Government Department to Bunbury – Freo Next?

Interesting to read in the West today that the Bunbury relocation of the Department of Parks and Wildlife is finally confirmed. Freo Council has a meeting next week with the state government on the progress of the relocation of the Department of Housing to Fremantle. It’s taking longer than we’d like but everything we are hearing is that government is still supporting this important catalyst move for Freo.

Dept move a jobs boost for Bunbury
Dept move a jobs boost for Bunbury

Relocating the Department of Parks and Wildlife from Perth to Bunbury would inject up to 300 jobs into the regional centre and bring the department closer to environmental hotspots, Colin Barnett said today.

The Premier announced planning work would begin immediately on new $18 million premises for DPAW at Koombana Drive, opposite Bunbury’s Dolphin Discovery Centre and near the CBD – the first WA government department to be headquartered outside Perth.

A different site at nearby Turkey Point originally proposed under a 2013 Liberal election promise to decentralise government agencies was ditched on request from the City of Bunbury.

Speaking in Bunbury this morning, Mr Barnett said the new facility would be built in stages, with 100 jobs transferred from DPAW’s Kensington premises to Bunbury in the first stage. He projected 300 DPAW staff would work there within a decade.

“I and others have long felt that we need to decentralise some Government agencies and Bunbury logically sits as the second city of government administration in WA,” he said.

“I also hope into the future you would see Bunbury become a real centre for environmental science and national park management.”

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said not only would the premises be an administrative centre for the department, it would provide a conservation, national park and tourism “shopfront” for tourists.

“The South-West of WA is one of only 35 globally recognised biodiversity hotspots and the only one within Australia,” he said.

“It’s a really good opportunity for our researchers to be able to just walk out the door and do a study on, say, Koombana Bay, do a coastal study, do a study on the mangroves or on the forested areas just a short drive away.”

The Koombana Drive site is close to the world’s southern-most white mangroves. Mr Albert insisted the development would be unobtrusive and environmentally sensitive.

An initial contribution of $25,000 to get planning underway in the 2014-15 Budget would be followed by further allocations in future Budgets, Mr Barnett said.

DPAW will retain its Kensington premises, which recently accommodated the Swan River Trust.

The West Australian

 

FREO ROYALE – Fringe World in Fremantle from February 4th – 15th

FREO ROYALE brings Fringe World to the punters of Fremantle from February 4th – 15th welcoming the best of cabaret, theatre, comedy, music and art into our port city.

FREO ROYALE is an independent festival site proudly supported by the City of Fremantle and presented by Vulture Culture.

They have brought together a community of artists, producers and businesses through the presentation of over 100 performances in 10 iconic venues across Fremantle.

I am very excited to finally have fringe in Freo. It’d be fair to say Freo people have been pushing for this for a few years now.

The heart of FREO ROYALE will be “KINGS SQUARE COMMON”, as the space just outside MANY 6160 (Old Myer Building) transforms into the hub of the festival with a pop-up bar, delicious food and markets

Here are my five (only partially informed) picks so make sure you check out http://freoroyale.com.au/ for the full program.

  1. A fringe festival isn’t complete without a freaky circus show. CIRCUS FREAK SHOW is at Creatures Nextdoor from 5 Feb to 8 Feb 2015 – people contorting into small boxes, machete juggling blind – you get the idea;
  2. I’ve been a fan of John Safran since he came last in the ABC’s Race Around the World. On Feb 6- 7 he brings his show MURDER IN MISSISSIPPI to Victoria Hall. It is the true story of how he met a white supremacist, befriended his black killer and wrote an award-winning book about it;
  3. Also at Victoria Hall is PUPPET FICTION. Described as the ultimate Tarantino homage – Pulp Fiction with strings attached. You can see this award-winning hit show from NZ in the 3 part series or full 3 hour show;
  4. Corey White’s  STRAYA I LOVE YA BUT YOUR BREAKING ME DOWN at the Sail and Anchor get’s a mention for having the most controversial poster of the season so far (see below);
  5. No fringe is complete without a late night gala. THE FREO ROYALE LATE NIGHT GALA is on at 11pm on the 6th and Friday the 13th of Feb. What could possibly go wrong! A perfect late night feast featuring snippets from upcoming Fringe performances including comedy, cabaret, music and everything in between.

