Reach for the summit

SWATHES of traders and city residents are responding to John Carey’s call for ideas to revitalise East and West Perth.

The newly elected Perth Labor MP says locals’ suggestions will be brainstormed at the first ever “Perth City Summit”.

“The idea has exploded, we’ve had a lot of local interest,” he says.

Mr Carey says he decided to hold a summit after door-knocking during the election campaign and meeting lots of people concerned about vacant shops and empty streets.

“There was an overwhelming message in East Perth and West Perth, where a lot of the complaints and concerns were about the number of small shops closing down, people feeling unsafe, and a lack of vibrancy…and the experience of a resident or tourist at the street level,” he says.

• City residents and traders talk about what they want to see tackled at the Perth City Summit. Photo by Steve Grant by DAVID BELL

He’s holding workshops to ask people what they love about the area and what needs to be improved.

“I don’t know what ideas will flow out of this, but you can’t wait for bureaucracy to take action: this has to be driven by the residents themselves,” he says.

“The best ideas aren’t imposed by government, the best ideas come from the people that live, work, and operate small businesses there.

“Already people are raising ideas about the need to cut red tape for alfresco dining, wanting to see more amenity for pedestrians, and creating amenity in East and West Perth rather than just in the city.”

While Vincent mayor, Mr Carey pushed to revitalise precinct groups like Leederville Connect and Beaufort Street Network, and wants similar groups to represent residents living closer to the CBD.

Cut red tape

The East Perth Community Safety Group is already getting involved, and Mr Carey says; “I’ve helped set up the new West Perth Local group, which had 45 people turn up to the first meeting on a cold evening.”

Ideas submitted by locals include:

• “We definitely need a free bike use program. From Hyde Park through to the River and across the city grid. And clean, free public toilets for city shoppers.”

Kate, Proprietor, 

William Topp,

• “We only have two 15- minute free parking bays out the front. Some of our customers can’t get in and out in that time. Thirty minutes or an hour, and 10 bays for the Royal Street strip would be ideal.”

Jass, East Perth IGA

• “Central Park is about the only grass in the city. If a person with a guide dog is at a city meeting or shopping, they would have to walk a few blocks to find it. Some allocated water spots would be helpful too.”

Justine, volunteer guide dog trainer

• “We have a fascinating shared history, but we don’t tend to tell our our local stories very well. I’d like to see more interpretation of our stories celebrated in the public realm, in particular stories that reveal Whadjuk Noongar katitjin.”

Helen, curator

• “I love coming in to the city after work but my boys won’t come with me because there is not much of interest for them. Something active like a skate park, bungee ropes or go-carting would do it for them.” –

Sandra, office manager and mum

There are area-specific meetings ahead of the big Perth City Summit on August 19.

The West Perth forum is June 15, the East Perth forum is June 22, and the city and Northbridge forum is June 29.

Register at or call Mr Carey’s office on 9227 8040.

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