The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

So much for Cockburn Stadium …

The headline of my community newspaper yesterday: “Stadium bid sunk”.

The Major Stadia Taskforce announced, in its interim report, that its short list of sites consists of Mueller Park in Subiaco, and land near the old East Perth power station.

Never mind that the former is a perfectly nice park (and as yesterday’s West Australian points out, plenty of people like it that way) while the latter is already earmarked for fairly radical redevelopment.

When the Cockburn stadium bid was first announced, I thought it’d be an ideal way to encourage development at Cockburn Central — pubs, restaurants, and maybe a hotel or two — that would give the area a CBD flavour of its own, like a mini-Parramatta. This kind of development, after all, was decided as the most desirable outcome after the Dialogue with the City process (I should know, I was there!) with a stronger Cockburn helping to drive the growth of a ‘networked’ Perth. But the task force seems not to care about that, giving barely three sentences to the bid and focussing instead on fluffy guidelines about “sports entertainment hubs”. Heck, even the Belmont Park proposal is better than the sites in their short list.

P.S. Something else jumped out at me in yesterday’s newspaper: yet another anti-OBE letter, this time from some professor at that so-called university in Fremantle, arguing that “post-structuralism … is just that, a theory”. Now while it’s not surprising for an average newspaper-letter-writer to not understand the formal meaning of ‘theory’, for an academic I’d say it’s no less than inexcusable.

  1. A story that highlights why a Cockburn stadium would have problems.

    During the last World Cup I was involved with the Perth Glory fan club. We wanted to get together in a pub to watch the games. A bunch of us lived in or around South Perth and suggested Rosie O’Grady’s in South Perth – now gone. The few people living north of the river complained and wanted somewhere closer to the centre of Perth so they didn’t have to drive so far. Rosies was – at most- five minutes drive from the Causeway and without the hassles of city parking.

    In my experience that is pretty typical Perthite behaviour. Cockburn would have had troubles.

  2. That’s a good point; I cop some of that myself from northern folks I’ve met at UWA. Of course, us southerners are never so rude ;-)

    But I would venture that a footy stadium would be sufficiently big and unmissable that it could help combat that kind of sentiment. By way of comparison, the Rock-It concerts are always at Arena Joondalup (further from Perth than Cockburn) but they don’t seem to draw too many distance-based whinges.

  3. I’m not familiar with the ‘Rock-It’ concerts but I’d guess that they’re aimed at teens and tweens, who are more likely to venture far for a good time. Most sporting events are aimed at families and they’re naturally less venturesome.

    Also it’s not how far away but how long it takes to get there. I haven’t ventured down to Cockburn for many a year but my memories are that it isn’t as straight forward as screaming at 100kph down the freeway for 30mins like you can with Joondalup. When you’ve got kids the less time in the car the better – especially in a car stuck in traffic/at lights.

    To me Cockburn seems a long way to travel for a football game. I would suspect that would be a common view held by Perthites.

  4. re the OBE stuff, I’m still recovering from the shock of my old school principal actually having an opinion of her own, coming out and saying it and then backing it up with evidence. o.O Going to have stop calling her Barbie now… maybe. Consequently missed the “theory” bit.

    Funny how when an interstater asks how many unis there are here I always say “Three… no wait, four… no wait, there’s supposedly one in Freo too, make that sort-of-five…”

  5. Cockburn is too far away. All around the world they are building closer to cities. I read that the Cockburn site is good because it will have a rail line, so what, so does Subi. Anyway, it is one line both ways which won’t turn people over very quickly. The further away from the city the longer the trains will take to get back and pick up more people I guess. I think a site near the Swan River sounds good

    PS – A friend told me they have lots of midgies

  6. I’m sorry, I only just noticed that Akismet had false-positived on your comment :-(

    To respond to your criticisms in order:

    • it’s really not that far away: 12 minutes (express) on the new railway or 18 minutes on the freeway
    • I’m not too sure about your “all around the world” claim; Homebush in Sydney is about 20km from their CBD, as are the World Cup stadia in Berlin and Munich. Admittedly, most of the other World Cup venues are a similar distance to their city as Subiaco.
    • There is already, now, a siding and turnback at Cockburn station, and each six-car train pair (15 have been bought) will carry 1000 people, so shipping 20000 people per hour between Perth and Cockburn shouldn’t be hard at all.
    • Some parts of Cockburn — not near the stadium site — have midgie problems, my suburb included. However the City of Cockburn has (mostly) done a good job controlling them.
  7. Decentralize and get some major infrastructure north and south of the river. Cockburn is the regional to the south that Joondalup is to the north; with both around 25kms from the Perth GPO.
    We have greenfields and can, with this blank canvas shape the future for our kids kids…we may even get smart and put a Regional Police station right near the Freeway! Hmmm maybe thats too much common sense!

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