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East Freo – some thoughts on amalgamations

The proposed amalgamation between Fremantle and East Fremantle has been getting a bit of press lately as the close of the East Freo poll on February 7th approaches.

Recent full page ads by the “Vote No” camp have blamed the Freo Council of everything short of enslaving small children to secretly demolish the Round House. We have chosen not to respond to this often ridiculous fear-mongering as I am sure that most East Freo voters are informed enough to make a sensible decision on whether a merger with Freo is in their best interests. Freo Council has never supported a hostile take-over of East Freo and that is why we’ve kept out of the debate and let the democratic process run its course. While I personally think the State Government has got Freo’s future boundaries about right it is important that East Freo resident have a say on that too.

East Freo council member Michael McPhail has published a thoughtful piece in the Gazette today and the full version is below. It is worth a read.

The A-word that has whispered through the leafy green streets of East Fremantle for much of its history is again causing a flurry of self-reflection.

Soon, amalgamation will soon be the topic of discussion in all households with the impending arrival of ballot papers for the February 7 poll.

A number of people who smelt the whiff of the Minister’s starting gun last December have been admirably active over the holidays.

The announcement of the February 7 poll has seen a resurgence of people answering the question: has the Town of East Fremantle served our suburb well ‘till now?

This is relatively easy to answer: for most of the Town’s 118-year history, yes.

However, few people are asking the far more important question (perhaps because it is more difficult to answer): what sort of local government will best serve our suburb for the next 118 years?

The Proposal

The decision on February will present the option of merging the Town of East Fremantle (7000 residents) with a new City of Fremantle that will double in size to 66,000 residents (taking in areas that generate significant rates to the south and east).

I think it is fairly well accepted that the State Government’s management of this process up until now has been tortuous.

However, whether by design or happenstance, the proposed City of Fremantle is arguably the best design of all amalgamation proposals in the region.

Nevertheless, whilst this may be of regional benefit, there are more immediately important arguments that need consideration for February 7.

Economic Efficiency

The State Government frequently trots out arguments of reduced rates to support amalgamation. Generally speaking, this is an intellectually bankrupt argument.

Those who disparagingly wave their finger eastwards correctly identify few obvious cost savings.

In some cases, expenditure increases because of a new-found capacity to provide large-scale infrastructure (think Gold Coast light rail).

In the academic world, whilst the jury is still out on economic efficiency, it’s fair to say that benefits are not automatic. Furthermore, these benefits can be somewhat achieved through shared service agreements.

So if not economic efficiency, why else might this be a good idea?

Strategic Direction & Capacity

The Town of East Fremantle was formed just as Western Australia entered the 20th century. In those days, local government was expected to do little more than the holy trinity: rates, roads and rubbish.

The nature of metropolitan local government has changed significantly since then due to changes in community expectation and State law.

Heritage protection; economic development; community welfare; urban planning; state and commonwealth lobbying. These were foreign concepts when the Town was formed nearly 120 years ago.

The Town of East Fremantle is a local government structure suited to the needs of the 20th century.

The 21st century has presented a series of looming challenges, challenges that are already straining the Town’s ability to find and fund solutions to significant strategic issues.

Many talk about East Fremantle’s low debt and low rates. What people don’t talk about are impending significant that would make an accountant blush:

The East Fremantle Oval; The Royal George; The River Foreshore; upgrading Canning Hwy footpaths. These issues couldn’t have been foreseen when our founders rearranged Fremantle East to become East Fremantle.

Let’s turn to another major strategic issue: the Perth Freight Link.

