13 August 2013 — Divers are spending hours underwater beneath Perth’s CBD in a bid to future-proof infrastructure, including upgrading the city’s main stormwater drain, as part of the first stage of the Elizabeth Quay project.
Elizabeth Quay is a $2.6 billion project delivered by the State Government with support from the City of Perth.
It covers almost 10 hectares of riverfront land between Barrack and William streets and will be a precinct featuring a 2.7 hectare inlet surrounded by a split level promenade, shops, cafes, restaurants and entertainment venues.
The project will provide new inner-city residential options as well as hotel and short-stay accommodation, and significant additional commercial space.
“Once complete, Elizabeth Quay is expected to be the workplace for some 10,000 people. It will contain more than 800 residential apartments, 200,000 square metres of office space and 25,000 sq m of retail space,” WA Planning Minister John Day said.
He said the upgrades were a key component of the first stage of Elizabeth Quay and would pave the way for the construction of the inlet, which was due to start within weeks.
Other works included the installation of a new water main, the laying of extra conduit to carry power services and construction of 13 large underground power pits, he said.
As part of the project, the water quality in the Swan River will be monitored during and after construction of Elizabeth Quay with hydrodynamic modelling undertaken for the inlet demonstrating that it has good flushing rates and that water quality will be similar to that of the adjacent Swan River environment.
The modelling has incorporated significant data gathered over several years regarding water quality of the Swan River and groundwater, tidal and climatic conditions.
Once the inlet is completed, there will be another 12 months of monitoring – a health check on the water – and those results will be reviewed in consultation with the Swan River Trust and the Department of Health.
Along with environmental considerations, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority is working with all heritage stakeholders to ensure the area’s history “is celebrated and retained for generations to appreciate for years to come”, an MRA report says.
“Careful consideration has been made for European and Aboriginal heritage, the Florence Hummerston Kiosk and the Moreton Bay Fig Trees.”
Florence Hummerston Kiosk
Built on the Esplanade Reserve in 1927, the Florence Hummerston Kiosk provided refreshment and changing facilities in connection with the various sporting events taking place on the Esplanade Reserve. It is an important element of the listing of the Esplanade Reserve on the State Register of Heritage Places.
In 1985, the former kiosk and changerooms were refurbished and named in honour of Mrs Florence Hummerston OBE (1889-1983). Mrs Hummerston was a community worker and the first woman ever to be elected to the Perth City Council. She was vice-president of the Women’s Service Guilds of Western Australia from 1937-1940 and helped establish the Women’s Australian National Service during WWII.
Mrs Hummerston set up an emergency housekeeping service in 1943, and the Wanslea Hostel (for Children of Sick Mothers) which she directed for 25 years, launched the League of Home Help for Sick and Aged in 1953 and Meals on Wheels in 1954.
The kiosk’s history includes use as a nightclub, cafe, sporting club, day care centre and more recently a fine-dining Cantonese restaurant. At an estimated 400 square metres, the original component of the 1928 Florence Hummerston Kiosk will be reconstructed on the island at Elizabeth Quay.
Moreton Bay Fig Trees
More than 300 trees have been identified within the Elizabeth Quay project area. Among others, the tree species include gums, London Planes, Moreton Bay Figs and cotton palms.
Where possible, trees will be retained on site and in their existing location, including the line of Moreton Bay Fig Trees along William Street. However, some trees will need to be relocated or removed to make way for the development.
Public transport, walking and cycling
Elizabeth Quay has prioritised walking, cycling and public transport wherever possible. The split level promenade will provide a high quality pedestrian environment around the Quay.
The goal is to enhance pedestrian and cyclist access to and from the area and along the foreshore and provide strong pedestrian connections to the CBD with wide footpaths and dedicated pedestrian phases at signalised intersections.
The existing recreational shared path is to be retained within the development of Elizabeth Quay via a link over the island and through Barrack Street Jetty, allowing for both pedestrian and cyclist trips into and through the CBD. Some temporary diversions of the path will be in place throughout construction of the inlet.
End of trip facilities will be provided around the promenade and individual development sites will provide modern cyclist facilities for tenants and residents alike. The application of a 40km an hour speed limit throughout the main areas will improve overall safety for pedestrians and on-road cyclists reinforcing Elizabeth Quay as a low speed environment.