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Queens garden and carpark

East Perth primary school

The City of Perth has advocated for a city primary school for many years. 

A school is one of the recommendations within the City’s Local Planning Strategy May 2023 in East Perth.

The State Government made an approach to us in May 2023 to use approximately two thirds of the City-owned land in Nelson Cres, East Perth for a primary school. 

Since then, we have worked to help the Department of Education carry out its investigations related to the land as well as prepare our own due diligence to inform our negotiations with the State Government over the land. 

The land

The proposed site is the Queens Gardens carpark in Nelson Cres, East Perth.
The carpark, which has 863 standard bays bays, is one of the most significant cash flow generating carparks within the City’s portfolio and is forecast to provide a net cash flow of $1.5 million this financial year. The revenue from the City’s parking business is a critical revenue stream that helps keep rates to a minimum.

The site is divided into three parcels of land which totals 2.6ha. The State Government wants to build the school on parcels 2 and 3 – approximately 1.6 ha. 

The City of Perth purchased the land around 50 years ago from private landowners and holds it land in freehold ownership. 

Chevron Hilton Act 

In 1960 the City agreed to establish a public car park on the Nelson Cres land, along with other property initiatives, as part of the agreements encompassed in the Chevron Hilton Hotel Agreement Act 1960.

The Act was introduced ahead of the 1962 Commonwealth Games to allow for the development of the Chevron Hilton Hotel (which never eventuated) in the Perth CBD and to facilitate a number of other property transfers. 

Whilst the key initiatives  within the Act were all completed long ago, it was never repealed and more than 60 years later, still requires the City to provide carparking on the Nelson Cres site.

Legislative requirements 

Under the Local Government Act 1995, (section 3.59), the State Government’s use of the land is considered a major land transaction and as such the City of Perth must complete a business plan that considers – 

(a) its expected effect on the provision of facilities and services by the local government; and
(b) its expected effect on other persons providing facilities and services in the district; and
(c) its expected financial effect on the local government; and
(d) its expected effect on matters referred to in the local government’s current plan prepared under section 5.56; and
(e) the ability of the local government to manage the undertaking or the performance of the transaction; and
(f) any other matter prescribed for the purposes of this subsection.

Due diligence 

To work through the merits of the transaction being proposed by the State Government, the City is undertaking its due diligence which will be based on three core objectives:

Objective Why
 A public primary school is built in the east end of the City of Perth The City has publicly stated that, subject to a detailed business case, it supports in-principle a primary school in East Perth as it aligns with the recommendations within our Local Planning Strategy 2023, which identifies the need for a new public primary school to support the growing residential community. 
The City of Perth should maintain optionality and flexibility to meet its overall population target of 55,000 residents by 2036.   As the availability of land in the East Perth neighbourhood suitable for new residential development is limited, identifying and realising strategic land for growth in the number of dwellings in East Perth will be critical in meeting its long-term residential population objectives.
 Any major land transaction associated with the public primary school results in no net cost, or loss of value to the City’s ratepayers
 The City of Perth has a responsibility to manage its operations in a responsible, transparent and sustainable manner for the benefit of our residents, ratepayers and stakeholders, consistent with our Long Term Financial Plan.

Next steps

The City will present the recommendations of its due diligence to Council in early 2024.