“What is Perth” exercise needs to get back to basics and tackle anti-social behavior at street level
“They still want to get in but they want to get in and out (of the store) as quickly as possible.”
He shared CCTV footage of a recent incident where a man urinated on his premises doorstep while a woman tried to protect him.
He views the lack of proper public toilets in shopping malls as a major drawback, and says he – and he suspects other retailers – would be willing to help maintain them.
There is a temptation to blame COVID and working from home for the mall retail slump, but the retailer said a recent trip to Rundle Mall in Adelaide had left him wondering what the capital of South Australia was doing so much better than Perth.
Instead of approaching two dozen empty retail stores in Hay Street Mall, Rundle Mall was buzzing with just four empty rentals by its tally and almost no visible antisocial issues.
Another retailer, whom I met in one of the arcades, lamented, “Who wants to come to town where you can’t even sit and have a coffee?
He has seen a surge in anti-social behavior since Christmas, but it’s been around long enough to see this problem come and go over the years.
This can be remedied, he says, with strong visible policing, as summer blitzes have demonstrated in the past.
The observation that the communal rangers are for the most part useless is widely established: the taxpayers do not blame the rangers but their lack of powers.
It is interesting to note that when I ask the question, “Who is responsible for the safety and convenience of the streets of Perth”, they all name the state government and the police, rather than the city of Perth.
Opinions differ on the new Lord Mayor – “I think he’s really trying,” says one – but the common theme is that they feel like he’s too busy to meet them personally.
The luxury goods retailer thinks the ‘What is Perth’ exercise is worthwhile, but won’t make a difference if the basics aren’t set.
The fashion retailer is much more cynical.
And in political circles, there’s a bit of dark humor that eight months after winning an election as a man with the plan to restart Perth’s heart, the central premise of the summit seems to be to clear up the own confusion. from the Lord Mayor on what his city stands for.
Basil Zempilas himself has exaggerated expectations for talkfast, which had an incredible string of month-long puff tracks in The West Australian newspaper touting every new guest.
The hotel operator has done the math and is calculating each participant – which includes Australian cricket coach Justin Langer, real estate titans Adrian Fini and Melissa Karlson, Indigenous leaders Richard Walley and Vanessa Kickett, and club president Italian Sal Vallelonga among the dozen, could get three or four minutes each.
There doesn’t seem to be a lack of activity.
A (another) Roe Street upgrade, announced earlier this month by Planning Minister Rita Saffioti, a redevelopment of the WACA and the relocation of Edith Cowan University to the City Link neighborhood were announced by Mr. Zempilas at the Property Council event as the start of a new ‘city boom’.
But this has been Perth’s story for 15 years. Big project after big project – Wellington Street feels like it has been in a constant state of excavation for about 15 years – however all the pieces fit together.
This was a point made by Multiplex WA boss Chris Palandri at the Property Council event.
“Where’s the hero picture we can have on the wall that says, ‘This is the overall plan for Perth? “”, did he declare.
“We don’t have that. We need this document so that … everyone can look at it and say, OK, that’s the plan.
Mr Palandri referred to the piecemeal, project by large project development pattern that has characterized the past 15 years (City Link, Elizabeth Quay, Optus Stadium on the river, plus the decentralization of government offices) that has seen the city “stretched and pulled in all directions”.
He referred to East Perth, which served as a reminder that the Waterbank project near Trinity College – which saw construction begin in 2011-12, before Lend Lease development requests were announced by Colin Barnett in 2015 , with construction due to start at the end of 2016 – is still a sand pit today.
Now there are high hopes for a redevelopment of the East Perth Power Station (the so-called $ 1 deal for Andrew Forrest and Kerry Stokes), an indigenous cultural museum promised (again) by Labor during the last election campaign, and of course the old chestnut tree from a Kings Park cable car.