Opponents to the Perth foreshore redevelopment say they plan to take legal action to stop the project, telling a rally at Parliament House today that it would destroy “one of Perth’s main characteristics”.
Addressing a crowd of several hundred people, City Gatekeepers spokesman Linley Lutton said the recently named Elizabeth Quay was “about “placating the interests of developers, not the community”.
Dr Lutton said it was a “nonsense” that the project would be good for tourism and benefit young people.
He said the plans developed by the Government did neither.
“This plan is about development, it’s about developer opportunity,” he said.
As Planning Minister John Day and Premier Colin Barnett both looked on, Dr Lutton said the group was building a legal case to stop the project on the basis the Government had not undertaken proper planning processes.
He said later that it also believed conflicts of interest existed between members of different government bodies, including Heritage Council chief Marion Fulker, who is also chief executive of pro-waterfront business lobby Committee for Perth.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do to get (the Government) to rethink this project,” he said.
Planning student Sam McCleod said the design was “entirely inappropriate” and would amount to a “horrible monstrosity”.
“Premier, it is not too late to give us a better plan,” he said.
City of Nedlands mayor and former City of Perth planner Max Hipkins said plans to widen Graham Farmer Freeway to three lanes would not be sufficient to handle the 30,000 vehicles a day diverted from the four-lane Riverside Drive.
Mr Day told the rally that the project had been debated and discussed for 20 years.
He said its main purpose was to reconnect the CBD and Swan River, but it would also create vibrant public spaces and residential accommodation for a growing population.
Mr Day said he “never denied” that there would be an impact, but said a lot of thought, planning and money had been committed to the project.