Cool reaction to Perth expansion

A former State Government planning guru has poured cold water on the prospect of making Burswood Peninsula part of the City of Perth, saying in a report it was "difficult to justify".

The report by one-time Department of Planning executive director Charles Johnson, to be launched today, is also critical of a proposal to take key assets from the City of Subiaco into Perth, suggesting it would have a significant financial impact on the neighbouring councils deprived of the assets.

It argued growth projections for central Perth should be a factor in determining council boundaries for Perth, Vincent and the western suburbs councils. In comparing local government reform proposals put forward by Perth, Vincent and Subiaco, it concluded it was preferable for Perth to merge fully with Vincent and not take the peninsula or parts of Subiaco.

The report was commissioned by the City of Vincent and the Town of Cambridge and co-authored by urban designer Malcolm Mackay.

It argued existing entities would be divided and combined with others with which they had little in common if the peninsula became part of Perth.

It would also financially hurt a combined City of South Perth and Town of Victoria Park council.

"A river like the Swan River is very important in creating different communities with a sense of place," the report said.

Perth and the State Government want parts of the peninsula, including Crown Perth and the new sports stadium, included in Perth's boundary. Perth's argument for acquiring key assets from neighbouring councils is that it makes sense for the capital city to be the home of major infrastructure.

Mr Johnson, who runs a private consulting business, is the Planning Institute of WA president and a Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority board member. Mr Mackay is a former planning department senior urban designer who runs his own urban design business and is a member of the design advisory committees for Perth, Victoria Park and the City of Melville.

'The Swan River is very important in creating different communities with a sense of place.'" Council-commissioned report

The West Australian

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