Perth’s beaches are in need of a radical revamp to attract more restaurants and entertainment, according to two pro-development groups.
A non-profit committee of architects, engineers and “everyday people” called FuturePerth is urging more coastal development to draw in locals and tourists as part of its Why Not? project launched in August.
FuturePerth chairman Sean Morrison says everyone knows Perth beaches are beautiful but there are limited options for dining on the coast.
“Perth hasn’t built anything like the Indiana Tea House for a very long time,” he says.
“It’s time for a new generation of development on the coast.”
Mr Morrison says building more restaurants and entertainment areas will create options for people who love using the beach without necessarily swimming.
“If anything it strengthens the cultural link between Australians and the beach by enabling more interaction,” he says.
“You can enjoy the beach without getting sand in your toes.”
But Mr Morrison says people in Perth are scared of ruining what they already have. He said Hillarys Boat Harbour was a good example of a project that faced strong opposition but was now enjoyed by many people.
“I’m sure the same people who were standing in front of bulldozers are [now] more than happy to have a coffee at Hillarys Marina,” Mr Morrison says.
Noeleen Pearson, the Chief Executive Officer of Tourism promotion body Experience Perth, says the coast is a drawcard and should be developed more for tourists.
“At the moment, apart from clusters around Cottesloe and Scarborough and a couple of marinas, that’s really all we’ve got,” she says.
“If we’re going to be out there promoting Perth, trying to attract more visitation from international and interstate markets, we’ve got to be able to service all these people with the right sort of facilities.”
Ms Pearson says Perth people should not be afraid of change, and locals will benefit from new restaurants and infrastructure.
“We can’t think we’ve got to keep Perth the way it is because that’s the way the locals like it,” she says.
“That’s not being forward-thinking at all. “If every destination in the world did that it would be absolutely hopeless.”
She says Perth will naturally develop as more people move to the city.