The most significant event that is to happen to our community in the next decade will be the construction of the Perth Freight Link, a six-lane freight freeway from Kewdale to Stirling Bridge. This new freeway will lead to a doubling of port freight (and carcinogens) through our suburb in the next decade, as well as removal of Marmion Street access from Stirling Hwy.

The Town of East Fremantle has not been at the table for ongoing discussions that have shaped this proposal. It has not effectively resisted Melville’s significant lobbying efforts.

This is not to slight the good work that the Town does in lean circumstances. It is a reflection of the limited technical capacity to represent the community’s interests for significant strategic issues like this.

Local Government is now more than footpaths and rubbish. Anyone who disagrees need only listen to the increasing rumble of B-Doubles as they tear through our suburb, rattling the Royal George on their way to port.

The ability of Perth’s second smallest local government to effectively advocate for your best interests is limited. A more technically capable entity will be better able to represent East Fremantle’s interests.

Local Democracy & Governance

So, the record on representing the community’s interest for significant issues such as the Perth Freight Link is not strong. How about the more fundamental issue of local representation and democracy?

Does being the second smallest local government in Perth provide better, more accountable government than the alternative?

Having a high number of Councillors for our suburb does not automatically equate to good governance. In my opinion, there are two more important factors that guarantee the good use of public money: the quality of elected members and accountability.

The first is strongly influenced by elections. The most recent election was the first proper contested election in my living memory. When door-knocking, people mentioned to me that they can’t recall the last time an election was held.

Simply put, having such a high number of Councillors for a small area is not representation at all if elected members aren’t actually elected. Our structure is not geared towards the selection of a high quality decision-making group.

This is not to diminish anyone on the current Council. All are fine representatives.

However, structure is important when thinking about a local government that will best serve us for the next 118 years.

Accountability

The primary function of having a Council is to have a body of people that act as custodians of your money. This requires accountability. A Council that is constantly held to account is more likely to spend its people’s money efficiently and more in line with their wishes.

It has been said that, due to their size, very large local governments can suffer from a lack of accountability to its electors. I would say a similar problem is true for very small local governments like East Fremantle, but for a different reason: lack of scrutiny.

Local governments are no longer held to account as they once were: through attendance in the public gallery. The now empty public gallery has been replaced by a strong social media presence, online blogs, e-newsletters (as well as the continued presence of local newspapers).

Being a small entity means we fly under the radar. A weak history of engaging in these mediums hasn’t helped.

We don’t attract as much attention; our decision making isn’t as public, our conduct goes largely unnoticed; your elected members are not consistently held to account for acting on your behalf.

I’m not suggesting anything untoward. What I am saying is that when mistakes and misinformed decisions are made, they often go unrecognized until its too late. Poor lines of communication make it difficult for necessary information to flow through to change it.

Holding your elected members accountable to your wishes is more cumbersome than in other Councils that have a much deeper involvement in online mediums. In contrast, this is something that is done particularly well in Fremantle.

If both very large and very small local governments have issues with remaining accountable, I would suggest there is a sweet spot in the middle. At 66,000 people, the new City of Fremantle would be the third smallest local government in Perth (post-amalgamation).

In my view, this is the Goldilocks size: not too large, not too small, but just about right.

Conclusion

A number of academics have proposed models of local government reform that are far more nuanced and thoughtful than the options we have on the table for February 7.

I lament that the State Government ran a process that would make a flock of ostriches proud. Indeed, this seems the standard approach by all State Governments when they discuss local government ‘reform’. The hope of getting a more enlightened set of options to choose from is as low as Colin Barnett’s approval rating.

The decision we have to make on February 7 is not whether the current structure served East Fremantle well over the last 120 years, but whether it will serve us well over the next 120 years.

This is not an easy question to answer and people will have different opinions. However, I wanted to highlight that the answer to this question requires far more thought that some would have you believe.

Forming the Municipality of East Fremantle made a lot of sense 118 years ago and served our suburb reasonably well for the 20th century.

