Minister, please get suburb where big land deal is going down right!

TODAY Minister for Housing, Peter Tinley, “goes to market” on Dept of Communities (Housing) properties Connect Joondalup and Bentley 360.  The only problem with that is thus far Mr Tinley has focussed more on the Joondalup project – and given the impression the 360 site was in Victoria Park.

This sort of imbalance and inaccuracy isn’t helpful.  The Minister’s recent launch of Bentley 360 attracted no major media I could find – overwhelming interest being reserved for the release of micro lots in Ellenbrook a few days later.

I came away from the interview with the sense the City of Canning’s Bentley 360 project’s success is somehow a lower priority for the Minister.  Joondalup is described as “coming of age”, yet the 360 opportunity is relegated to “so long undeveloped it’s quite sad but we’re rectifying that now”.

The differential became more obvious as the interview went on:-

  • [On call for Expressions of Interest]…. for two plots of land…in Joondalup and …. over in Vic Park/Bentley area, what we’re calling Bentley 360….
  • [On proximity to train stations]…. Vic Park is not … but high frequency of bus routes…. behind retail sector of Vic Park….. bit of a different prospect in its relationship to the CBD….
  • Mr Tinley also repeatedly stated Bentley 360 is 5-6 kms from the City.  Actually it’s 8.5kmhowever 5-6 kms would put it inside the Town of Victoria Park’s boundaries.

Upon being prompted by 6PR’s Gareth Parker to comment on concerns that inclusion of social housing in these precincts may create “ghettos”, Mr Tinley seemed more concerned about ensuring that didn’t happen in Joondalup.  Bentley didn’t rate a mention:

“It’s really important that across a site like Joondalup, where there’s a potential of 1600 homes….you don’t want all private owners in one area, all shared equity in another….affordable [and so on]…. there’s so much evidence now how that doesn’t work, so we do what we call “salt and pepper”…..

Worse, on the subject of “how do you decide who the [state] will partner with?”, Minister Tinley again focussed only on Joondalup:

“Range of criteria…. around outcomes…. we talk very much about placemaking, it’s not just about yield and getting dirty great big concrete boxes up… it’s about the identity….. so in Joondalup what is the identity of the CBD and making sure that we nest this development inside that wider narrative….thoughtful design, thoughtful density and making sure we get integrative opportunities at the placemaking point, at the precinct level”…..
Peter Tinley, Minister for Housing, 6PR Morning Show 15 May 2018

Admittedly “place activation” and “placemaking” – in particular the Minister’s promise that these concepts would ensure the Bentley site did not once again descend in to squalor and exclusionary zones – has not gone well at Bentley, a former public housing estate.

This eyesore, for instance, is what comes up in realtor video detailing property sales in the streets that border the 360.  Known as Bentley Community Garden, the state has spent a fortune on it only for the middle class, who took it over, to become dependent on handouts themselves.   Today, Garden Co-ordinator Maria Bonser acquires donations of vegetables from supermarkets to on-sell (ostensibly so as not to be dependent on grants), yet the garden has received hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of grants, in-kind support and paid consultant assistance since 2014/15.


Bentley Community Garden as came up on realtor search for 32 Dumond St

If the above is anything to go by, there is obviously more work to do in bringing forth that bright new future for the Bentley 360, and distancing it literally and figuratively from it’s still current welfare dependent, rundown status – but it would help if the Minister kept his energies as focussed on promoting this project as he did Connect Joondalup in a broadcast to 000s today.