Sculpture at Bathers (Beach) back for 2017

Great to see Sculpture at Bathers (Beach) back again in 2017. It kicked off this weekend and once again will display of the best West Australia’s sculpture scene and story until March 12.

As the program states: “At the heart of this artist run exhibition is the overriding belief that it is important to promote and embed the works of our Western Australian artists in the consciousness of local, national and international audiences.”

It is once again a wonderful show and well worth checking out. Here are a few snaps


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Freo Oval Deal Finalized with Dockers

After  long negotiations I am pleased to say that the City of Fremantle and the Fremantle Football Club have reached an agreement which will see Fremantle Oval returned to the community and redeveloped as a vibrant precinct hosting a wide range of cultural and sporting events, including AFL Women’s games.

This was well covered in the media today including:


In summary, following negotiations with the Fremantle Football Club (FFC), the City of Fremantle is set to resume the 37 year head lease of Fremantle Oval via a $1.5m settlement paid in instalments to the FFC over a three year period.

Now that we have finalised the lease negotiation with the Dockers we can get on with transforming the oval and surrounding precinct into a valuable community asset with cultural and sporting events all year round

As you would have read previously, the redevelopment of the Fremantle Oval precinct is one of two priority projects identified by council (the other being the development of the South Quay area of Fremantle Port) for their potential to generate jobs, redevelop currently underutilised assets and maximise social and economic benefits to the state.


Temporary relocation of City staff to Fremantle Oval

A key outcome of the lease agreement is the ability for the City to utilise the oval buildings as temporary offices later this year.

Temporary administration offices will be required while the current council administration building is demolished and new offices built as part of the $250m Kings Square cultural precinct redevelopment.

This will involve transferring staff from the current office in Kings Square to the Fremantle Oval office administration buildings for a period of 2+ years while construction of the new offices is being completed.

We’ve looked at multiple options for temporary staff accommodation, including the adjacent Stan Reilly site, but relocating to Fremantle Oval is by far the cheapest and most viable option

Initial estimates for temporary accommodation in the Fremantle city centre were above $3 million so reaching this agreement has pleasingly resulted in significant savings for Fremantle ratepayers.

Relocating to Fremantle Oval also provides an opportunity to bring forward plans to deliver more than 160 new car bays at the Stan Reilly site which will provide inner city parking and a new revenue stream.”


Sponsorship agreement

Separate to the lease agreement, the City and the Dockers are currently negotiating a long-term sponsorship deal for the Dockers to retain a strong presence in their spiritual home of Fremantle.

This is expected to include AFL Women’s games and member days at Fremantle Oval, a club store in Fremantle and game tickets allocated to the City of Fremantle for distribution to the community.

We’re very pleased the Dockers are committed to retaining and strengthen the links the club has built up with the local Fremantle community over the past two decades


Relocation of St Patrick’s Community Housing facilities

A key consideration of any development of Fremantle Oval is the relocation of the St Patricks Community Housing facilities, which provides short-term crisis accommodation for at-risk men.

The facilities are currently located at the Stan Reilly site on the corner of South Terrace and Parry Street. This site forms part of the broader redevelopment plans for the precinct and therefore an alternate location will be required for these services.

Recognising the value of the services offered by St Patrick’s, Fremantle Council has agreed to contribute $200,000 to assist with relocating the service to a new site in the region.

The Stan Reilly site is a big part of the redevelopment plans but the work St Patricks do out of this site is critical. I’m pleased we’ve been able to work with them to provide funding for an alternate long-term location where they can continue their great work in the community.


People Cities: the Legacy of Jan Gehl

This week a few us from the City of Fremantle had the pleasure of siting down and having a chat with acclaimed Danish urban planner Jan Gehl.  Jan was over in Australia to reflect on the work he had in Australian cities such as Melbourne and Perth.

He was also here to be part of a celebration and launch of a book on his extraordinary contribution to make cities all around the world better places for people. People Cities: the Life and Legacy of Jan Gehl is written by Curtin University’s Professor Peter Newman and Dr Annie Matan (who now works at the City of Fremantle advising us on sustainable city planning.

Jan’s contribution has been impressive and you can see this especially in his home town of Copenhagen where a few years ago I got to meet him and be shown around – on bike of course – the city by his impressive staff at Gehl Architects. In Copenhagen more people ride each day than drive a car and it has been said “a 10-year-old child can now cycle across the city because of an emphasis on safe intersection crossings.”.