However, I do think the challenges that face our suburb are becoming and will be far more advanced and substantial than our little local government was designed for.

Significant change is always difficult to back. It requires stepping outside your comfort zone and relying on vision rather than history.

However, when I ask the question: will our current structure be the best structure for the next 118 years? I can only but answer no.

Greater Fremantle Final

‘Urban Winery Project’ at the Mantle

The Mantle have come up with another fabulous idea to add to their already great mix of food and wine loving activities (which includes Don Tapa and Alter Ego bar) down on the cnr of Beach and James Streets in Freo’s East End.

They are calling the new project the ‘Urban Winery Project’ and here is how it works.

Concept 

The aim is to create a small-scale fully functional urban winery in Fremantle in

late January through to mid-February. This will involve three different parts of the

process: Creating, Tasting & Bottling.

Creating 

Over two to three weeks we will create two batches of wine. Each week we will

handpick 500kg of white/red (rose) fruit from Margaret River or the Swan Valley.

The fruit will be transported to Fremantle and basket pressed into a wall of large

coloured 25 litre glass demijohns. Each demijohn will be slightly different in style

with different yeasts added to each providing different flavour profiles. Restaurant

goers will be able to taste and smell the ferments as they progress from juice into

wine. This wine will then be combined into a barrel after 6 days to finish

fermentation and maturation.

Tasting

People will be able to taste the grape juice and fermenting juice made at The

Mantle. There will be two barrels of finished wine from the 2014 vintage: A

naturally barrel fermented Chardonnay and The Portuguese Pirate blend, a

mixture of three odd Portuguese varieties; Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cao and Sousao.

People will be able to taste these wines from the barrel and buy un-fined, unfiltered,

natural wine while they enjoy dinner, by the glass or the Carafe. There will also be

four wines for tasting by the bottle: 2013 Chardonnay, 2013 CBDB, 2014 Albino

Pinot, 2013 Portuguese Pirate blend. People can purchase wine flights for dinner or

purchase the bottles for dinner in the Restaurants.

Bottling 

Towards the end of the process we will hand fill, label and wax-seal the remaining

wine from the 2014 barrels. We will pour the wine into the Demijohns for different

restaurants in the city and into bottles for people who tasted the wine from the

barrel and want to take some of the natural un-fined, unfiltered goodness home

with them.

las vino

Paving Over Perth

As expected there has been a diverse range of responses to the West Australian’s coverage of my calculations that Perth if it continued with its current approach would be spending huge sums of money on providing new parking spaces for our cars. Here is what the West published:

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/26022227/parking-will-cover-perth-in-concrete/

Kent Acott also followed up with this interesting short piece:

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/26027730/cities-put-cars-on-the-outer/

Some have tried to dismiss this as merely an anti-car argument but that is not what it is. Cars have their place but as we plan for a more liveable and sustainable future for Perth we need to make sure that we invest more in public transport, pedestrian amenity,  cycling lanes and other non-car options that we currently do. Cars will always play a big role in Perth they don’t need to dominate. And as I show they aren’t cheap either!

Below is the original article I sent into the West. I’d appreciate your feedback on all these ideas.

Paving Over Perth

If you were told Perth invests more money on new spaces to simply park our cars than we do investing in public transport would you believes it? It is true. New parking infrastructure alone could cost West Australians over a $100 billion over the next 25 years.

There is no doubt Perth is going through a period of extraordinary growth. The Australian Bureau of Statistics middle range projections for Perth’s population is that we will double in size from almost 2 million people now to be a city of around 4 million people within 25 years. In reality this might take a few years longer or even happen more quickly but either way Perth is growing up fast.

Perth is rapidly transitioning from a quiet town, that needed “State of Excitement” number plates to make us feel grown up, to a large international city. It is the infrastructure choices we make over the next few years that are going to define whether Perth remains ones of the most liveable cities in the world or not.

