City left out of Quay talks

Kate Emery
Dispute: The Elizabeth Quay development. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

Tensions have flared between the State's planning authority and the City of Perth, with Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi unhappy at being excluded from "critical negotiations" over the Elizabeth Quay, Perth City Link and Riverside projects.

With the multibillion-dollar projects under the control of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, Ms Scaffidi says the city could be locked into commercial deals it has not negotiated once the assets are handed back.

Elizabeth Quay is a particular sticking point, with Ms Scaffidi arguing the city will be left to fund upkeep without receiving revenue from the planned restaurants, bars and cafes.

She said the city's financial modelling showed revenue from rates from private lots at Elizabeth Quay would not cover the cost of maintenance and depreciation of the assets.

"The city is worried that there is still an expectation for the City of Perth to be servicing the (Elizabeth Quay) area from day one and not getting recompensed in any way and even not benefiting at all from revenue streams of the FBOs (food and beverage outlets)," she said.

"Revenue-raising assets such as the FBOs will be essential to City of Perth to offset the high costs of maintenance, depreciation, regulation and activation of this high profile and high quality precinct." Ms Scaffidi said the city should take part in all talks.

MRA chief executive Kieran Kinsella said Elizabeth Quay would use a similar model to the Perth Cultural Centre, with funds generated from leasing the food and beverage outlets to help meet costs associated with managing and activating the site.

All ongoing rate revenue generated by lot development in the precinct would go to the city.

The MRA and the city signed a memorandum of understanding last year.

Mr Kinsella said talks were under way between the MRA and the city to finalise service delivery agreements, which would go to the MRA board and the Perth city council within months.