The West

Statue of Liberty on the Swan
Big idea: Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi wants Perth to have a Statue of Liberty like icon. Picture: AP

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has approached the Premier about building a monument the scale of New York's Statue of Liberty in the middle of the Swan River in time for Perth's bicentennial celebrations in 2029.

Ms Scaffidi revealed her idea for a Perth landmark at a Committee for Perth lunch yesterday discussing the topic of what Perth can learn from major cities of the world.

"In my six years of travelling to different cities as Lord Mayor, I have often found myself mulling over the question - what would be Perth's Statue of Liberty," she said.

Ms Scaffidi said she had written to Premier Colin Barnett to discuss her idea of Perth "giving itself a gift" for the bicentennial anniversary that would show the world how far the city had come in 200 years.

She said she did not want to be too prescriptive about what this monument or structure would be, but said she envisioned a tower or lookout in the Swan River to provide a bird's-eye view of the city.

"We all know the story about the Bell Tower - how it was meant to be in the river, how it was meant to be bigger but was drawn back," she said.

"I would personally love to have not just the biggest observation deck in the city but a sculptural art piece that could you could catch a ferry out to and elevate up to see the spectacular views. We don't have a building where you can go and see a high-rise view of Perth.

"I do think we should have something whimsical and beautiful out there - we deserve it."

Ms Scaffidi said with the bicentenary 16 years away it was difficult for State Government to commit funding to a project such as this but said ideas needed to be discussed now to ensure there was enough time to create something magnificent when the anniversary arrived. She said the project could be funded by a combination of public fundraising, philanthropy and a State Government contribution.

"I have faith in generosity of our society - if we started now and raise that money ourselves and get a really significant fund, that would make it easier for the government of the day to then add to it," she said.

Committee for Perth chief executive Marion Fulker said she was supportive of the idea for a monument that said to the world: "This is Perth."

Mr Barnett declined to comment.

The West Australian

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