What is abundantly clear is that the car-focused transport choices of the last 50 years are going to result in not only a less liveable city but one that is going to be extremely expensive and economically inefficient.

Perth currently has one of the highest car ownership rates in the world and the highest level of car ownership in Australia with around 650 vehicles for every 1,000 people.

This means an extra 2 million people over next 25 years is going to bring with it an extra 1.3 million cars on Perth roads if current development patterns continue.

To put this number of cars in perspective, if we were to imagine these 1.3 million cars driving in single file at an average 200 cars per km per lane this would see 6,500km of cars –a continuous line of cars stretching from Perth to Cairns and beyond.

That is a lot of extra cars and they will need a lot of new, bigger roads to drive on.

But let’s leave the cost of building these new roads and the costs of the cars themselves to one side for the moment and look at an often hidden cost in our car-focused infrastructure choices – parking.

It would be conservative to assume that in Perth for every extra car we will also require three extra parking spaces – one at home, one at work and one other at places like shopping centres. This is the low figure. Professor Newman has written Perth currently has closer to five parking spaces per car.

So over the next 25 years if we do nothing different to today we will not only add 1.3 million new vehicles but also add at least 3.9 million extra parking spaces.

This is the equivalent to over 100sq km of space set aside solely for new parking. To put this in perspective this is the equivalent of paving over the entire suburbs of Mosman Park, Peppermint Grove, Claremont, Cottesloe, Nedlands, Subiaco, West Perth and Perth with new car parking bays- twice over!

So not only would this required parking likely result in a rather unpleasant, sprawled city but perhaps the most confronting part of it is the extraordinary cost that would be associated with delivering it.

Parking is not cheap to create. The average new parking space in Perth has land and construction costs of around $30,000 per bay. Underground or multi-story spaces can often cost far more than this. A recently proposed development in inner-city Fremantle estimated its combination of underground and multistorey car parking at $90,000 per bay.

When you multiply this cost of $30,000 per bay for new parking by the estimated 3.9 million extra car bays Perth will require, an astounding bill of $117,000,000,000 ($117 billion!) for new parking over the next 25 years confronts us as a city.

This is over $4 billion every year for the next 25-30 years for extra parking alone. This does not include the costs of cars, the cost of building and maintaining roads or even the cost of maintaining the parking bays themselves. This is just the land and construction cost of the extra parking bays that we will need to build.

This simple maths quickly shows that Perth’s current approach to planning based around an extremely high level of car ownership and associated urban sprawl is at the very least going to be a very expensive investment for West Australians.

It also starts to make the construction of new rail look remarkably affordable. In fact, it would be cheaper to build two MAX light rail line every year for the 25 years than build all this parking.

Business as usual is possible but it is both ridiculously expensive and inefficient.

Instead for a liveable future for Perth we instead need a major shift in investment priorities to focus on infrastructure such as high quality public transport linked with transit-orientated, mixed-use developments.   Rail transit can carry 10 to 20 times the people that a single lane of traffic can carry. And by building densely around stations people need 50% less cars, often not needing one at all. This is how other cities are managing to prevent their cities from being paved over for parking.

The inherent costs of the business as usual approach demonstrate not only the false economy of the Abbott Government’s “we only fund roads” approach to city building but also the potential merits of the Barnett Government’s proposed car tax/levy – as long as it was used primarily to fund new public transport investment. Smart, early investments in light rail and new train lines will actually save all West Australians money in the longer run.

The decisions we make on infrastructure investment today will have a massive impact on the kind of city we live in tomorrow. As The West’s series on Vancouver demonstrated a less liveable, largely car-dominated city does not have to be Perth’s inevitable future. We don’t have to pave over our future.

10 Great Things to do in Fremantle by westaustralianexplorer.com

http://www.westaustralianexplorer.com has put together a neat summary of  10 Great Things to do in Fremantle which I thought was worth sharing:

Drink a Craft Beer

Gone are the days when VB and XXXX set the standard for Australian beer. These days it’s all about craft beer and Fremantle is home to a growing number of local breweries.

