequences of Doug Shave’s actions are,” she said.

It is understood several real estate agents have already been contracted to sell the lots created by the Arden Street redevelop-ment.

The Government may not be able to go back on those contracts.

The EPRA plans to build 18 houses on the site. Some estimates put the block prices at between $450,000 and $500,000.

However, the land will need major rehabilitation works to make it fit for use because it was once used as a rubbish dump. Its severe slope means retaining works will be needed.

There are about 2,500 residents in the EPRA area and they feel more parkland is needed.

The Arden Street land is immediately adjacent to Gloucester Park, which residents fear will soon be redeveloped.

Accountant targeted for eastern takeovern Sara Mardon

LISTED accounting group Stockford is looking to WA for its next corporatisation after acquiring about 50 second tier firms in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.

Second tier accounting firm HLB Mann Judd is understood to be in Stockford’s sights, following the decision by its Melbourne associate to join the corporate push.

The trend towards corporate management is becoming very attractive to a number of professional groups and they agree that it is likely to become more common in the future.

At least two Perth companies are going ahead with listing plans to raise funds to acquire accounting firms and financial planning outfits.

Both of Australia’s peak accounting groups have told members to consider offers from such groups carefully but the profession could not stand in the way of market forces.

A senior source at HLB Mann Judd confirmed an approach had been and that the Perth office was considering its options,

The source said that while there were a number of factors favouring corporatisation, the firm could also seek a Melbourne replacement for their national association.

The insider said a key feature of the corporatisation model such as Stockford’s was that the professional was freed from the burden of running the business to concentrate on service to clients.

In addition, the corporate model allows for easier entry and exit in a career path, reducing the burden on those becoming partners or on partnerships when one of their number chooses to leave.

The success of the corporate model depends on the firms being able to maintain the personal relationships and service criteria.

Corporatisation of medical practices has resulted in significant benefits for those involved, with funds being injected into IT as a result of the benefits of economies of scale.

But HLB Mann Judd Perth’s sources indicated that this was not such a burning issue for the firm because it already had a well established IT department with three full-time employees.

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