FREO AS MORE THAN A TOURIST TOWN – THE WEST’S FRONT PAGE TODAY

Battle for Freo’s future

Yolanda Zaw, The West Australian Updated July 12, 2013, 3:49 am

Fremantle is in danger of becoming a “museum city” and a relic if it does not embrace change and draw more families back to the port city, according to its civic leader.

Mayor Brad Pettitt will reveal the final designs today for the controversial $1.5 million Esplanade Youth Plaza, which has been fiercely opposed by older residents.

Dr Pettitt said that it was time for all residents of Fremantle to get behind a new vision for the city – a living city for people of all ages.

He said that Fremantle, once an affordable, working-class area, had lost its vibrancy and character in the past few decades as families were driven out of the centre by high rents and property prices.

“For me, the saddest thing that could happen to Fremantle is in a few decades it will become some Elizabethan display village or tourist town where you only have people coming on weekends and looking at old buildings because nothing else is happening,” Dr Pettitt said.

“We want a real, living city which operates seven days a week, where a wide range of people can enjoy a wide range of activities – day and night.”

He said the youth plaza, the biggest infrastructure investment for the City of Fremantle this year, was an embodiment of the council’s vision for the future – an active, vibrant and healthy centre.

It will cover 4120sqm of Esplanade Reserve and include a 1045sqm world-class skate park, WA’s first outdoor parkour park, a staged area and ping-pong area.

John Dowson, from the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association, said the plaza would damage the park and ruin its amenity.

He said the group had been fighting the council for months but had been ignored.

“This is an immature council who pretends to be green but favours ripping up parkland to lay concrete,” Mr Dowson said.

“We’re not anti-youth or against sports but we think a different location should have been considered.”

Dr Pettitt said the loss of green space would account for just 4.5 per cent of the reserve.

west

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: