RESIDENTS have about six weeks to comment on a draft plan for Whiteman Park, which includes proposals for core parts of the park and other areas defined as not essential to the operation of the park.
The Department of Planning’s draft plan for the park said after two meetings in July and August 2013 key stakeholders had agreed to four outcomes.
The draft report said the key stakeholders were Nyungar families and indigenous metropolitan groups culturally associated with Whiteman Park, The City of Swan, the Western Australian Planning Commission, the Department of Planning, the Department of Finance – Building Management and Works, the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Tourism Commission.
The four outcomes decided on by the stakeholders were the development of interconnected community meeting places, improving community access to the park, promoting the park as a destination of environmental, cultural and heritage significance for local and international visitors and conserving the environment and the park’s heritage for future generations.
Planning Minister Donna Faragher said the draft plan proposed to define the park’s role, activities and boundaries and was supported by a $2.8 million investment by the Liberal National Government to provide infrastructure for future development close to the park.
Mrs Faragher said the Marshall Road lands, on the park’s southern boundary, had already been identified as a site for future regional sporting fields, with the potential for a commercial recreation attraction to complement the park’s activities.
“There is also scope for the development outside Whiteman Park of a job-generating industrial estate to the west of the Marshall Road lands area, as well as a much-needed park home and caravan park site to address the current shortfall of this type of accommodation within the City of Swan,” she said.
“The $2.8 million budget allocation for a road, service provision and infrastructure work to the site boundaries will allow these to be progressed.”
West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti welcomed the draft plan but encouraged residents to make a submission to provide their views on the plan.
She was keen to work with the community and stakeholders to develop the regional sporting fields identified in the plan.
But she said any new sporting facilities needed to be supported by public transport.
Preserving the old Caversham airfield, which includes the remains of the Australian Grand Prix circuit used in 1957 and 1962, also met with her approval.
But she said residents might not want a cemetery in the Marshall Rd lands.
In early 2011 a survey she conducted with residents showed 80 per cent of respondents were against a cemetery in the area.
“Plans for a cemetery seem to be inconsistent with the plans for a tourist precinct along Lord St and inconsistent with the community’s wishes,’’ she said.
City of Swan councillor and Liberal candidate for West Swan Rod Henderson said the proposed inclusion of new sporting, camping and recreation facilities at the Marshall Rd lands and Whiteman bush lands would be a big boost to the community and young families in the Ballajura, Bennett Springs, Brabham, Dayton and surrounding areas.
He said improved community access to the park while conserving the environment and the park’s heritage was essential for future generations as was preserving the park as an important destination for local and international visitors.
Public consultation closes on Tuesday, October 4.
By Anita McInnes