Summary of Fremantle council meeting held 27 April 2015
May 12, 2016 Leave a comment
Below is a summarised version of key aspects of the most recent meeting of Freo Council.
The full agenda and minutes of this and previous meetings can be found in the agendas and minutes section of the City’s website.
- Council extends Kings Square project contract
- Increased density in key locations along South Street
- Ten year community strategic plan adopted
- City to continue to use a combination of chemical and non-chemical weed management methods
- Public toilet upgrades for Freo
Council extends Kings Square project contract
Council has approved a six month extension to its contract with Sirona Capital (owner of the former Myer building) to develop the $220m Kings Square Project. The extension is for six months from 9 May 2016 to 9 November 2016.
Sirona is one of two companies bidding (via a formal state government tender process) to accommodate a major state government agency in Fremantle. The six month extension will enable Sirona to complete the final stages of this process.
If successful in its bid, Sirona will refurbish the former Myer building and rebuild the adjacent Queensgate building to provide office space suitable for up to 1 500 state government workers to relocate to Fremantle; as well as adding vibrant new street level retail elements.
Importantly, Sirona securing a major tenant would also trigger the start of the broader public project which will deliver enhanced public spaces including new playgrounds and public toilet facilities, civic buildings including a state-of- the-art library; and a new visitor centre.
The City’s Economic Development Strategy adopted in 2010 identified the Kings Square precinct as a priority area for redevelopment, noting the City owned significant property holdings in the precinct.
With Myer not renewing its lease with the private owners of the Myer building (Sirona Capital) and Hoyts indicating to the City it would not renew its lease of the Queensgate Centre, planning commenced to find solutions to this situation.
Collaboration between the Myer building owners and the City led to a MOU being signed in 2011 that provided an exclusivity period for Sirona to develop a proposal for a whole of precinct redevelopment.
After 18 months of ideas exploration and due diligence assessments, the City developed a comprehensive business plan that was advertised for public comment in late 2012. Following consideration of feedback on that business plan, it was adopted by council in February 2013.
The business plan provided the details for an integrated project that would see the sale and redevelopment of council-owned properties and the Myer building in the Kings Square Precinct for the purposes of commercial office and retail accommodation.
As this project is a fully integrated precinct project, the plan also requires the redevelopment of the City’s library, visitor centre, and civic and administration centre. The total project value is estimated at $220 million.
Following the adoption of the business plan, the City entered into a formal contract with Sirona which was signed on 10 May 2013. The period of the contract was, after a formal extension in 2015, for three years expiring on 9 May 2016.
Recently, Sirona wrote to the City requesting a short extension to the contract to allow the state government to complete its government accommodation tender process for the relocation of up to 1500 workers to Fremantle.
If the Kings Square submission by Sirona is successful with government, the government office requirement will underpin this project and the project could commence as early as first quarter 2017.Indications are that a final recommendation will be made to Cabinet mid-year with an expected announcement on the successful bidder to be known by August or September 2016.
Increased density in key locations along South Street
Following extensive community engagement, council has adopted planning scheme amendment 65 which will increase density in a location known as the White Gum Valley/Beaconsfield Local Centre. (between Central and Fifth Avenue)
Amendment 65 is the most recent in a series of planning scheme amendments designed to stimulate commercial activity and increase the number of residents along South Street, which is considered a major, but underdeveloped transport corridor.
The amendments will increase density from (R20/R25) up to a density of (R80/100) in selected zones. This will result in building heights of up to four storeys and will help deliver more residents and commercial floor space.
The benefits of amendment 65 include:
- a wider range of housing types along South Street
- more shops, services and amenities for the area
- more people living and working along South Street
- increased opportunities for walking, cycling and use of public transport
- improved personal safety through increased on-street activity and passive surveillance of public spaces
The amendment is now with the WA Planning Commission who will make a final decision on whether to approve it.
In 2014 the City undertook investigations regarding its ability to encourage higher-density mixed use and residential redevelopment along South Street
South Street connects key employment, health, rail and education services and infrastructure in Fremantle and Murdoch and is an ideal location for more mixed-use redevelopment. To allow for this development, amendments to the current town planning scheme were required.
The City has identified three suitable locations along South Street for more intensive mixed use redevelopment. Each area has required a separate amendment to the City’s town planning scheme to create more vibrant, attractive and sustainable community areas.
The three amendments focus on more choice of housing types, new spaces for commercial businesses, and enhancing South Street’s position as a key transit route.
The three areas identified are:
- Hilton Local Centre – planning scheme amendment No.64
- White Gum Valley/Beaconsfield Local Centre – planning scheme amendment No.65
- South Street and Hampton Road intersection (western side only) – planning scheme amendment No.66
Ten year community strategic plan adopted
Council has adopted its new 10 year strategic community plan (2015-25) which is the overarching document that sets out the vision, aspirations and objectives of the local community for the next ten years.
The new plan builds on the previous 5 year strategic plan and is based on the following key principles:
- Health and happiness – Creating an environment where it is easy for people to lead safe, happy and healthy lives.
- Economic Development – Diversify and strengthen Fremantle’s economic capacity.
- Transport and connectivity – Enhance the connectivity throughout the City of Fremantle and other strategic economic hubs and population centres.
- Places for people – Create great spaces for people through innovative urban and suburban design.
- Environmental responsibility – Develop environmentally sustainable solutions for the benefit of current and future generations.
- Character, culture and heritage – Sustain and grow arts and culture and preserve the importance of our social capital, built heritage and history
- Capability – Provide strong leadership through good governance, effective communication and excellence in delivery.
The plan outlines a series of measurable objectives in each of these areas and will be available on the City’s website shortly.
