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

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
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3 Responses to Greening Freo…we’ve come along way

  1. Nonie Jekabsons says:

    Freo would be the second most hard surfaced LGA in WA? Behind Belmont, and fair to say that the Gateway project may not have been underway when those stats were compiled. Not sure if Airport (commonwealth) land is included in their calculation. Take home message is that there is room for improvement and very valid reason to place a high value on all extant green space within such LGAs – green space takes time to grow, but can be bulldozed and “developed” so quickly. Urban trees work very hard, quietly getting on with the job of improving the quality of life for all inhabitants, and deserve respect. Policies to pro actively encourage retention of mature trees on development sites would be very welcome in metro Perth. There is an Australian Standard AS – 4970 which explains just how to do this, even if you plan to build in masonry – it’s not rocket science, just takes good planning and sensible design.

  2. Adin Lang says:

    If anyone would like to personally contribute to making Freo a greener place to live, please join our group and help us set the Fremantle Tree Planting Record in 2015 – 10,000 native trees/shrubs is our target.

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