No to the new numbat?

The South Perth foreshore’s new numbat installation is receiving mixed responses from local businesses on Mends Street which hope the completion of construction will result in increased business in the piazza.

The numbat was installed on 10 August as a part of the City of South Perth’s new Connect South project which is still in its first of four stages.

Mends St News & Supplies owner Paul Noble is uncertain if the completed development will bring in new visitors.

“When it’s finished, I would hope so. Whether it will or not is another thing,” Mr Noble says.

While the installation is being promoted as a drawcard for South Perth, Noble believes a lack of cheap parking around the installation may stop people from visiting it.

“The big problem here is still parking, and a month ago they eased the parking on weekends and we’ve had a very good increase in trade on Saturday.

“The price and the period you’re allowed to park is too short, and it won’t bring more visitors to the area because of that,” he says.

Noble is confident business will improve once parking restrictions are altered and development is complete.

“They’ve rebuilt it, and there’s very little comeback due to that. Down on the foreshore due to the development they closed the road.

“Midweek is still flat and dead, so we need movement on the parking and the development and if we get that I think everything will improve drastically.”

The long-standing Mends St News & Supplies. Photo: Daniel Patterson.

Insurge Clothing employee Hannah Abdrabou believes Mends Street is primed for its most successful years once the foreshore development is completed.

“I think this area will boom in the future so it’s just a matter of waiting,” Ms Abdrabou says.

She conceded that business growth has been at its lowest in the past three years.

“My mum has worked in this precinct now for 45 years, and it was at its worst three years ago when the construction started.

“We’re still waiting for that increase but I’m confident it’ll happen with the attraction and the completion of that development.”

Insurge Clothing. Photo: Daniel Patterson.

Another Mends Street business owner, who wants to remain anonymous, says the numbat installation will be good for locals, but once again mentions the parking problems which plague the precinct.

“It looks very pretty for the locals and for passing traffic, but they can’t park anywhere to access the shops,” he says.

“I think there’s hope that it will attract people from outside the area, but the reality is that it’ll still mainly be the local people more than anything else.”

He may be confident that locals will enjoy the new numbat, but is less sure that it will attract visitors from Perth’s outer suburbs.

“I can’t see people travelling too far of distance to the see the numbat.

“They’re putting tables and chairs down here, but that’s removing parking bays, and then less people will be able to park and see the numbat.”

City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty says on the city’s website that she wants Connect South to spark conversation once it is complete.

“The public art elements are sure to become conversation pieces and add to the vibrancy of the area. While some of the art is already there for you to see, there’s much more to come as we edge closer to completion of Connect South,” she says.

A range of animal-inspired artworks will be installed around the Mends St area across the rest of the year and is expected to be completed in November this year.

See the Connect South redevelopment here: