Summary of the (rather long) Fremantle council meeting held 27 November 2013

For those of you that just can’t get enough of what goes on at the Freo Council and couldn’t join us for the over fours hours of meeting on Wednesday night, below is a summarised version of key aspects of the meeting of council. Thank to the council team for pulling this together.

The full agenda and minutes of this and previous meetings can be found in the agendas and minutes section of the City’s website.

J Shed lease agreement deferred 

Council has deferred a decision to grant a lease to Sunset Events for Unit 1, J Shed, Arthur Head. The proposal will now go back to the City’s Strategic and General Services committee who will initiate a formal community consultation program.

Sunset Events’ expression of interest is for a lease on J Shed and a portion of the grassed area on the western side of J Shed in Fremantle’s historical but underutilised Arthur Head precinct.

Ideas in the proposal included:

  • weekend art and craft (flea) markets with a focus on Fremantle artists
  • art exhibitions and a dedicated space for rotating artists in residence
  • free wifi to attract students and public for lunch and during the daytime
  • laid back live music and ticketed events for profile musicians from across Australia and overseas as well as free performances by local artists
  • infrastructure for beach goers to hang their towel or secure their pet and purchase a meal and/or refreshment
  • inexpensive and laid back food and beverage options and pop up stalls including artisan food vendors during main events and busier periods
  • a craft brewery operation where Sunset will brew their own beers off-site and transfer the beer into vats on-site. (Sunset is proposing to apply for a tavern licence to the capacity of 1 500 people).

The aim of the proposal is to attract more people to the area with a business operation that will allow up to 1 000 patrons to attend during busy periods. Sunset Events would also investigate the opportunity to operate 10 to 15 ticketed events during the warmer months.


It was determined by council that the City would advertise the opportunity to lease the area via a competitive tender process, with a bar/café/gallery as the major attraction for the Arthur Head area. It was also stipulated that there be a space within the leased premises where precinct artists could exhibit their work.

After an expression of interest process which concluded in May 2013, Sunset Events was shortlisted to enter negotiations for this lease. Sunset Events is a well known Western Australian company which started as an outdoor cinema in Kings Park but moved into live music and large music festivals. Here is an artist’s impression of Sunset Events proposal for J Shed.




Fremantle ‘parklet’ policy adopted

Council has adopted a parklet policy as a way of enhancing the amenity of the city and to encourage temporary, well designed and functional parklets in public spaces.

The policy will guide the approval process for new parklets which by definition are small urban parks orplazas created by buildinga platform levelwith the sidewalk.  Parklets extend the sidewalk for the length of the parklet and can include elements such as benches, tables and chairs,  trees,  greenery,  umbrellas,  bikeracks,  art and otherelements that reflect the unique character of the neighbourhood. They can also be used for alfresco dining.


In April 2013, council passed a resolution that requested officers prepare a draft policy on the location and installation of parklets for further consideration. The resolution included 14 principles upon which to base the draft policy. These principles included guidance on location, function and public availability as well as addressing loss of parking spaces, public liability insurance and safety and ease of removal.


Building additional dwellings becomes easier in Fremantle

Council has adopted Scheme Amendment 50 – Additional Dwellings, which will give the City discretionary power to grant planning approval for an additional dwelling on a single house lot, despite the minimum site area requirements of the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes).

The provisions will apply to residential land with separate, dedicated frontage to more than one public road, except for corner lots. The amendment has been designed to facilitate development of additional dwellings to activate inactive road frontages, such as rear access laneways.


The City is supportive of providing the opportunity for small housing within established areas as a direct response to declining household sizes and less affordable housing in the Perth metropolitan area. The amendment will provide opportunities to develop new dwellings that address otherwise underutilised street frontages.

The scheme amendment was initiated by Council in June 2013 for public consultation, which took place from 20 August  to 4 October 2013. A total of 11 submissions were received, seven of which were supportive, or raised a minor modification to the proposed amendment, while four submissions objected to the proposed amendment.

The amendment will now be sent to the Minister for Planning for final approval.

Council adopts alcohol management policy

Council has adopted an alcohol management policy to provide an integrated and holistic response to the management of alcohol related issues within the City of Fremantle.

The City considers an integrated and population-wide approach is necessary to improve attitudes toward alcohol consumption. It also recognises its capacity as a local government to foster a healthy and responsible drinking culture and to implement a range of strategies to minimise the incidence of alcohol related harm in the community.

