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Move Royal Show:  Claremont mayor
The West Australian

Town of Claremont mayor Jock Barker wants to see the Claremont Showground redeveloped into residential housing and the Perth Royal Show moved elsewhere.

Mr Barker said yesterday that a discussion on the future of the showground had to happen to ensure the council, the wider Perth community and the Royal Agricultural Society - the showground's owners - got the best possible outcome from the 29,000sqm of prime land.

"I'm not saying let's end the Show. We need to have a conversation about the future and think of the big picture," he said.

"We need to move towards urban infill and slow urban sprawl and there is a large block of land here that is unused 95 per cent of the time."

Mr Barker said the State Government's Directions 2031 plan estimated WA's population would reach 2.2 million within 18 years and the need for more infill housing was never greater.

"I imagine the grounds could potentially be developed into housing, affordable housing and perhaps a retirement village or aged care - facilities that are severely lacking," he said.

"I don't see Claremont as some enclave of exclusive addresses - everyone should and can aspire to live here if they work hard."

Mr Barker also said it may be better for the Royal Show to move to a new location. He said Sydney's Royal Easter Show relocated from its home in Moore Park to Homebush Bay in 1998 and had a resurgence of community interest.

RAS WA president Hugh Harding said the group was preparing a plan, to be finished by the end of the year, on the future opportunities and needs of the showground.

He said selling off land for redevelopment was not being considered and the focus was on upgrading infrastructure and amenities.

Mr Harding said close to one million people attended the Show each year, with attendance growing over the past two years.

"Claremont Showground is one of WA's most important community assets and it is disappointing that the Town of Claremont does not appear to recognise this," he said.