Heirisson-lite gets nod

13. 779NEWS

A concept image for Heirisson Island. Image supplied | Perth city council

A “LIGHTER” plan for Heirisson Island has been rubber-stamped by Perth city councillors but there’s still no money for a footbridge.

The original masterplan from 2008 was considered too pie-in-the-sky and PCC staffers call the new scheme “a more ‘grounded’ and detailed proposal”.

This plan will see “low key” landscaping and infrastructure on the southern bit of the park only. A small kiosk and event space will be installed, along with pathways and new trees. A light rail stop might even grace the island that currently hosts a statue of Aboriginal warrior Yagan.

Lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi wants to see the underutilised island transformed into a more complete sculpture park.

But the whole project depends on the pedestrian bridge, a joint project between Perth and Victoria Park councils, Main Roads and the WA transport department.

So far the council’s spent $30,000 on planning and will spend another $100,000 next financial year. It needs $5 million from the increasingly parsimonious WA government to get the plan off the ground.

The island, known as Matagarup to local Noongars, was an important crossing point for tens of thousands of years. It was also the HQ of the second tent embassy, and in January an important sacred stone was taken from the island by PCC staff.

Members of the Matagarup council said the stone had been “stolen” and that it shouldn’t have been touched by men.

PCC CEO Gary Stevenson said it had been removed as part of normal cleaning of the island and staff didn’t realise its significance.

“No offence was intended,” he said at the time.

by DAVID BELL

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