Some of the key guidelines the City of Fremantle has adopted includes:

  • providing appropriate services and infrastructure to support the needs of the community to manage alcohol related issues
  • developing, promote and support a variety of events and activities where alcohol consumption is not the primary focus of activity
  • encouraging a responsible drinking culture through the use of health promotion strategies to initiate behavioural change
  • promoting an appropriate mix of land use (within existing planning guidelines) to minimise impacts of licensed venues on surrounding areas
  • providing comment to the Director of Liquor Licensing in regard to liquor licence applications
  • promoting a responsible approach to alcohol consumption at events supported and organised by the City and at venues it owns or manages.
  • establishing and expanding partnerships with relevant stakeholders including community groups, to improve attitudes toward alcohol consumption and reduce alcohol related harm within the community
  • consulting and engaging with the community regarding alcohol related issues and ensure an appropriate response to alcohol related concerns and complaints.


In August this year, council resolved to adopt a number of planning and non-planning related principles to guide the development of future alcohol policies.

Its first action in relation to this resolution has been to develop an overarching alcohol management policy that embodies the principles agreed to by Council in august.

The City acknowledges that local government is not solely responsible for the management of alcohol related issues within the community, but it can positively support a responsible drinking culture through a range of holistic mechanisms such as land use planning and night time economy management and the delivery of ‘grass roots’ local government services such street lighting, graffiti removal and event planning.

The City has already implemented a number of strategic initiatives in relation to alcohol management including

  • a submission to the Liquor Control Act Reform Committee in February 2013 advocating for greater flexibility in liquor licensing
  • the development of a draft public interest assessment template to assist small bar applicants
  • the development of a local alcohol profile in collaboration with the South Metropolitan Public Health Unit.

The City is also in the process of developing an alcohol management ‘action plan’ to aid in the implementation of the City’s alcohol management policy.


Esplanade to become dog-off-leash area from 5.00 am to 8.00 am daily

Council has approved a new local law which will see the Fremantle Esplanade Reserve becoming a dog-off-leash exercise zone from 5.00 am to 8.00 am daily.

The City will now provide notice to the Minister for Local Government of the intention to amend the Local Law and will publicly advertise the new law.

A report on the impact of the area being a dog off leash area will be brought back to council after a trial period of twelve months.


On 2 December 2012, city ward councillors were sent a request asking that council consider making the Esplanade Reserve a dog off-leash exercise area from midnight to 9.00 am.

The Strategic and General Services Committee considered this request in May 2013 and recommended council support a public consultation period to receive community feedback but with an amendment to the hours being considered. The amendment was for a 5.00 am to 9.00 am daily provision. This recommendation was supported by council at the May 2013 ordinary meeting.

During the community consultation phase the City received 64 submissions, 25 for and 39 against the proposal. A petition of support with 19 signatures was also received during the public consultation period from the Friends of Stevens Street Reserve.

A final decision was made to reduce the hours of operation from 5.00 am to 8.00 am to ,minimise any potential impact on other Esplanade user groups.

Arthur’s Head and Bathers Beach circa 1986

With the passionate and multiple debates about what is the right kind of development for Bathers Beach and Arthur’s Head coming to the Council tonight, I thought this photo of the area from 1986 would be of interest. It is amazing how much the area has changed for the better over the past 25 years!

Arthur Head_1986 aerial_

From a new funky Freo laneway to a renewed call for High-rise – The Fremantle Network this Thursday

From a new funky Freo laneway to a renewed call for High-rise – The Fremantle Network presents another provocative discussion:

5.30pm – 7pm Thursday 28 November
Rosie O’Grady’s – the Curragh Room – William Street Fremantle

Greg Grabasch from UDLA – a Fremantle-based landscape architecture and urban design firm that has its sights set on working with the community to transform Paddy Troy Mall from an unloved forgotten thoroughfare to a welcoming space.
UDLA have brought town sites and public spaces to life throughout the north-west of WA and now want to work on a project locally. They use innovative community partnership models that encourage sharing responsibility for our public spaces (see

Paul Roberts from Wake Up Fremantle – who have caused a stir already with their suggestion that Fremantle’s height limits be removed to encourage bold architectural design. Wake Up Fremantle have released a discussion paper and are now inviting feedback from locals to their ideas.

Join us for a thought provoking and action oriented discussions about Fremantle’s future. RSVP to


Size Does Matter – An Alternative Path to Housing Affordability in WA

I recently submitted an article on on housing affordability within Western Australia to Curtin Business School’s “Future Thoughts Collective”, where (mostly) business leaders share their opinions, thoughts and insights about the future of Western Australia.

