House debates

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Freind, Major Geoffrey, South Perth: Mends Street

7:35 pm

Photo of Steve IronsSteve Irons (Swan, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I add my words of condolence to those of the member for Perth for Major Freind, who was a great servant of the community in Western Australia.

Those of you who know Western Australia—I know the member for Perth knows Western Australia intimately, and also South Perth—will understand what I mean when I say 'Mends Street', which is the gateway to South Perth and my electorate. For those who do not know, let me explain a little bit.

South Perth is a riverfront suburb in my electorate. With wide public spaces on the banks of the iconic Swan River, it is the perfect spot to watch the lights of the CBD. South Perth is visited frequently visited by locals and tourists and is connected by footpath and cycling path to the Perth CBD, Victoria Park and East Perth. On any given day you can visit the South Perth foreshore and find people walking their dogs, cycling the paths or having a picnic in the open green spaces.

One of the best ways to get to South Perth is by ferry. Mends Street is the first street visitors walk up when disembarking the ferry and making their way to the iconic Perth Zoo. With the development of Elizabeth Quay on the CBD side of the river, it is now even easier to hop onto a ferry to South Perth.

For the last several years I have been meeting with the stakeholders in this precinct and campaigning for funds to help revitalise this area. The retailers and local community agree that the precinct lacks amenities and is not as vibrant as it should be. In 2013, I hosted a forum with the Mends Street retailers and stakeholders. The precinct's amenities and its lack of access were raised as major concerns for the local businesses.

So it was with great pleasure that, earlier this month, I was joined on the Mends Street jetty by City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty, CEO Geoff Glass and South Perth councillors to announce that Connect South, the City of South Perth's project to revitalise the precinct, would receive $2.5 million funding for Stage 1.

As part of the coalition's National Stronger Regions Fund the coalition will fund $2.5 million of the $7.5 million Connect South project stage 1 which will revitalise the precinct with a new piazza area for space activation and promote better access, connection and linkages between Perth CBD, the Swan River, Mends Street and Perth Zoo. This project will create an environment to support the growth of the South Perth peninsula and greater region. It will improve access to transport and public amenity and provide greater economic opportunity. This project will revitalise the Mends Street precinct and create an active pedestrian thoroughfare. Importantly, this project will create more engaged shopfronts which will encourage local businesses to expand and attract new business to the area and provide the capacity for an additional 40 full-time equivalent employees in industries such as retail and food services. Commercial and retail traders and property owners within the Mends Street precinct are key stakeholders. As I said earlier, I have met with local traders and they have sought support from the City of South Perth to assist with economic improvements and development in the area. South Perth will work with these businesses for the design input and the project implementation.

Connect South is a key project. It is part of the larger South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan, which has established a vision for the future management of the larger South Perth foreshore. The community, which was consulted during the development of the South Perth Foreshore Strategy and Management Plan, prioritised the Mends Street area as the most important area to start the foreshore redevelopment works. The local community will also be engaged in the development of the Connect South project. The City of South Perth will also be working with the Western Australian Department of Transport for the redevelopment of the Mends Street jetty as it no longer meets the standards of access and amenity, particularly when compared to the Ferry Port at Elizabeth Quay across the river.

Before I finish, I want to let you know about another very exciting project that the City of South Perth is already currently trialling. Australia's first driverless shuttle bus is being trialled along the foreshore in South Perth—for those who have the courage to get on it, I encourage them to do so. The RAC Intellibus can perform all safety-critical driving functions without anyone actually driving it from behind the wheel. It can carry 11 passengers and travel at up to 45 kilometres per hour. At the moment, I think it is travelling at about 25 kilometres per hour during the trialling period. There are systems in place to avoid an accident, including front and rear cameras, GPS technology and an emergency stop button. It also has the ability to detect other vehicles and read traffic lights. The bus is currently travelling down a pre-programmed route along the foreshore Once again, I congratulate the City of South Perth on its successful application for Stronger Regions funding and look forward to seeing the revitalisation of this important and iconic area and the local business community.


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