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State Government unveils plans to liberate Perth western foreshore


The State Government has unveiled today concept designs for the Perth western foreshore made possible by the visionary southern suburbs railway project.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the rail project had created a unique and exciting opportunity to finally liberate the Perth foreshore and replace cars with people.

"The removal of the William Street traffic bridge and the re-alignment of the spaghetti of roads away from the river will mean the opening up of a three hectare site for the whole community to enjoy," the Minister said.

"These concept designs provide ideas to re-invent Perth with a waterfront development of the standard enjoyed in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or London."

The designs, by leading firm Cox Architects, involve an overpass and grand steps linking the heart of the city with the waterfront and a boulevard edged with cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, a boutique hotel and a civic cultural building.

Ms MacTiernan said the medium density housing component of the designs was very important to the overall project.

"People residing in the area provide a constant base load supply for the restaurants and businesses that set up shop there. The ongoing movement of people will also add to the safety and amenity of the area," she said.

"This proposal, or another version of it, can only happen because of the State Government's rail project.

"Firstly, a station will be built at the Esplanade, bringing 10,000 people each day into the location.

"The removal of the William Street traffic bridge will end a major physical and visual barrier between the city and the Swan River foreshore. It will create magnificent river views south along William Street and from the Convention Centre.

"Perth's river foreshore is one of the city's greatest assets and we need to encourage connection with it."

The concept designs have the support of the City of Perth. The council and State Government worked together to provide for the removal of the William Street traffic bridge.

"This presentation today is just one architect's idea of how this area could look," Ms MacTiernan said.

The Town Planning Scheme amendment process would begin next year, giving the public an opportunity to have input.

Culture and the Arts Minister Sheila McHale welcomed the foreshore development, along with the possibilities it presented for the future inclusion of arts and cultural facilities.

"Our Government recognises that attractive and vibrant cultural and arts venues also have a  role as important tourist destinations," Ms McHale said.

"The foreshore development opens up a host of possibilities for the future inclusion of major and varied facilities - attractive and accessible to the whole community."

The William Street bridge would be demolished in the first half of next year and would be replaced with a traffic light-controlled intersection at William Street and Riverside Drive.

Detailed traffic modelling and analysis of long-term traffic scenarios has found that an acceptable level of service could be achieved in peak periods.

The construction of the rail through the heart of the city creates unprecedented opportunities to make Perth a more alive city - a city that can provide exciting opportunities for Western Australia.

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