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FEATURE vision wa
Like it or not,
interviewed for this
feature are shaping
the future of WA
So we thought it was essential to provide each
of them an opportunity to present a clear and
unfettered summary of their vision, an idea of
what we can expect for the future of WA.
Don’t mistake this for a critical review.
This is them having their say, trusting that their
views will be fairly represented and not hijacked
with a single phrase taken out of context,
deliberately misconstrued, sensationalised or
turned into a story that doesn’t exist.
Painting a vision, something for which
they can be held accountable, is just the
first step. Critiquing their views, reviewing
their track record and assessing their capacity
and their will to implement their vision is a
story that will be carried on through Scoop
magazine, Scoop Homes & Art magazine and our
new web portal, scoop.com.au.
Western Australia is on
the cusp of the greatest
phase of development
since the gold rush in
John Forrest was the Premier of the day
and a real visionary, pushing through
major infrastructure projects in the face of
enormous opposition to change, including
the Perth to K algoorlie pipeline, large-scale
investment in agriculture, the development
of Fremantle Harbour, an extensive rail network
homes, office space, bars, restaurants, water,
infrastructure, bigger towns, a bigger capital.
And we need them yesterday.
In 2011, over 55,000 new residents settled
in WA and new housing development is not
keeping pace. Over $200 billion in industrial
development drives demand. The money is there
and through the Metropolitan Redevelopment
Authority and the new DAPs (Development
Assessment Panels) system, local councils can
now be effectively bypassed.
Many believe this is necessary, that State
priorities come before local politics, that the
waterfront and other public assets belong to the
city, not to the suburb. It prevents the ‘not in my
backyard’ mentality and allows greater density in
the city. Whether you agree or not, it has paved
the way for more rapid development.
So like it or not,
change is coming,
and people are afraid
And so they should be. The decisions made in
the next few years will dictate the shape and
style of our towns and cities. The Perth of 2020,
let alone 2050, will be radically different to the
Perth we live in today.
What’s encouraging is that there is strong
consensus amongst the key decision-makers and
opinion leaders about what we do and don’t want.
All the people we inter viewed came across as
and even the national rail link, which was finally
completed in 1917.
It didn’t happen without controversy. Forrest
was slandered in the press, victimised by the
newspapers of the day. The pipeline was pilloried
as the ravings of a madman. There were strikes
in Kalgoorlie and a push for the Goldfields to
secede as a separate colony, or join South Australia.
There was even talk of the north-west becoming
a separate state as happened in the east with the
creation of Queensland. Forrest was seen to be
looking after his mates in the city and wasting
money on unworkable projects in the bush. But
the projects went forward and WA is better for it.
A century later,
Western Australia’s economy is ag ain booming.
We need to develop quickly and people don’t
like it. Similar to the 1890s, we need people,
“Radical design is almost always strongly
opposed from the outset: look at the Opera House
and Federation Square. Perth will be no different”
Perth City Link –
connecting the Perth
CBD with Northbridge
for the first time in
over 100 years
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