Missy Higgins Kicks Off Concerts at J-Shed

It was really great to see the first big concert work so well at J Shed last night. It was one of those idyllic warm summer nights. A zephyr like Fremantle Doctor and the glow of the lights of Bathers Beach and Fishing Boat Harbour made for a special backdrop.

Missy Higgins concert was sold out and around 1000 people attended the expanded J Shed concert format. In my view it was a success not only because those who came clearly thought it was an amazing spot for concert but also because the fears articulated in the public advertising period – including traffic impacts, noise and anti-social behaviour – did not appear.

What we had instead was a wonderfully relaxed and diverse concert audience from under 7 weeks to over 70 years of age, all well behaved.

After a tasty feed from one of the half dozen or so food trucks, a short welcome from the City of Fremantle to all attending and an acknowledgment of Noongar country, I left the concert about half way through to check out the noise impacts on the West End that had been hotly debated.

Up behind the Roundhouse at the lookout there were a few people and families enjoying the view and music but once you were around the other side at the Roundhouse’s front door you could only hear the music from Bathers Beach House and the Kelp Bar. Surprisingly none from the J Shed concert. Once down on High Street in the West End there was almost no sound from the concert at all as far as I could tell. While I expect that different concerts and wind conditions will have varied results in regard to noise it was good to experience it working so well (and how we were advised it largely would) on its first night.

These concerts were undoubtedly one of the most controversial parts of the J Shed approval and what its first big night showed is that it can work well and 12 or so of these a year would not not be an unreasonable imposition.

I’d be interested in others feedback as we are seeing the first 12months or so as a bit of a trial where we can iron out issues. Personally I am looking forward to the next one and J Shed becoming an iconic concert destination.

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West End State Heritage Listing Open for Public Comment


The State Heritage Office launched their next phase of stakeholder engagement on the proposal to register the West End today. Packages have now gone out to all stakeholders and additional information and links all the documentation and forms is now on their website.


The State Heritage Office will also set up an information kiosk at the Hotel Fremantle building (cnr Cliff and High) on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 March so people can drop in and ask questions.

For the biggest heritage listing EVER in WA to be successful we need as many stakeholders as possible to put in a submission supporting the West End registration. This doesn’t mean we all have to agree on the exact boundaries but it would be great to see everyone get behind the broad principle to see this WA icon get the recognition it deserved on the state’s heritage list.

The period for providing comments on registration will be open until Monday 2 May 2016.

West end zone of significance

Signal Station on Cantonment Hill re-masted

I know many of you have been asking about this iconic Freo building. So it is great to see the mast, fully restored, back on top of  the Signal Station on Cantonment Hill. One step closer to having this great community  asset used and open once again.


Celebrating a mushroom milestone!

Several of you have asked me to provide little updates on how the successful applicant of last year’s One Planet FreoMatch funding program are progressing. Here is the first of these looking at Lifecykel who are turning waste coffee ground into gourmet mushrooms … by bike.

Here is their latest update:



What’s one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This saying resonates to Julian and my bones – so much that our entire mushroom farm consists of utilised waste products. Imagine if we could build one farm to advance health and protect the environment. Imagine if we could transform used sea containers into an insulated mushroom laboratory that’s resilient to Perth’s heat. A fungi farm that’s space efficient, powered by used cooking oil on a proximal urban block in Fremantle. Proximal enough to cycle our second hand bicycle that tows an old ‘kiddy carrier’ transformed to a coffee waste collection trailer…

The Kick Start We Needed

Many people nationwide have backed our vision for connecting Australians to grow their own mushrooms from coffee waste and October 30th, 2015 marked the first milestone. We raised $30,000 in a crowd funding campaign to do so. An overwhelming support was felt by us from families and individuals from all Aussie states! Local business sponsors were tremendous from Encycle, Gesha Coffee Co., Antz Inya Pantz, Sparrow’s Simplicities and Simply Carbon. The City of Fremantle were our biggest fans who kick started our journey by inviting our project to be a part  the Freo Match One Planet Living project and contributing a whopping $15,000 to the campaign.

The Farm to Fruition

On the 21st of February 2016 Australia’s first urban mushroom farm is open for production! Julian’s 50kg coffee collection went smoothly as Gesha Coffee Co., Bib and Tucker, May Street Larder and The Shipping Lane all diverted their waste from landfill and onto local food production. Julian suited up and got mixing. The bags are looking pristine on the shelf and ready for inoculation!

We can’t wait to be back on the bike tomorrow for more coffee collection. The end goal of connecting people to growing food at home and utilising valuable waste is a constant motivator that keeps a spring in our step. Check out our special mushroom box presale that offers free delivery nation-wide.


Unlocking future use for Fremantle Prison

The community is invited to participate in a workshop to look at further developing Western Australia’s only World heritage-listed built-heritage site, Fremantle Prison tomorrow night.

Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said.”Fremantle Prison is a significant part of our State’s cultural heritage, and its tours, public programs and exhibitions are appreciated by almost 200,000 people a year.  These tours generate necessary income to help conserve this World heritage-listed site,”

“The last major plan for the prison was prepared in 2003 and, with most of its recommendations now implemented, it is time to consider how we build on this great foundation to promote the ongoing use and sustainability of this great asset for future generations.”

Originally built by convict labour in the 1850s, Fremantle Prison operated as WA’s primary place of incarceration until November 1991.

In January 1992, the site opened to the public for tours and, since this time, has become a significant destination for interstate and overseas visitors.  It also features a number of tenants including a cafe, YHA hostel, a small business support office and a children’s literature centre.


The workshop is at 6pm on Tuesday, February 23 at the prison.  To register, phone 9336 9205 or email functions@fremantleprison.com.au

Picture 8

Fremantle in 1982 via Micko’s Horse & Cart Tour

A few years ago I put this up but it has been generating some good discussion lately so I thought it worth putting up again

I was truly amazed to see how much Fremantle has changed over the last 30 years. The Norfolk Hotel appears it was the Cobblers, Henderson St wasn’t a mall, The Woolstores were more than a shopping centre, Bathers Beach was a run-down ship yard, and the Fremantle Hotel sold Swan Lager ! There aren’t many trees either.

It is also amazing how much stays the same. It really is worth a look.


Batteries the Catatylst for an Energy Tranformation

I finally caught up on watching this recent and inspiring episode of Catalyst.

As they conclude: “There is a revolution coming of 24 hour renewable energy” The WGV project in Freo gets a good mention about 20 minutes in and Josh’s house in Hilton is also in it.

It is really worth a look