Vincent needs concrete action

ALISON XAMON is the Greens MLC for the north metropolitan area. In this week’s SPEAKER’S CORNER she says it’s time concrete plants got their marching orders from East Perth

JUST a few kilometres from the CBD, sandwiched between the Graham Farmer Freeway and train line, Summer and Lord streets, the Claisebrook Road North forms part of the area earmarked for decades for transformation into the high-density, inner-city precinct of East Perth.

Vincent council envisages the precinct as a residential and commercial transit-orientated hub – exactly the kind of development we need for an area with two train stations. It’s already the gateway to the city’s stadium district and could offer more to those crowds than it already does.

The city’s vision in its town planning scheme could add 600 residents, 880 jobs and $47 million to the local economy. This is an exciting opportunity for residents and businesses to continue to grow the unique and vibrant culture of the area.

But the thorn in the council’s side is two concrete batching plants on the district’s edge. The EPA recommends a buffer of between 300 and 500 metres between concrete plants and housing. Most of this precinct falls within 300m and all of the precinct falls within 500m of one or both.

Despite their best efforts to minimise dust, noise and traffic, the mere presence of the plants has resulted in at least three approved developments being placed on hold. People are not willing to put the time, money and effort into developing this area while they remain. Claisebrook Road North is falling short of its incredible potential.

From the moment those plants were built, they have only ever operated on time-limited licences and have never been part of the planned future of the area. Five years ago, it was made clear the extension to October 2017 was to allow a number of planning documents to be finalised. Those documents are now complete and they, in line with TPS2, recommend a dense, mixed-use inner-city precinct with no industrial sites.

Vincent has given the plants a one-year license to finalise their operations and move on. But despite this generous time, nothing has been done. Quite the opposite; both have appealed to SAT to be allowed to operate in East Perth indefinitely. It is now in the hands of the Minister for Planning.

They say they the need to stay to service the CBD, but they also identify the need to service projects 40km away; by their own reasoning, they could be located anywhere within a 40km ring of the city and still be able to provide concrete to city developments. There are several dedicated industrial areas within that area that would be far better suited than their current location.

This vision for East Perth has been outlined for decades. Over that time we have seen the rest of Claisebrook and large parts of East Perth develop into the type of inner-city homes and businesses we would expect in any world-class city.  The plants are not only delaying, but warping the considered and orderly development of the area. It is time for them to go, to allow the Claisebrook Road North area allowed to fulfil its potential. It is time to tell the plants there will be no more extensions.

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