Not to be missed, Little Creatures is a must stop destination for anyone visiting the Port City. Die-hard beer fans can even enrol in Beer School, which take place once a month.

Little Creatures
Little Creatures Brewery – image courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Beer connoisseurs should make a beeline for the Sail and Anchor where you can choose from over 30 craft beers on tap.

If you don’t just want to drink beer, but eat it too, head across the road to The Monk. Here beer is an ingredient in half of the food choices on the menu.

If sunset and beer sounds like the perfect combination then there’s no better place thanBlacksalt Brewery located at Salt in North Fremantle. Watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean while drinking a great local brew.

Try a New Café

In the old days, Gino’s on the Cappuccino Strip was the place for a decent cup of coffee in Fremantle. These days, thanks to what seems like a café revolution in Fremantle you’ll find a great coffee no matter where you find yourself in the port city.

In the West End, towards the Round House you can’t go wrong at Chalkys, Blink or Hush.Or else, mix coffee and art at Moore and Moore Café and Gallery near Notre Dame University.

For a rustic and quaint ambience, try the middle-eastern themed The Attic on Bannister Street or watch the world go by at Il Cibo opposite the train station.

Rent a Bike for Free

There’s no better way to discover Fremantle than by bike. Thanks to Free Wheeling Fremantle, you can rent a bike for free and start exploring.

Collect your bike from Harbour Bike Hire at the E-Shed and against a deposit it’s all yours for the day. If pedalling sounds like too much work or you simply want to head further afield, you can even choose an electric bike.

Rummage through the Vintage Shops

Unearth a treasure at one of many vintage and secondhand shops that are scattered throughout Fremantle.

You’ll uncover a trove of hand-picked retro and vintage gems at Broken Doll, Pongee andShe Seldom Blushes, which are all located in the centre of Fremantle. These quirky boutiques offer one-off garments, jewellery and accessories.

You could also easily spend a whole afternoon perusing the many second hand shops located on the east side of High Street. A definite favourite here is Vinnies Retro, which has an amazing array of old school bits and pieces and is the place to find the perfect fancy dress outfit.

Go to a Market

As any tourist will know, the Fremantle Markets are the place to go on the weekend for specialty shops, gourmet food and entertainment. Fremantle however is home to many other markets, which are well worth a visit.

The Mad Hatters Market in Kings Square runs from Thursday to Saturday and has a range of specialty items and food stalls. While there, be sure to check out MANY in the old Myer Store, which has become home to an eclectic range of local designers, artists and retailers.

On the waterfront, the E-Shed markets offer good shopping, fruit and vegetables and one of the best places to sit and watch the harbour.

In the summer months, there’s no better place to spend a Saturday evening than at theSunset Markets at Bathers Beach. Bring a picnic rug, watch the sunset and choose dinner from one of the many international food stalls.

On Sunday mornings, do what the locals do and head to the Farmer’s Market. Here you’ll find a great range of local organic produce, entertainment and excellent food.

Have a Swim at the Beach

Fremantle has some of the best and cleanest city beaches in the world. Spend a lazy day atSouth Beach where you can swim to the yellow pontoon, laze under the Pine trees and mingle with the myriad backpackers who seemingly make this their home during the warmer months.

Port Beach and Leighton Beach in North Fremantle are other great spots for a dip in the Indian Ocean. Come here for a long walk along the beach or on windy days watch the kitesurfers.

Closer to town, the historic Bathers Beach is also an inviting spot for a swim. Stay the afternoon and head to the Fremantle Harbour for fish and chips for dinner.

Bather's Beach
Bather’s Beach – image courtesy of  Tourism Western Australia

Discover Maritime History

Fremantle’s history is irrevocably linked to the sea and the Fremantle Maritime Museumis a great place to explore this affinity with the ocean. The museum is home to America’s Cup winning Australia II, the history-making Endeavour in which Jon Sanders circumvented the world three times, and many other iconic vessels. You can also take a tour of HMAS Ovens, a Cold War-era submarine.

