Home' Scoop : Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Contents Colin Barnett, West
What are you most
proud of in WA? West-
ern Australia is quite
unique in that we have
been able to combine
both a strong economy
and development with
a relaxed lifestyle. We have the type of lifestyle
and status that is envied around the world.
What don't you like about Perth? Resistance
to change. A current example would be the
debate surrounding the extension of shopping
hours. Sometimes we are too narrow in our out-
look and need to be more forward thinking.
Do you have a vision of how Perth might be
in, say, 20 years? I hope Perth still remains as
a mid-sized city and keeps its clean, open style.
The CBD needs to be livelier with a greater
population injecting vibrancy seven days and
nights a week. I would also like to see more
tasteful development along our coastline and
Do you have any fears for WA's future? Only
that we may miss our once in a generation op-
portunity to populate the north of our state and
create economic and employment opportuni-
ties for generations to come.
ing it as "a honeypot" to encourage and enable
more West Australians from all places and walks of
life to engage with the city centre.
The Committee for Perth is committed to the
development of a lively world-class waterfront
but Marion Fulker says she has some lingering
concerns that a "modest" development on the
foreshore will mean we will end up with another
belltower, originally planned to be far bigger and
grander but scaled back after a public outcry about
the size and cost of development and now often
lampooned for being too small.
"You are never going to get the whole com-
munity behind whatever you do," she says. "But
sometimes you just have to go ahead and do it."
She says in Melbourne, the jury is still out on Federa-
tion Square's startling architecture but everyone
does agree that it is a good space and it is well used.
But injecting life into Perth is not just about
new buildings. Changes to WA's liquor licensing
laws have seen more than 40 new bars spring up
around the city and suburbs but there are ongoing
issues with councils and residents accepting them.
But it is the issue of extending retail-trading
hours has become emblematic of the battle to
move Perth into big city league. While the State
Government is in favour of extending opening
hours on weeknights throughout the entire metro
area, it has failed to convince either the Labor op-
position or the National Party. For now, while the
government will allow late night and Sunday trad-
ing in the Perth CBD and some inner city areas
Ted Wilkes, National
Drug Research Institute,
What are you most proud
of in WA? The Derbarl
Yerrigan -- the Swan River.
I'm proud because it's my connection back to the
reality that existed prior to 1829. This is Noongar
land and a profound place and the Swan is our
connection to the royal blood of Aboriginal peo-
ple who lived here before.
What don't you like about Perth? The treatment
of Indigenous Australians within the cities. The
place of Indigenous Australians and how we are
on the margins, I don't like that.
I'm certainly not disadvantaged in any way other
than there are people who look at me and treat
me differently because they recognise me as an
Aboriginal man or a Noongar man.
And it's not just Aboriginal people, there is a lack
of tolerance and compassion shown to people
who are outside the mainstream.
Do you have a vision of how Perth might be in,
say, 20 years? I would want Perth as a city, to ex-
pand as a city should, different from the bush and
other places. Let's get into highrise and inner-city
living. We are spreading too far into the hinter-
land. I like inner-city energy as long as people can
be accommodated with proper respect for cul-
tural diversity. And we should use our waterways
more effectively, in consultation with traditional
owners. I want to see Perth as being one of the
most vibrant, wanted places to live, because of
its remoteness -- we can develop our own lifestyle
and do our own thing -- although we shouldn't be
Do you have any fears for WA's future? I fear
mining is being left untethered. There is mining
going on in our backyard without any leash. There
is all the "let's get in there and make some quick
money" but our children and grandchildren will
look back at it and say "what did you do?". We
should be saving some stuff for our children.
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