Submission to Council on Agenda Item CS041 re: CBD Revitalisation

Hi members, just to keep you in the loop here is an email we sent to Councillors and CEO at CGG today. It’s brief and supportive, but is part of the work Pollinators does to ensure that CGG follows-through on its commitments and also considers the implications or its policies and strategies for the community, environment and other stakeholders. The relevant Agenda Item will be considered by Council this evening.

Hello Ian, Bob, Victor, Shane, Neil, and Ken,
I’m writing because you have each played a significant role or expressed strong interest and urban regeneration projects undertaken by Pollinators and our members or your Ward covers the CBD / West End.
Congratulations on the fast and action-oriented work on the CBD redevelopment strategies and incentives program. It’s a good draft.
I’m writing to request that you do support the Executive Recommendation to seek further consultation and comment on this draft document. 
Consultation could improve it further, as there WILL BE financial and resource implications for other stakeholders (if not Council) should these strategies be implemented. There is no alternative recommendation against the agenda item so it’s likely you will adopt this for consultation…but I just wanted to emphasise that consultation is needed to ensure the implications are entirely positive and there are no negative unintended consequences.
In my role as Pollinators Executive Officer, we’ve facilitated stakeholder meetings, run Council-supported projects to liven up the laneways, renovated an abandoned heritage-listed building in the West End, and are in negotiations with Geraldton Investments re: temporary and creative use of Bella Vista (Radio Theatre) and the old Ministry of Justice building (193 Marine Tce).
Based on an initial review (and we haven’t had time to consult with members and others), my sense is that the redevelopment and revitalisation strategies and incentives could be improved to encourage more of the sort of activity we’ve already undertaken, and that could lead to good short to medium-term outcomes. And, as per our original submission to the Vibrancy Strategy on 5th April 2013, there is an opportunity missed to emphasise existing wins and projects that are working well, to strengthen collaboration with partners, and to address some of the social justice, ecological and community development issues in the CBD. This is exactly the sort of strategy that should deeply consider all the pillars of your adopted sustainability and community development frameworks.
I note that the Council response to these suggestions made on 5th April 2013 was to not amend the draft report, but we were told those points raised would instead be addressed in implementation. It seems the finalisation of these strategies and incentives would be the right time to address those points raised then, and any new ones.
To state it clearly — thanks for the good work on this, and please ensure there is an adequate period and resources for consultation.

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