HOUSING AND CULTURE - 16/06/2021

Council has long considered that the south end of Sharpe Avenue would be ideal for public cultural, knowledge and artistic facilities.


Hence the Red Earth Arts Precinct, which incorporates a multi-purpose auditorium, library, cinema, dance facilities, an outdoor amphitheatre, plus space for display of artwork is located there and has brought many shows, events and concerts to our CBD.


The vacant land on the west side of the REAP, known as Lot 7020 is not owned by the City but we are anxious to ensure that a quality development occurs there, and one in keeping with the planning considerations above. While there is not the grant money available for public infrastructure nowadays, the huge demand for accommodation provides the possibility of creating more city-living apartments which could finance further cultural and arts facilities on Lot 7020.


Housing was overwhelmingly highlighted as the number one issue in the 2021 Annual Community Survey.


The City has therefore been working on conceptual plans for a potential residential development to utilise Lot 7020 which would bookend the Karratha CBD with a high quality facility and add nearly 100 apartments to the local housing market. In addition, the ground floor could provide as much as 1300 square metres for cultural facilities such as an expanded library, visitor centre, museum, art gallery, conference room, multi-media studio and commercial space.


In January the City put out a community survey and consulted with key stakeholders to determine how best to utilise the ground floor in the potential development.


The survey received 455 responses which indicated, among other things, that 88% of respondents wanted the existing library to remain where it was, and that The Shelf, the amphitheatre and other REAP facilities should remain in their current locations.


At its May meeting, Council resolved to support further layout, design and costing alternatives for 1000 square metres of the proposed building ground floor and for the current library space in REAP.