Millman urges WAAPA to stay

• Earlier this month Simon Millman caught up with WAAPA’s new executive director David Shirley. Photo via Simon Millman MLA Facebook

MOUNT LAWLEY MP Simon Millman has called for the WA Academy of Performing Arts to stay in Mt Lawley.

Talk of WAAPA moving into Perth’s CBD has been building over the past six weeks, and on September 17 Edith Cowan University vice chancellor Steve Chapman acknowledged to staff in an email he was looking at a foothold in the CBD, although “no decisions have been made”.

Mr Millman says locals have been stressing to him the importance of keeping their university.

Affection

“I have spoken with the vice chancellor this morning, and made sure he knows the level of affection people in our neighbourhood have for WAAPA and ECU,” Mr Millman said.

Prof Chapman’s email didn’t single out WAAPA, but said the uni’s senior executive team had been exploring “expansion and development” to get the best learning environment for students.

“One of the opportunities recently presented to us is the possible establishment of a new ECU campus based in a central CBD location to potentially replace the Mount Lawley campus over time.

“This would, if deemed economically feasible, be an exciting step in terms of ECU’s long-term growth and development.

Stirling council Lawley Ward candidate Paul Collins’ daughter played with the WA Youth Orchestra at the Mt Lawley campus.

“I’m supportive of WAAPA staying,” Mr Collins said.

“From my personal experience, my daughter attending the WAYO at WAAPA in Mount Lawley was very convenient — more convenient than traipsing into the CBD,” especially while carrying a violin.

Potential relocation sites that have been floated include the soon-to-be-redeveloped Carillon Arcade (developer Dexus has applied to build a 24-storey tower on the site) and the old Basil Kirke Studio on Adelaide Terrace.

by DAVID BELL

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