The Shipwreck Gallery is also worthy of a visit and recounts stories of West Australia’s early maritime history including the fabled stories of the Batavia and other shipwrecks that occurred along the west coast of Australia.

Check out a Gallery

Spend an afternoon at the heritage listed Fremantle Arts Centre. Visit the free exhibitions from local, national and international artists. The centre also offers a great café, beautiful garden and gift shop. From October to March there are also free Sunday afternoon concerts held in the courtyard.

The Kidogo Arthouse is worth a visit just to for the location itself. Situated at Bather’s Beach in a picturesque 1884 limestone building, this is a great gallery to visit as you stroll around the historic precinct. In the summer months, Kidogo also transforms into a cute little beachside café and bar.

Enjoy contemporary art at Moore’s Building Contemporary Art Gallery. The gallery is a subsidised space by the City of Fremantle and frequently exhibits work from emerging artists and students.

For a dose of indigenous art, head to Japingka Art Gallery which showcases amazing paintings and other art works from Aboriginal artists.

Walk the Fremantle Trails

Pick up a trail card from the visitor centre in Kings Square for self-guided walking tours. There are 11 tours to choose from and include trails for art and culture, convict history, retail and fashion, CY O’Connor and maritime history to name just a few.

Alternatively join the excellent Two Feet and a Heartbeat walking tours for engaging and interesting insight into Fremantle’s culture and history.

Discover the local Music Scene

Music buffs will know that Eskimo Joe, John Butler and San Cisco all have links to the Port City. Take in some live music at The Fly by Night Musicians Club or Mojos in North Fremantle, which regularly feature local musicians.

Music lovers will also love Mills Records, where you can find a locals board, with recording from Fremantle and West Australian acts.

 

Plastic Free Summer Festival coming to Freo and Cott

In a bid to reduce plastic pollution in our cities and beaches, local governments are coming together to raise awareness of this pervasive problem.

Internationally renowned marine biologist and Young Australian Scientist of the Year, Dr Jennifer Lavers is coming to Perth on 16 and 17 January 2015 for the two day Plastic-Free Summer Festival to share her passion and knowledge on marine plastic pollution and its impacts on wildlife. As seen on the ABC’s Catalyst program Dr Lavers has explored some of the world’s most remote islands looking at how human activities have impacted the environment, with a particular interest in marine plastic pollution and seabirds.

Plastic-free sunset movie
6.30 pm, Friday 16 January: Earth Carers, 40 Marine Parade, Cottesloe. Picnic, talk and outdoor movie “Divide in Concord”.

Plastic-free seminar
10.00–11.00 am, Saturday 17 January: Fremantle Town Hall. Seabirds and plastic pollution seminar by Dr Jennifer Lavers. One Planet photography exhibition, stalls and children’s activities.

Launch of Responsible Cafes initiative
10.00 am–3.00 pm, Sat 17 January: Fremantle Town Hall and Kings Square. Meet the local cafes supporting the Responsible Cafes initiative. BYO cup and grab a free coffee!

Beach cleanup and meet the scientist
12 noon-2.00 pm, Saturday 17 January: Cottesloe beach. Help clean up Cottesloe beach and join Dr Lavers for a forensic examination of beach litter. Free refreshments.

Organised by the City of Fremantle, Fremantle BID, WMRC Earth Carers and the Town of Cottesloe this free two day community festival offers events for all ages. It’s an opportunity to learn, be inspired, connect with your local community and be part of the global movement to reduce plastic pollution.

All events are FREE and PLASTIC-FREE! BYO water bottle and reusable cup.

For more information on the Responsible Cafes program, the Plastic Free Summer Festival or the City of Fremantle’s Plastic Free Initiatives please contact melanieb@fremantle.wa.gov.au.

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