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

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

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