From the Freo Council Chambers in March



Freo Town Hall’s New Look

You might have noticed the scaffolding coming down on the North side of the Fremantle Town Hall unveiling the renovated and de-painted building. I think it looks pretty special.

De-painting (not the technical term) might sound like an odd thing to do but interestingly the town hall was unpainted for most of its life from 1887 to 1965. And for good reason. The layers of paint were removed to both respect the original design intention to make the town hall look like a high-quality, finely detailed stone building as well as allow the walls of the building to breathe and absorb and expel moisture naturally as originally intended.

The $3.1 million exterior renovation project included restoring the external envelope of the building to conserve the existing heritage fabric and protect the interior from further deterioration;  the replacement of roof cladding, painting external timber and metalwork etc; increasing  the capacity of the historically undersized roof drainage system by enlarging gutters, downpipes and stormwater pipes and providing overflow points for extreme weather events and reinstating some decorative items in normally inaccessible areas. For example, cast iron finials to turrets, flag pole etc.

If you get to stop by the slow unveiling is worth a look.




Big Top for Freo

CircusWA has been a vibrant inhabitant of Fremantle for 30 years but they need a new home so they are raising money for a big top tent on Princess May Park which the Freo Council has supported.

To help them raise the $10,000 they need  go to

Here’s what they say about it:

The Big Top will provide a home for our activities, as well as creating an exciting new performance venue. Our dream is that the Big Top will become an inspiring and inclusive space, that will also allow us to engage directly with the community through performances, open days and workshops.

The Big Top will be raised and ready to welcome the public for an open day on Sunday 14 May.

CircusWA is a fixture of the Fremantle community, delivering regular performances at local festivals and events. Raising the Big Top will provide an exciting opportunity to cement CircusWA right in the heart of Fremantle giving circus a visible and accessible home. It will also give us a great base to reach out to the outer metro communities.

Located in Princess May Park, the Big Top will bring new life and excitement to the eastern end of the city. There has not been a Big Top in Fremantle for many years and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to bring the excitement of the Big Top back!


We Want Your Say on Greening Fremantle

The Greening Fremantle Strategy is the culmination of work and input from the local community, Green Plan 2020 Working Group and City of Fremantle.

Key targets and initiatives include:

  • Every worker and resident to be within walking distance to public open space.
  • Progressively increase tree canopy across the city to achieve up to 20 percent by 2020.
  • Design adaptable open space that allows for future flexibility as the community and open space function and needs change over time.
  • Develop links that increase the amount of vegetation and increase habitat and movement between green spaces for native fauna.

There is a survey that City of Fremantle  would love your input on at:

Customs House Development Proposal

I (like just about everyone else in Fremantle) got my first glimpse at a new proposal for the former Customs House this week (see below). I am not surprised that this is scheme that has already divided community opinion.

Some have even said that it shouldn’t even be considered but that is not how the way the planning system works, however. Instead the City of Fremantle is required to process any lawful planning application and send it to the Fremantle Council and the Joint Development Assessment Panel (DAP) for consideration. So just because we are putting it out for advertising doesn’t mean the City of Fremantle planning staff or the Fremantle Council or DAP will support it going ahead. This is just the legally required process.

Another part of the legally required process is that like all of the Fremantle Council members must keep an open mind and not determine a view until it is debated in the Fremantle Council chambers. So I will do that.

All that said, it is important to note a few facts:

First, the buildings in question only remaining heritage are their façades. The rest was gutted in the 1980s when facadism was sadly considered acceptable. The internal additions from this period can certainly be improved on.

Second, five stories in the West End is not something that complies with Fremantle Council policy for this important area and the Council recently rejected it on the Notre Dame site on High Street on this basis.

Third, the whole of the West End is also now on the State Heritage List adding another level of scrutiny and protection.

Finally, it is really important that you have your say too so please do that by going to:

A community information session will be held on 27 April from 5.30 pm – 6.00 pm in the City of Fremantle Reception Room.

Fremantle Network returns on Monday 27 March

The Fremantle Network returns on Monday 27 March featuring:

Adam Jorlen from enkel with an update on plans for the Naval Store and Adin Lang – Friends of Hollis Park and Landcare Australia.

enkel is a collective with a mission to create a new generation of change-makers in WA.

They do this through hosting events & workshops, supporting early-stage social enterprises, running open innovation labs, and much more.

Their plans are well underway to convert the Naval Store at the base of Cantonment Hill into a school for changemakers, including coworking, makerspaces, learning hubs, a climbing wall and café.

Adin Lang is working to establish the Fremantle Landcare Group; a collective of local “friends of” groups to pool resources, funding and share tools and expertise. He hopes to bring together the friends of Boo Park, Clontarf Hill, Cantonment Hill and others locals who love our parks and greenspaces to enable new projects and greater impact through collaboration.

Join us for the discussion from 6pm, Monday 27 March, upstairs at the National Hotel, Fremantle.


Freo’s Ride-In Cinema for Bike Week

To go out with a fun sweat Bike Week in Fremantle will wrap up on Saturday with the Ride-In Cinema. It will bring back all the nostalgic memories of visiting the Drive-in but with a Fremantle twist.

Ride in to Market Street Piazza, park your bike and get dinner from one your favourite spots before settling in to view a series of short films that are related to cycling in some way, shape or form. Don’t get too comfy though, this cinema needs some pedal power to operate.

San Churro’s will be there handing out some free samples and discount vouchers to keep the energy levels up.

Grab a group of friends, family or maybe your neighbours and get pedalling at The Ride-In Cinema to celebrate Bike Week and Neighbourhood Day.

26th of March 2017 at 6:00pm until 8:15pm