Frosty reception to new build

Residents at the City of Cockburn have been caught by surprise after an unannounced project popped up in Bibra Lake’s industrial area, capturing everyone’s attention for all the wrong reasons.

The 47.5 metre high development is owned by Americold Logistics and will be used to store mostly frozen goods before items are transported to supermarkets.

The large construction site is being dubbed an “eye sore” by local residents with some suggesting to paint it sky blue, in order to make it disappear.

The temperature-controlled storage facility on Port Kembla Drive has interrupted the local skyline. Photo: Ash Ramos.

The City of Cockburn’s deputy mayor Tom Widenbar says he has heard the backlash from residents and believes the council should consider a review of its policy.

Listen to more from Tom Widenbar.

However, Mr Widenbar says the review of policy will not stop the development of the cold storage facility.

“I have asked if we can look at anything we can do to mitigate any of the impact to social surroundings and the amenity of the area,” he says.

“I think it would be a good candidate given that it’s designed to some public art, maybe a large mural on the side – I think the opportunity to mitigate the impact the aesthetic of it.”

The deputy mayor says the development may have caught residents by surprise, noting the City of Cockburn did not display the development as one of the major projects on their website.

He says that is because a private business has acquired the land and a seperate business is developing the building.

Mr Widenbar says while he was not speaking on behalf of the council, he believes the council should consider a review of its policy, as he feels it’s what the community wants.

Lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning at Curtin University Jack Schapper says looks aside, the facility plays an important role in serving the wider community.

Jack Schapper says the Bibra Lake industrial area is not new and people need to adjust to the change. Photo: Ash Ramos.

Mr Schapper says the size of the building is a result of millions of people across the state who need to have access to food supply.

Listen to more from Jack Schapper.

Mr Schapper says people need to accept Western Australia has industrial areas for a reason and that this building will serve an important purpose.

“If everyone complained every time they saw an industrial area things are going to get a lot more expensive for people to buy. Part of living in a major city these sorts of things are going to happen from time to time,” she says.

“Let’s face it, it plays its part in the supply chain in making sure everyone is fed.”

Jack Schapper

Mr Schapper says Americold could accomodate concerned residents by covering a blank wall with a mural.

“There’s a famous saying from Frank Lloyd Wright ‘surgeons burry their mistakes, architects cover them with ivy‘ so what they could do is plant a line of trees along the boundary, which could grow up and all you see is a tree line for example.”