THE way West Australians and visitors interact with the CBD will dramatically change from this time next year when Elizabeth Quay opens, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett announced last week during an inspection of the project site.
"This is an exciting time for the project with the underground foundation works now complete and construction above-ground becoming more visible," Mr Barnett said.
"It's easier now to see the individual components coming out of the ground, including the public spaces, amenities and food and beverage outlets. Before we know it, Perth's riverfront will be turned into the vibrant destination it was always meant to be."
The inlet walls are complete and excavation is expected to begin early 2015, ready for water to fill the inlet. The footings for the new pedestrian bridge are being constructed and pilings are being installed for the food and beverage outlets, jetties and moorings.
Elizabeth Quay is expected to deliver about 1,600 jobs during construction, with 146 contracts awarded to businesses for earthmoving, fabrication, surveying, construction, landscaping and architectural services.
"Elizabeth Quay will return a significant portion of the state's initial investment with more than $90 million already secured from the sale of the first four development sites," the Premier said.
Planning Minister John Day said the Florence Hummerston Kiosk was being reconstructed – brick by brick – on what will be a new island in the middle of the inlet.
"Originally built in 1928, the kiosk has been carefully stored in anticipation of its new home as a family friendly cafe on the island. The island will also feature the seasonal mooring of the Duyfken replica and a children's playground," Mr Day said.
Concrete is being poured to create The Landing, the major public event space at the quay. It has been designed to encourage interaction with the Swan River. Visitors can move down the steps to a wooden deck and touch the water at the river's edge. It also doubles as an event space for lunchtime sports, popup vendors and concerts.
The Elizabeth Quay project aims to reconnect the Swan River with the CBD through the mixed-use redevelopment of 10 hectares of riverfront land between Barrack and William streets. The State Government is spending $440 million on the construction of the inlet, roads and services, public domain and the creation of development sites.
In the longer term, it is anticipated that the precinct will attract more than $2 billion of private sector investment and feature around 800 apartments, 400 hotel rooms, 200,000 square metres of commercial space and 25,000 square metres of retail space.
More information is available from the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority's Elizabeth Quay website at <http://www.elizabethquay.wa.gov.au/>.
Photo: Artist's impression of Elizabeth Quay / Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.