14/02/2008 - 15:59

Property industry calls for foreshore development authority

14/02/2008 - 15:59

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The Property Council of Australia has called on the state government to engage property owners, developers and financiers in the early stages of its $360 million Perth Waterfront redevelopment, by establishing a development authority to steer the project.

Property industry calls for foreshore development authority

The Property Council of Australia has called on the state government to engage property owners, developers and financiers in the early stages of its $360 million Perth Waterfront redevelopment, by establishing a development authority to steer the project.

More than 11.3 hectares of Esplanade land will be sold to developers under the proposal, which aims to transform the foreshore strip west of Barrack Square into a mixed-use residential, commercial, hotel and entertainment precinct by 2015.

In welcoming the significant private sector role in the iconic project afforded by the government, PCA (WA) president Ian Armstrong said the Perth Waterfront project would only work if there was early engagement with the private sector.

"The Property Council of Australia calls on the state government to establish a development authority to steer the project and liaise with the private sector.

"Development authorities have an excellent record of delivering iconic and complex projects similar to the scope of the visionary Waterfront Project.

"There is plenty of enthusiasm for the development of Perth's foreshore in the private sector. But we should not underestimate the complexities involved, including the creation of new land titles, bottlenecks in the planning process, the involvement of a range of environmental agencies, and the interaction with adjacent property owners.

"The best way to deal with this complex process is to establish a development authority that can cut through the complexities and bring together all the stakeholders", said Mr Armstrong.

In a separate announcement today, the Urban Development Institute of Australia WA said the key to the project's success would be a streamlined approvals process that would provide surety of timelines for developers when they considered the feasibility of their investment.

UDIA WA president Warwick Hemsley said an approval delivery model involving a special Act of Parliament was worthy of consideration.

"Such an act could provide for appropriate consultation and safeguards but ensures co-ordination and timeliness are not jeopardised," he said.

"Waterfront developments have been universally successful and this is Perth's opportunity to create a development for all Perth residents."

Mr Hemsley said the institute was pleased to see the high level of cooperation between the state government and the City of Perth.

 


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