Perth’s Wheel(s) of Misfortune


The new Wheel of Perth provides an interesting insight into the inept and unimaginative planning that our governing bodies at state and local level are famous for. While there’s nothing wrong with slavishly copying the London Eye tourist wheel, Perth Mayor Lisa Scaffidi should have considered whether there is actually anything worth seeing from a much smaller one perched on the edge of the Swan River.

London is a confusing jumble of ancient and modern architecture laid out like a mad woman’s shit. But from the top of the London Eye (135m), one is afforded a privileged view that takes in Buckingham Palace, Southbank, Waterloo, the West End and dozens of other landmarks. It’s riveting and can completely transform the brain’s ingrained and overly simple tube-map-like geography that befuddles both tourists and Londoners. But in Perth, what is there? Great swathes of grass, freeway and the river – which look pretty much the same from 50m up as they do from ground level.

Additionally, in London, there are very few (if any) tall buildings where one can go to cop a bird’s-eye view of London. But in Perth, anyone who’s ever stayed in a hotel/paid a tax bill/visited a lawyer/gone to a revolving restaurant/stood on the edge of King’s Park will have had a better view than the wheel provides.

This kind of slavish copying without any critical thinking can also be seen in the Perth-Mandurah railway. The chief reason that people use trains is that they drop you in the MIDDLE of a town or city. The Mandurah railway doesn’t go anywhere near the middle of Mandurah, or indeed the middle of any of the other towns it stops at.

If you want to get dropped on the outskirts of a city then take a plane, but if you want to be in the middle of town then take a train. Paris/London, Perth/Fremantle – it doesn’t matter; people catch the train because it goes where they want to go – the middle of town.

Why would anyone go to Rockingham (ahem) when Rockingham station is located on the edge of a desert salt lake that resembles the alien planet in The Man Who Fell to Earth? Mandurah station is scarcely better, lying ‘twixt some sand hills in an industrial area dotted with awful, rusting modern art pieces. Both are miles from the center of the, er, action.

Astonishingly, the Bunbury railway went to the center of Bunbury for nigh on fifty years but the powers that be obviously thought this too convenient so they moved the station miles outside the town into the middle of an industrial park. Until our governing bodies can actually demonstrate some independent thinking then they will no doubt keep churning out these astonishing blunders.


5 Responses to Perth’s Wheel(s) of Misfortune

  1. effjayh says:

    That wheel is TINY, TINY, TINY
    and if you go to Rocky, make sure you keep your shoes on – tho why ANYONE would even consider going to Rocky, by train or car or plane, with or without shoes is a definite Graylands candidate
    As for the crack Bunbury’s power that be moving the station from the PRIME SPOT in the centre of town to the outskirts – you have to remember that there are at least three taxis in Bunbury to service the myriads of day trippers to that fair city …

  2. JayJay says:

    This wheel is a joke! What does it give you a birds eye view of? The freaking Belltower – another tourist white elephant! Shit Perth, come up with something original, like a Bungee jump platform off the Mt Eliza escarpment (which works well in Queenstown) or perhaps an observation deck at the top of Central Park tower.

    As Derek Zoolander so appropriately put it:

    What is this? A FERRIS WHEEL FOR ANTS?!?! The Wheel has be at least…..three times bigger than this.

  3. Emnem says:

    Sad, sad, sad,,,,another sad history has been added to Perth. The WHEEL!!!!
    It was in the paper while ago that Perth was planning to have a second hand ferris wheel from Brisbane for new attraction. I could not believe my eyes when I read the article. I thought it must be some kinda mistake so I read it over and over and I remember my heart was beating faster and faster with anger.

    Coming from different culture, art scene and entertainment in Perth is very conservative and oldfashioned-I try not to use words boring or dull as I am trying to be as polite as possible. I always think it is very tragic that AFL is the biggest entertainment here and even worth that a few square minded people thought “The wheel” would be a good tourist attraction to manipulate tourists.
    It is shocking and embarrassing to tell my friends who has never been to Perth before that “come to Perth! we have the wheel!”-my home town has a bigger wheel. I can’t remember how much money they spent on the wheel but there are many better ways to spend the money specially in this economy crisis.
    The wheel has just confirmed how ridiculous our governors are.
    Wake up Perth!!!!!

  4. Steven Adams says:

    It’s seems very simple to me and we are all blessed with being able to voice our opinions in a country that allows us to, it’s true Perth certainly has its faults and many mistakes have been made i think mostly in part to a state that was left behind somewhat by the rest of the country, it’s been used and left by so many and just like people who have experienced the same it suffers a confused and complex time in it’s journey to being in a better place, so it’s no wonder the decision makers fall short sometimes whether the wheel is good or bad, it’s something, Perth has a long way to finding it’s self and i for one am happy to wait,if others are not up for it they can choose to make it better or move to another state (Melbourne is great) this kind of criticism wont help. Steven.

  5. whocares says:

    Its a ferris wheel, calm down. The kids and families who flock to it love it, go on and tell the smiling children its a waste, it injects money into the city and who cares if its not 100 metres high. Now you can all go back to righting the worlds wrongs as you all do so well.

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