You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Rich art lovers urged to give WA a MONA

AAP logoAAP 19/08/2016 Greg Roberts

Perth isn't known as an artistic hub but it's time it got a private art gallery to rival the massively popular MONA in Hobart, says WA's aspiring premier Mark McGowan.

If multi-millionaire gambler David Walsh can finance MONA, surely one of WA's art loving billionaires Kerry Stokes, Andrew Forrest or Janet Holmes a Court should help build a tourist drawcard gallery in Perth, said the Labor Opposition Leader.

All three are known for impressive collections, such as the 500-year-old intricately designed Rothschild prayerbook Stokes paid $15.5 million for in 2014.

"If Tasmania can do it, why can't WA," McGowan said at a Property Council of Australia lunch in he also noted WA's unemployment was now higher than Tasmania's, revealed in figures this week.

"We have some of the most amazing historical documents in WA that are privately held: medieval art, Aboriginal artworks."

The WA government could set aside land for the gallery, he said.

Hobart's popular MONA has driven record international and interstate visitor numbers to Tasmania in recent years, with many tourists specifically visiting the state to see Mr Walsh's gallery.

Tourism has been a poor performer in WA in recent years, partly because of its isolated location and despite the state's natural attractions, contributing only 3 per cent to the state's economy in 2014.

Mr McGowan and Labor's planning and transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti also told the Property Council event that if elected they would ensure there was more high density development in Perth to control the city growth and sprawl.

People in Perth should get a choice to live in higher density housing if they wanted rather than traditional house and land lots and such developments would be encouraged around train stations, Ms Saffioti said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon