City unveils $37 million Fremantle Oval Masterplan

Nature Play WA CEO Griffin Longley, South Fremantle Football Club President Peter Casey, Fremantle Docker Mim Strom, South Fremantle’s Brock Higgins and Fremantle Football Club President Dale Alcock with Deputy Mayor Andrew Sullivan at Fremantle Oval.

The City of Fremantle has unveiled its Masterplan for the redevelopment of historic Fremantle Oval.

The $37 million plan was prepared in collaboration with South Fremantle Football Club, Fremantle Football Club and the WA Football Commission, with assistance from the state government’s Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

It includes new clubrooms and grandstands, improved spectator facilities, lighting upgrades and the realignment of the playing field to reconnect the oval to the heritage-listed Victoria Pavilion.

Other improvements include new grass banks, undercover seating terraces, a new events space, nature play area and improved connections with the rest of the city.

Deputy Mayor Andrew Sullivan said the redevelopment of the oval was one of the City of Fremantle’s top priorities. 

“Fremantle Oval has been the cherished home of local sport in Fremantle since 1894, and in recent years has also hosted AFLW matches and last year’s spectacularly successfully WAFL Grand Final,” Cr Sullivan said.

“But the reality is that the ground and its facilities for players, umpires, spectators and media no longer meet modern requirements, particularly for women’s sport.

“With our aim to make Fremantle Oval a place not just for football but an active community hub, the community amenities also need to be improved.

“The Masterplan recognises the heritage and strategic challenges of the site, including the neighbouring World Heritage listed Fremantle Prison, the proposed new Fremantle Police Headquarters on what is currently the Cappuccino Strip car park and the future planning needs of the Fremantle Hospital site.

“Another key aspect of the plan is improving pedestrian and general access to the oval, to help with connectivity, activation and safety andopen up the oval as major new parklands and community facilities strategically located between the city centre and Fremantle Hospital.

“Once complete Fremantle Oval will set a new benchmark for state football facilities, and stand as an integrated part of city life for a range of events and activities that everyone can enjoy.”

South Fremantle Football Club Chief Executive Officer Cameron Britt said the Fremantle Oval Redevelopment Masterplan aligned strongly with the planning and strategies of both the AFL and the WA Football Commission.

“Currently only one of the eight WAFL venues meet the minimum standards for AFL category 4 facilities, leaving WA in a poor position when compared to other states, and around 70 per cent of football venues across WA don’t adequately cater for female participants,” Mr Britt said.

“Upgrading our clubrooms and the ground will deliver one of Perth’s best WAFL facilities which could cater for AFLW games, WAFL and WAFLW matches and AFL pre-season games, including day and night TV broadcasting.

“Everyone loved the atmosphere at the WAFL Grand Final at Fremantle Oval last year, and implementing this Masterplan will develop a destination that integrates with the historic city around it and deliver a great gameday experience for fans and the broader Fremantle community.

“This project is about more than just football. It’s about continuing Fremantle Oval’s legacy, and revitalising an important part of our city’s heart and soul.”

Fremantle Football Club President Dale Alcock said the club was excited to work with the City of Fremantle, South Fremantle Football Club and the Fremantle community on potential development opportunities at Fremantle Oval. 

“Fremantle is our club’s spiritual home, and we welcome the prospect of enhancing the facilities for our players and fans,” Mr Alcock said.

“The development project will allow the club to have a presence in our heartland while enabling our AFL Women’s team to continue playing at the ground in front of the next generation of Fremantle fans.  It will also provide more opportunities for AFL men’s pre-season fixtures to be scheduled at the ground. 

“We love the atmosphere at Fremantle Oval and we are excited to enhance the fan experience and ensure the standard of facilities meets the expanding requirements of the AFLW league as it continues to grow.

Mr Alcock said while the Dockers remained committed to keeping their head office and administration/training facility at Cockburn, the development would allow the club to explore a more permanent presence at Fremantle Oval, including potential community, cultural and education facility opportunities.

A vibrant Freo Oval precinct would not only enhance the Dockers’ football programs, but also the community and fan initiatives of the club, he said.

The Fremantle Oval Redevelopment Masterplan will be considered by Fremantle Council’s Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee on Wednesday.

If adopted by the council, the project partners will seek financial assistance from the state and federal governments to contribute to the project.

The total cost of implementing the Fremantle Oval Redevelopment Masterplan is estimated at approximately $36.8 million, with four independent stages.

Optional items that are costed separately include an additional floor in the South Fremantle clubrooms for the Fremantle Football Club at $4.2 million, and an underground car park at $2.7 million.

The former headquarters of the Fremantle Football Club, which is currently being used by the City of Fremantle as a temporary administration centre, is identified as a future redevelopment

South Terrace/Suffolk Street Hotel Development out for consultation

Good to see the development application for 65 South Tce (corner of South Terrace and Suffolk Street) now out for public consultation.

The plan is for a six-storey, 100 room hotel building with two office tenancies, one office / shop tenancy and associated car parking

The project is by  Fremantle-based Yolk Property Group and has been designed by Fremantle architects Harris-Jenkins.

It’s value of over $20 million means that it be presented to the Western Australian Planning Committee rather than the City of Fremantle for approval. Community feedback is invited here:

https://consultation.dplh.wa.gov.au/reform-design-state-assessment/hotel-offices-and-shop-fremantle/

This site has sat empty for about 30 years. For those of you with really long memories you might remember this service station that was demolished in the late 1980s I’m guessing, and the site has been vacant every since.

It would be great to see something finally happened on this site and done well it will help link the Cappuccino Strip to the Wray Ave precinct.

Please have your say.

Richard Lane honours Richard Lane

Richard Lane’s partner Cathy and daughter Penny in the newly named ‘Richard Lane’.

The laneway behind Fremantle’s historic Artillery Drill Hall has been officially named ‘Richard Lane’ in honour of one of the city’s most beloved musicians.

Richard Lane, a talented guitarist, keyboard player and vocalist and founding member of much-loved Perth garage band The Stems, passed away in May last year.

The Drill Hall is now the popular live music venue Freo.Social, but was previously the home of the iconic Fly-By-Night Musicians Club and was used by Richard as a venue for his music school Penny Lane’s Music Workshop for a couple of years.

A proposal to name the Drill Hall laneway ‘Richard Lane’ was supported by Fremantle Council in August last year.

The name became official when the street sign was unveiled during an intimate ceremony with family and closest friends this afternoon.

Richard Lane’s partner Cathy Gavranich said he would have been honoured by this tribute.

“We ran Penny Lane’s Music Workshop out of the Drill Hall for about two and half years and we did two Fremantle Festival parades where we had hundreds of kids out in this laneway all dressed up and playing music together,” she said.

“Everyone had Sgt. Pepper costumes on one year and another year we were adorned with rainbows. The building was filled with and surrounded by happy musical children with Richard inspiring and leading them all; he was King of the Kids.

“Hundreds of local children and their families have fond memories of Richard in this laneway, so that’s pretty special and makes this the perfect place to honour our shared precious memories of him.

“I honestly don’t think Richard realised how well loved he was or the amount of respect and high regard that he held within the community.

“He was selfless, he was always doing so much for so many people without any want of recognition. It was his nature to be helpful however and wherever he could. He gave so much of his time and energy to helping others launch their careers and realise their dreams. He was kind and humble and he always put others first. He was so loved.”

Richard Lane co-founded The Stems in 1983. The four-piece played its first gig at Perth’s Old Civic Theatre supporting The Saints and The Triffids.

The Stems released their seminal album At First Sight, Violets Are Blue in 1987 but due to irreconcilable differences disbanded shortly after. The band reformed in 2003 and in 2007 released a second album, Heads Up.

In 1989 Richard founded The Chevelles before moving on to The Rosebuds, as well as contributing to other bands such as The Rosebud Generation, The Morris Lane Project, The On and Ons, The Painkillers and the Lazy Shavers.

In the 1990s he founded and ran a Perth-based record label, Idaho Records, oversaw a venue booking agency, worked for X-Press Magazine and performed with a myriad of other musicians, all the while tending to his own career as a renowned recording artist, songwriter and musician.

July 2013 Two Lanes found themselves in Lane Lane in Broken Hill, NSW.

Fremantle Oval HQ up for lease

The City of Fremantle is seeking expressions of interest from community groups and commercial operators to determine if there are suitable opportunities to make the City’s current administration building at Fremantle Oval available for lease.

The building was the headquarters of the Fremantle Football Club for more than 20 years before the club moved out in 2017.

It has since been used by the City of Fremantle as a temporary home while the new Walyalup Civic Centre is under construction in Kings Square.

With the Walyalup Civic Centre nearing completion, City of Fremantle Director of City Business Glen Dougall said there was now the opportunity to consider making the Fremantle Oval building available for lease.

“The building at Fremantle Oval was extensively renovated by the City after the Dockers moved out in 2017,” Mr Dougall said.

“The gym and changerooms were transformed into a library, former coach Ross Lyon’s office is now a meeting room and the swimming pool on the ground floor was covered over to create a large open-plan office space.

“Before we decide on the most suitable use for the building, we would like to explore who might be interested in an opportunity like this if it was to become available.

“We’re also planning for a major redevelopment of the Fremantle Oval precinct within the next ten years, so we’re pitching this as a shorter-term opportunity.

“A lease term of five years would be ideal, but anything up to ten years will be considered.”

The Fremantle Oval building has a floor area of approximately 2322 square metres across two levels. The ground floor has approximately 1334 square metres, with an additional 900 square metres available on the first floor. 

Suitable proponents may wish to lease the entire building, or it can be divided into at least three separate tenancies.

The property also includes a secure gated parking lot capable of accommodating more than 45 car bays.

For more information and to submit an expression of interest visit the City of Fremantle’s Tenders website.

First Day Back in the Office

Today I had my first day back in the office after the election and it was good to be back although it is a bit weird not knowing how long for.

I was hoping to know by now the result of the state election, but it looks like this may be a while yet due to the closeness of the vote for the 6th South Metro Legislative Council spot. Hopefully we will know by the end of month.

How the vote is arrived at is a long and complicated story so I will leave it to ABC election expert Antony Green to explain via his blog https://antonygreen.com.au/2021-wa-election-legislative-council-update/ and excerpt below.

South Metropolitan Region

Labor will elect four MLCs, the Liberals one with the final seat in my view to be won by the Greens. This differs from the current ABC calculator output for South Metroplitan Region. At what the calculator calls Count 26, the Greens trail Labor very narrowly 0.4646 quotas to 0.4706. The calculator excludes the Greens and Labor’s fifth candidate goes on to win the final seat.

However, the calculator does not take any account of BTL votes. Once they are included, Labor’s vote will fall slightly and the Green vote rise. At the 2017 election, only 2.35% of Labor’s votes were BTL compared to 11.13% for the Greens. At the start of the South Metropolitan count, Labor has 4.4706 quotas to the Green’s 0.4500. Modelling percentages for all parties based on 2017 ATL/BTL rates, I estimate that a better starting count would be Labor 4.4002 and the Greens 0.4858. That means at the equivalent of Count 26, the Greens should lead Labor and go on to win the final seat on Labor preferences. That may be reversed if Labor attracts a lot of below the line votes, but I think the Green projected lead will be enough.

The Labor MLCs re-elected are Sue Ellery and Kate Doust, joined by newcomers Klara Andric and Stephen Pratt. Sitting MLC Pierre Yang moved to and was elected to represent North Metropolitan Region. Liberal MLC Nick Goiran is re-elected while fellow MLC Simon O’Brien did not re-contest after losing Liberal pre-election.

Liberal Democrat MLC Aaron Stonehouse was defeated, his party’s vote declining from 3.9% to 0.9% after losing the advantage of being to the left of the Liberal Party on the ballot paper. He will be replaced by the Green’s Brad Pettitt, or if all my predictions prove to be wrong, by a fifth Labor MLC in Victoria Helps.

Have your say on Kings Square renaming shortlist

Fremantle Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge (centre) with Fr Patrick King from St John’s Church and Fremantle Chamber of Commerce CEO Danica Quinlan, who are both members of the Kings Square stakeholder group. 

The City of Fremantle has released a shortlist of options for the possible renaming of Kings Square.

The City began exploring the possibility of renaming Kings Square last year by inviting the public to put forward their suggestions.

The process attracted 194 submissions which included 128 suggestions for a new name, five suggestions for a dual name and 108 general comments about renaming the square or keeping the current name.

Fremantle councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge, who represents the council on the Kings Square stakeholder group, said the suggestions were assessed against the naming criteria adopted by the council, provided to Landgate for preliminary comments and considered by the stakeholder group before finalising the shortlist.

“The civic heart of Fremantle is undergoing a massive transformation through the Kings Square Renewal Project, so we thought it was timely to explore what the community thought was the best name,” Cr Fitzhardinge said.

“The initial consultation attracted a lot of interest and we received some really great suggestions that we’ve now narrowed down to the shortlist of five options.

“One of those is to retain the original name of Kings Square; three are new Whadjuk Nyoongar names – Midgegooroo Square, Walyalup Koort and Boya Karla; and one is to have a dual name combining a Nyoongar name with Kings Square. The use of ‘Koort’ or ‘Gnalla’ as a suffix is also being considered.

“The issue of acknowledging Fremantle’s Italian heritage also came up through the process, so we’ve included an option to use Piazza rather than Square to refer to the space. There are also potentially other areas around the city that we could consider for an Italian name.

“We really want to hear what people have to say about their preferred name before a final recommendation is presented for council consideration later this year.”       

Except for a brief period in the 1980s the name Kings Square has remained unchanged since Surveyor-General John Septimus Roe drew up the original town plan for Fremantle in 1833.  The name refers to King William IV of England who reigned from 1830-37.

Midgegooroo was the leader of the Whadjuk clan that occupied and owned the area known as Beeliar, which included Fremantle. He was executed by firing squad on 22 May 1833 for the alleged killing of colonial settlers.

Walyalup is the traditional Whadjuk Nyoongar name for the geographic location of Fremantle. Koort is the Nyoongar word for heart, so Walyalup Koort means ‘a place in the heart of Fremantle’.

Boya Karla means ‘rock fire’, and is inspired by the public artwork proposed for Kings Square that incorporates a ring of standing stones representing WA’s 14 Nyoongar clans surrounding a ceremonial fire vessel.  

For more information on the five shortlisted options and to have your say visit the City of Fremantle’s My Say Freo website: https://mysay.fremantle.wa.gov.au/ks-name

The City of Fremantle is undertaking the $270 million Kings Square Renewal Project in partnership with Sirona Capital.

It includes the redevelopment of the old Myer and Queensgate sites to create offices for state government departments and the revolutionary FOMO food, art and retail concept, the construction of the City of Fremantle’s new administration centre and library and the rejuvenation of the public spaces around the square.

In February 2020 Fremantle Council voted to name the City’s new administration building the Walyalup Civic Centre.

For more information on the Kings Square Renewal Project visit the Kings Square Fremantle website, or watch this video.

Dockers last game at Freo Oval before finals

The ladder-leading Fremantle Dockers will play their last home game of the AFL Women’s regular season at Fremantle Oval this weekend.

Fremantle seized top spot on the AFLW table with their epic comeback win against Carlton last week, and will be looking to cement their position when they take on Melbourne this Sunday.

Bouncedown is at 3.10pm, with gates opening at 2.10pm.

The popular Visit Fremantle Chillout Deck will be open again, with food and beverages available for purchase and free icy poles for the kids.

The Fremantle Library will be open from 9am-1pm.

The car park inside Fremantle Oval, car park 16 on Parry Street and the Cappuccino Strip car park on South Terrace will be closed to the general public.

All AFLW games are ticketed in 2021 to allow crowds to attend in a COVID-safe environment.

Tickets are $10 for adults and are available from Ticketmaster. Children are free but must redeem a ticket to enter. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate.

For more information visit fremantlefc.com.au.

On what will be a busy weekend in Fremantle, the city is also hosting the SummerSalt music festival across town at Fremantle Park on Sunday.

Featuring a stellar line-up of Australian talent including John Butler, The Cat Empire, The Teskey Brothers, Boy & Bear and Montaigne, the gates will open at 12:30pm. 

For more information go to summersaltmusic.com.au.

On Saturday morning, around 1500 swimmers and 3000 spectators are expected to gather at Leighton Beach for the annual Port to Pub open water swimming event from Fremantle to Rottnest.

The 25km ultra-marathon swim is the longest open water swim on offer in Australia, and one of the longest in the Southern Hemisphere.

For more information visit porttopub.com.au.

Visitors to Fremantle this weekend are encouraged to plan ahead.

Due to upgrades at Claremont station, train services on the Fremantle line are currently operating at a reduced 30-minute frequency from Showgrounds to Fremantle, with the requirement to change trains at Cottesloe.

For more information visit the Fremantle Line Major Impacts page on the Transperth website.

