A quick snapshot of the Fremantle budget for this year

This week the City of Fremantle adopted its 2012/13 budget. Boring for most people I know but I found it exciting.

We were pleased we managed to make the rate increase the lowest in the metro area – at 3.5% in line with CPI.

The City of Fremantle total budget is around  $81.6m which sounds a lot but then again there is lots to do. Here are some highlights:

  • We created a new low carbon city reserve –0.9% of rates (~$300,000) for ongoing carbon reduction initiatives.
  • geothermal power / co-generation heating of Leisure Centre pools $1.2m
  • new Leighton Beach kiosk – $1.1m
  • completion of Old Port Project (Arthur Head) upgrades and heritage conservation – $540,000
  • City of Fremantle Bike Plan – $420,000
  • eco-zoning to reduce water use at Fremantle Park – $350,000
  • development of a regional skate park at Esplanade Park – $600,000
  • Fremantle Markets conservation works – $400,000
  • replace Film and Television Institute roof  – $600,000
  • internal fit-out of Victoria Hall  -$400,000
  • way-finding signage for major off-street parking sites in Fremantle -$300,000
  • investigation of Fremantle ocean pool viability – $20,000.

We also created new investment reserves of $12m established to fund major strategic projects–including:

  • Leisure Centre upgrades                    $ 2.0m
  • Fremantle Town Hall refurbishment   $ 2.0m
  • Cantonment Hill master plan              $ 2.0m
  • Kings Square improvements              $ 2.0m
  • Stan Reilly re-development                $ 2.0m
  • Improved playground spaces             $ 1.0m
  • sustainability reserve                          $ 1.0m.

The idea is to ensure that Council reserves (ie ratepayer –  your – money) would be spent in Fremantle if local governments  are amalgamated next year as looks increasingly likely.

To view a copy of the council budget item and minutes of the meeting (when available) visit the agenda and minutes section and thanks for making it this far. Brad

“Going green and keeping cool” – Michael Mobbs and Fremantle on the ABC

Last Friday’s 7.30 WA on the ABC was called “Going green and keeping cool” and focused on the recent visit by Michael Mobbs and the impacts these ideas are having on Fremantle and fabulous streets like Hulbert Street in South Fremantle. It also features Shani Graham and I.

Michael has some creative ideas about how to cool out cities through cooling our streets by filling verges with trees, fruit and vegetables. Hulbert Streets is doing this already and I look forward to seeing more of it in the heart Fremantle.

Enjoy the clip


At Town Hall in Freo – Cycling: The London and Ireland Experience

Kevan Weaver from the London office of SKM/CB will provide a presentation on cycling initiatives in London and Ireland.

Kevan is a Sector Consultant for the London Cycle Network and was the SKM/CB project manager for their work on the Congestion Charging Study in London.

Both of these projects have resulted in significant increases in cycling numbers and an improved balance across transport modes. With some 130,000 commuters choosing to commute in London each day there are many challenges to work through.

Kevan also managed the development of the current national cycling strategy for Ireland. This strategy now forms an important element of the Sustainable Travel and Transport Action Plan.

Kevan will present aspects from his cycling work in London and Ireland, while also touching on the effects of the London congestion charging on cycling numbers.

Date: This Thursday  19th July 2012

Time: 12.30 to 2pm

Location: Fremantle Town Hall, William Street, Fremantle

Fremantle Candidate moves to PICA in Northbridge

Deckchair Theatre’s much-anticipated production about  Fremantle parliamentarian and wartime prime minister John Curtin, The Fremantle Candidate  has  had to move to PICA in Northbridge at the last minute.

It is the result of an inspection of the light rigging in the roof space which partially broke on Saturday.

Some major defects to the venue were discovered (which relate to the unsafe suspension of lighting grid) which pose a serious and imminent risk to any persons entering the premises.

As a result the current production, The Fremantle Candidate, which is due to open this Thursday, 19 July,  Deckchair  have determined that they  have no choice but to move the production to an alternate venue – PICA in Northbridge.

It is a real shame – but it seems like everyone reached the only logical and safe conclusion. Looks like we will all be on the train. See you all there for what will still be a great show.


Great editorial in the West Australian today on Freo and plastic bags

Great editorial in the West Australian today on Freo and the plastic bag ban. My sense is that there is strong public support for this local that Fremantle is about to send out for advertising. All going well the local law banning single use plastic bags should be rolled out later this year in Fremantle. It would be good to see the rest of the state follow.


Michael Mobbs talk – Sustainability at the local level: food, houses and the planet

Michael Mobbs is a hero of mine. A true pioneer in the sustainability world. In 1996, when sustainability was still an new and radical idea, Michael renovated his inner-city Sydney house to make it almost entirely energy efficient in energy, water and waste.

Micheal’s story is told in the amazing book The Sustainable House which has sold over 40,000 copies and he is coming to New Edition to talk with me about that and his upcoming book Sustainable Food.

Sustainability at the local level: food,  houses and the planet Michael Mobbs in conversation with Mayor Brad Pettitt
Venue: New Edition Bookshop, 82 High Street, Fremantle
Date: Monday July 16, 2012 – 6pm for 6.30

It is sure to be an inspiring evening so I am hoping you an join us.

There will be very local food and drinks on offer too.
Arranged and supported by CUSP and Professor Peter Newman as a Biophilic Cities Project

Fremantle shines in architecture and planning awards

Last night at the WA Architecture Awards Fremantle did very well.

The Hilton Community Centre Project by Architects, Bernard Seeber Pty Ltd for the City of Fremantle won the John Septimus Roe award for urban design, the judges commented; ” A project that embodies civic mindedness at it’s very core. “

However the night got better, the project was then awarded the George Temple Poole Award for 2012. This was obviously a very proud moment for the team at Bernard Seeber Architects and is also a significant reflection upon the City of Fremantle for the efforts to revitalise this community through investment, good design and visionary planning. All involved can fell rightly proud of the accolades.

Below is a copy of the judges’ comments for the George Temple Poole award.

Fremantle based architects Officer Woods also collected the sustainability award for their innovative and very impressive property on Stevens Street in White Gum Valley (my street!)

Finally, City of Fremantle Director of Planning Phil St John won the professional planner of the year award. Very well deserved too. Phil has been fantastic on the fast paced reform that Fremantle Council has been driving.

Not a bad night for Fremantle at all!