There is a range of interesting perspectives on housing affordability from Marion Fulker CEO, Committee for Perth to Debra Goostrey CEO, Urban Development Institute of Australia to property developers and many others. It is free to register to read them all at Here is my contribution

Size Does Matter – An Alternative Path to Housing Affordability in WA

Brad Pettitt


WA’s affordability problem is well known. Average housing costs have rapidly
jumped from 3.9 times the average salary in 2000 to 6.5 times a decade later. In
high amenity central areas like Fremantle and Perth the average house costs
close to 10 times the average salary making it unaffordable except the wealthy.
The result is that average income earners including police, nurses and teachers
are priced out of buying in all but two suburbs in Perth. The WA rental situation is
no better with Anglicare showing that only five percent of the rental market is affordable for people of lower incomes.
The cause of WA’s affordability problem is often put down to the shortage of housing and land supply but a closer
examination of trends shows this shortage in only part of the affordability challenge and releasing more land on our
urban fringes will not solve the problem in a sustainable manner. An often underrated piece in the housing
affordability puzzle is housing size.
Over the past five decades the size of the average house in WA has more than doubled while the number of
occupants per house has almost halved. As a result, WA is on average providing around four times as much floor
space for each Perth resident as it was in the 1960s. And we wonder why we have an affordability and housing crisis
despite decades of rising real incomes.
Perth is building some of the biggest houses in the world with an average of around 250m2. This is more than three
times bigger than the average new home in the UK and even bigger than the average house in the US.
A key factor in addressing WA’s affordability crisis will be building smaller and more diverse housing options. The
Fremantle Council has taken this challenge seriously by implementing a number of planning changes to enable and
encourage smaller and more diverse housing choices.
In 2011 the Fremantle Council passed the award winning small ancillary dwellings amendment to its planning
scheme. This enables residents in the City of Fremantle to build a small dwelling (i.e. a granny flat without the need
for a granny) so long as the block size is above 450m2. This will enable up to 5000 new small dwellings in the
suburbs around the Fremantle city centre. The WA Planning Commission recently enabled similar changes across
the rest of WA.
In the Fremantle city centre, the Fremantle Council is aiming to more than quadruple its inner city population by
adding up to 3000 dwellings in the eastern end of the city centre. Concerned that if solely left to market forces these
would primarily be million dollar plus luxury apartments, the Fremantle Council mandated diverse apartment sizes
including that at least 25% of dwellings must be 60m2 or less and that no more than 40% can be more than 125m2.
This is in addition to a minimum of 15% social housing in higher density developments. As a result of these planning
changes Fremantle has the potential to offer affordable smaller dwellings to up to 10,000 new residents.
The smart path to more affordable housing is about more than speeding up land releases on Perth’s fringes. A more
sustainable approach is in providing more diverse and smaller dwellings close to amenity and public transport. This
will ensure that more of our suburbs have a diverse range of more affordable housing types for the diverse stages of
our lives.

$100,000 from Fremantle Foundation goes to Freo bike organisation Dismantle.

Well done to Pat, Lachy, Bridie and the team at Dismantle on winning the $100k grant from the Fremantle Foundation. Well deserved. Media release below

Up and coming local organisation dismantle are set to receive $100,000 from Impact100
Fremantle after it’s Accelerate program was voted the most deserving among four
outstanding finalists at the inaugural Impact100 Fremantle Grant Awards.
In an out-pouring of community spirit and generosity nearly 100 people attended the event to
celebrate the collective giving groups impressive total of $115,000 in donations. WA Circus
School, SMYL and Fremantle PCYC each received $5,000 as Runners Up.
With the support of Impact100 Fremantle dismantle will ramp up their Bike Rescue Program
by offering an additional 100 scholarships for disadvantaged young people in the Fremantle
region to take part in a Bike Rescue Project Program.
“This means so so much more to Dismantle than funding. This is validation for our small
organisation, we have the support of 100 passionate Fremantle donors and are excited to go
out and expand our program to 100 young people in the area’ said Lachy Ritchie, CEO of
‘Our youth are an asset. I cant thank the Impact 100 donors enough for investing in our
youth’ Said Pat Ryan Dismantles General Manager and Bike Rescue Project manager.
In its first year 94 separate businesses, individuals or families each donated a minimum of
$1,000 to create a “game changing” grant for one local organisation.
Fremantle Foundation Executive Officer Dylan Smith said the success of Impact100
Fremantle lies in its simplicity.
“As a donor of Impact100 Fremantle you know exactly where your donation is going, you can
be involved as much as you like in the granting process, then you get to attend a great event
and vote to decide the winning organisation. It’s been a wonderful ride for us all and a very
enjoyable way to give“.
Dylan Smith said it’s a celebration of the generosity and community spirit that is alive and
well in Fremantle.
With the success of Impact100 Fremantle in 2013 the group will now focus on growing
bigger and better next year.
Infographic - Impact100 Fremantle and dismantle

