Unconventional approach

THE State Government’s decision to display the proposed models by the three bidders for the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre is at best a token exercise.

Hadn’t the horse bolted?

The decision has been made.

There were few surprises when the Government announced Multiplex as the preferred bidder for the complex.

However, little has been disclosed about the bidding process or details of the two other bidders, Leighton and Nexus – much to the Opposition’s very public chagrin.

Information about Leighton’s proposed design for the convention and exhibition centre has been circulating and helped fuel interest in the matter.

Suggestions it was both more aesthetically pleasing and environ-mentally conscious soon generated interest among many groups.

It is understood this has resulted in some concern for the Government.

Tuesday’s announcement that the proposals would be open for public comment from August 10 would support this.

Premier Richard Court is known to be concerned by aspects of Multiplex’s proposed design.

So the public will have its say – but not its way. Suggestions may be incorporated into the final design for Multiplex’s centre, but there will be no major changes.

The preferred bidder’s submission has been based on a particular style. Significant changes would mean significant dollars.

The Government seems to be taking a better late than never approach.

Why involve the public when the issue is only about a complex that will have an enormous presence in the city and will dramatically alter the landscape between the CBD and Swan River?

Far safer to let them have a go now – particularly when an election is looming and the Opposition is already in full scale pre-election mode, releasing policies quicker than some companies win government contracts.

Labor has gained enough mileage out of its concern about the Govern-ment’s selection process – public sentiment against Multiplex’s proposed convention and exhibition centre would provide another vehicle.

A groundswell of opposition against the Multiplex bid would provide an interesting situation for the Premier.

The Government has made its play but will be keen to be seen as receptive to the community, which is providing millions to finance the controversial project.

However, a bigger issue is that Perth receives the best convention centre possible. The investment must be worthwhile.

The weekly arrives

It has been a long time coming, but Perth finally has a business-dedicated weekly publication.

Business News is delighted to provide Western Australia with a regular business news service focussing on local issues.

While the fortnightly format worked well for seven years, it was decided it was time the paper provided tangible evidence of its confidence in the State.

Many changes have been introduced in the first weekly issue and others will evolve.

However, the best features of the fortnightly format will be retained.

Business News is confident Western Australians will embrace a new print media alternative.

reader response

Honest brokers tarred with same brush

I MUST say that I was most disappointed with the article by Tim Treadgold (Business News, July 2-August 2). There is no truth in the statement that mortgage brokers are the

people that builders, property developers and other “less sound borrowers” deal with when the bank knocks back their loan application.

True, there have been brokers who have received much publicity in recent months who fit that category but I can assure you that the majority of the 467 licensed brokers in this State do not.

As far as our business is concerned, no private investor has ever lost funds in dealing with mortgages through this company and I believe the same applies to most of the honest brokers in this town.

They perform an admirable task in matching worthy borrowers with investors

needing to receive a higher rate on their limited funds than that available from the banks and other institutions.

We can also not be regarded as “financial fringe dwellers”. There are five broking

companies in this State that are licensed by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission to operate a mortgage investment scheme.

We have stringent financial criteria and are probably better qualified to assess property transactions than the banks and others of a like nature.

It would be most appreciated if you would be able to publish in your next edition a retraction for this – what I call colourful and inaccurate language – by Mr Treadgold.

BW Barr

Barry Barr and Associates

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