Chinatown plan endorsed

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser
A draft masterplan of the Chinatown revitalisation project.
Camera IconA draft masterplan of the Chinatown revitalisation project. Credit: Picture: Shire of Broome

The public will have a say on the multimillion-dollar revitalisation of Chinatown after a draft masterplan was finally endorsed by the Shire of Broome.

Councillors last week voted unanimously to support the concept design plans, which have taken more than 12 months to reach this stage.

The blueprint aims to reduce the amount of bitumen on main roads Carnarvon Street and Dampier Terrace, increase shade and lighting, and create space for alfresco dining, public art and street-side activation such as busking and spaces for markets.

The improvements are proposed to encourage people to visit the CBD and stimulate private sector investment and economic activity. The council has requested further consideration be given to identifying alternative locations for reinstatement of any lost car parking.

Feasibility studies into the Gray Street extension and the Roebuck Bay reconnection have been abandoned after “fatal flaws” were exposed during their analysis.

A council officer agenda report to the ordinary council meeting last week said the project schedule remained a “critical risk” as works progressed.

“Current schedules place the Chinatown revitalisation project up to two months behind target with regard to compilation of tender documentation,” the report said. “Project delays have occurred in the concept design period and options for delivery projects.”

But the report said the final construction completion date of December 31, 2018 was still on target.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan last month became “personally involved” in the project after being made aware no works had started since $10 million in funding was made available by the State Government almost 18 months ago. Ms MacTiernan later visited the town and gave project leaders LandCorp, the Kimberley Development Commission and the council a deadline of March next year for work to begin.

Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Peter Taylor said endorsement from the council was a major step forward for what should be a transformational project.

“The crucial element is the timing of works and it is critical the project managers work very closely with businesses to ensure there would be no disruption during the peak tourist season,” he said.

The consultation period will run for 21 days from October 9.

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