THIS IS FUNMANTLE – A Seaside Wonderland Adventure

The City of Fremantle is bringing all the fun of the fair to Fremantle with its latest city-wide, family-friendly activity for the April school holidays.

THIS IS FUNMANTLE-A SEASIDE WONDERLAND ADVENTURE brings all your favourite carnival rides to Fremantle for nine jam-packed, fun-filled days.

Rides including Runaway Train, Fiesta Balloon, Camelot Castle and children’s favourite the Cup and Saucer will be placed around the city from Saturday 10 April through to Sunday 18 April.

A $5 ticket (plus booking fee) will get each child entry to the seaside adventure which includes access to a massive eight individual carnival rides.

Families will be able to explore Fremantle through the eyes of their kids as they experience four iconic seaside locations including Salty Sailors Landing at Bathers Beach, the Magical Market Bazaar at Henderson Street Mall, Shipwreck Alley outside the WA Shipwreck Museum and the Mystical Kings Castle at the Esplanade Reserve.

THIS IS FUNMANTLE ticket holders can also complete the seaside wonderland adventure trail by collecting a magical stamp at each location. Complete the entry form on the back of the trail map and drop it into the carnival entry box at Fremantle Visitor Centre to go in the draw to win some magical prizes.

To add to the carnival fun there’ll be sideshow games including laughing clowns and seaside wonderland showbags available to purchase at each location.

Local business owners are joining in the carnival atmosphere by providing special offers for seaside wonderland adventurers.

To book tickets for THIS IS FUNMANTLE-A SEASIDE WONDERLAND ADVENTURE and for details on special offers, workshops, classes, performances, exhibitions, free activities and more go to visitfremantle.com.au/funmantle.

THIS IS FUNMANTLE is proudly brought to you by THIS IS FREMANTLE, City of Fremantle, Fishing Boat Harbour Traders Group, Fremantle Markets, Sail & Anchor, Warders Hotel, Old Shanghai and WA Shipwreck Museum.

FREO’S GOLDEN CIVIC CENTRE

Freo's View

It is only during a short moment in the morning that the Fremantle Walyalup Civic Centre at Kings Square gets this warm glow at the Newman Court side. I took this photo just after 9am this morning.

Roel Loopers

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Funding round opens for arts and community projects

2019 Arts and Community Grants recipient, Maybe Together’s The Banner Project. Photo Credit: Susie Blatchford from Pixel Poetry. 

The City of Fremantle’s biannual Arts and Community Grants funding program is now open for applications.

Local artists and community groups who have a project idea or initiative that contributes to Fremantle’s COVID-19 recovery are encouraged to apply.

In the March 2021 round, there are five $5,000 arts grants available for projects that focus on collaborating and connecting with local stakeholders, and community grants of up to $5,000 for initiatives that respond directly to the significant challenges of COVID-19.   

Interested applicants have until 5pm, Wednesday 31 March 2021 to apply for either the arts or community category.

Deputy Mayor Andrew Sullivan said the arts grants program supported Freo’s innovative artists and arts organisations in their delivery of projects and activities for the community.

“We’ve seen COVID-19 restrictions have a massive impact on our local creative industries, so it’s great to see these grants directly assist our arts community, all while supporting Freo’s vibrant arts and cultural sector,” Deputy Mayor Sullivan said.

“The community grants program provides much-needed financial assistance to community groups for the work they’re doing to support vulnerable and disadvantaged people affected by the pandemic.

“Fremantle is home to many caring, hardworking groups and individuals who are advancing important community initiatives, and this grants program is one way we can assist them with their efforts.

“I encourage local artists and community groups to find out more about the Arts and Community Grants and take the time to apply if they’re eligible.”

To assist people with their grant applications, the City is running two information sessions at Fremantle Library:  

• Thursday 4 March | 11am–12pm

• Thursday 11 March | 5.30–6.30pm

Staff from the City’s Arts & Culture and Community Development teams will be on-hand to address questions and provide support for grant applications.

The information sessions will help prospective applicants understand the City’s grants process, explain the different types of grants available and identify the documents and information they will need when applying.

Registrations are essential. To secure a place, email grantfunding@fremantle.wa.gov.au

Grant applications close on 31 March, and successful applicants will be notified by the end of May.

For more information, visit fremantle.wa.gov.au/grants