If I Was the Queen of Subi
Well, we can dream can’t we? But this week I thought I would share with you what I really would do if I had a free ‘reign’ to bring Subi back to life again.
I would take all the empty shops and turn them into ‘co-operatives’ – let’s take the Esprit shop for instance – a very large space which is destined to become another bank, chain store, optometrist, travel agent or something pretty boring. I would make it a “collective” with 20 or so smaller outlets – a bit like “MANY” in Fremantle all with interesting, eclectic and original bits and pieces for sale and all sharing the whopping rent. Result? Happy Landlord, Happy shopkeepers and Happy shoppers! This could happen in all shops of different sizes and this coupled with “Pop Up” shops could once again make Subiaco an interesting shopping experience.
Then I would create busking areas, paint them yellow and let anyone busk there without having to get a license, whenever. Then pink could be areas where street traders could sell their wares – maybe in the laneways – only condition – they have to have made the product they are selling themselves.
Next I would get the council to buy the building opposite to them that has been on the market forever and turn into an Art Centre where artists can display and sell their art and the council takes a commission – or maybe not.
Then with the 20 odd million dollars that the council are considering using to buy industrial property in Balcatta, Osborne Park and Waroona (an initiative that Mark Burns was pushing hard for and has reared its head again, which has a definite odour of “self-interest” attached to it). I would buy the old Coles site and bring the markets back to Subi – now that the Pavilion site appears to have been sold again. Why would you take excess funds that should be of benefit to the Subiaco residents and rate payers and put them into industrial property which is returning 2%? Perhaps someone should look into this and why it’s so confidential.
Then I would bring the beautiful tram out of forced internment and allow it to parade the streets of Subi offering free access for people young and old to move around the suburb in. I would further encourage outdoor dining areas, live music, small bars and everything that brings people together.
I would remove the ugly boxes and silly poles from Rokeby Road and just keep the street trees. I would encourage street vendors to sell BBQ sweetcorn and candied nuts on the street corners. I would love to bring back the “paper boy” calling out on the street corner – but this might be pushing it a bit!
Okay, now I know what you’re all thinking – this girl is living in the past, but you know what? Just because progress is inevitable and it is a changing world – an acknowledgement and appreciation of the real things in life as against the virtual reality that surrounds us now, is something that the human race is instinctively attracted to and it’s what will bring people back to Subiaco again. You may have noticed when people go overseas to foreign cities they always head for the “Old City”, the historic place, the beautiful art, the cobbled streets – not many head for the new Coles or Target store.
So for those of you who think I am living in “Disneyland” – back in your box please.
Source: “If I Was the Queen of Subi”, Western Suburbs Weekly, Residential – 18 May 2018.