MP deals up wish list for ‘new energy’

A NATIONAL Indigenous museum, light rail and permanent housing for homeless people are on a wish list federal Perth Labor MP Patrick Gorman has sent to cities minister Alan Tudge for the “Perth City Deal”.

Mr Tudge was in Perth in August to talk “City Deals,” the federal government’s mechanism to work across three levels of government on 10- to 20-year plans to improve housing, infrastructure and jobs to prepare for a population of 3.2 million by 2050.

In a speech to the Master Builders Australia Conference on August 9, he said the Perth City Deal negotiations started in April 2018 “but it is probably fair to say that we haven’t given it sufficient attention to date.

“Today I want to inject new energy into a reimagined Perth City Deal.”

He said as the population rises Perth “has the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of Melbourne and Sydney.

“In both cities, insufficient infrastructure was built in advance of the population growth.”

Mr Gorman’s penned a letter with five requests:

• A National Indigenous Museum of art, history and culture. He says Perth is the ideal host with many spaces capable of accommodating it, like the Perth council-owned foreshore on Terrace Road which is currently a carpark;

• Light rail, which would “revitalise our city, making it a modern and welcoming city for tourists with the potential to over time connect our greatest tourism assets of Perth Stadium, the Swan River foreshore, Kings Park and eventually our beautiful Indian Ocean beaches”. He noted that soon Perth will be the only mainland state capital without a light rail system;

• A “homeless to home facility”  based on the “Common Ground” model that gives people a permanent space to live rather than transitional housing. Mr Gorman says other capitals benefited from the model, but Perth had missed out. He says he’s confident Perth council “would be able to rapidly approve and provide land for a facility for 150 to 200 people”;

• A major TAFE campus expansion: Mr Gorman says the Leederville, Northbridge and Mount Lawley campuses need major investments, and “there is potential for a large, new TAFE facility — possibly building on the growing Northbridge campus or in the Morley Activity Centre”; and,

• Redevelopment of the WACA, transitioning it to a community hub to fill infrastructure gaps in East Perth. The WACA’s vision for its grounds includes more community use, such as a 10-lane indoor cricket facility, a history museum, resizing the oval to accommodate AFL games and a new piazza open year-round. The only sticky wicket for the $75 million project is the $60m needed from the state and federal government.

The main benefit from the Perth City Deal so far is the Commonwealth’s foundation investment of $1.84b in Metronet.

by DAVID BELL

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