Fremantle’s Kings Square construction contract signed

Big media release of the day!:

The transformation of Fremantle’s city heart is about to enter an exciting new phase with the contract signed for Pindan Constructions Pty Ltd to build the City of Fremantle’s new civic centre and library in Kings Square.

Pindan was selected as preferred contractor by Fremantle Council in November last year following a competitive tender process.

Since then the City and Pindan have been engaged in negotiations to finalise the details of the project and to ensure it delivered the best value for money for the City’s ratepayers.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said the new civic building would become a Fremantle landmark everyone could be proud of.

“Pindan are a quality WA-based construction company that has previously built award-winning projects like the Wanneroo Civic Centre extension, Claremont Council Chambers, Karratha Leisureplex and the Leighton Apartments,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“They’ll be constructing a building designed by the world-renowned Kerry Hill Architects, who won a major architectural competition for the right to design the building.

“Kerry Hill also designed City of Perth Library and State Theatre Centre in Northbridge and the new civic centre will have a similar feel to those exceptional buildings.

“It will be a building for the whole community, with an amazing modern library, information centre, customer service spaces, meeting rooms for public use, change facilities and exhibition spaces.

“It will also better integrate with the historic Fremantle Town Hall, which will create more opportunities for people to enjoy that beloved building.

“Most importantly, this project will bring people back into Kings Square to create a safer and more vibrant space that we can all enjoy.”

The new Fremantle civic centre, which will be fully accessible, will also include commercial offices on the third floor to provide further jobs and business activation within the city centre. The ground floor will include retail space and a café.

It will also boast a range of sustainability features and will be one of the most energy-efficient buildings of its size in Australia.

The new civic centre is an integral part of the broader $270 million Kings Square Renewal project – a joint initiative between the City and Sirona Capital.

The Kings Square Renewal, which includes the revolutionary FOMO food and retail concept and offices for 1500 state government employees, is expected to create more than 2000 new local jobs and inject an estimated $358 million into the local Fremantle economy.

The civic centre build will be project managed by Sirona Capital on behalf of the City.

Construction will ramp up over the next few weeks and take about 18 months to complete.

City of Fremantle Chief Executive Officer Philip St John said the total construction cost would be $41.3 million.

“This project is funded through a combination of existing reserves, the proceeds of asset sales and additional borrowings,” Mr St John said.

“We are already seeing the catalytic effect this project is having in Fremantle, and the increased confidence in commercial and residential property development as a result of Kings Square.

“This is truly a game-changing project for Fremantle. For years the City has been striving to strengthen and diversify the economic base of the city and the Kings Square Renewal project goes a long way towards achieving that.”

Pindan Managing Director George Allingame said the company was pleased to be awarded the civic building construction contract.

“As a local company we are proud of our record of delivering top-quality construction projects all over Western Australia and across the country,” Mr Allingame said.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to build what will become an iconic civic building for Fremantle.”

Kerry Hill Architects Director, Seán McGivern, said as Kerry Hill was a Fremantle local the new civic building was close to his heart.

“We look forward to working with Pindan in delivering this exciting project and achieving the outcome for Fremantle which was the vision of both Kerry and the practice.”

For more information on the Kings Square Renewal Project visit the Kings Square Fremantle website.



Pindan’s Jaco van Staden and Sam Fisher with Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and Chief Executive Officer Philip St John signing the contract to build Fremantle’s new civic centre and library.


Design WA: Density done well

Fremantle has rightly debated and argued for better designed density for quite some time, so I was pleased to see the release of the long awaited Design WA guidelines this week.

Density done well is going to be central to a more liveable and sustainable WA and this is a great first step.

I am going to a government briefing on this tomorrow but this article in the West

and analysis on ABC Perth are worth a read and listen

For more info check out …

New Fremantle Traffic Bridge on Infrastructure Australia priority list

The City of Fremantle is pleased the replacement of the old Fremantle Traffic Bridge has been added to Infrastructure Australia’s latest priority list.

In the updated list released today Infrastructure Australia included the replacement of the ageing bridge as a ‘priority initiative’ to be delivered in the ‘near term’.

In its project summary, Infrastructure Australia said the bridge was at the end of its useable life and at risk of closure, which would increase traffic pressure on the neighbouring Stirling Bridge, worsen travel times and impact on heavy freight access to Fremantle Port.

It said addressing the risk of closure could be achieved by renewing or replacing the existing bridge, or developing and improving alternative crossings and routes.

