Works have commenced on the first major upgrade of Wellington Square in more than a century, following a traditional smoking ceremony and sod turn this morning.
Highlights include a new inter-generational playground, supported by a $4.37 million grant from Lotterywest, and a place of reflection to commemorate the Stolen Generation.
City of Perth Chair Commissioner Andrew Hammond said planning for the upgrade included extensive consultation with the community, outreach services and local organisations such as Royal Perth Hospital, the WACA, East Perth Community Group, Mercedes Ladies College and local sporting groups.
“Wellington Square is a significant community space in East Perth, and the City is excited to work with the local residents, businesses and park users for the transition of the site into a contemporary city park,” he said.
“The redeveloped Wellington Square will feature a state-of the-art inter-generational playground, supported by Lotterywest, a Stolen Generation place of reflection, basketball courts and new automated ablution facilities.
“Both the park and playground will receive dual names in recognition of Wellington Square’s significance to many members of the Aboriginal community, and out of respect for the traditional owners and custodians of the land. These names will be finalised and announced in the coming months.
“The City of Perth anticipates the redeveloped park will attract many events and activations, which will add further vibrancy to the East Perth area.”
The site was cleansed this morning in a smoking ceremony undertaken by Aboriginal Elder Nick Abraham. Member for Perth John Carey MLA then presented the City of Perth with a certificate marking Lotterywest’s $4.37 million contribution to the project.
“This is a significant milestone for East Perth: the renewal of Wellington Square has been a long time coming for local residents, and under the City of Perth Commissioners and new administration, we are actually seeing this project being delivered,” Mr Carey said.
“If we want more people to live in our city, we need more focus on basic residential amenities for all demographics: like recreational facilities and the inter-generational playground which both feature in the redevelopment.”
Originally a swamp that was drained in the 1830s, Wellington Square has long been used as a recreational area. In the past, it was a popular place to exercise horses, was the site of Perth’s main cricket ground (prior to the construction of the WACA in 1890) and has also hosted WAFL matches.
Local residents who would like to find out more about the upgrade and timing of the works are encouraged to visit engage.perth.wa.gov.au
Wellington Square upgrade started on Tuesday 4 February 2020 and is expected to be completed within 12 months.
The upgrade will take place in five stages and include:
- A 3000m2 inter-generational playground, supported by Lotterywest, that feature areas for nature play, fitness, parkour, water play, as well as basketball courts and lawn areas for picnics and relaxation;
- Multi-use event spaces with built in infrastructure to cater for medium and large-scale events;
- Multi-use sporting fields, designed in accordance with relevant code regulations and in consultation with relevant sporting clubs and nearby schools;
- Integration of cultural and environmental heritage;
- 350 new trees, with 268 retained trees and a 60% canopy cover;
- 15,000m2 of new walking paths;
- Formalised social and meeting spaces;
- New furniture suite including shade, picnic, BBQ facilities and drink fountains;
- New lighting and CCTV, improving safety and extending usability of space to evening and night;
- Smart technology and WIFI integrated into the site;
- Water sensitive urban design principles resulting in a 32% reduction in water consumption in irrigated turf area; and
- Increased biodiversity with native tree and plant species.
AVAILABLE IMAGERY & FOOTAGE
- Renders of the inter-generational playground, supported by Lotterywest
- Photos and footage from today’s smoking ceremony, speeches and sod turn
- Drone footage of Wellington Square
- Simulated fly over of the upgraded Wellington Square