Memories of Swan River Light Displays Inspire Petition Calling for More Colour on Foreshore

One of Perth's oldest landmarks would be rigged with colourful lights and art displays if supporters of an online petition get their way.

In the 1960s and '70s, the Old Swan Brewery would come alive each night with a vivid light show that could be seen from kilometres away.

The scene on the banks of the Swan River was one of Perth's greatest night-time attractions before the lights were pulled down after the brewery's closure.

While the building is now an apartment complex, an online petition calling for the lights to be reinstated has attracted more than 1,100 signatures.

Warren Duffy, curator of the popular Lost Perth Facebook page , is behind the campaign and said Perth desperately needed another landmark to attract tourists and families to the Swan River.

"Let's put it up as artwork and bring back the nostalgia and have children talk to their grandparents to create a bit of discussion and to create an icon." The lighting displays had a nautical theme, changing over the years to depict a sailing ship, a freight liner and Australia II which won the 1987 America's Cup.

"Driving up the freeway, you would always play spotto with the rest of the family trying to guess if it would be lit up as a freighter or a sailing ship," Mr Duffy said.

"If you're coming from the north on the Mitchell Freeway heading over the Narrows Bridge, you'd crane your neck around to the right to try and be the first one to see what it is." The City of Perth is reviewing its lighting strategy which supports more creative lighting attractions on both public and private developments.

Mr Duffy said he would like to see Perth embrace more artistic lighting displays, similar to those seen in Singapore or Hong Kong.

"There's not a lot of history there which you can delve back on - it's all new - and it's the same as Perth," he said.

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the lighting plan.

Some have voiced their displeasure with the idea on social media, raising the issue of cost, light pollution and electricity consumption.

Those who signed the petition said they did so for nostalgic reasons, while others thought the lights could help lure tourists to the banks of the Swan River.

Topics:

tourism history urban-development-and-planning local-government community-and-society human-interest perth-6000

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