Replacing the traffic bridge with a new one in a similar location was one of the key projects outlined in the City’s ‘Freo 2029 – Transformational Moves’ strategy.

We’re very pleased the replacement of the traffic bridge has now been recognised by Infrastructure Australia as a nationally significant project. The bridge is an important northern gateway into Fremantle, but it’s clear it’s reaching the end of its life as a carriageway for cars and trucks. If it were to close without a replacement being built it would have a massive impact on Fremantle, the port and the surrounding suburbs.

Our Freo 2029 strategy proposes to build a new traffic bridge in the space between the existing bridge and the railway bridge, and also suggests adding a dedicated freight railway line. But we also see a great opportunity to retain the heritage-listed old bridge for use by cyclists and pedestrians, and transform it into a fantastic public space with seating and lookouts etc

We will be pursuing these plans with the state and federal governments to ensure that, instead of just being demolished, the old traffic bridge is re-imagined as a community asset.


Green light for Freo’s alternative approach to infill housing


The City of Fremantle’s ground-breaking new approach to infill housing in suburban areas, called the ‘Freo Alternative – Big Thinking about Small Housing’, is now official following approval by the Minister for Planning.

In March last year the Fremantle Council voted to change the City’s Local Planning Scheme and adopt a new planning policy to stimulate development of a wider choice of housing in Fremantle’s suburban areas while maintaining what people value about their neighbourhoods.

The changes were approved by the Minister for Planning, Rita Saffioti, earlier this month and will be published in the Government Gazette today.

At the heart of the Freo Alternative is housing that is smaller, more sustainable and surrounded by open, green space. You could say this is housing that better meets the needs of residents in the 21st century and I hope it becomes a demonstration of how local governments across WA can work with the community on the often contentious issue of infill development.

The Freo Alternative is the result of years of research and community engagement. A big thanks to City of Freo staff and the council especially Cr Rachel Pemberton who worked hard on this. Rachel recently commented that:

“This radical evolution of the existing planning system will deliver big changes for smaller housing. It addresses changing demographics and housing needs in our community, while protecting what we love about our existing neighbourhoods. The next step will be to monitor and evaluate the interest and use of the scheme provision to see if they deliver the social and built form outcomes that are intended.”

The Freo Alternative project began in 2014 when the Australian Urban Design Research Centre and local architects were engaged to model different small housing types and test if they could work in a Fremantle environment.

That was followed in 2016 with a widespread community engagement campaign to establish what attributes the community most valued about their suburb and the benefits and challenges of small housing types.

The City’s community engagement efforts were recognised with the Planning Minister’s Award at the 2017 Planning Institute Australia WA Awards for Excellence.

The Executive Director of the Property Council, Sandra Brewer, said the approval of the Freo Alternative was a welcome development.

“Across Perth we see examples of communities grappling with the challenge of providing housing diversity in infill areas, especially for low income or older person households,” Ms Brewer said.

“The Freo Alternative is a good initiative and will result in extra housing that suits the local community and will be welcomed by Freo locals.”

The proposed amendment to Fremantle’s Local Planning Scheme establishes six special control areas throughout the suburbs with special provisions for small infill development, as an alternative to traditional single lot subdivision.

Key provisions include:

  • Only applies to lots larger than 600 square metres
  • Dwellings to have a maximum floor area of 120 square metres
  • Maximum of three dwellings on lots of 750 square metres or less
  • Minimum of 30 square metres of outdoor living area per dwelling
  • Developments to have higher than standard energy efficiency ratings, and include solar panels, rainwater tanks, grey water systems or meet best practice accessibility standards
  • A minimum of 70 per cent of the entire development to be open space
  • At least one large tree to be retained or planted for each dwelling
  • A maximum of one parking bay per dwelling
  • Developments to be referred to the City’s Design Advisory Committee to consider design quality

The Freo Alternative will initially be applied to specific locations within the City of Fremantle – in sections of White Gum Valley, Hilton, O’Connor, Beaconsfield and Fremantle – that meet certain criteria regarding proximity to public transport, existing lot size and housing stock and heritage streetscapes (see below).

The new provisions are subject to a five-year sunset clause.

For more information visit the Freo Alternative page on the City’s My Say Freo website.


Freo ahead of the game on waste and recycling


The City of Fremantle is already well advanced on the key initiatives outlined yesterday in the state government’s new waste strategy.

The Premier Mark McGowan and Environment Minister Stephen Dawson yesterday unveiled the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030, which will guide the state in becoming a sustainable, low-waste circular economy.

