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BRAG carpark top of council list

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Camera IconCredit: File

Bunbury City Council will decide next week what to include in the proposed multi-million dollar Civic and Cultural Precinct in the heart of the CBD.

Top of the list is provision for a multi-deck carpark at Wellington Street on the site formerly earmarked by Vue Group for a multi-storey film studio and retail complex.

Plans for the development fell through earlier this year after developers were unable to meet a business appraisal deadline, but this opened up the council’s options for a more effective precinct, according to Mayor Gary Brennan.

“The thinking from the consultants is it will be better to build a carpark behind BRAG (Bunbury Regional Art Galleries),” Mr Brennan said.

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“To put another few storeys or 300 car bays with scope for more, represents a good option for council.

“That will then free up land north of the art galleries for art gallery purposes and frees up land at the South’s carpark.”

The recommendation to the council suggests an initial 300-bay facility with the capacity to add a further 300 bays when required.

The multi-storey carpark was originally earmarked for the Wittenoom Street land – known as South’s carpark – but part of that block will next week be recommended as a civic square and “passive space”.

The remainder of the land has been identified for a joint venture or sale.

Mr Brennan said the suite of recommendations the council was expected to consider next week would guide design consultants where to focus their attention.

“They’ve come up with a range of options I believe are forward thinking and have great vision for the next 40 to 50 years,” he said.

Other recommendations include the investigation of a connection between the precinct and Centenary Gardens and commercial, retail and food and beverage opportunities.

Development of a business case for public private partnership opportunities has also been recommended and would include parking, residential, commercial and tertiary education options.

Mr Brennan said while the design process was still quite a few months away, he hoped the precinct would be complete within the next few years.

“But importantly the community needs to have input and own it,” he said.

The $6.3 million from the sale of the Cornwall Street carpark has been earmarked for the precinct, which is also dependent on extra funding probably from State and Federal governments.

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