Bunbury council chooses precinct spot
A youth precinct in Bunbury is a step closer to reality after the Bunbury City Council supported Luciana Park as the preferred location this week.
Following three passionate deputations and heated debate which lasted nearly an hour on Tuesday night, the waterfront site – located opposite Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre – was endorsed by the council in an 8-3 vote.
The long-awaited precinct has been the focus of debate, extensive community consultation and a vocal community campaign of about two years.
This week’s decision means chief executive Mal Osborne will engage a contractor to start further community consultation to produce a concept design for the precinct, which is expected to include a skatepark, adventure play and landscaped open space.
The support came despite two Bunbury residents presenting deputations to the council, questioning whether the prime waterfront site was the appropriate spot.
James Stephen compared the foreshore location to Bennelong Point and the Sydney Opera House.
“I’ve always viewed Bunbury as the Western Australian equivalent of Sydney,” Mr Stephen said.
“If we look at Bennelong Point in Sydney, for almost 200 years that piece of land laid virtually without use until a time came – but more importantly an idea came along – and from that point on the Sydney Opera House was built.
“But before they built the Sydney Opera House, they built Luna Park. Now they gave Luna Park a very, very nice piece of land on the harbour but it wasn’t the best piece, it wasn’t Bennelong Point.
“And here we are in 2019 and I reckon there’s going to be people prepared to drive across Sydney to go to Luna Park, but I can guarantee there are plane-loads of people prepared to fly across the planet to go to the Sydney Opera House.”
“What that building says about Sydney and its people, says a heck of a lot more than if they built Luna Park on Bennelong Point.”
Bunbury Youth Advisory Council Mayor Sean Smith said he invited those who had expressed concerns about the precinct — in particular concerns it would be an “eyesore” into the city — to be part of the community consultation.
“The youth precinct will be a multi-use facility that caters to the whole and wider community, we are pushing for a new community asset which will enrich the CBD,” Mr Smith said.
“The precinct is not intended, nor will be designed to encourage antisocial behaviour, rather to prevent and tackle it.
“It would be grossly irresponsible to label all youth gathering together as undesirable or disruptive.
“There is community backing behind this project and the energy from the young people involved — it is absolutely of utmost importance to the youth community that this project proceeds.”
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