Liam Bartlett takes aim at ‘barely there’ Lord Mayor’s Brand Perth summit
6PR Mornings host Liam Bartlett has taken aim at City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas for focusing on the “superficial” aspects of the CBD at a Brand Perth summit.
Major Perth decision-makers gathered at Council House on Friday to discuss their vision of what the future of Perth should look like.
“That talk fest, or summit, or conference, or buffet of ideas, whatever it was run by the barely there Lord Mayor was a complete side show,” Bartlett said.
“Aside from getting his mug in the paper and on our TV screens, what did it actually achieve?
“Thinking that a five star morning tea is going to create a future pathway for our capital city’s tourism future is nothing short of ludicrous.
“The answer to that question, of what is Perth, appeared to be … a cable car.
“Perhaps a smarter idea would be for the City of Perth to actually attend to what Perth is, right now.
“A place where there are far too many homeless people walking the streets, too many vagrants making a nuisance of themselves, too many people being knocked out by cowards punches in the middle of the night … too much being charged for parking, too many places where families feel less than safe, too many grubby walkways that need a bloody good clean.
“The bottom line here is that the future of Perth is completely tied to it’s commercial prospects.
“If people who run businesses, the retailers, the shopkeepers the investors, are not making money then the city will not thrive.
“The two things that create that commercial success, the tourists coming to Perth and the office workers … are both in short supply thanks to COVID.
“Throw that into the increase in assaults and petty crime, and you have a city in need of help.”
The shop vacancy rate is sitting at 35 per cent in the city.
A leading commercial real estate agent has revealed some retailers have vacated the CBD, because of anti-social behaviour causing safety concerns for staff.
Lease Equity Managing Director Jim Tsagalis said individuals defecating on shop fronts and assaults are just some of the reasons driving owners away.
“The anti-social and violent behaviour that has been taking place has definitely reduced the number of people looking at Perth as a destination to open a store,” he said.
“We can talk about all the great attractions, but it’s a bit like doing a home open without tidying up, it’s a bit pointless.”
Press PLAY to hear more about the issues facing Perth CBD retail outlets