Street Arts drawing big crowds

At the risk of stating the obvious Australia’s biggest street arts festival is on right now in Fremantle until Monday evening.  You should really get down and check it out.

I had a fun afternoon of wandering around the pitches and it has been fantastic. I just wish I was a little taller!

Street Arts Freo

Streets Arts kicks off by honouring on of Freo greatest daughters

There has been a serious lack of public art commemorating the contribution of women to Freo so it is great to see Dorothy Tangney – Australia’s first women senator – drawn large on the Norfolk Hotel.

iphone late march 2013 029It is by Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto (aka Vhils) who the City of Freo has brought out for the Street Arts Festival which kicks of in earnest this Saturday.

norfolk wall forto

A little reflection on some of my favourite things…

Being the Mayor of Fremantle is a fantastic and stimulating job but I have come to realize that it comes with the occupational hazard of possibly falling out of love with our amazing City. This is because as mayor so much of the job is hearing complaints about what is wrong Freo and then working long hours trying to fix them  – so much so that it hard to to just relax and enjoy the good stuff  that Freo has to offer.

So this weekend has been special as I have just got to enjoy Freo rather than fix it for a rare change. I started the weekend with a great little art exhibition on Friday at the Feast Your Eyes pop-up shop on Adelaide St before having a drink and bite to eat with friends at Whose Ya Mumma. Spent Saturday enjoying Sculptures at Bathers with  generous tour by Tony Jones followed by seeing dozens of young people actively planning the proposed skate plaza. After lunch with friends I saw Day 1 of an amazing Blues and Roots whilst hearing the Dockers won!  Today I’m off to hear some more great music.

Freo despite its challenges is still awesome so its good to stop and be reminded of what makes it so special and unique – its art and culture, its fantastic events, and the myriad of great places and spaces you get to share memorable experiences with your friends and family.

The Sunday Times also kindly published a few of my other favourite things:

Sunday Times Photo Finish

Go Fair this Easter!

Local campaign group, Fair Trade Freo, is encouraging Fremantle shoppers to consider where their Easter chocolate comes from this year. Stories of child labour and appalling working conditions on the worlds cocoa plantations will certainly leave a bitter taste in your mouth. But by looking for the Fairtrade logo on your chocolate, you can guarantee that producers in developing countries have been given a fair deal.

Hunting for an ethical egg in Fremantle could not be easier because as a fair trade city since 2010, Fremantle has more shops selling fair trade than any other region of WA. There are over 20 outlets throughout the City that sell Fairtrade Certified items as well as fairly traded craft products made by artisans from around the world including of course the Oxfam Shop.

Fair Trade Freo will be hosting a Fairtrade Easter egg hunt at the Growers Green Farmers Market on Sunday the 24th of April. There will also be Fairtrade Easter eggs for sale.

Fair Trade Freo is developing a website which will feature a directory of local fair trade stockists and events happening in the city. Visit:  for more information.


Friday’s ABC 7.30WA report on the Dockers move to Cockburn

For those of you who missed Friday’s 7.30WA report on the debate over the Dockers planned move to Cockburn check out:

‘Keep Freo in Freo’ fans say the club’s move to Cockburn is not a done deal

Keep Freo in Freo

Bike Week 2013

BIKE WEEK kicks off this weekend and next:

Hilton Community Bike Breakfast
Hilton Community Centre, 1/34 Paget Street, Hilton
17 March 2013, 8.30 am-12.00 pm
Ride your bike down to Hilton Community Centre and join in the Bike Week fun with family and friends, at the Hilton Community Bike Breakfast!
The morning will be full of bike-related activities, including bike skills workshops for kids and advice on bike maintenance. There will also be helmet painting (BYO helmet) and opportunities to find out more about cycling in your community. There will also be a group ride for cargo-bike owners.
A complementary hot breakfast will be available for those who ride down to the event. Please register your interest in attending this free City of Fremantle community event below, for catering purposes at

Freo Velo Bazaar
Bather’s Beach Sunset Market (stalls located on the Esplanade Reserve)
Saturday 23 March 2013, 5.00-9.00 pm
Learn, enjoy and explore the dazzling diversity that exists in the Fremantle cycling community. Bring your family along to watch short bike films, visit the stalls and sample international cuisine at the Bather’s Beach Sunset Market.


Business and Property Media Focus on Fremantle

There is a lot of interest from the business and property sector on the future of development in Fremantle at the moment.

Yesterday there was a write up on Fremantle in The West Property Section which I have posted a picture of below.  Good news the vacancy rate is down 18%.

The day before WA Business News wrote the following story:

Freo eyes new ‘city’, urges state support

Michael Ramsey  WA Business News 12-Mar-2013

STRIKING the right balance between preservation and modernity is a difficult task for authorities in any city, let alone one beloved by locals and tourists alike for its eccentricity and streak of independence.

This is the challenge facing Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt, who is spearheading a fresh attempt to revitalise Fremantle’s retail precinct and lure commercial and residential developers back to the port city.

The perception it is a city on the decline has been exacerbated by the closure of the Myer store and confirmation the Fremantle Dockers will relocate to Cockburn in coming years.

But with Fremantle’s council endorsing a proposed $220 million redevelopment of the Kings Square precinct and further plans in the pipeline, Dr Pettitt says the city has reached a turning point.

“We’ve certainly got some residents who’d like us to not change anything,” he said.

“That’s part of Freo. But mostly, I think there’s a real sense that it’s time.

“Freo has been in a pretty slow, consistent decline probably since the 90s. It’s got to that tipping point where we actually need to do something.

“We should have acted a decade ago. It would have been a much better time in terms of getting developments up but also we probably let some of our retail decline to a point where we’ve got to work harder now to bring it back.”

Once regarded as Western Australia’s ‘second city’, Fremantle has struggled to attract commercial investment in recent years and its strategic planning importance has suffered as a result.

The state government’s draft Directions 2031 planning document identified Joondalup and Rockingham as primary centres, defined as the activity centres most deserving of “high-order public and employment-generating infrastructure” investment.

As a designated strategic metropolitan centre, Fremantle was effectively a step below those cities in the state’s planning hierarchy.

References to any particular city being identified as a primary centre were removed from the final report but Dr Pettitt said Directions 2031 remained a wake-up call for the city.

“The idea that you’d have Joondalup and Rockingham as primary centres but not Fremantle told us ‘this is our economic and social heritage and we’re letting that slip’,” he said.

“Fremantle council has done an extraordinary amount to change the development potential for what happens in this town.

“I think it’s now up to the state government to come to the party and show us what they’re actually going to do to assist those things to happen.”

The state government announced plans last year to move the Department of Housing to Fremantle as part of its decentralisation of government

West property