Elizabeth Quay

FuturePerth 2013 State Election Guide
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“This precinct will literally be the face of our city – so we want something bold and beautiful.”

What did we ask?

1. Do you support Elizabeth Quay in its current form and scale?

2. Will you commit to commencing construction of the Indigenous Cultures museum in the next term of government, and the chairlift to Kings Park?

3. If you do not support Elizabeth Quay in its current form, what do you propose and when do you propose to build it?

Why did we ask it?

Elizabeth Quay was essentially the reason for FuturePerth’s inception. So naturally we want this site developed into something big.

This project is the physical manifestation of our city’s growth and maturity. This precinct will literally be the face of our city – so we want something bold and beautiful.

The major parties’ approaches to this issue are significantly different. So please think long and hard about what this project will say about our city.

Image source:
Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority


Liberal Response

“After more than thirty years of debate and at least twelve concept designs since the 1980s, public work on Elizabeth Quay commenced under the Barnett Government in May 2012 and the first sites were offered for sale in September 2012. Elizabeth Quay will be open for people to enjoy from 2015 onwards.

Elizabeth Quay will become a major destination for Perth residents, Western Australians and visitors from interstate and overseas, and will ensure that Perth remains a contemporary, liveable and globally competitive city. Combined with Perth City Link and the Riverside Project, Elizabeth Quay is part of the most extensive remodelling and revitalisation of the City in generations.

The development of Elizabeth Quay also presents an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate and promote Aboriginal art. A site has been reserved and the ultimate design, scale and finish of the facility will be determined in consultation with the indigenous community as part of future stages of the Elizabeth Quay project.

A site has been reserved for the cable car to Kings Park, this will form part of future stages of the project.”

FuturePerth comment:

Bring it on baby. The Libs have already signed off on a $200m major works contract with Leighton, so if the Government is re-elected, then this project is a sure bet.

We loved the elegance of the Carpenter Government’s 2008 plan, but Elizabeth Quay is bold and beautiful. The current plan engages our city with its greatest natural asset – the Swan River.

One reservation we have is the Government’s reluctance to commit to the Indigenous Cultures museum and the Kings Park chairlift. We see these puppies as essential to the project’s success. If you bump into the Planning Minister please let him know what you and we think.

Labor Response

“1. No. The project is financially unsustainable, and its current plan will lead to the creation of a vacant wasteland for at least ten years separating the City of Perth from the river. The closure of Riverside Drive will also cause traffic chaos and gridlock.

It is very unclear what the “scale” of the project is, as the Government has no plans to build any buildings at Elizabeth Quay at the current time. I will explore all avenues of limiting the exposure of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to the project.

2. Like the Barnett Government, we do not intend to build either project in the next term of Government. There are other more pressing priorities like METRONET, making regional roads safer, health and education.

3. If elected to Government on 9 March, a WA Labor Government will review the contracts as soon as possible to see what good can be salvaged from the Elizabeth Quay project.

Our priorities would be to:

  • Retain the important east-west connection across the city. Riverside Drive is an essential connection for residents in Perth’s eastern suburbs to employment and education.

  • If money can be saved from the project, work with the wider WA community, including the business community, to try to build an Indigenous Cultural Centre on the river as soon as is possible.
  • Develop the land between Riverside Drive and the river as quickly as is possible for commercial uses, such as bars, restaurants and entertainment. An entertainment precinct is the principal element missing from the Barnett Government’s Elizabeth Quay plan. WA Labor believes that we can have riverside entertainment and eating establishments open and trading within 12 months of being elected.”

FuturePerth comment:

Thought this battle was over? Not so fast.

Four years ago WA Labor was championing the Perth Waterfront Project, and now they are promising a scaled down Hillarys Marina on the foreshore – a plan concocted on a napkin by the (gasp) City Gatekeepers.

So what do the Gatekeepers propose? A large expanse of grass, a Riverside Drive highway, and a few low-scale buildings. Sound familiar? Of course it does, because that’s what’s already there.

We aren’t in love with Labor’s position on this project. With forward works already underway the WA Labor response is unrealistic and ill-informed. They are promising something will happen – but like we said – is it bold and beautiful, or safe and just average?

Greens Response

“1. No. The Greens oppose the development for the reasons set out in my submission which can be viewed on my website at http://www.lynnmaclaren.org.au..

In summary, the Greens oppose this development because of poor planning; the privatisation of Crown land; lack of public consultation; loss of well-used and much loved public open space and several iconic trees; the relocation of a heritage building and the realignment of Riverside Drive, which will aggravate congestion in the city.

2. The Greens welcome the concept on a National Indigenous Cultural Centre. This should have been the State’s top priority for the waterfront development at the very least to offset the destruction of heritage values and loss of public open space, with some of the profits from the sale of precious public foreshore being allocated to fund the new centre.

The Greens support Dr Richard Walley’s call for a collaborative approach to start work on a business case for a world class centre, attracting funding from State and Federal Governments and private business.

We do not have a position on the chair lift.

3. The Greens’ vision for the Waterfront encompasses a more active Waterfront, with increased pedestrian activity, greater public transport usage of the river through an expanded ferry system, an iconic Aboriginal Museum and a riverside promenade.”

FuturePerth comment:

We appreciate the fact that the Greens support the Indigenous Cultures museum. Hopefully this will be demonstrated within the next Parliament.

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  1. John says:

    I find it incredulous that Future Perth does not mention the under-representation of a residential component at EQ.

    There is a reason you have lost relevance.

    • Sean says:

      Hi John – thanks for the input – the residential minimums on some sites were removed after the consultation period for the design guidelines – for seemingly no explained reason (i.e. the changes were never advertised). We’ve also raised this issue in our submission on recent proposals in the Perth City Link as something which should not be accepted by the MRA.

  2. Andrew says:

    Hotels, Office Towers, Luxury appartments, no museum, art gallery or anything of real value to the public .Barnett has given this land (which belonged to the citizens of Western Australia) to his corporate mates and property developers. Sounds like your in his pocket to.

  3. Daniel says:

    I believe the initial idea is great but the design has major flaws, such as Riverside drive and the visual impacts of the proposed buildings and visual integrity of the Swan River, I’d like Elizabeth Quay to appear more natural rather than look like a city block has sunk under water. Having a website similar to the haveyoursaymandurah.com.au website would offer a great way to receive community input and ideas on projects such as Elizabeth Quay which needed more community input.