Chinatown refurb has mixed reviews

Glenn Cordingley and Jakeb WaddellThe West Australian

A draft plan meant to breathe new life into Chinatown as part of a multimillion-dollar makeover has received mixed reviews at public consultation stage.

The $10 million refurbishment of the CBD is being overseen by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan.

Ms MacTiernan became involved in the project earlier this year when it became evident no capital works had happened — despite the funds being available since June last year and a string of consultants being engaged to work on the development.

The draft master plan was presented to the public for comment for three weeks in October, during which the Shire of Broome received 67 submissions.

Several residents and business owners expressed concerns about losing 45 car parking bays in Carnarvon Street and Dampier Terrace.

Resident Julia Cox said it was important to “keep parking availability as a priority”.

This was echoed by Des Haynes, who said it was “nothing short of vandalism”.

The draft document contained plans for a lookout on Napier Terrace, which faced significant opposition in the submissions.

A motion to remove the lookout from the master plan was carried unanimously at a Broome Shire Council meeting on Thursday.

The document was also amended to remove a laneway link off Short Street.

Alfresco dining outside the Roebuck Bay Hotel was a contentious issue, with locals uneasy about antisocial behaviour at the proposed location.

According to Shire documents, alterations “may be made to the layout and position of the alfresco dining options” after further discussions with the owners of the popular spot.

Many were optimistic in their submissions and said they were hopeful the transformation would benefit the town.

Others had a less enthusiastic view, believing the plan would make no major improvements.

When asked what they liked about the plan, one anonymous resident answered “nothing”.

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