City all aboard 10-year lease

By Chris Thomson | posted on July 12, 2018

TRANSWA is likely to be offered a lease to transform a plot across the street from its current terminus into a new one, despite concerns a decade-long agreement may stymie the transformation of Proudlove Parade into a tertiary education centre of excellence.

As revealed in last week’s Weekender (‘Bus- port bumped’), TransWA plans to move its terminus from Albany’s former train station to a grassy block across the street after the University of Western Australia secured the historic building, recently vacated by Albany Visitors’ Centre, for its new wave energy centre.

At a committee meeting on Tuesday night, Acting City CEO Michael Cole said he had seen plans for the new terminus, including a demountable ticketing office.

“It’s a tastefully done demountable,” Mr Cole said.

But Deputy Mayor Greg Stocks said he was concerned the 10-year lease planned for the council-controlled site could delay plans to do “something really special” there.

Mr Cole said there were very few options for the block, which had been procured from the State on a “use-it-or-lose it” basis.

“A period of 10 years is attractive to [TransWA],” he said.

“A period of five [years] may not be.”

He said he had seen no evidence in the two years he had been at the City, since moving south from Perth, that UWA wanted to develop the block.

“If they’d had a use for it they would have grabbed it,” he added.

Cr Stocks said he was satisfied with Mr Coles’ response but that the plot had been bought for the City, not the State, to use.

“We bought that block to [in] future use it for a university precinct,” he said.

“What if we want to go back to UWA in six years; How do we cover that?”

Before moving that the 10-year lease be endorsed, Mayor Dennis Wellington said he was “very happy” with the draft TransWA lease.

His motion, seconded by Cr John Shanhun, was endorsed 11 councillors to nil. It is slated for final debate at the City’s next full council meeting.