Disability awareness week in Freo

This week is disability awareness week.  Some on the activities in Freo include:

Aboriginal Art Exhibition

Visit the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre and be inspired by art from Aboriginal people with disability.

THU 3 DEC at 10:30 am – 12 noon. 12 Captain’s Lane, Bathers Beach Art Precinct

Light refreshments provided. Bookings essential. To register or for more information call (08) 9432 9680 or email activefreo@fremantle.wa.gov.au


Dance Performance

Enjoy a performance by TRU Kolors dance group for teenagers and adults with disability.

THU 3 DEC at 2:00pm. Kings Square, Fremantle.


Lets Go Surfing Day with Disabled Surfers Association Australia

All registrations occur on the day. For volunteers 6AM. For participants 9-10:30AM.

Leighton Beach, North Fremantle. SAT 5 DEC 2015 till 1PM.

For any queries contact Bruce 0408 552 071.



Ocean Pool Petition for Bathers’ Beach Presented to State Parliament


This week Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk presented a petition on Fremantle Ocean Pool to State Parliament which reads:

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Parliament of Western Australia in Parliament assembled.

We, the undersigned, say that an ocean pool should be constructed at Bathers’ Beach in Fremantle. The ocean pool could be used by locals, tourists and school groups, and alleviate concerns about shark attacks and beach safety. It would also assist the activation of Fremantle’s West End and attract people to the beautiful but underutilised Bathers’ Beach. The ocean pool could be designed to suit the area and be respectful to the area’s heritage values.

Now we ask the Legislative Assembly to call on the State Government to support the construction of an ocean pool at Bathers’ Beach, and to ensure that it provides the material and financial resources required to realise this project.

The petition was signed by 3 782 people.!

A huge thanks to Sam Martin who initiated this petition and has been working hard to move this project forward.

The ocean pool is in the City of Fremantle’s Freo 2029 plan and our new draft community/strategic plan but is ultimately a project that will only be able to happen with State Government support in addition to Fremantle Council funding. So here’s hoping it influences some budgetary decision making.

Roe 8 and its (better) alternatives

The Roe 8 issue came to a head today as Main Road’s drillers flanked by police were confronted by protesters near Bibra Lake today.

The argument put by supporters of this project including the State Government is that Roe 8 is needed regardless of whether the inner harbour is ramped up via the PFL or the outer harbour is built sooner. I don’t find this argument convincing for a couple of reasons:

One, Roe 8 will, due to the extraordinary measures it is required to take to lessen environmental impacts, be an extremely expensive bit of road. It will cost an estimated $400-500 million dollars in total. That is $100 million per kilometre or $1million for every 10 metres of road. It is just NOT good value for money. This money could likely fund the extension of Tonkin Hwy to the freeway AND upgrades of from the freeway Anketell or Rowley Road ALL the way to the outer harbour.  This is because Anketell and Rowley Roads do not need to go over important wetlands.

I recently drove both of Anketell and Rowley Roads to get a first-hand view of how they could be upgraded for freight transport and I was convinced they could be with both minimal ecological damage and community impact.

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Two, Roe 8 should be canned not only because it is expensive and wasteful of taxpayers dollars – it should also not happen because it is wrong to put a road through an ecologically important wetland when there are workable alternatives.

Three and finally,  we can only have certainty that we will not get a freight freeway carving up White Gum Valley, Fremantle, North Fremantle and other suburbs if Roe 8 doesn’t get built.

Roe 8 is going to be a major issue over the next few months. Fremantle Council has opposed this road for well over a decade and our opposition will continue.

Urbantopia: Looking to the past to inspire Fremantle’s future


In a recent art installation, Urbantopia, from artist Josie McGushin and the City of Fremantle, local primary school children were asked a simple question: “What would you like Freo to look like in 50 years?”

Challenging the students to create their answer out of used cardboard – crafting buildings, drawings and paintings – the result was an immersive installation, encouraging everyone from parents to passers by to participate.

Cara Westerman, Associate Director at Hames Sharley, happened to be one of those passers by, and was thrilled by what she saw.

“I wandered past the installation when I was out getting coffee on the weekend and my immediate thought was, this is really exciting,” Cara said.

“It struck a chord with me because it was really calling on the next generation to think about planning, design and development.

“It did everything that an engagement piece should – bring everyone together to participate in a dialogue about what the next generation imagines our city to be, and at the end of the day, they will be the ones connected to our city in 50 years’ time.”

Having recently been named by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2016, Fremantle is finally getting the recognition it deserves as a city that has used urban planning to bring together the old and the new with seamless authenticity.

Coming in at number seven on the list, Lonely Planet said that the port city was “a raffish harbour town with sea-salty soul to burn,” a city that, “thrums with live-music rooms, hipster bars, boutique hotels, left-field bookshops, craft-beer breweries, Indian Ocean seafood shacks, buskers, beaches and students on the run from the books.”

But it hasn’t always been a cultural mecca for students and hipsters.

The City of Fremantle was established in 1929 on the coat-tails of the gold and wheat boom of the late 1800s, which also financed the construction of Freo’s impressive late Victorian and early Edwardian buildings.

But when the boom ended, Perth became the economic centre of Western Australia, leaving Fremantle, and its beautiful buildings, to deteriorate over time.

Historically, any restoration of the city had been aligned with major port-related events, from the construction of an Allied submarine base in World War Two, to its 1987 ‘make-over’ for the America’s Cup Defence.

But with a view to the future, Fremantle introduced a number urban renewal projects in 2012, which have breathed new life into the old city.

“Traditionally Fremantle was a low socio-economic city, with a lot of port workers and a strong migrant population. This is reminiscent of other thriving world-recognised places like Greenwich Village in New York and SoHo in London,” Cara said.

