Home' Scoop : Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Contents as culture, the environment and creativity -- and we ought to think in those
terms as Perth grows.
And whether we like it or not Perth will grow. Perth's population is pre-
dicted to more than double by 2050. The question is how can we make sure
it grows into the sort of city best placed to attract and retain an appropriately
skilled workforce to make the most of the opportunities on offer. Happily,
notwithstanding some short-term hiccups, mining royalties will also give us
money in the government coffers to do something about it.
Already there are several big projects in train. The previous government
commissioned the Perth Arena on Wellington Street, a 14,000-seat entertain-
ment centre that will have a retractable roof, making it suitable for concerts as
well as basketball and tennis matches. It is likely to be finished in 2012.
We will also have a new State Theatre Centre in Northbridge. Featur-
ing the 575-seat Heath Ledger Theatre as well as several other theatre and
rehearsal spaces, it should be ready towards the end of 2010. The City of Perth
just opened its new Piazza on the corner of James and Lake Streets nearby and
the State Government has also announced plans to revitalise the Perth Cultural
Centre with some new cafes and a performance area.
For more than 100 years we have talked about sinking the railway line between
the CBD and the entertainment precinct to the north and it seems finally it will
happen. The Northbridge Link project should see the railway line between the
Horseshoe Bridge and Perth Arena sunk by 2014. At this stage the proposal is for
several commercial buildings and a town square on the land reclaimed. Ken Evans
says CityVision would like to see a 5ha central city park there.
The State Government has also announced extensive development plans
for East Perth around the WACA Ground and the causeway -- the Riverside
Project -- that will see new commercial and residential developments around
Queens Gardens and Gloucester Park. Some building has already started.
But there are still outstanding issues.
The previous State Government committed itself to building a new
60,000-seat sports stadium for Perth but earlier this year it was taken off the
agenda by the new government which baulked at the $1.1 billion cost. It's a
decision many rue.
Craig Silvey, author
What are you most proud of in WA? I'm proud
of a lot of things. We have so much to celebrate:
innovative artists, room for recreation, a relaxed
lifestyle. Rolf Harris. Quokkas. Thinking about it, I
might be proudest of the pressure that was placed
on the government to preserve Ningaloo reef. It was
an amazing display of the power of citizenry. It saved
something precious, and the lobbyists lost. Hard
proof that passionate voices can talk louder than money. I'm also particu-
larly fond of my hometown, Fremantle, whose council strives to approach
things delicately, carefully and tactfully. Again, all at the behest of a vocifer-
ous community; good people who care about their town. Fremantle is a city
that feels like a small village, and it's all too rare in our state.
What don't you like about Perth? Rushed town planning, suburbs with no
soul, and a subsequent loss of community.
Do you have a vision of how Perth might be in say, 20 years time? Like
an enormous Joondalup. An endless expanse of chain stores and display
homes stretching from the Pilbara to Esperance.
Do you have any fears for WA's future? See above.
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