Tuesday, 20 September 2011

What Abraham Lincoln would say about planning for a population influx

"If I was given six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four sharpening my axe."

- Abraham Lincoln

Being a former rail-splitter, Abraham Lincoln knew what he was talking about when it came to chopping down trees and planning for the future.

If all goes to plan, the best part of three thousand people may be living in the city centre in ten to twenty years, as opposed to the current figure of around 830.  This increased growth will hopefully bring a great deal of opportunity, but it will also bring increased costs to manage that growth.

Increasing community amenities to cater for demand

It would be nice to think that community amenities in the city centre will be expanded commensurately to cater for this rise in population, so that people do not have to suffer facilities and services that are not of a high standard or can’t meet demand.  It would also be nice to think that ratepayers will not be the only ones footing the bill.

Other than a public art requirement, it appears that there isn’t anything else in place requiring developers to contribute funds for the betterment of the city centre. With the new strategic sites planning scheme amendment (triggered by the Economic Development Strategy) in the pipeline, this is a serious and conspicuous lack.  

Required Developer Contributions

A policy requiring developer contributions would ensure that uniform and consistent obligations are placed on developers, so that funding the augmentation of community facilities and services needed for Fremantle to remain a great place to live and work doesn't become the sole burden of ratepayers.

As the wooing of developers on a large scale has already begun, some time and energy needs to be spent sharpening the axe, so to speak.  As a candidate for the City Ward, I'm ready to put my nose to the grindstone so that we can maximise the benefits of future development for the community in our ward.

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