Here is the link to the talk he gave while he was here. It is inspiring:


MANY changes but staying 6160

MANY 6160  is Australia’s largest temporary space activation project (possible the largest anywhere in the world but as they say it is a bit hard to know how to measure this) .

Since Spacemarket opened it in October 2013, the former department store has become a fabulous cutting edge retail space with producers above and a gallery below.

But all good things must … well … change and evolve and MANY 6160 V1.0 is closing and moving on so the Kings Square project can get underway.

In fact this weekend (18/19) is their last in the old Myer building (check out the leaving event below) and I think you’ll agree that the project has been a huge success for Fremantle and exceeded expectations in terms of longevity and quality. The City of Fremantle has been working closely with the MANY team since the project launched and lately on their transition plan.

So the exciting news is that MANY 6160 will transition to MANY 2.0 in three other under-utilised buildings in Fremantle:

Big parts of the retail floor will be relocating to 52 Adelaide St (old-Spotlight). It will be great to see that area get some much needed reactivation.

The production floor will largely go into 45 Henderson St (the Old Police Station) and 135 Stirling Hwy (Old Matilda Bay Brewery).

I am extremely pleased to see this amazing initiative continue and evolve. MANY has been a key part of keeping Fremantle unique and creative.

The leaving party is next Friday the 24th. All welcome.




“Life After Coal”; North Freo Forum.

Energy, from coal to renewables, has been a topic of hot conversation around the nation this week and in North Fremantle this week it continues with Professor Peter Droege from the University of Liechtenstein speaking on “ Life After Coal – International Examples Of Post Coal Prosperity And Lessons For Collie WA”

This forum will explore international examples where regional centers that have relied on fossil fuel industries have been renewed and revitalised through a transition to renewable energy.

Learnings from one of the world’s leading experts on planning and infrastructure development for renewable energy will be combined with local knowledge and research to explore the potential and pathway for a renewable energy transition in Collie in Western Australia.

Event Details

Thursday 16 February 6pm – 8pm

North Fremantle Community Hall, 2 Thompson Rd, North Fremantle


ABOUT Professor Peter Droege

Prof Peter Droege and the Liechtenstein Institute for Strategic Development pursue post carbon regions with local communities and regional governments. Peter is in Perth to share insight into his current initiative of devising structural change in one of Europe’s largest brown coal mining regions, drawing encouragement and insight from similar developments elsewhere. The obvious need and opportunity for Collie to make a similar journey will be the focus for discussion.

Peter Droege has been an academic in Australia (Newcastle and Sydney universities), America (MIT), Japan (Uni of Tokyo) and now at University of Liechtenstein. He has books on The Renewable City (2006), Urban Energy Transition (2008), 100% Renewable (2012) and has been a powerful leader of academic and policy-based research on how cities and regions can create good economic outcomes by moving to renewables.

Sustainable Energy Now (SEN)

Western Australian research and advocacy group SEN has developed a ground-breaking model to examine pathways and opportunities for renewable energy uptake in the Southwest Interconnected System. Ben Rose from SEN will present some recent findings from this model, with a focus on jobs and economic development opportunities for Collie over the next decade.

Women’s Football has a Huge Debut at Freo Oval

History was made at Fremantle Oval today with the first AFL women’s game to be played in WA fought out between the Fremantle Dockers and the Brisbane Lions.

There was a capacity crowd of 10,000 people and a fun family atmosphere. While the Dockers were defeated after a tight, hard-fought game it was great to witness this historic occasion. We hope to be able to make this a regular feature at Freo Oval.

Here are a few snaps of the day:


Australia Ship Simulation Centre Opening – A Future Freo Business, Now.

This week I got to do quite a unique opening which included the unique smashing of a virtual bottle of champagne on a virtual ship’s bow.

It was largely virtual because the opening was of the new specialist Australia Ship Simulation Centre in Fremantle’s Atwell Arcade. The Australia Ship Simulation Centre is owned and operated by UK- based HR Wallingford and provides expert navigation consultancy and a dedicated Pilot training centre for Western Australia and the wider region.

The opening was a memorable evening but it was also more than this. It is significantly another good example of what I believe will increasingly key part of the future of the Fremantle economy – high tech/innovation focused businesses, often with a specialist marine focus.

The now fully leased Atwell Arcade office building has become a hub of innovative marine and sustainability businesses. When seen alongside the recent completion of the MSC headquarters in Cliff Street, there is pleasingly a steady growth in high quality, nationally significant employment in the heart of Fremantle.

There is plenty more to do but significant openings like this are steps towards Fremantle as a distinctive and vibrant second city.


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