Fremantle Business Awards are back for 2016.

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the 2016 Fremantle Business Awards are back for 2016.

Each year the Business Awards attracts over 400 business owners and employees and is a night to acknowledge the achievement and excellence of businesses across the Fremantle region. The Awards aim to increase recognition of the positive contributions of local businesses whilst acknowledging the determination, innovation and commitment integral to business success.

The always fun and glamorous awards night will be held on Friday, 10 June 2016 at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges.

But the important thing is you nominate for the awards – either yourself or a business you love.


CATEGORIES: There are 12 categories to choose from, with the option of entering in up to 3 categories if desired.

Click here to view the categories.

ENTRY INFORMATION: Contact Zoe Saunders at the Chamber on or 9335 2711 to obtain an entry toolkit.

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METALurges at Moores Gallery

I popped into the City of Fremantle owned and run Moores Gallery today to check out the METALurges art exhibition by Ryan Cant. I love how Moores has a diverse by high quality range of art that rotates though and is for sale. It is worth checking out. It  runs April 22- May 8. Henry Street Fremantle.

Kings Square Agreement Extended (on Good Advice)

Last night was another big Fremantle Council meeting with the item of most interest being the six month extension of the agreement with Sirona for the Kings Square project.

Disappointingly a lot of inflammatory and inaccurate accusations have been thrown around by members of the Fremantle Society and others in recent weeks. This is including what their “experts” (not involved in the detail of this agreement) are purported to be saying.  It is worth noting that, despite multiple requests, the Fremantle Society have still not been able to provide the name of a single expert willing to put their names to their claims.

In contrast the City of Fremantle used a range of independent experts and consultants – who all were willing to put their names to their advice – with extensive experience to provide advice and review including:

  • Leedwell Strategic including Matthew Adcock as the lead consultant that prepared the business case, supported by Cameron Bryson.
  • David Shetliffe (co-author Fremantle Retail Model Plan) – project facilitator
  • CBRE – 2012 valuation of Properties
  • Ralph Bailey Bosworth (RBB) – quantity surveyors
  • RSM Bird Cameron – due diligence
  • Jackson McDonald – legal advice and support
  • Australian Property Group – peer review (property)
  • 3M Property Group – 2016 valuations

As the City of Fremantle CEO said; “Without exception, each of these consultants has considerable standing in their respective fields of expertise.  In terms of meeting your fiduciary responsibilities as elected members, having the City contract this depth of expertise to provide advice throughout the development of the business plan more than satisfies the requirements”.

Last night was also a good night to clarify some the questions around the valuations of the City of Fremantle owned properties. The Fremantle Society has misleadingly being pushing the line that: “Fremantle Council was selling $50 million worth of assets for $29 million…at well below market prices.” It is hard to work out how they arrived at this inflated figure but looking at their public presentation last week it looks as though they mistakenly assumed the sale of the Newman Court, the Civic Triangle and they assumed that the cinemas were a fully leased asset. None of this is true and Sirona is paying FULL market value for our properties. My frustration around this is that there have been multiple offers to meet with the Fremantle Society and go through the detail of the agreement but this has not been taken up. I guess it is harder to put out a scare campaign if you have all the information in front of you.

The good news is that we heard last night is that the Dept of Finance decision of State Government office commitments is imminent. The final stage is that this now has to go through the Economic Review Committee and Cabinet before their recommendation is made public. While we do not know if Kings Square will be the winner of this competitive process, what we do know is that by renewing the agreement we can honestly say that we gave it our best shot.


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ALP Team in Freo Today

It was good to have some of the key members of the State Labor Party including Mark McGowan (opposition leader) Rita Saffioti (Shadow Minister for Planning; Finance; Government Accountability; and Women’s Interests.) Ben Wyatt (Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in Western Australia)   and local member Simone McGurk in Fremantle today.

We gave a presentation and had a solid discussion on some key Fremantle issues including:

  • Government Office accommodation relocation to Fremantle.
  • Fremantle Railway Station forecourt upgrade and bus-port relocation.
  • Planning for public transport and rail links to Cockburn and Murdoch.
  • Perth Freight Link and Outer Harbour.
  • South Quay Redevelopment.
  • Fremantle Oval Redevelopment.

We also did a walk around Fremantle as well to give their leadership team a sense of the opportunities Fremantle offered going forward.

(And to those of you concerned about political bias, the City of Fremantle has also requested meetings with each of their counterparts in the liberal Government).


Freo Tyre Slashing: Police Seeking Info

It is extremely frustrating adaptation upsetting  to hear about the extreme bout of tyre slashing around Fremantle the last few days (and less intensively weeks). It is hard to imagine what the motivation of these vandal(s) might be but if you have any information please let the police know.

The police diverted substantial resources today to knock on doors and seek information but if you have further info:

The Police reference CAD 275528.
Police telephone number 131 444.




New Freo Business of the Week – PianoEasy

Freo business come in many shapes and sizes and this week,s is a little business called PianoEasy isn’t entirely new but it is just about to start new piano lessons for adults (so I was happy to bend the rules a bit)

Fremantle local Anneka Pearton teaches her own PianoEasy method, which she developed right here in Fremantle and she promises me that it is the absolutely most enjoyable way to learn the piano very quickly and very thoroughly. She thinks even I could do it but that might have to wait until after the Mayoral schedule quietens down a bit.

She teaches at her studio is in the old kindy at Freo Primary and her students can be seen playing on all the local pianos: at the markets, Moondyne Joe’s, now the Local Hotel, etc. etc.

I especially like this clip where she  recently took a whole lot of kids to Hilton Nursing Home

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Robert Drew to launch the Fremantle Heritage Festival

Robert Drewe was assigned to the Fremantle office of The West Australian  in 1961 when he began his career as a cadet reporter.  There was rich fodder for an intrepid young journalist:  unsolved murders, boating disasters, prison escapes, heaving brothels, hotel bloodhouses and wild ambulance rides, all of which belied the town’s apparent mercantile respectability.  Since then, Robert has become one of the nation’s most notable storytellers, famous for such works as The Bodysurfers and The Shark Net.

In this special sunset launch of the Fremantle Heritage Festival (27th of May 2016 at 6:30pm at Corner of Croke Street and Cliff Street), Robert will demonstrate how truth, myth and story can sometimes make for the best of histories.

This event also includes the launch of Fremantle: Empire, Faith and Conflict (the latest volume of Studies in Western Australian History) and showcases some of Fremantle’s best history-makers in market stalls.

RSVP: or 9433 0575

Here is a good snip of it from the West today

my fair freo robert drew