BOTANIC GARDENS AND PARKS AUTHORITY BILL
SECOND READING


BOTANIC GARDENS AND PARKS AUTHORITY BILL - SECOND READING
House:LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY- SECOND READING
Date:11.31 AM WEDNESDAY, 16 September 1998
Member:
Member:Constable, Dr Elizabeth
Subject:BOTANIC GARDENS AND PARKS AUTHORITY BILL - SECOND READING
Page:1454 / 1

at the background to Bold Park. Some of this information has not been recorded for some time. In the handover the other day, some important facts were omitted from the speeches and I want to place them on the record again.

We must thank William Bold, after whom the park is named, for his foresight and great interest in planning. Bold was the town clerk of the City of Perth from 1901 to 1944. The extraordinary aspect is that he was not 30 years old when appointed as town clerk, so he had a long and distinguished career in that role. His major contribution to the city and the State was his interest in planning. Fairly early in Bold's career, in 1913, just before the start of the First World War, the Perth City Council sent him to two conferences in London; the first being the Imperial Health and Town Planning Conference - an interesting combination of subject matter - and the second being the Gardens Cities and Town Planning Association Conference. Later he visited cities in the United States, which gave him many ideas for the future planning of the City of Perth.

I refer to a book published in 1979, commissioned to celebrate the sesquicentenary of Western Australia, which comments on Bold. It states -
      Bold's extremely brilliant report on his tour was presented to Perth City Council in 1914, the year Harold Boas took his seat as a councillor. Boas, a Perth architect, and Bold were instrumental in extending the City of Perth's municipal boundaries to the coast, and in commissioning C. H. Klem to design two satellite towns, now known as City Beach and Floreat. The design clearly showed the effects of Bold's tour with its parkways, boulevards, playing fields, gardens etc.

The 1925 drawing by Klem, the town planner, shows the suburb of Floreat Park as planned and some of what is now City Beach. Between the two an enormous tract of land took in a golf course; the area between the Boulevard and Cambridge Street, some of which has given way to housing and some of which is still known as Bold Park where there is a school; and the southern part which takes in the pine plantation and the southern section of Bold Park down to Underwood Avenue. In those days it took in the Perry Lakes area where the stadium is now situated. The original definition of Bold Park included the golf course as well as all of Perry Lakes. It covered 526 hectares, which is a huge amount of land.

An article in The West Australian of 6 May 1976 takes us to the next step in the development of Bold Park as we know it today. This article recorded a special meeting that was called by the then Lord Mayor of the City of Perth, Earnest Lee-Steere, to deal just with Bold Park. The decision that was made on the evening of 5 May 1976 was to add a further 99 ha of bushland to the park. This bushland was originally set aside for housing under the Cambridge Endowment Lands Act, which had to be changed to allow this to happen. The Perth City Council recognised in the mid-1970s the need to make sure that the area of bushland that would be preserved was big enough. At that time, the natural bushland area equalled 249 ha. That meant that the Perth City Council would need to forgo the revenue that it would have collected from the sale of the development land. However, the strong feeling in the council was that it was very important to set aside this large tract of land.

It is important to place on record that some of the key people who were involved in that visionary decision in 1976 were the then lord mayor, Earnest Lee-Steere; the town clerk, Ossie Edwards; and the councillors, who were very much involved, particularly John Dallimore, Eric Silbert and Neville Monkhouse, who worked tirelessly for at least two years to make sure that extra land was added to what we now know as Bold Park.

The 1980s saw some very difficult times for Bold Park and those who wished to preserve it, with the arguments and the almost public fight about the Knightsbridge land, and the desire by some people to develop the southern part of Bold Park, while those who wished to preserve it made sure that did not happen. The public pressure that was brought to bear meant that further housing development did not occur in that area. More recently, and also at that time, the Friends of Bold Park have played an important and instrumental role in preserving Bold Park bushland as we now know it and making sure that the move towards a regional park brought us to this point today.

The Town of Cambridge, and those who work in the Town of Cambridge, deserve special thanks for the handover that took place a few weeks ago and for the way in which they have conducted themselves. The most difficult time for the Town of Cambridge recently has been in sorting out some compensation. The Town of Cambridge has given up a great deal of land which may have been developed to raise revenue for other developments in the area, and some compensation has been forthcoming recently from the State Government to allow the final handover to take place in an amicable way. One councillor at the Town of Cambridge who, along with others, worked very hard to make sure that happened was David Johnston, who was at the forefront of the early public debate, which was played out blow by blow in the local newspaper.
One further thing that has happened and that has pleased everyone in the area has been the change to the Stephenson Highway road reserve. The original Stephenson plan of 1955 proposed that a major four-lane road would go right through what we now know as the bushland of Bold Park. That road reserve is still there but has been changed in recent times to take it out of the bushland area and run it down Oceanic Drive and onto West Coast Highway. That has been a major plus in securing and valuing the land that is part of this legislation.