History buffs say Hyde kiosk a risk

Australian Garden History Society (WA) branch chair John Viska. File photo by David Bell.

PLANS to put a commercial kiosk in Hyde Park has the WA branch of the Australian Garden History Society “deeply concerned”.

The society says the kiosk could be detrimental to the park’s health and heritage, and it should be retained as a non-commercial space.  

Vincent council is testing public opinion on whether to put a permanent kitchen kiosk in the same building as the toilets near the western playground. It’s up for debate as to whether it’d replace food trucks, or operate along along with them.

AGHS(WA) branch chair John Viska knows the park and its history like few others, having co-authored the 2003 Hyde Park Conservation Plan commissioned by Vincent council. 


In a letter to council last week, he said the society’s concerns had been picked up by its national branch, and “as a consequence [Hyde Park] has been placed on the AGHS’s ‘Landscapes at Risk’ list.

The list includes significant gardens and cultural landscapes facing a threat from development or neglect.

Mr Viska’s letter says the park will be impacted by “building activity, parking, signage, rubbish generation, [and] disposal” from the kiosk. 

While the council wants to “activate” the park, the conservation plan warns some sensitive trees needed less activity in order to survive.

Mr Viska wrote in his letter that the kiosk “is in close proximity to a 120-year-old  Moreton Bay Fig… increased activation in this area will have a deleterious effect on the health of the tree”.

Mayor Emma Cole said in a statement about the kiosk: “It’s time to have a conversation about how we want to enjoy Hyde Park into the future and what food and drink options we want on offer at the park, if at all.

“For many people – from those who are enjoying a picnic to parents watching their children playing in the water playground – food and coffee are a big part of the park experience.

“Hyde Park has a reputation as one of Perth’s most beautiful parks and we want to make sure it keeps bringing back visitors and locals alike.”

Public comment’s open til April 2 at imagine.vincent.wa.gov. au and a decision’s due at the April 27 council meeting.

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