Broad support for ban
By Celeste Seymour
PERTH — The WA construction industry union, the CMEU, has enlisted the support of well-known environmentalist and unionist Jack Mundey for the campaign against the redevelopment of the old brewery site on the Swan River. Mundey will speak at a June 18 rally against government plans to allow construction of an office and shopping complex on the site.
In the 1970s, the NSW Builders Labourers Federation, of which Mundey was secretary, imposed the green bans which helped stop high rise development around the Rocks area in Sydney.
The scale of public pressure for the old Swan Brewery to be demolished and converted to open public space was made clear at a press conference at the CMEU offices on June 12.
Dr Arthur Harris of Hospital Medicals Against Development told the media that road accidents would probably increase if the several planned liquor outlets went ahead on the site. The curved stretch of road following the river near the old brewery is already one of Perth's most dangerous. Any development of the area would dramatically decrease visibility for drivers.
Harris said that support for transforming the site into parkland was universal in the medical industry. An open letter to the editor of the West Australian against redevelopment had been signed by 98 medical practitioners at Royal Perth Hospital.
A leading Perth architect said that it had been government policy since 1950s to establish continual public space along the shores of the Swan River. As soon as formerly commercial land ceased to be operational, it was to be incorporated into this public space.
Ian Alexander, independent MLA for Perth, said that the commissions of inquiry into the brewery issue had been totally unaccountable.
A hunger strike by Isobel Weir to mark the third anniversary of the suppression of the brewery protest movement by cops will continue until June 25.
Groups and individuals opposing the redevelopment will rally around the demand "Parkland for Old Swan Brewery" at the Esplanade at 12 noon on Thursday, June 18. For more information phone (09) 328 7877. Messages of support can be posted to the CMEU, PO Box 8365 Stirling Street, Perth 6000, or faxed to (09) 227 8544. Messages of support for Isobel Weir can be sent to 24 River Way, Salters Point, 6152.