Happy Christmas and New Year and a little fun Freo photo competition to close 2013.

As a way of closing off 2013 in Fremantle I thought I’d end the year off with another  little fun Freo photo competition with some snaps I took in 2013.

The first person to write and tell me where in Fremantle each of the following  photos was taken from (not what they were taken of) gets me to buy them lunch in Fremantle at a café of their choosing.

If no one gets them all then the winner will be the person with the most correct.

Thanks for reading along and commenting on Freo issues throughout the year. Unless something dramatic happens this will be the last blog post until the New Year. I plan to try and switch off from Council matters for a little while and have a recharge break.

Happy Christmas and New Year!






























Affordable housing big on the agenda of the December Fremantle council meeting.

The December Fremantle Council meeting was no where near as long as last month’s marathon. There was nevertheless some important items on the agenda especially around the key Freo Council objective of providing more diverse and affordable housing in Fremantle. In addition to the Kim Beazley School site and Sale of 50 Pakenham Street items described below, the Council agreed to re-advertise the Burt Street affordable housing site. All these together should see a substantial increase in affordable housing in the next few years.


Residential structure plan adopted for White Gum Valley development

Council has adopted a structure plan for a residential development on the Former Kim Beazley School site in White Gum Valley.

Following a period of public consultation it was found that there were community concerns around loss of existing trees, additional traffic and the proposed density and building height.

Council has now resolved that a number of modifications will be made prior to referral of the plan to the Western Australian Planning Commission for final approval. These modifications include adding areas of R35, R40, R60 and R80 density codings and the requirement for a local planning policy to guide future development.


The proposed White Gum Valley former Kim Beazley school site Local Structure Plan (LSP) has been prepared to guide and facilitate the subdivision and development of the former Kim Beazley School site.

The proposed structure plan was advertised from Tuesday 2 September 2013 to Friday 18 October 2013 (46 days) for public comment. The public consultation period also included a community information session, which was attended by approximately 30 community members. An additional presentation and a community information session were held after the public consultation period. At the completion of the public comment period the City had received 161 submissions on the structure plan.

Sale of 50 Pakenham Street

Council has accepted a tender received from Yolk Property group for the purchase of 50 Pakenham Street, Fremantle for the purpose of development.

The purchase price will be $3m and will be subject to a number of conditions including the lodgement of a development application within 180 days of the bid acceptance and the commencement of development within two years of the development approval.

There is also a condition that the development of the site includes a residential component. Within this residential component a minimum of four dwellings will be reserved for social/low-income housing or a demonstration by the developer of innovation in affordable and diverse housing.


The 2012/13 adopted budget provided for the sale of Car Park 7 located at 50 Pakenham Street, Fremantle on the corner of Bannister Street for redevelopment.

The proposed sale (by tender) was based on similar terms to the sale of the City’s Point Street property in late 2012 where the conditions of sale focussed on timing of development stages to ensure the property is not held for speculation rather than developed.

Six tenders were received at the close of the tender deadline with five of the six bids received above the reserve price adopted from an independent market sales valuation.

The preferred tender was from Yolk Property Group. Yolk provided the highest bid price and demonstrated innovative design in affordable housing to substantiate their offer.

packenham street

Supporting arts in Fremantle

Council has agreed to engage an Arts Development and Liaison Officer who will assist local artists and art organisations with funding, grants and sponsorship to help develop good ideas in to arts projects.

Council has also set aside up to $30 000 for seed funding of a yet to be determined significant local art project.

The City will evaluate these actions and outcomes of this initiative with a report to be delivered to council in 12 months time.


Fremantle has long been associated with and has a reputation as a place for the arts, with a history of craftsmanship and artisan products. The City is home to many local and state-wide arts organisations, businesses and individuals who make significant contributions to the sector. Arguably, this association is the essence of Fremantle and a key attractor for tourists, visitors and residents alike.

In the 2013/2014 budget, the City allocated an additional $100 000 to strengthen the local arts sector. This funding is in addition to the operational budget of the Fremantle Arts Centre, festival program, arts grants program and the implementation of the cultural development strategy. It is an acknowledgement of the inherent value of the arts to Fremantle as a community and as a destination for tourists and visitors.

An engagement process was undertaken by the City to develop a set of recommendations to guide decisions on the expenditure of the funds to achieve the best impact for the arts sector. Representatives of the local sector across not -for -profit organisations, local creative businesses and practicing artists were consulted to understand the strengths and challenges and gather ideas into how this funding could best be spent.


New alfresco dining laws to help Fremantle businesses

To provide greater flexibility for operators of alfresco dining areas in Fremantle, council has adopted the draft City of Fremantle Alfresco Dining Local Law to replace the existing outdoor eating laws.

Some of the key changes include:

–     the definition of ‘eating house’ replaced with ‘food business’. This now encompasses licensed premises which were not previously captured under the previous definition

–     removal of the complicated Gross Rentable Value (GRV) fee structure which is replaced by a simple fee structure based on the square metreage of the alfresco area

–     appeal provisions for applicants

–     the removal of unnecessarily onerous procedural paperwork such as application requirements and licence pro forma.

The City will shortly advertise the draft local law and invite public submissions.


The Local Government Act requires the City to undertake a review of its local laws every eight years. Following a review of laws relating to outdoor eating areas, the City  identified the need to amend the laws to enable greater flexibility for food business and licensed premises operators.

In considering the content of a revised local law, the City sought to achieve the following objectives:

–     Greater flexibility for proprietors with regard to responsible consumption of alcohol in alfresco areas

–     A simplified fee structure and licensing process

–     Alignment of the terms and definitions of the local law with other relevant legislation (e.g. the Food Act, the Local Government Act and the Liquor Control Act)

–     Modified infringement penalties for offences under the local laws.

The City has prepared a modern and relevant local law that seeks to achieve greater flexibility for business proprietors as well as simplifying the approvals and compliance procedures for City officers. The City considers the proposed local law to represent best practice for the management of City-owned/managed space for dining and other compatible uses.

DISCLAIMER – The above newsletter is a summarised version of council meetings designed to convey the key components of council decisions. For more detail and for exact wording on any of the above items the City strongly recommends readers download a full copy of the minutes of this meeting. Minutes can be found in the Agenda and Minutes section of the City’s website


Get to see the new Kings Square design in full – this Thursday and everyday at MYRE

Kerry Hill Architects (winners of the Kings Square Design competition) will be giving a presentation on their winning design to City of Freo elected members, staff and community on Thursday the 19th of December at 5.00pm at the Fremantle Council Chambers.

Having seen this presentation, I recommend attending as it provides a great insight into the key features of their design concept. It is one of those designs that the more you see the more like it.

All the designs from the competition are also on display at MYRE.

View South From Kings Square


And the winner of the Kings Square Architectural Competition is…

IT was a huge day for Fremantle today with the winner of the Kings Square Architectural Competition announced. I was excited by all three designs that were shortlisted and would have love to have seen all three of them built (although stacking them up would have blown our height restrictions!).

Well done to the winner Kerry Hill architects. I just spent an hour with them going through the design in detail and the more I see of it the more I love it. It is an elegant but robust design that is going to transform the civic heart of Fremantle.

Kerry hill 1

Here is the press release the city put out earlier with some links:

It’s official. The winner of the Kings Square Architectural Competition is Kerry Hill Architects, whose innovative design for a $45m, community, civic and retail hub in the centre of Fremantle got the nod over two other finalists from an expert independent jury.

The development will form part of the broader $220 Kings Square Project, one of the largest and most important new developments in Fremantle’s history.

The winning concept, announced today at a ceremony in Kings Square, was selected from a field of 53 entries submitted from around the world. Three of these entries were shortlisted by the independent jury in November with that same jury today selecting the winner.

Winning concept

(click link to download – warning large files)

Winning concept – Kerry Hill Architects

The key civic spaces within the winning concept include the inclined plane of the ‘City Lawn’, the ‘Verandah’, and the ‘Civic Drum’.  The intention is to establish a civic presence, a degree of formality, but to generate sufficient informal spaces to invite relaxed public participation.

The Civic Drum, expressed in the form of a sandstone cylinder, contains a number of public functions: council chamber on top, staff lounges, community room, exhibition, and multi-purpose room to the library in the basement.  The library, organised on a single floor plane, is located under the City Lawn with its side glass walls allowing the library to be visible from the ground plane.  It has a separate entrance which also provides a foyer to the town hall and a gallery space.

