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Monday, 1 September 2014
Page: 9257


Mr IRONS (Swan) (10:39): I rise to update the House about the Como Hotel in my electorate. First, I would like to acknowledge the contributions that the member for Goldstein and the member for Fraser just made. Kurt Steel was part of not only the Australian community but parliamentary life. It is important that we recognise the people who are involved with our parliamentary lives and the contribution they make to make it easier for us as we act as members of parliament.

The important issue in my electorate which I am about to talk about is the Como Hotel, which falls within the City of South Perth's local government area. It is an iconic heritage listed site in Como. I have been campaigning along with many members of the community and other local elected members to help preserve this heritage listed facility. It was not a small campaign. Residents banded together to form a community group called the Save the Como Action Group to formally oppose the redevelopment of this site.

Although the redevelopment was a concern for local residents who want to see the hotel's art deco character maintained, the real controversy was an associated development to build a large-scale Dan Murphy's liquor store next to the hotel to replace the current BWS. Many people have referred to these liquor stores as 'booze barns' and say it will become a destination booze outlet. Not only is this an unnecessary development, it flies in the face of a recently launched state government program to reduce alcohol consumption in the community, with the purpose of this development being to facilitate greater access to and consumption of lower priced alcohol. It is clear that this large-scale liquor store would adversely impact on the community and is completely unnecessary, with 12 existing outlets being within reasonable proximity and five within close proximity to the proposed development.

As members in this place would know, the development of large-scale liquor stores often correlates with increased crime rates and has a negative impact on the amenity of that suburb and surrounding areas. Concerns were also raised that the development would create additional traffic pressures and increase the crash risk on the site's surrounding roads, which have previously been identified as crash risk areas. These concerns were reiterated by the City of South Perth council, Main Roads WA and my state government colleague, the member for South Perth, John McGrath, who noted that the developer had claimed traffic impacts and parking for the development were manageable based on a peak hour traffic survey conducted at 4.30 pm on a Friday. I know many members in this place might not have been lucky enough to visit my electorate of Swan, but I am sure you would agree that peak hour in your own electorates is from at least 5 pm onwards. This was a win for the community and a win for the government's efforts to reduce Australia's binge drinking culture across Australia. The fight is not over yet, because it has to go to SAT and one other court of appeal, but I support the outcome. (Time expired)