Some pictures of proposed redevelopment of the South Fremantle Power Station

While we are on the topic of Landcorp you might be aware a week or so ago they released for public comment a masterplan for the redevelopment of the abandoned South Fremantle Power Station and I think it looks pretty good.

It was of the first items I got to look at in my new role at the State Heritage Council. The South Fremantle Power Station is one of four cathedral style power stations built in Australia in the era immediately before and after the second world war.

It will also hopefully fall within the new boundaries of the City of Greater Fremantle – after all it is the South Fremantle Power Station!

The masterplan envisions a rapid bus service (Fremantle Council would strongly prefer light rail!), recognition of heritage ship wrecks, playgrounds, boardwalks, beaches, housing and retail. Have a look for yourself at this link:

south fremantle power station 1 south fremantle power station 2 south fremantle power station 3

Swanbourne Street Local Structure Plan – have your say.

The Local Structure Plan is now out for comment for the redevelopment of the former Navy Fuel Depot and the former BP Bunkering Terminal (bordered by Swanbourne Street, Knutsford Street and Amherst Street).

The new proposed Local Structure Plan by LandCorp is a big improvement on the last one which to be blunt wasn’t much more than single-lot residential for McMansions that was going to do littel for affordability and sustainability.

This new one is much more ambitious and better but will no doubtalso be more controversial. It provides the opportunity to transform these vacant sites into a quality medium to high density residential precinct offering a range of housing types.

There is one high rise tower that it would be fair to say is higher than any of us were expecting but is cleverly placed behind the hill where one of the old tanks were located.

One of my favourite parts of the plan is the significant public open space along the highest points of Swanbourne Street consistent with the vision of connected parks and green spaces outlined in the City of Freo’s ‘Green Plan’.

Want to have your say?
The City of Fremantle commenced advertising the Local Structure Plan on 12 August 2014 and the public submission period closes on 23 September 2014.

More info

Information Session 
You are welcome to drop in to an information session where LandCorp and City of Fremantle staff will be on hand to answer your questions and provide background on the project.

Where: City of Fremantle Reception Room, located on the first floor of the council offices
at 8 William Street, Fremantle

When: Saturday 30 August 2014

Time: Drop in anytime between 11am and 1.30pm

swanbourne st structure plan

Free Community Café Series kicks off with raw food

The Curtin University Sustainable Policy Institute (CUSP) and City of Fremantle have joined forces to deliver a 10 month, free community sustainability café series.

The fun and informative events are designed to unite the community to learn and share their sustainability issues, ideas and achievements.

The series is based around the One Planet Councils program. The central theme of the One Planet program is that society is currently consuming more natural resources than our planet can cope with. In fact, the average Australian lifestyle requires more than four planets worth of resources to sustain.

So we’re ‘kickin’ it café style’ and inviting our community to join us for a series of seminars on the last Thursday of each month, with engaging speakers from academia, local government and the community. The events will include workshopping and networking opportunities as well as wonderful local food tastings to sweeten the deal.

The series launches on Thursday 28 August from 4.30 pm at Victoria Hall, 179 High St, Fremantle


Speakers will include Prof. Peter Newman AO and Prof Dora Marinova from CUSP, and Heath from the Raw Food Kitchen – all giving their perspectives on sustainable food and food philosophy.

Each month we’ll tackle one of the ten One Planet principles, so you can tailor your seminar attendance to your areas of interest. You can come to one, or you can come to all.

Call for nominations for Freo Green Plan Working Group


The City of Fremantle is seeking to appoint a number of external representatives to serve on a newly-established green plan working group (GPWG). The role of the GPWG is to prepare for the Council’s consideration an updated Green Plan to supersede the City of Fremantle 2001 Green Plan. The new plan is intended to guide the City’s approach to the strategic planning and management of urban green spaces, and implementation of related projects and services.

 Persons interested in nominating themselves as external expert members of the GPWG should have demonstrated expertise and experience in the delivery of parks, green space, nature play and environmental/biodiversity management. Nominations will be considered by Council in accordance with these requirements. GPWG membership will be an unpaid position.

To nominate to be a member of the City’s GPWG please fill in the nomination form below and forward it to Paul Garbett, Manager Planning Projects and Policy, at the City of Fremantle by Friday 5 September 2014 at 5.00pm.

Contact Paul Garbett, Manager Planning Projects and Policy

T 08 9432 9973 E

National Trust decision means new Freo home potentially needed for The Fly.

This morning the National Trust announced it would enter into lease negotiations for the Artillery Drill Hall with Sunset Events. The Fly by Night Musicians Club have been given 6 months notice.

This decision by the Trust Board will be no doubt a controversial decision and really hard on the good people at the Fly, who I suspect will be gutted.

But once the dust settles it could be a cloud with silver lining.

Sunset will no doubt do a great job of running the Drill Hall as a music venue and their connections with east coast venues and touring companies means we will see more touring acts in central Fremantle as a result.

A really important next step will be working with the Fly by Night Musicians Club to get them as seamlessly as possible into another venue in Fremantle. Whether it be Victoria Hall, the former Kulcha venue or something else – it is essential that this much loved and iconic music institution continues to thrive in Fremantle.

