Update, 1pm: Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi says red tape continues to hold back development as works started on a $20 million tourist and hospitality project at Point Fraser almost 30 years after it was first proposed.
Ms Scaffidi said this morning that she backed a modest approach to building more tourist facilities along the Swan River.
However, she said “time is money” and delays in project approvals affected developers and meant people missed out on new amenities.
The project from company City Foreshore Investments, which is run by Steve and Helen Palmer, was first mooted in the early 1980s but stalled under previous city councils.
It was revived soon after Ms Scaffidi came to office and backed it and has since gone through five years of approvals.
This included approval from the Swan River Trust after two years of negotiation and a mediated outcome through the State Administrative Tribunal.
“There’s been issues with the riverbed lease, so obviously that’s taken a lot of patient negotiation by the proponents,” Ms Scaffidi said.
“Sadly, but true, that is the red tape that we have to deal with.”
Ms Scaffidi said she hoped the next project of this type did not take another 30 years.
“This is why we need to talk about these things and focus on minimising those issues for developers, because time is money and obviously in terms of the citizens of the city it’s amenity that they’re not able to utilise while it’s not being built.”
The project includes three commercial buildings on the site, with two built on the foreshore and the third built over the river providing a public boardwalk, ferry and boat access.
The plans also include two small bars, two fine-dining restaurants, a function centre as well as cafe and takeaway services.
A sky garden supper club is also planned.
A proposed footbridge from Point Fraser to Heirisson Island was deferred for six months in May because of a lack of funds.
Ms Scaffidi she hoped Transperth ferry services could include Point Fraser in their route.
She said she expected the development would be a tourist and local drawcard.
“People are crying out for these amenities,” she said.
“They enjoy them in overseas locations. They want to be able to enjoy them on their own home shores.”
Mrs Palmer said the process had been frustrating but the project was a labour of love.
“It’s probably the longest project going through Perth City Council,” she said.
“Steve and I always felt that that there would be a time that it would get approved because we believed in the project so much.”
Mrs Palmer said she believed there was demand for both Point Fraser and the State Government’s Elizabeth Quay project.
“We’re going to have such a wonderful mix of restaurateurs that are going to give us the taste of the world, so I feel like we’re hopefully going to be one stop. If I don’t get every tourist that comes to Perth stopping here once I’d be very disappointed.”
Construction was slated to finish by the end of next year.
The State Government via the Burswood Park Board allocated $5 million for the redevelopment of the island, which includes a planned sculpture park.Boats will be able to tie up at the development but permanent moorings appear to have been ruled out.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.