South Perth MLA John McGrath has warned proponents of the South Perth Station precinct plan to keep their hands off Richardson Park.
“I believe the people of South Perth will be outraged at the suggestion that Richardson Park could be gobbled up as part of the push for higher density around the proposed new rail station,” he said.
A final report of the precinct plan, released recently by the City of South Perth, envisages a thriving activity centre and high rise buildings of up to 12 stories for the area between Richardson and Scott Streets.
While the consultant’s report did not address the future of Richardson Park specifically, it said a separate study could be considered to investigate:
- The opportunities for relocation of the current users of Richardson Park, being the cricket and hockey clubs.
- The open space needs and desires of the community surrounding Richardson Park.
- The land use and development opportunities of the land currently comprising Richardson Park.
- The extent to which significant development of the park would add to transit oriented development outcomes.
“I would strongly urge that the City of South Perth not pursue that option” said Mr McGrath.
He said he was totally opposed to Richardson Park being developed for residential and other uses to support of the viability of the new station.
“I support the precinct plan for the area because there is huge potential for commercial and residential growth in that part of South Perth,” he said. “It could be our equivalent of North Sydney with a train station to cater for office workers and residents.
“But Richardson Park is a no go zone.”
Mr McGrath said the South Perth Cricket Club had cause for concern when plans for the station were first mooted. “There was talk back then that part of Richardson Park might be lost to parking but it didn’t eventuate.
“What alarms me is that the report would even raise the prospect of the South Perth Cricket and Hockey Clubs being relocated and investigations made as to alternate uses of Richardson Park as part of a transit oriented development around the new station.
“Those clubs are a part of a long and proud sporting history of South Perth on that ground and there has been a substantial investment both by the State Government and the City of South Perth in that ground.
“Richardson Park complements the adjoining golf club in forming an iconic South Perth landscape along the Kwinana Freeway and the Swan River.
“I think any use of Richardson Park for other than sport and public open space is simply not negotiable.”