As a way of guiding the new strategic plan the City embarked on an extensive community visioning initiative (Fremantle 2029), aimed to get a better understanding of the community’s vision and values for the future of Fremantle.
The workshops provided the participants with information about the long-term strategic issues facing council and an opportunity to have their say on key Fremantle issues as well as provide their vision for the future of Fremantle.
Throughout 2013, four community workshops were held. Each workshop was centred on one of the four key visioning questions.
- What do you value most about our community and place (June 2013)
- What do you think are the key issues we will face in the future (July 2013)
- What are our visions for Fremantle (August 2013)
- What actions can be done at the local level to achieve our vision (November 2013)
In addition, three stakeholder forums were held which included, a combined precinct group forum, a Fremantle Chamber of Commerce member’s forum and a forum at the Meeting Place. In total there were approximately 1,000 participants who came to one or more of these events.
The key themes that emerged from the visioning process were considered when identifying the focus areas for the new strategic community plan.
City to continue to use a combination of chemical and non-chemical weed management methods
The City will continue with its current integrated approach (a combination of targeted chemical, mechanical and chemical-free steam methods) to control weeds in parkland, streets and bushland.
The decision by council came after a comprehensive assessment by City officers on the most appropriate methods of weed control, taking into account public health, public opinion, cost and effectiveness. This included assessing a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report into the potential health effects of the weed killing chemical Glyphosate (as found in Roundup).
The City will continue to use the steam method in areas where residents may be most often exposed to control methods. In other areas such as bushland, a mixture of mechanical and chemical methods will be used.
As part of its resolution, council will consider the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority’s assessment of glyphosate report (when released) and any implications this may have on the City’s future weed management approach.
The City’s current approach to weed management is aimed at minimising chemical use while maintaining parks, streets and bushland to a level acceptable to the community. The objective is to prioritise public safety and environmental protection by treating the target species only.
In recent years the costs for non-chemical weed control in the City of Fremantle has risen substantially relative to typical chemical methods. This is due to greater labour intensity and equipment costs.
Given this cost increase, and recent world media attention in relation to the use of glyphosate, council asked City officers to review the current practices and recommend an approach going forward.
Following this review, City officers recommended the current combination approach as the best option when weighing up all the factors.
Public toilet upgrades for Freo
Council has endorsed a public toilet improvement plan to improve public toilet facilities in Fremantle.
The plan aims to better align the quality of public toilets with community expectations, identify priority areas for future development and produce design principles to reduce common issues in new facilities.
The priority actions from the plan are:
- $150k pa over the next three years ($450k) for improvements to all facilities to meet user expectations and address issues as they arise.
- develop a concept design for new South Beach public toilets and associated infrastructure – $100k
- produce a business plan for a new facility on the Corner of Collie Street and Market Street Fremantle – $20k
- develop design standards for future public toilet – $20k
- implement clear and coherent signage which integrated with current way finding project – $100k (currently underway)
The Public Toilet Working Group was formed in early 2015 and incorporated the following items as part of its scope of work:
- Collecting data related to public toilets including locations, hours of operation and facilities.
- Reviewing the cleaning program.
- Reviewing public complaints relating to individual facilities.
- Feedback from cleaning contractors about the delivery challenges.
- Site visits to City of Fremantle toilets to identify and understand the issues and challenges related to each facility.
The working group met regularly to review the data and discuss ideas for input into a Public Toilets Improvement Plan. The work highlighted that some of the City’s public toilets are severely constrained by poor designs, which can result in poor access and functionality concerns about safety and difficulty for cleaners to deliver a satisfactory job.
It was also noted that there is a current need for updated or new facilities at South Beach, Esplanade Reserve and the Cappuccino Strip.
Council supports future three bin household waste system
Council has given its support for the Southern Metro Regional Council (SMRC) Draft Strategic Waste Management Plan.
One of the key actions of the report is to implement a coordinated region-wide three bin household waste system with member councils Fremantle, Cockburn, Melville, East Fremantle and Kwinana.
Council views the rollout of a uniform three bin systems across the region would achieve a more efficient use of resources, has the ability to change community behaviour and will provide a more consistent level of service for local communities. With this in mind council will consider a provision of $1.9m in future budgets to cover the cost of implementing a three bin system in Fremantle.
Council currently has no position on the use of Energy from Waste (EfW) which is another key action. A report on the findings of further investigation into the environmental impact, financial viability and legislative framework of EfW is to be brought to council for consideration prior to any commitment to using the technology.
The SMRC owns and operates the Regional Resource Recovery Centre (RRRC) on behalf of its member councils (Fremantle, Cockburn, Melville, East Fremantle and Kwinana). The RRRC encompasses a materials recovery facility, green waste facility and a waste composting facility.
The draft plan identifies the strategic direction for the SMRC which will have significant impact on Fremantle’s waste management operations and future financial budgets.
The draft plan is recommending the introduction of a three bin system (Bin 1 – food organics, Bin 2 green lid garden waste Bin 3 – Recycling) and the transition to residual waste processing at a future Energy from Waste (EfW) facility if economically sustainable.
The introduction of the three bin system would separate clean organics (organic food waste) from residual household waste and recyclables.
This is expected to result in significantly reduced contamination levels in the organics processed into the Waste Composting Facility at the SMRC’s Regional Resource Recovery Centre.
DISCLAIMER – The above newsletter is a summarised version of council meetings designed to convey the key components of council decisions. For more detail and for exact wording on any of the above items the City strongly recommends readers download a full copy of the minutes of this meeting. Minutes can be found in the Agenda and Minutes section of the City’s website