When you are next on the train between Freo and North Freo look east and you’ll see Perth’s biggest street art mural saying “Welcome to Freo” on the side of a large warehouse. It is fantastic and great work to the guys who volunteered their time to pull it together local street artists – Jackson Harvey, Jerome Davenport and Luke O’Donohoe. The City of Fremantle donated the paint – the easy bit!

Here is how the West covered it:

Artists get positive spray on mural

Lindsay McPhee, The West AustralianApril 29, 2013, 5:48 am

Perth’s biggest street art mural was unveiled in Fremantle over the weekend, signalling a growing appreciation of the art form in WA’s urban areas.

Painted on the side of the Hive Gallery in North Fremantle, the six-day project was filmed on time-lapse video, showing how the huge work evolved.

The mural is the work of local street artists Jackson Harvey, Jerome Davenport and Luke O’Donohoe and involved elevated platforms and more than $5000 of paint.

With the gallery owner and the City of Fremantle on board, the artists said they relished the opportunity to paint on such a big scale and in such a prominent position.

“We’ve had nothing but positive comments while we’ve been working,” Davenport said. He said the project showed how far street art had come as a recognised and valid artistic endeavour and it would only continue to grow.

“A few years ago (the murals) would have been taken off but now people are begging to have them,” he said.

“Everyone wants a piece of it in their house or business.”

The Hive mural also acts as an anti-graffiti measure, with evidence showing replacing blank walls with public art could reduce graffiti by as much as 80 per cent.

Using three videographers, two photographers, a high-definition time-lapse camera and attaching cameras to the artists, the mural’s evolution and sheer scale of the project was captured every day and posted on http://www.blankwalls.


ABC 7.30 WA on restoring Fremantle’s Warders Cottages

On last night’s ABC  7.30 WA they examined the Fremantle Warders Cottages. Amazing old building buildings dating back to the 1850s.

It is pretty clear that the Department doesn’t have the money to fix them in the short to medium term and that is why the Fremantle Council has said we are willing and able to do it so long as we can come to a rent arrangement that ensures Fremantle ratepayers are not out of pocket. No deal has yet being done but if we do we will put it out for public comment before any final sign off.

My personal view is that they have been left empty for too long and Fremantle Council is doing the right thing by stepping up. But I would appreciate your feedback.

To watch the episode click on this link  Will Freo’s cottages be saved?

This snap is how they looked a few decades back and is a still from a 1982 movie of Micko’s Horse and Cart Tour.

Fremantle 1982 Warders Cotttages



This week there were two very well attended public meetings on the Fremantle skate plaza. Both had more than 150 people attend.

The first was FICRA’s Tuesday night public meeting and I was disappointed with both its tone and substance. I would have I preferred a forum that was more respectful, constructive and less adversarial. A black and white – either you are you for it or against it- missed the opportunity for collaborative compromise. And the idea that yelling at and booing down people you don’t agree with is going to change their minds is one that is, somewhat ironically, pretty immature.

I was however very impressed by the large numbers of young people that came to the Fremantle Council meeting on Wednesday night. Their comments were thoughtful and respectful and I came away deeply impressed by how articulate Fremantle’s youth were. I could write quite a lot on this but Griffin Longley’s fantastic piece in today’s West Australian covers it perfectly and I have pasted this below.  It includes the excerpt:

“I was at the meeting because I think it is fundamental to the health of communities that young people are embraced and valued. That they aren’t treated as a policing issue and pushed out to the fringes where their annoying habits are less likely to get in the way of adult sensitivities. And I was there because I suspected that the meeting would be dominated by the voices of the council spotting regulars. I could not have been more wrong.”

Also check out City Ward Councillor Rachel Pemberton’s thoughtful blog post on this issue.

Griffin Longely

A great video on “density done well”

Keynote speaker Brent Toderianis former head of planning in Vancouver and discussing the concept of “density done well” at DSA’s 2013 State of Downtown Economic Forum on February 13, 2013 at the Seattle. It is very impressive:

Plastic Bag Free Freo Update

The City of Fremantle’s local law which prohibits retailers from providing customers with single–use non–biodegradable plastic bags will come into effect from 21 August 2013.

SO we are starting to role out the education campaign. Some more info is here :

byo bags


Why is the City introducing this law?

Despite our reduction in plastic bag use Australians still use over four billion plastic checkout–style bags a year–all of them made from non–renewable fossil fuels. We only use plastic bags for minutes, but many of them can take hundreds of years to break down.

What does the new law require me to do?

The ban will prohibit you from selling or giving away plastic bags made of polyethylene polymer less than 60 microns thick. Check with your supplier if you are unsure about composition or thickness.

Will the ban apply to all Fremantle retailers?

Yes. The ban applies to all retailers operating in Fremantle and its suburbs regardless of the size or nature of your business.

What about bags with ‘100% degradable’ printed on them?

Lightweight plastic bags marked ‘degradable’ will be banned because degradable plastics merely break down into smaller flakes which remain as damaging waste for many years. Only compostable bags that comply with Australian Standard AS4736–2006 will be permitted.

Will it cost me anything?

No. Retailers do not have to offer an ‘alternative shopping bag’, but if you do, you must charge a minimum of 10c per bag. You may charge more if you wish, to recover the cost of what you pay a supplier for these bags. If you currently buy single use bags to give away free to customers, remember this is already costing you money which you won’t need to spend after 21 August 2013.

plastic bag ban


You might not know that several of the City of Fremantle Councilors also have blogs.

City Ward Councilor Rachel Pemberton’s is at:

Hilton Ward  Councilor Sam Wainwright’s blog is the Freoreport

A special mention this week is South Ward Councilor Jon Strachan’s post  on his blog this week: .

Jon is always a thoughtful fellow and this post is is well worth a read. While I don’t agree with all of it I think he does a good job of providing some useful context for the skate plaza, Warders Cottages and Arthurs Head issues that are forming the basis of a public meeting next week.

We are fortunate to have a such a capable, competent and articulate bunch working with us.


I accept that amendments to our local planning scheme are not super interesting to most but this latest is a good one as Amendment 52  will mean that the following changes of use no longer require Planning Approval;

  1. Use of an existing building in the City Centre zone for Shop, Office, Restaurant, Small Bar and Consulting Rooms, and
  2. Restaurant to Small Bar or vice versa where an existing approval exists for a Restaurant or Small Bar in the Mixed Use or Local Centre zone and the new use is consistent with any conditions of planning approval relating to the hours of operation.

This amendment will allow for much greater land use flexibility and streamlining of process, particularly within the CBD, and is an important part of our revitalisation efforts.

The amendment will have effect when it is gazetted, probably in a week or so.

Well done to the planners and council for getting this through.