Greening Freo…we’ve come along way

Poor old Freo has copped a bit of flack over the last week for not doing so well in the recent VISION 202020 report that analysed 139 local governments in Australia and found that Freo had above average hard-surfaces and less tree canopy and green space. (For the record, it is not correct to say that the Freo is the second most hard-surface council in our country. The City of Belmont, City of Maribyrnong, City of Wyndham, City of Melton, City of Hume, City of Brimbank, City of Greater Dandenong, City of Hobsons Bay, and City of Casey were all worse in some readings than Freo.)

The report’s methodology means that it included all the Fremantle Port’s hard surface (with few trees) in its calculations which obviously shifted the results.

It made me reflect on how far Freo has come in recent decades though in greening our streets etc. In 1979 the Fremantle Gazette quoted  the Fremantle Society’s “lament for the lack of trees lining the streets of Fremantle…” The Freo Society were clearly ahead of their time in this article and their green vision for Freo.

Freo society 1979 fremantle society 1979
That said VISION 202020 is a great report which I think this actually reinforces the Fremantle Council ‘s push around more tree planting, greening etc. The City of Fremantle has planted around 4000 tress in the last 4 years around Fremantle and the Fremantle community plenty more on top of that. There is plenty more to be done and the new Green Plan Working Group I am sure will come up with some great ideas.

But we should also acknowledge how far we have some and that these things can’t be turned around overnight. But  this aerial view fro m the 1980s – with barely a tree in sight – shows how far we have come.

Freo 1980s

Fremantle 2029 community report back – Thursday the 4th.

To wrap-up the Fremantle 2029 visioning process, on Thursday 4 December we will deliver a presentation outlining the key findings from the various visioning workshops conducted in 2013 and how this information is and will be used to guide decision making. It would be great to have you there – especially if you were part of any of the sessions.

The forum will take place from 6.00 – 7.00pm Thursday 4 December at Victoria Hall, Fremantle (doors will open at 5.30 pm). Light refreshments and some finger food will be available.

To RSVP visit and follow the links.



Freo’s forgotten beach – a fun bit of promotion on Nine News

For those of you who missed this 7am live cross to Bathers Beach on Channel 9’s Today program then it is a fun piece promoting Freo’s forgotten beach – Bather’s Beach. I’m not really a morning person but this was good fun.

Christmas Spirit 2014 – this Friday in Freo

If love Christmas lights and a bit of Christmas cheer – join us in the square this Friday from 6.30pm.


Dining on sand – a WA first in Freo

Nice to see the City of Fremantle get some positive recognition for its innovations in making Fremantle  a more vibrant place.

I especially appreciated Rob Broadfield’s surprise as to how a progressive, green-leaning Council  can be so business friendly and open to new innovative options. I hope we have demonstrated a bit of track record in this regard from support for Food Trucks to MANY6160 to more alfresco and red tape reduction for businesses wanting changes. All small steps towards a more funky and vibrant Freo. While he kindly singles me out it really has been a team effort. Well done to all involved.  Here is the article form Saturday’s paper if you missed it.

Rob Broadfield –  

As milestones go, a small dinner party on the beach at North Fremantle this week passed all but unnoticed.

But the diners were making history — the first people in WA to be served a meal with wine on a beach as paying guests of a restaurant.

“The significance of this moment was not lost on anybody,” Salt On The Beach restaurant owner Ian Hutchinson said.

“It’s exciting. I even had staff come in on their day off, just to be a part of this.

“This would have been impossible even a couple of years ago.”

Mr Hutchinson was full of praise for the role the City of Fremantle played in the approvals process.

“The council under the leadership of mayor Brad Pettitt has been amazing,” he said.

“They encouraged us all the way.”

It is understood that the City of Fremantle sought submissions from Salt On The Beach and even went as far as to assist the restaurant in the framing of application documents for their beach-dining application.

The restaurant, which overlooks the beach in North Fremantle, has been granted a 70sqm slice of Port Beach with permission for up to 70 people to dine with the sand between their toes at any one time.

A trial of eight dinners over the summer holidays has been agreed but the mayor and the restaurant owner confirmed they fully expected this summer’s trial to expand into regular dinner services on the beach.

Dr Pettitt said the council went out of its way to keep compliance and red tape to a minimum.

“This is what we should be (doing with our beaches,” he said.

“We were keen to make this happen. When you go to Europe, you see how the beaches are activated over the summer with bars and restaurants.

“It’s a great environment. Our beaches should not be locked away. If the restaurant wanted to construct a semi-permanent boardwalk on the beach to accommodate their beach dining room, we would certainly look at it.

“Economic activity and activation of spaces is important for a livable city.

“We are very proactive in this area.”

Guests at Thursday evening’s $125 a head dinner were greeted with champagne before sitting down to a meal of oysters, prawns with garlic mayo, seafood laksa, crayfish curry with coconut rice, swordfish teriyaki and whole baked fish followed by creme (brulee and strawberries and cream.

rob broadfield

Westgate Mall to be transformed into an Art Market this Saturday

ArtMark 2014 is an exciting one-day artist run exhibition and marketplace on the 22nd of November 2014.

Held right in the heart of Fremantle in rather under-utilized Westgate Mall, which will be transformed  with over 25 self represented artist stallholders and local musicians displaying their talents directly to the public.
A wide variety of artwork including painting, jewellery and sculpture to suit all tastes and budgets will be on show, with many of the artists working live on-site.

Along with the amazing art on display will activities for the kids, live music and great food from Two Queens Street Food and coffee by Di Bella Coffee.
Come down between 10am – 5pm, meet the artists and enjoy the great atmosphere in this pop-up art bazaar.

art market

City of Fremantle to divest from carbon intensive investments

In light of the recent China and the US announcement of a negotiated deal to reduce their carbon emissions, it is timely that the City of Fremantle  put out a media release highlighting a further policy by the City to make sure we put our money where are values are in terms of investments and fossil fuels.

13 November 2014              

City of Fremantle to divest from carbon intensive investments

In August this year Fremantle Council adopted modifications to its investment policy that gives clear directions not to place council funds into banks or financial institutions that support fossil fuel industries, unless there is no alternative.

This move was in response to the work done by, which has seen a groundswell of institutions across the globe start to divest from carbon. The resolution by council saw Fremantle as the first local government in Australia to divest for this reason, with the policy modifications consistent with the City’s commitment to One Planet guidelines.

“Climate crisis is a serious threat to current and future generations locally, nationally and internationally and most world governments have agreed through the 2009 Copenhagen Accord that any warming above a 2°C rise would be unsafe, and that future carbon emissions release should be significantly limited,” said Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt.

“It’s therefore the responsibility of our banks, superannuation funds and governments that have custody of our money to use this money to protect, and not damage, our environment.”

A 2013 Climate Commission report (The Critical Decade 2013 –  Climate change science, risks and responses) has warned that 80% of global fossil fuel reserves will have to stay in the ground if the planet is to avoid dangerous climate change.

“The City has already committed to carbon neutrality and more recently became the joint first One Planet council in Australia, so divesting funds away from financial instruments that might increase the overall investment in fossil fuel industries was a logical next step to take,” Dr Pettitt said.

As part of its new policy, the City will maintain a register on the level of investment in financial institutions actively seeking to reduce the level of exposure to carbon intensive industries.



one planet