The City of Fremantle Council adopted its 2013–14 budget on Wednesday which, for the first time, has totalled over $100 million. It’s a budget focused on renewal for Freo.

We kept rate increases low at 4.65%, which is believed to be one of the lowest rate rise among councils in the Perth metropolitan area for 2013–14 (apparently Stirling and Vincent were the only two to pip us) . Last ear we were the lowest. Highlights include:

  • $1 billion long term financial plan for the next 10 years
  • modest general rate increase of 4.65% to minimise financial burden on ratepayers
  • $35 million investment in infrastructure projects
  • operating costs reduced by 3%

The council worked hard to continue to deliver strong economic outcomes and other key essential outcomes in line with the City of Fremantle Strategic Plan 2010–2015 which includes $35 million investment in infrastructure projects.

Some of the major infrastructure projects we’re excited about for this financial year include the $5 million upgrade of the Fremantle Leisure Centre and $1.6 million new youth plaza and a $2.5 million investment in upgrades and renewal of City–owned properties in the CBD.

The budget also includes plans for a new rate concession of 50% in 2014–15 for any property owners who lease out vacant ground floor space in the 2013–14 financial year.

With this budget, we wanted to continue investing in economic drivers but we were mindful of the challenge of minimising the general rate increase for Freo ratepayers. So we are pleased that we were able to deliver this landmark budget with minimal burden on our ratepayers and includes a real reduction in operating costs.

Key projects

Renewed facilities Fremantle Leisure Centre – $3.3m

  • $3.3m upgrade of Fremantle Leisure Centre Pools including adding disabled lanes to both 25m and 50m pools.

Renewed heritage buildings with invest of between $2.5 and $3.5m

This is the biggest investment in Fremantle’s heritage buildings over a single financial year by a Fremantle council for many decades. Our heritage buildings have been under invested in for many decades and this major investment will start to see the large backlog of works needed substantially addressed:

  • $375k for upgrade works at Fremantle Arts Centre
  • $220m Arthurs Head buildings
  • $550k for completion of stage 1 of upgrade to Fremantle Markets
  • $850k FTI stage 1
  • $660k Evan Davies
  • $220k Union Stores
  • $1m for stage 1 upgrade of Warders cottages.


Renewed play spaces for Fremantle’s parks $1.9m

  • $320k for playspaces program
    • $230k Bruce Lee Reserve
    • $63k valley park $40k Beacy Grigg Samson
    • $1.6m for Esplanade Youth Plaza.


A major investment is sustainable (low carbon, low water) Fremantle $3.06m

  • $1.9m for geo–thermal heating at the Fremantle Leisure Centre
  • $350k for hydrozoning of Fremantle Park
  • $150k for hydrozing upgrade to irrigation at Bruce Lee Reserve
  • $150k for public area recycling
  • $510k bikeplan projects.


Renewed funding for the arts in Fremantle

  • $100k new funding for arts based organisations support in Fremantle to ensure that key arts organisation from Kulcha to Spareparts etc are able to thrive in Fremantle and we can encourage new arts organisations to Fremantle
  • $200k Arthurs Head arts precinct.


Buildings and land

  • $14m for new depot (the exit from Knutsford Street)
  • $250k for stage 1 upgrade of Cantonment Hill open spaces
  • $1.1m for construction of new Leighton Beach kiosk
  • $350k for new Mens’ Shed facility at Hilton Park.


Other infrastructure works

  • $2m road improvement program
  • $400k lighting program (Market Street $270k, heritage lighting $76k)
  • $200k upgrade to CCTV system and taxi rank
  • $5m into future parking needs from sale of Point Street.
  • Adding over $12m into the investment reserve.



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


  1. Hendrik Dijkstra says:

    I guess you used the m instead of k in a few places.

  2. Stephen Wells says:

    I read with interest the plans to improve arts but was disappointed to see no reference to the Fly by Night Musicians Club. Surely this iconic not for profit organisation is worthy of support by the City?

    Funding to support heritage buildings failed once again to mention what the City and plan will do to support the maintainence of the Fly by Night Musicians Club and the adjascent Police Complex.

    • Stephen
      Spot on. The Fly is a great Freo arts organisation that i know needs some financial help as they have lost DCA funding and their rent is being put up by a third party. We will be speaking to them to see how we can best assist.
      As for the buildings, the city doesn’t own or lease either the Fly or the Police building but on the last one we are doing our best to make sure it doesn’t stay empty
      cheers, Brad

      • Stephen Wells says:

        Hi Brad

        Thank you for your prompt response. I am glad the City is planning to support the Fly along with other arts venues. I look forward to hearing or seeing what the support actually translates into. Like you I want to see the Fly continue to flourish. I am “amazed” at the apparent lack of support for heritage building maintainence provided by the National Trust, particularly those located around the Freo Market prescinct and down to the police complex and Fly.

        Keep up the good work. Maybe next years Winter Treasures could include venues like the Fly, Kulcha and X Wray Cafe?



      • Thanks.
        I like your Hidden Treasures idea. I’m thinking a band in the old lock up would be memorable!

  3. Lionel says:

    Any of that 100 million allotted for north of the river? Probably not.

    • Over two million at a guess including $1.1million for new kiosk at Leighton.
      Might have to put it on wheels just in case we need to wheel it back to south side of the swan !

      • Kel Smith says:

        Hi Brad,

        Your comment above “might have to put it on wheels” appears to be tungue in cheak.

        Please tell the ratepayers and Community about your support for a “TRIAL” UNIQUE FOOD VEHICLES PLAN by FCC

        It also includes, “Leighton Beach”,South Beach,Wilson Park,Parmelia Park,Esplanade Reserve to name a few.

        It can be seen on FCC website.

        It started last week and stakeholders and residents around the Parks in the Community were not notified.

        FCC have again allowed the Community to be excluded from knowledge of a major
        change to the passive parks around Fremantle and allow a new smokes and mirrows plan called a “Trial”.

        You advise you support these temporary food vehicles to set up on our reserves and parks without Community consultation or Council decision.

        Why are these temporary vendors given so much Council support at the expense of the permanent businesses in and around Fremantle?

        You only see them in Fremantle, in prime locations,when the weather is fine and on the busy days of the week and of course weekends.

        Nonviable Parks are “obvious”. . one wonders the reason they were included in the list.

        Has FCC an agenda to help the favoured Special Event Organisers Vendors, by going out of it`s to way keep them viable in Fremantle year round at the expense of Fremantle businesses.

        Is this Trial just a thin wedge to eventually take away our passive Parks and Reserves from the Community for the lucrative Commercial gains of a” few” running Events?

        Please stop these trials,inform the Community of the details,advertise it in the media and make it an agenda item.

        The Community deserves respect and inclusion here.

        I await your response

        Thanks Brad

        Kel Smith

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