Fremantle Mayor, Dr Brad Pettitt, said the winning concept had the design and sustainability qualities that the Fremantle community demands and deserves.

“I’m very pleased with the jury’s decision and on how the competition was managed from the outset. I thank both the jury and City staff for the enormous time and effort spent getting to this point, which has resulted in some high calibre entries and a first-class winning design,” Dr Pettitt said.

“What we’re ultimately ending up with here is Fremantle’s future heritage and with the Kings Square Project being the cornerstone of Fremantle’s $1bilion development pipeline and revitalisation, we wanted to make sure we get the best possible outcome in terms of design. The council agreed that an international architectural competition was the best way of ensuring this would happen.”

Competition jury comment

Competition jury chair, Ms Shelley Penn, complemented both the quality and creativity of the entries received.

“We received a range of entries from around Australia and the world and as a jury we were pleased with both the overall quality and diversity of these entries. There were certainly some interesting ideas and ways of approaching the space, a lot of these very good. The final three shortlisted entries were all outstanding,” Ms Penn said.

“As a jury we ended up selecting the concept submitted by Kerry Hill Architects which offered a proposition of simple, clear elegance that centred on a compelling urban gesture to re-establish Kings Square. The jury also found this concept to have a refined architectural palette of form, space and materials.”

Next steps

Once final tenancy agreements are secured and commencement of the broader Kings Square Project is confirmed, Kerry Hill Architects will be engaged to finetune their concept and work with the City of Fremantle and project partner Sirona Capital, to bring their design to life.

The winning design concepts, along with the two other shortlisted concepts, will be on public display at the former Myer building for the next two weeks.

Runner-up concept designs (click link to download – warning large files)

McBride Charles Ryan: concept

CODA:  concept

kerry hill 2

Data, statistics and local government reform

For those of you that like data and statistics and haven’t seen this great service the City of Freo subscribes to then check  the profile.id site.

It has just been updated with Perth Metropolitan Reform profiles that reflect the most recent changes (as announced on 12 Nov) to the state government’s preferred model for reform. You can find the profile here:


boundary number

International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Freo

Yesterday 3 December 2013 was International Day of Persons with Disabilities with the theme: “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all”. There were some good events in Freo to mark the day.

The new and very funky owners of Don Tapa container restaurant on Victoria Quay hosted (with Fremantle Ports) a great afternoon. The Outback Academy Red Dust Heelers Wheelchair Basketball Team  and members of the Australian Paralympics Basketball Teams taught me a little wheelchair basketball which was fun.

In the evening the Moores Building hosted Rocky Bay’s Smudgeries RecConnect Art Exhibiton with great art done by people with disability. Well worth a look.


Kelp Bar and those loos – a council perspective

There has been a lot of discussion about Kelp Bar and toilets over the last week so I though it worth providing a bit of background from the Fremantle Council’s perspective.

First, and to be clear, that the Fremantle Council and I are 100% supportive of Kelp Bar starting up again and have been working constructively with Joanna from Kidogo on this. I think it was a great addition to Fremantle and I hope we may be even able to get it up again for this summer with temporary loos

The only point of disagreement is the location of the additional more permanent toilets. Joanna wishes to build a new toilet block to South of Kidogo on the new lawn and the majority of the Fremantle City Councillors and I don’t believe this is the best location.

This is partly because the City of Fremantle has spent around $2 million beautifying the area around Bathers Beach and especially to the south of Kidogo over the last couple of years. This is all part of a landscape plan which aims to reveal the area’s important history and better connect Fremantle to the ocean (see map below).

For these reasons, a toilet block in this location is not consistent with the landscape plan for the area nor is it a good urban design outcome. It would make the area to the South of Kidogo less attractive and restrict sightlines to the ocean.

Instead I am of the view that new toilets and the bar should be built within the internal part of Western tin section of the building. This view has the support of the heritage staff of the City of Fremantle so long as it is down carefully. I appreciated this reduces the potential size of the Kelp bar but designs I have seen shows it would still enable a great small bar of around100 people that is very similar the hugely successful Kelp Bar we had in 2011. Alternatively if it is only a summer beach bar we may be able to do temporary toilets if liquor licensing will agree.

I have no doubt this issues can be resolved so everyone is happy and Kelp can go ahead but it will require some compromise and creativity. See you down there for drink soon!

Bathers Beach landscape plan