Just like Fremantle, these places have developed through layers of culture and diversity, it’s what makes them unique and rich.

“Those cultural aspects, along with a really strong heritage is what makes Fremantle unique and attractive to new visitors and residents, but its real value is that it has still maintained it’s authenticity of place.

Cara believes that renewal and rediscovery is now more than ever about place and how development contributes to the context, environment and its future evolution and possibility.

“Interestingly, many elements of Urbantopia were the established cultural icons of Fremantle, Kings Square and the church, as well as the topography, the beach, the water,” she said.

“These elements of the city are fixed for everyone, so over the next 50 years it will really be about how the city develops around them and how it will integrate new ideas with old.”

When thinking about Fremantle in 50 years’ time, Cara is hopeful that future planners will understand this balance between progressive development and maintaining a sense of place.

In terms of legacy and the decisions made today which will impact tomorrow’s generation, Cara also reflects on Fremantle’s commitment to sustainability.

The first council in Australia to outlaw the use of non-degradable plastic bags, in January 2013, Fremantle became a BioRegional One Planet Council in September 2014, displaying its commitment to implementing ten key sustainability principles by 2020.

These principals include: culture and community; equity and local economy; health and happiness; land use and wildlife; sustainable food; sustainable materials; sustainable transport; sustainable water; zero carbon; and zero waste.

“As a One Planet Council Fremantle’s policy decisions will now focus even more on the future sustainability of the city,” Cara said.

“We’ve been working with The City of Fremantle and Landcorp, on a project that applied the One Planet principles. This enables us to go beyond business as usual and plan for something aspirational and future purposed.

“It’s exciting because Fremantle is really thinking outside the box, and that’s where innovation is born.”


Update on Burt/Vale Street Scheme Amendment

Scheme Amendment No. 57 relating to the Housing Authority-owned site at 19-25 Burt Street, Fremantle was recently approved by the Minister for Planning. The amendment was approved in the form endorsed by the Freo Council on 28 January 2015. The main provisions of this amendment are as follows:

  • An increase in the residential density coding of the site to R160 (previously R60).
  • Maximum building height limits determined by height planes fixed at Australian Height Datum heights rather than height above ground level, due to varied site topography. Broadly allows for 3 storey development on the highest part of the site adjoining East St, 4-5 storeys in the centre section adjoining Vale St, and 5 storeys on the lowest section adjoining Skinner St. Additional controls applying to development close to Skinner St would effectively require the height to step down to 2-3 storeys if new buildings are built up to the minimum street setback.
  • Design requirements relating to access (primarily to be taken from Vale St) and integration of site landscaping with road reserve verge treatments and retention of existing trees.

In association with the scheme amendment, the Housing Authority has executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the City of Fremantle which includes:

  • Incorporate a mix of social, other affordable and market housing (45% affordable of which 10-15% shall be public housing);
  • Provide at least 25% of all dwellings to be readily adaptable to accommodate people with disabilities;
  • Achieve a 5 Star Green Star (or equivalent) environmentally sustainable design standard;
  • Contribute public art to a value equivalent to 1% of the development cost, located on or within 200m of the site.

vale street

FYI FTI is available

This press release went out this morning:

The City of Fremantle has today advertised a public call for proposals for a new tenant to lease the historic Old Boys’ School in central Fremantle.

Located at 92 Adelaide Street, the newly-restored 161 year old former school building is now available for lease, with the City inviting proposals from organisations or individuals interested in becoming part of Fremantle’s ongoing renaissance.

City of Fremantle Manager Economic Development & Marketing Tom Griffiths said the City will favour applications that are innovative, financially sustainable, inclusive of the community and add to the economic and cultural fabric of Fremantle.

“It’s a fantastic heritage building located right in the middle of the up-and-coming east end of Fremantle so it’s very important we attract a tenant or tenants that will add to this area’s transformation,” Mr Griffiths said.

“With this in mind, we’ve developed comprehensive guidelines to ensure the new use integrates well with the character of the local precinct, provides a community benefit and has a positive impact on the local economy –  We also want tenants committed to a future in Fremantle.

“It’s a really unique building that lends itself to a number of uses and creative ideas for how it can be used, so we’re also inviting applications from smaller groups and individuals who may be interested in forming a collective or subletting part of the building. We’re certainly flexible and open to suggestions.”

The agreement will comprise a commercial lease for the entire building (1 100m²) or part of the building with the ability for the City to sublet parts of the building. Rent is non-negotiable and based on an independent market valuation of $40 000 pa.

161 years of history

Beginning life as a one room school in 1854, the Fremantle Boys’ School, along with the Perth Boys’ School in St Georges Terrace, was the earliest government-built educational building in Western Australia.

The building was most recently used by the Film and Television Institute of Western Australia (FTI) as their headquarters and place of operation. FTI vacated in 2014 to allow for current restoration works and were given first right of refusal for a new lease of the property which they have decided not to exercise.

The Fremantle Boys’ School site is owned by the State and vested to the City of Fremantle. It was permanently listed on the State Register of Heritage Places in 2001.

Call for proposals

To view the selection criteria and eligibility requirements, and to submit an application, people are asked to visit the City of Fremantle’s My Say portal. Proposals must be submitted via the online portal before 5.00 pm (AWST) 22 January 2016, with the premises expected to be available from March 2016.


Site open days will be held from Monday 30 November, Wednesday 2 December and Thursday 3 December. Visit the My Say portal for registration details and times.

old boys school 1911 with tin roof

Freo’s post-car yard transformation

The replacement of a low value use like an old car dealership with 160 odd new apartments is a great symbol of Fremantle’s latest transformation. Nice to see these getting built so quickly (excuse the photographic pun).

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