A cornerstone of the Waste Strategy is a new target that will ensure all Perth and Peel households will have a third kerbside bin for Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) by 2025.

The strategy also included a commitment to use more than 25,000 tonnes of recycled construction and demolition waste as road base under the Roads to Reuse program.

The City of Fremantle has been using recycled materials in road projects for some time and would be rolling out a third FOGO bin to Freo residents later this year.

Reducing waste and increasing recycling rates is one of the key commitments in Fremantle’s One Planet Strategy. We’ve been investigating the FOGO system with the other member councils of the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council and in May last year the council voted to supply a third FOGO bin to around 13,000 residential households in Fremantle.

In December we accepted tenders for the supply of the new bins, kitchen caddies and compostable bin liners, which will start to be delivered to Freo residents towards the end of the year.

The introduction of the FOGO bins will be a big step towards the City meeting our One Planet target of achieving a 70 per cent community recycling rate by 2020.

In relation to the Roads to Reuse program, the City of Fremantle uses recycled material in all of its road resurfacing works, as well as in new projects like the new Cappuccino Strip car park and the upgraded Fremantle Recycling Centre.

The recent upgrade to the car park at the North Fremantle Post Office was completed using 10 per cent recycled glass – the equivalent of 2640 glass bottles – as a substitute for traditional crushed aggregate.

In the demolition of the City’s old administration building as part of the Kings Square Renewal project 95 per cent of the building’s materials were recovered for recycling, including 5841 tonnes of bricks and concrete and 294 tonnes of steel.

Streamlined approvals to benefit West End property owners


Property owners in Fremantle’s historic West End will benefit from a streamlined approvals process for minor works on their buildings.

Under a new legislative framework approved this week, the City of Fremantle will now be able to approve minor works to heritage-listed buildings in the West End without needing to refer the proposal to the Heritage Council.

Cutting red-tape for property owners is another benefit of having the entire West End of Fremantle included on the State Register of Heritage Places.

The largely intact gold rush-era streetscapes in the West End are something that really make Fremantle special and differentiate the city from the rest of Perth. The City of Fremantle nominated the West End for inclusion on the State Register and worked very closely with the State Heritage Office and property owners for more than a year to make it happen.

It was always part of that plan to streamline the heritage assessment and approvals process to make it quicker and easier for West End property owners to look after their buildings and put them to good use.

The West End became the largest single place to be permanently included in the State Register of Heritage places in July 2017.

The Heritage Council’s Delegations Framework grants the City of Fremantle authority to assess minor or routine works to heritage buildings, in accordance with Section 11 of the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990.

Proposals for moderate to major works to a heritage building will still be referred to the Heritage Council for advice and comment.

The heritage listing of the West End also gives property owners the opportunity to access state government funding through the Heritage Council of WA grants program.

Recipients in the latest round of heritage grants included St John’s Anglican Church in Kings Square and the commercial building at 3 Pakenham Street.

AFLW back at Fremantle Oval

After an entertaining four-point win over Melbourne in their season opener, the Fremantle Dockers are bringing AFLW footy back to Fremantle Oval this weekend.

Fremantle will be taking on the Brisbane Lions this Sunday. Bounce down is at 3:05pm and entry is free.

The Lions are second on the AFLW ladder following their two-point win over Greater Western Sydney in the opening round.

It is exciting to welcome women’s footy back to Freo Oval.

After a great win on the road in their first game it’ll be fantastic to welcome the Freo Dockers back to their spiritual home at Fremantle Oval this Sunday. Fremantle have developed a strong following in their first two seasons in the AFLW, so I’m expecting another big crowd for the first home game of the new season.

You can make a day of it by exploring the Fremantle Markets or catching up for lunch or a coffee before the game and maybe head to Fishing Boat Harbour or Bathers Beach for fish and chips for dinner afterwards.” 

Fremantle kicked the last three goals of the game to defeat Melbourne at Casey Fields in Cranbourne in the opening round last weekend.

The 9.5 (59) to 8.7 (55) result was the second-highest aggregate score in AFLW history.

Freo will play four home games at Fremantle Oval this season, with matches against Collingwood on 16 February, the Western Bulldogs on 23 March and North Melbourne on 16 March.

Entry is free to all games.

To accommodate the AFLW match this Sunday, the City of Fremantle Library at Fremantle Oval will be opening and closing one hour earlier than normal. The library will be open from 10am – 2pm.