Newsclips 7.5.22

• THE CBD bounceback looks to be underway with Perth having its biggest footfall count for a Friday night in months. Lord mayor Basil Zempilas reported at the May 3 AGM that “the Friday night just gone… figures showed an increase of 14.6 per cent in activity on the previous week,” the biggest number of people in the city in 11 weeks. “And that was day one of the masks coming down… we’ve seen just on day one, the first available numbers, the immediate impact.”

• FRIDAY also brought the announcement that Andrew and Nicola Forrest had bought Carillon City arcade for a reported $80m, which Mr Zempilas called “a huge vote of confidence for our city and in particular the retail core”. The arcade contains a huge chunk of retail space but has been dogged by disruptive upgrades that’ve left shops vacant in preparation for a redevelopment that’s never arrived. Those plans will now be scrapped.

• MUNICIPAL meetings have made for compelling viewing during the pandemic, but anyone missing city hall vibes will be glad to hear regular council meetings are back. Local government minister John Carey announced this week: “I will shortly be writing to all local governments to ask that meetings now return to normal, including allowing for any interested member of the public to attend in-person to engage in the regular business of council meetings.” He said online meetings allowed people who couldn’t attend to participate, and he’d like to keep the online streaming an option; “I also think there is now no reason for typical council meetings to be held in an online-only format.

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