Art cash lopped for trees

CASH intended for art around Bayswater could be diverted towards more trees under a plan by councillor Brent Fleeton.

Under Bayswater council’s per cent for art program, developers have to set aside one per cent of the cost of big projects for public artworks; a little trade-off to beautify the city while they block out the skyline.

It’s new to Bayswater, but one of the most prominent pieces will be the harp-like design slated for the Ross’s Salvage site in Maylands. It’s a $72m development so $720,000 has been set aside for the art.

With locals calling for more street trees, Cr Fleeton wants half the money to be spent on greenery.

Developer contribution

“The Bayswater town centre has very few trees, and with a couple of applications for development there I thought in addition to any public investment for street trees that council’s going to consider in the future, why not alter the planning policy to split developer contribution between art and trees,” Cr Fleeton told the Voice.

“For me, trees are higher on the community priority list than public art.”

He says the policy has to be flexible so developers don’t have to stick all the trees outside one site.

Cr Fleeton’s idea was approved six votes to four and staff will now figure out the details before bringing it back to councillors.

by DAVID BELL

935 Rebecca Van Leeuwen 10x3

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