In my more optimistic moments I can imagine that an upside consequence of this hard period is that central Fremantle will have more live music than ever before with the newly located Fly by Night Musicians Club and Sunset Event’s two venues, in addition to great existing venues like Clancy’s, Xwray and Odd fellows

Fremantle could once again become the centre of original live music in Perth in a way we haven’t seen since the early 1990s when most the West End pubs were live music venues.

Let’s hope that’s how this all lands (media statement by Trust below).



New lease secures Artillery Drill Hall future

The Council of the National Trust of Australia (WA) has resolved to enter into lease negotiations with Sunset Events following the closure of Expressions of Interest in the Artillery Drill Hall in Fremantle and presentations.

National Trust Chairman, John Cowdell said the decision was the only way to ensure the Artillery Drill Hall would continue as a live performance and cultural venue available to local community groups which currently utilise the Hall.

“The ongoing heritage, social and community values of the Artillery Drill Hall including a commitment to investment in capital works and upgrades to protect the heritage of the building are priorities of the National Trust,” Mr Cowdell said.

“Sunset Events is an established music promoter with a proven track record for innovative and quality events which has also undertaken to invest in the conservation of the Artillery Drill Hall which is a registered State Heritage place,” he said.

“Sunset Events has offered significant capital expenditure on heritage conservation and refurbishment at the commencement of the new lease.

“The Trust also looked to a model that would involve a far greater utilisation of all areas of the building, offering a greater range of benefits to arts related groups, as well as an imaginative use of bar and coffee shop facilities which would be open to the public.

Mr Cowdell confirmed the National Trust had been concerned about the continued sustainability of the Fly by Night Musicians’ Club at the Artillery Drill Hall and welcomed Sunset Events offer to provide the Club with priority community bookings at the live venue.

“There is a viable future for the Fly by Night Musicians’ Club under Sunset Events commitment and through Mayor Pettitt’s offer of two alternate venues with the assistance of the City of Fremantle,” Mr Cowdell said.

“The National Trust had granted the Fly by Night Musicians’ Club a six month extension of its current lease to honour existing contracts and allow the Club to make appropriate re-location arrangements.

The National Trust has spent in excess of $750,000 on heritage conservation of the Artillery Drill Hall since it assumed responsibility for the State Heritage registered place a decade ago.

“The National Trust looks forward to the additional investment in the Artillery Drill Hall to secure the future of the building as a premier live performance venue in Fremantle,” Mr Cowdell said.

For more information please contact National Trust Communication Officer Gina Pickering on P 9321 6088 or M 0408 584 404.

Thinking about a world without nucluear weapons on Hiroshima Day

Today the 6th of August is the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Mayors for Peace was an initiative born out of this horrible event. The City of Fremantle joined Mayors for Peace around a decade ago as part of a push from cities around the world to work to make sure nuclear disarmament is front and centre of the global agenda. There are now over 6000 member cities and Fremantle recently became a lead city in Western Australia.

This September the City of Fremantle will host WA’s first Mayor’s for Peace conference and all the community will be invited to part of this event.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN); the Australian Red Cross; the Medical Association for the Prevention of War and Hiroshima survivor Junko Morimito will join us at this special event

Before the conference everyone is invited to the Fremantle Peace Walk which will take place on International Peace Day Sunday 21 September 2014.

The following day the public are also invited from join us at 1pm on Monday the 22nd of September at the City of Fremantle Reception Room where Junko will give her testimony describing her experience as a 13yo in Hiroshima when the Atomic Bomb went off. Pencil it into your diary. More information to come.


Homeless Persons Week – a Freo perspective

This week is Homeless Persons Week and it seems that the homelessness situation is getting worse not better in WA.

Homelessness Australia predicts that over 9500 people are homeless every night in WA.

The causes are homelessness are complex from a lack of affordable housing and a waitlist for public housing that is several years long, to family breakdown and mental illness. Nearly 30 per cent are homeless because of financial difficulties and almost 20 per cent because they cannot find affordable, appropriate accommodation.

Homelessness doesn’t just take a severe toll on an individual’s mental and physical wellbeing; recent research has found the average annual cost of health, justice and welfare services utilised by people who are homeless (typically more than the average Australian) is nearly $30,000 per person.

Homelessness is an issue that I have really grappled with during my time on council. What is the best way for a council like Fremantle to respond to this growing challenge?

On the other hand some retailers want the Fremantle Council to push any visible signs of homelessness out of Fremantle including street begging which is often associated with it (although I am told many of Freo’s beggars are not actually homeless but that is another debate for another time).

But I am strongly of the view that the out of mind, out of sight approach of moving homeless people on and reducing services for them doesn’t solve the problem – it merely moves it down road.

So I strongly support the City of Fremantle approach of funding and running some important services including the Warrawee (a women’s shelter), the Fremantle legal service, etc I often feel like there also needs to be a more holistic response that tackles the root causes and helps these people to get back on their feet.

I am increasingly convinced by international evidence that says you actually need to provide stable housing FIRST to tackle the issue.  Sue Ash the CEO of UnitingCare West also  said at the launch this week that most homeless people often become mental unwell after as few as six weeks on the streets.

Giving people in need a safe and secure place to rebuild their lives is the essential foundation if we are to deal with disadvantage and what often appears to be a growing gap between the haves and have nots in this rich state and city of ours. Rob Schlyecher puts it this way: “Simply put, our society cannot expect homeless people to just go away. They need a safe place to sleep and a base from which to stabilize their lives.”

homelessness in WA