Aboriginal cultural centre could find a home at Perth Concert Hall car park
A major Aboriginal arts facility has long been touted for the CBD, with former Premier Colin Barnett once advocating for such a building in Elizabeth Quay.
Several candidates in the recent City of Perth elections and federal MP Patrick Gorman have also advocated for the construction of a centre.
An Aboriginal cultural centre for Perth, however, is still a long way off, with just $2 million committed so far by the state government towards planning.
A tender was recently awarded to the Indigenous company Tarruru Pty Ltd for $206,800 to undertake initial community research investigating concepts for the cultural centre.
Modelling by ACIL Allen estimates losing management of both sites could leave the local government out of pocket to the tune of $21 million over a period of 30 years due to the anticipated loss in revenue from 1215 parking spots.
City staff hope the organisation will be able to leverage its position to secure compensation with an equal number of car parks elsewhere in the CBD.
Perth councillors will vote next Tuesday on whether or not the local government will give up the land.
The state government spokeswoman said it would work with the city on “alternative parking arrangements”.
Perth Concert Hall has been earmarked for a $42 million redevelopment as part of the city deal and the spokeswoman said the project required the WA government to have control over the facility.
The $1.5 billion city deal was announced earlier this year, with a key highlight being the proposal to shift creative industries, business and technology disciplines from Edith Cowan University’s Mount Lawley campus to a new $695 million facility next to Yagan Square.
More than 9000 students and staff are expected to use the facility when it opens in 2025.
ECU advertised expressions of interests on Monday to try and attract a lead architect and design engineers for the project.
The university’s city campus technical architect Geoff Warn said in a statement the new facility was the kind of challenge creative practices dreamed about.
“This is the visionary project that Perth city has been wanting for a long time, which will have
definite benefits for both the arts and business, opening up a world of new possibilities,” he said.
Peter de Kruijff is a journalist with WAtoday.