Home' Scoop : Scoop 59 Autumn 2012 Contents SCOOP AUTUMN 2012 113
rOSS HOLT is CEO of LandCorp, the State Government developer
charged with delivering land and infrastructure projects using government
land, and often when the numbers don’t stack up for the private sector. The
scale and number of developments throughout Perth and regional WA is
truly mind-boggling. With more than 20 years of experience in large-scale
developments involving the financing, delivery and operation aspects, Ross
talks with great confidence about previous successes, exciting progress, lessons
learnt and the need to adopt a less risk-averse attitude to WA’s development.
He expresses a strong understanding of the connection between development
and social and economic imperatives, and about using human capital to make
WA a centre of excellence. While he believes there is a coherent vision for
development, he expresses some concern about the absence of a clear path
for implementing qualitative outcomes
I believe there is a coherent vision for WA.
Directions 2031 and Beyond (Department of
Planning) is the overarching planning document
that informs how we’re g oing to maintain
our lifestyle rather than get swamped by
dramatic population growth. It identifies where
development should happen, where density
should be increased, where activity centres should
be located and where fringe growth should
happen. What it doesn’t say is how we’re g oing
to get there, so perhaps what we’re missing is an
implementation strategy. However, I don’t think
the absence of an overarching implementation
strategy is stopping anything from happening.
Major development projects are a vehicle to
deliver a lot of what WA is going to be in the
future. It’s about using resource opportunities
to diversify our economy, develop new industries
and offer new experiences. How do we become
the centre of excellence in the world for offshore
oil and gas? How do we attract the smartest and
brightest people into that space? How do we cater
for locals and visitors? It’s not about developments,
it’s about experiences, but developments are the
vehicle to deliver those experiences.
Creating 50 activity centres of intense
development will be decades of work.
Joondalup,which is the result of a mid-1970s
vision to create a satellite city, is well underway
but is still only going through its first generation.
Satellite cities of tomorrow will be the activity
centres, such as Murdoch. With Fiona Stanley
Hospital, St John of God Hospital, Murdoch
University and Challenger TAFE all growing
dramatically, by 2031 Murdoch is set to employ
35,000 people within 300 to 400 hectares, and
become the second employment area outside
Perth. But it can’t just be about hospitals and
universities – it’s about creating an experience.
Where do people live? Where do they go for
coffee? Where do they meet people? That’s all
in the planning. The intent is to make Murdoch
like a town centre, with a main street and
excellent transport connections to the freeway,
and railway and buses within. It will be a
major urban centre.
I have a concer n with how the current
major city projects are being staged. Per th
Waterfront, Perth City Link and Riverside
projects are about a lot more apartments and
intensity. I don’t know if we can have everything
happening at once with thousands of apartments
and office blocks being built – we’re not big
enough. So you have to say, “What’s most
important? What do you do first? Where do you
put your energies?” Hopefully that’s happening
below the surface.
In terms of urban development, there are
different ways of doing the same thing by
way of LandCorp, redevelopment authorities
or private developers. A number of major
inner-city projects are under the responsibility
of the MRA. As the MRA has both planning
and development powers this enables these
projects to be fast-tracked compared with
projects being undertaken by private developers
or LandCorp. This is an appropriate solution
for high-priority projects.
However I don’t think redevelopment
authorities are the answer across the
board. Other models, while they may be less
speedy, can better engage the local authority
and general community. From a LandCorp
point of view, we think the general model should
be one based on collaboration between the
developer and local council and community.
The developer – be it LandCorp, private
developer or a redevelopment authority – is
only there briefly, yet the local council is left
running with it forever. The people who inherit
it [local council and local residents] need to
be happy with it, so it’s extremely important
to engage them and make sure they’re on side.
That said, some projects do have a Statewide
significance beyond what an individual local
council can deal with and this is where there
might be a place for a redevelopment authority.
But generally, we live in a democracy, we have
a range of existing institutions and checks and
balances in the development approval systems,
and we should use them.
Mandurah Ocean Marina is a fantastic
example of the developer – in this case
“WA has to be an affordable place. We
need to get far smarter and get on the
front foot with the affordability issue.
And we have to diversify the economy”
Links Archive Scoop 58 Summer 2011 Scoop 60 Winter 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page