Curtin game changer – cancel light rail?

Yesterday’s Ch 7 news report on Canning’s CBD makeover dropped off affiliate The West Aust’s site quickly. It is a little hard to believe.  All this for $70m and in just 10yrs?

Press image to view

Are there devils in the lack of detail?  Its likely.  Increasingly there is the sense WE need YOU more than you need us.  What will be the repercussions of that, when we’ve already seemingly lost control to developers in the mammoth Bentley Regen project?

For now, I wonder if the CBD plan isn’t already old and needs a rethink as Curtin University moves ever forward on the future of knowledge delivery, which may impact on the viability of either Canning or the McGowan Govt moving to service it with light rail.

In fact, I wonder why we didn’t see this particular advent coming….

Curtin has just polled its huge student body on the merits of converting all lectures to online delivery:-

We would like to collect your opinion and suggestions on the importance of attending lectures in person versus watching online iLectures, and the anticipated effects changing this mode of delivery would have on your experience at university. With a move to flexible learning models and an increase in the popularity of undertaking study through Open Universities Australia, this proposal is aimed to increase the equity to all students in a consistent blended online and on campus learning experience.

The benefits to thousands of students transferring to online servicing are listed as:-

  1. Elimination of student stress and cost due to parking on campus
  2. Reduction in student parking fees when a lecture is schedule[d] on an alternative day to other classes
  3. Increased flexibility in when and where students watch their lectures
  4. Improved equity to all students receiving the same mode of delivery across the faculty

The standard “contact hours” per unit at Curtin amounts to 1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 2 hour tutorial.  Repeat this four times a week for a full student load and that’s potentially a lot of need to travel to campus alleviated.

This mode of delivery may eventually extend to tutorials – who knows?  Negotiating physical contact time with academic staff is a never-ending battle. This is one way to end the war.  Personally I enjoyed the flexibility of online learning and the freedom from proximal requirements it offered me.

Switching wholesale to online education delivery would certainly help Curtin’s bottom line, as it battles increasingly volatile financing environments.

If this were to happen, it would happen quickly.  The iLecture system is already popular and ready to explode with possibilities.

Canning’s hope to kick-start major development at the Bentley Regen was based on offering hundreds of students accommodation (something never run past the community, burdened with around 60% investor infestation already), and seems dashed before it starts as Curtin moves ahead with plans for a thousand or more student digs on campus.

Given that extending a light rail from Cannington to Curtin doesn’t seem to provide the value capture opportunities EARLY PLAN HERE a Knowledge Arc-like light rail from Perth to Curtin through Vic Park would, perhaps it’s time to have a sit down with Curtin about just what Canning can grasp on to for the future, to provide the oomph the promise of its CBD makeover needs.

Because Carousel-car-mecca Stages One and Two ain’t it, even though it is most likely to remain it, with more and more forms of motorised transport coming in from everywhere, not just maybe Curtin.


Image depicting light rail through Canning CBD, and inserted video of the makeover news article taken from Channel 7 News Perth FB and the West Australian website as published Wed, 19 July 2017
Curtin University polling extracted from Official Communication with student body, Thur 1 June 2017.  Survey concluded 9 June 2017.

One thought on “Curtin game changer – cancel light rail?

  1. This was what council proposed (essentially) in 2012, now 5 years later as well as $ millions wasted on cronyism and the like,what do we have,a couple of Chinese apartment blocks and one small commercial come residential block, yahoo.The current Council has been sucked into giving the nod to admin to rate the people to pay for this over the supposed next 10 years , because there’s no money anywhere else ,except if they give developers an offer to good to refuse.the current proposal is basically redundant, the likes of Cockburn Central are way ahead of Canning as well as Stirling / Midland. All we will end up with will be a 3rd class commercial centre surrounded by a Bronx type slum to appease some halfwit planners EGO


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