‘Vote of confidence’

Carillon City as it is now (top) and how it could have been under the ‘upgrade’ (bottom).

• 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.”

• THAT Friday also brought the announcement that Andrew and Nicola Forrest had bought Carillon City arcade for a reported $80 million, 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 the city’s retail spaces but it’s been dogged by years of disruptive upgrades that’ve left shops vacant in preparation for a redevelopment that’s never arrived. Those dormant plans will now be scrapped.

• WATCHING municipal meetings online has made for compelling viewing during the pandemic, but anyone missing those city hall meeting vibes will be glad to hear regular council meetings are recommencing. Local government minister John Carey announced last week: “I will shortly be writing toall 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 had allowed for greater participation for people who couldn’t make it in person, 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. “My strong view is that it is critically important that ratepayers and interested members of the public have an opportunity to attend meetings in person, to engage personally in the democratic process.”

• THE upgraded Bayswater Waves has won the inaugural platinum award for a “Waterwise Aquatic Centre” from the Water Corp. So many centres were meeting the old gold standard that the new “platinum” ranking was added to recognise low-flow standouts like Bayswater Waves for going above and beyond to minimise splashing and install the latest watersaving tech. Water minister Dave Kelly said: “Water efficiency is a shared responsibility across the community ‚Äì in our homes, workplaces, and across all levels of government. In the face of climate change and declining rainfall, never has this responsibility been more important.” He said the awards are “supporting high water users to be as water-efficient as possible across their operations. This is an essential part of meeting our future water needs because reducing the amount of water we collectively use defers the need for expensive new sources.”

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