WA Premier backs Elizabeth Quay to succeed
The West Australian Premier has dismissed concerns private business may be apprehensive to develop at Perth’s Elizabeth Quay on the day Perth prepares to celebrate its opening.
Colin Barnett said the quay would become a driving factor in improving WA tourism and boosting new industries, despite no construction having begun at the surrounding lots reserved for private development.
“It is not only a new face to Perth and connects Perth city to the river, this will be a meeting place for all West Australians and a destination for tourists,” Mr Barnett told ABC Local Radio on Friday.
He guaranteed US gas giant Chevron remained committed to constructing a multi-million dollar tower at the Quay, despite deferring the development for two years.
“Individuals might change their mind to what they do but Chevron will build their tower, there’s absolutely no doubt about that,” Mr Barnett said.
The Premier said the Ritz Carlton hotel development would be the first private project to begin construction at Elizabeth Quay this April.
The premier said the $440 million project had already exceeded his expectations.
“People will just delight in Elizabeth Quay. I’m sure there will be some who don’t like it but I think they’ll be very much in the minority,” he said.
“I think it’s a great investment in our future and I think it adds to the quality of life for all West Australians.”
Mr Barnett confirmed provisions had been made to the design of Elizabeth Quay, allowing for a cable car to be constructed, linking the CBD to Kings Park, but said it would in all likelihood need to be privately funded.
He said Elizabeth Quay would pay for itself several times over in coming years, creating thousands of permanent jobs.
“We will recover more than half of that in land sales and if you then look into the future in terms of stamp duty and land taxes and council rates paid.”
Thousands of locals are expected to flood the new waterfront precinct on Friday afternoon, where laser, light and water shows are planned to kick off three weeks of celebration.