Mark McGowan touts ‘metro hubs’ plan for Perth. The Freo Factor

ariel fremantle crop

Mark McGowan touts ‘metro hubs’ plan for Perth.

Hasn’t this idea been around for decades, I seem to recall it was a big issue back in the early to mid-90’s? I thought the government had a report made back in the 50’s that talked about a similar concept?

I was glad to read a comment reportedly from Mr McGowan “It’s not good enough to just whack down a block of units on a quiet suburban street and call it infill.” Cause that’s what places like Burt St are getting from the COF. No other infrastructure just a big lump of apartments with a huge R160 zoning. Isn’t that what the Kim Beazley site is getting not as dense but still out of character for the suburb? Isn’t that what’s planned for the Old Bunker site off Swanbourne St? There is no plans for services, PT, shops, retail, etc. certainly no light rail? Some aren’t even offering an additional 10% for open public space, to cater for the influx of people brought in by the infill. All this development  being driven by the COF with what seems to be none of the desired facilities/services mentioned in the article?

As the crow flies Fremantle is just under 15kms from Perth, it has a rail link, it has a bus hub, it has residential, and it has high-rise apartments, though its retail is dying. It has recreational activities, beaches, sporting clubs, parks, festivals, arts community. So Fremantle has all of the ingredients mentioned in the article, reported from Professor Newman, so what aren’t we flourishing?

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Vegas knows a little about moving people

Areas like Booragoon have no light rail, no plans for light rail, no massive infill or high rises planned to the best of my knowledge. Though has plans to double its retail area, is attracting businesses with office space, but offers none of the key ingredients for success mentioned in the article (apart from free car parking and retail which seem to go hand in hand)?

Murdoch and Success seem to be thriving and going ahead in leaps and bounds, is that due to the rail going through the middle of their centres or is it also perhaps helped with a little 6 lane Freeway running alongside it? Small detail.

Further from reports that the government may be moving away from promised light rail in the northern suburbs due to a spiralling cost blow outs, does this not leave a massive hole in the FREO 2029 vision, just weeks after it came out? Without the light rail they dream about, no major business to employ all the people they wish to bring with their infill plans, housing diversity plan, new parking policy and one train line going north, will this vision have a chance? Where will all these people work and how will they get to their jobs. Will light rail solve the issue for parents dropping off kids at school and then shooting straight off to work and vise e versa for pickup time? It’s well and good to have a vision but when you are relying on a State Government to fund it that doesn’t seem to care about Freo, no matter which flavour is in, you could be dreaming?

Having lived in cities with light rail or undergrounds and great public transport systems, it’s easy to see the benefits of such a network. People’s lives are based around these networks. The challenge here is that people’s lives are based around the car or motorbikes, so the question is how much will people be happy to give up to use PT, how much will they be prepared to change in their lives to suit PT?     

Right now kids/teenagers are saving, thinking, dreaming about their 1st car, getting a license. I still recall staff I had working for me talk about getting their 1st car and the FREEDOM, they perceived it would give them, talk of servicing, insurance, repairs, new tyres, costs weren’t of interest to them. All they talked about was what it would allow them to have the freedom they wanted and for some of the girls the safety of not having to travel on PT. So good luck being the group that’s wants to take dreams from kids.

The other concern is that if all the infill and higher density comes, without the light rail and business/jobs how will the people living in these new carless environments get around. Further if jobs do come to town what’s the chance of people living close to work, it’s not like it was decades back when you could get a job for life and lived close by, with our transient employment style now, with companies, growing one day, downsizing the next, technology replacing workers, outsourcing, closing down and/or moving, promotions, job changes, etc. how do u plan to live close to where u work?

Finally Perth 9th most liveable city in the world things can’t be too bad here.

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4 comments

  1. Roel Loopers says:

    Burt, Swanbourne street and Kim Beazley are all Landcorp State Government sites Mark, so not sure why COF should be blamed as Council recommendations have little impact and the DAP will make the final decisipn anyway.

    Roel

  2. “State Government to fund it that doesn’t seem to care about Freo, no matter which flavour is in.”

    I cannot agree with this statement. However, the Libs do seem to care about Fremantle despite not ever having won the seat. Consider this against the Labor party which has always held the seat.

    The Liberal State Government have just spent $13.5 mil on John Curtin College of the Arts. Not to mention all the other spending in Fremantle as I have previously outlined. I cannot see them spending the $100’s of Millions on a fanciful light rail project by 2029 as outlined recently by the Mayor. He must be think another grand vision for Fremantle will convince people he should be re-elected.

    • Mark says:

      I think that high school is one for the arts not just Freo so thats an investment in the state not just Fremantle and I agree I can’t see either party building COF Dream train any time soon. The airport needs a train link foremost I would have thought

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