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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 9790

SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON P J KEATING, MP OPENING OF THE EAST PERTH REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT CLAISEBROOK COVE, PERTH 10 OCTOBER 1995

Photo of Keating, Paul

Keating, Paul

Period of Service: 20/12/1991 to 11/03/1996

More information about Keating, Paul on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 10/10/1995

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 9790

7
PRIME MINISTER
SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON P J KEATING, MP
OPENING OF THE EAST PERTH REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT
CLAISEBROOK COVE, PERTH 10 OCTOBER 1995
( CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY)
We all tend to take our urban environments for granted, and as they change,
we bend our minds to accommodate them.
It is not usual for Governments to encourage protest and opposition to the
status quo.
But when it comes to the environments in which we live, we have a duty to
stand up and be counted a duty and a perfect right.
Just as Australians have grown fiercely protective of the natural environment,
they must protect the best of the urban environment and insist on having a
say in the direction of development.
" Protect and direct" might not be a bad slogan. We have done some awful
things to our cities and we are still doing them. We are doing them to our
suburbs and to country towns.
We live in an era in which protection of the natural environment is paramount
in almost every Australian mind. I think we need to marry that with a concern
for what we build on it, for what will reflect the sense of place which by now
we have developed.
I think the time has come to recognise that what we build on this landscape,
what we build-forother-Australians-to live in and look upon is an essential
measure of our care and responsibility, a measure of how we feel about
Australia and the sort of country we want it to be.
I think it is vital that we preserve our built heritage. Vital that we build living
and working environments which are functional, aesthetically pleasing and
compatible with the Australian natural habitat.

Environments which will last and age gracefully. Environments not only for
now, but for future generations of Australians.
And I think this is the responsibility of every government, every city and
municipal council, every authority with a say in urban development and town
planning, and of course every developer and every architect.
And as I said, it is up to every one of us to demand it.
That is why we began the Better Cities program and why I am so happy to be
here today and to open the Claisebrook Cove Development.
It's a pleasure to be here today to open the Claisebrook Cove development
perhaps the most scenic element of the East Perth Better Cities Area
Strategy. Not so long ago, the Claisebrook inlet was unsightly, unused and unloved.
I'm told this was pretty much Perth's main drain contaminated and fairly
unpleasant.
Today, of course, it's an urban waterway on a Venetian scale one of Perth's
most important public spaces. The inlet and cove has been reconstructed,
power lines and fibre optic cables placed underground, a new pedestrian and
cycle bridge built and the whole area landscaped.
It hasn't looked this nice for a century or more. Some very attractive housing
has already begun on Constitution Hill which will eventually flow down to the
rim of the Cove. This is now an area of Perth crying out to be displayed
rather than one demanding to be hidden.
Through the East Perth Better Cities Area Strategy, this part of inner Perth
next to the Swan is being rejuvenated. The Federal Government has
invested $ 32 million of Better Cities funds to transform East Perth from
disused industrial land into a lively urban village.
The Strategy includes the rehabilitation of the old gas works, the
establishment of several parks and the Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Centre, the building of a new railway station and river jetties, and the
construction of medium density housing and a commercial district.
.1 am. especial ly-plIeased . to . confirm. that-this. redevelopment project will be
accessible to Australians of varying incomes. The Commonwealth Minister
for Housing and Urban Development Brian Howe, and the State Minister for
Planning Richard Lewis, are finalising the Heads of Agreement on ' Affordable
Housing'. Significant public funds have gone into East Perth and it would be
unfair if lower income Australians were excluded from living here.
Claisebrook Cove and East Perth are good examples of what is being
achieved around Australia under the rubric of the Better Cities program.

Better Cities was initially an $ 816 million scheme and with the extra funds
from the last Budget, the Federal Government investment is more than $ 1
billion. The Government has allocated $ 78 million for Better Cities in Western
Australia to projects in Bunbury, Stirling, Fremantle and throughout Perth.
Better Cities is about regenerating urban areas unlocking them and making
them more pleasant, livable and efficient. The quality of Australia's cities is
one of our great comparative advantages. It feeds into our international
competitiveness as well as the happiness of our people.
The Federal Government believes that investing in our people and the cities
in which they live is a good idea. I am very pleased that all governments
have had the wit to work together to renovate East Perth and I congratulate
everyone involved.
I'm very happy to open Claisebrook Cove.

Transcript 9790