Last Freo2029 visioning workshop for 2013 on tomorrow (Thursday) night

We would love to have you join the last workshop for the year, with the outputs from this workshop feeding into proposed Precinct Group meetings in the new year 2014

The Visioning workshops have so far identified 22 key issues that our facilitator  James Best has themed into six groups.

People, plan, decide, prosper, green and create

If you have already registered please choose one of the groups (listed below) to join for the discussion session AND please BRING A LAPTOP if you can — if you haven’t confirmed, you can still do so on Click here to register

CoF_Freo 2029_Workshop 04_e-flyer_21_nov

Fremantle Forever wins the day

I am very excited by the recent Stage Government’s amalgamations announcement today the keeps Fremantle as a separate local government area.

Well done to everyone who worked on the Fremantle Forever Campaign – it was a huge team effort and it is very satisfying that the argument sensible reform has been heard and agreed to.

The preferred new City of Fremantle municipal boundaries outlined by state government ~ addition of suburbs including East Fremantle, Bicton, Palmyra, Coogee, Hamilton Hill and Spearwood (and Rottnest Island)

•           Fremantle recognised at WA’s second city and a key strategic centre

•           Increases City’s population base from ~30,000 to ~80,000 people

•           In line with Fremantle Council’s preferred vision for local government reform.

The new boundaries will underpin Fremantle’s status as Perth’s second city and extendthe City’s municipal reach to encompass some 80,000 people (up from current levels of  ~30,000 people).

The amended boundaries (see map) will stretch from North Fremantle, east to Stock Road, south to Mayor/Beeliar Roads and will include the Town of East Fremantle and Rottnest Island. This will have the effect of adding the suburbs of East Fremantle, Bicton, Palmyra, Coogee, Hamilton Hill and Spearwood to the Fremantle municipal area.

Throughout the reform process Fremantle has maintained a position of supporting sensible reform based on strengthening major activity centres in the greater Perth metropolitan area.

One of the key principles adopted by council was that no local government should have more than one major activity centre within its boundaries – a council would struggle with a multiple focus and the centres could underperform. The final proposal outlined by the state government is sensible and strategic and has taken into account these key activity centre locations.

Of the 14 local governments originally proposed by the government, the Fremantle/East Fremantle/Melville merger was the only one that would contain two major activity centres as defined by Directions 2031 – I applaud the state government for recognising this and amending the boundaries based on our submission and public feedback.

I am extremely pleased with the outcome. This was the kind of sensible boundary reform based around natural communities of interest that the residents of Fremantle were calling for. I am extremely pleased that the government has shown they have heard and understood this


Fremantle new boundary

In summary, the new model across Perth proposes:

  • An expanded City of Perth, including the City of Vincent
  • Local governments consisting of:
    • The high growth City of Gosnells and the City of Canning
    • The City of Bayswater and the Town of Bassendean
    • The City of Belmont and the Shire of Kalamunda
    • The City of South Perth and the Town of Victoria Park
    • The City of Swan and the Shire of Mundaring
    • The City of Kwinana with the City of Cockburn, shifting the northern border of the City of Cockburn further south.
  • Retaining the City of Fremantle with the suburb of North Fremantle and the Town of East Fremantle
  • Expanding the City of Melville to take in parts of the City of Cockburn, the City of Fremantle and the City of Canning.
  • Seven local governments (Cambridge, Claremont, Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Nedlands, Peppermint Grove and Subiaco) in the western suburbs into one, plus the suburbs of Wembley Downs, Churchlands and part of Woodlands
  • Retaining part of Mt Lawley, including the aquatic centre and golf club, in the City of Stirling.
  • Shifting the City of Armadale southern boundary to take in the high growth urban areas of the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale
  • Shifting the Shire of Murray border northwards to take in the rural areas of the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale
  • No changes to the boundaries for the cities of Rockingham, Wanneroo and Joondalup