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Elizabeth Quay a lost chance: Lord Mayor
Elizabeth Quay a lost chance: Lord Mayor

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi says Colin Barnett's decision to call the Perth waterfront Elizabeth Quay is potentially divisive and a missed chance to promote WA.

Revealing the name of the $440 million development yesterday, the Premier said he had recommended it to commemorate the Queen's diamond jubilee.

"I think it's a pleasant, easy- going name to simply have the area known as Elizabeth Quay," he said.

Mr Barnett, who was a vocal campaigner for the republican movement before the 1999 referendum, said he raised the idea with the Queen in London last year.

"She indicated then she was broadly in support of it and since then we've had confirmation from Buckingham Palace," he said.

Mr Barnett said the name, approved by Cabinet yesterday, would be a constant reminder of the Big Aussie Barbecue on the waterfront during last October's royal visit.

But Mrs Scaffidi, who found out about the announcement via Twitter, said she believed the public should have been involved.

"The fact that it is seen as a controversial project to a few people in our community, perhaps a naming competition held in a very serious manner would have been a way to enable people to engage with the precinct more," she said.

Mrs Scaffidi said there had been a "swing back to the monarchy" after the Queen's visit last year.

"But as a country that is certainly seen as a world leader in so many areas . . . it would have been a fantastic opportunity to have branded WA more through the choice of a more uniquely WA name."

Mrs Scaffidi also said it would have been nice for the City of Perth to have been given prior notice of the name, given the development was within its boundary.

The Premier's office emailed the name to the council 54 minutes before its press conference.

Labor frontbencher and Aboriginal MP Ben Wyatt said the name did little to develop WA's identity.

He said there was scope for an indigenous name because the river was important to Aboriginals.

"It's not an attack on the Queen," he said. "It's just the fact that we are, as a State, very well removed now from the monarch in our day-to-day life."

Future Perth chairman Sean Morrison said he liked the name but expected "gentle sarcasm". <div class="endnote">

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