Roads, rubbish, responsiveness and renewal the priorities in 2017/18 council budget

This week we passed the latest City of Fremantle  budget. Here is a quick summary that just went out from our media team:

Fremantle Council’s 2017/18 budget includes a renewed focus on delivering essential services to suburban areas.

  • Modest 1.9% rate increase across all rate categories
  • Strong focus on roads, waste services and recycling and delivering more efficient and responsive services to the suburbs
  • $101.3m expenditure which includes $20m on capital projects
  • $10.6m to commence construction of new $50m civic adminstration and library building to renew the centre of Fremantle and provide a boost to the local economy.

Fremantle Council this week adopted its 2017/18 budget which balances the financial requirements of the upcoming $270m Kings Square Renewal project with a renewed focus on delivering efficient and responsive essential services to suburban areas.

A key feature of the budget is a modest 1.9% rate increase at around CPI to minimise financial stress on residents and businesses. This is one of the lowest rate increases in the last 20 years the Fremantle Council has delivered.

The budget includes $79.6m for provision of services and $20m in capital expenditure including $10.6m to begin the once-in-a-generation construction of new community facilities in Kings Square.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the budget has two key elements. One was a major investment in the renewal of the Fremantle city centre, the other a strong focus on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of core services to residents in Fremantle’s suburbs.

“Over the last few years council has concentrated on getting the city centre of Fremantle working again. With a number of new developments and the $270m Kings Square renewal starting this year we feel this recovery is now on the right track. This has enabled this budget to have more of a ‘back to basics’ focus,” said Mayor Pettitt.

“It’s a tough economic climate for everyone so in preparing the 2017/18 budget, council wanted to ensure we kept rate rises to a minimum but in doing so, not affect service levels and support for the local economy,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“We’ve prepared a budget which focuses on delivering some great services to our communuity. This will include one of the most comprehensive verge mowing services in the Perth metropolitan area as well as enhanced rubbish and recycling services for residents.

“There has also been a big budget boost for greening our city and parklands as we seek to plant more trees and meet our target of 20% tree cover by 2020. In addition we will be spending $1.07m at Cantonment Hill to make this the Kings Park of the south for families from all over the region.

“An additional $597k will be put towards additional staff resources dedicated to maintaining popular community open spaces in the city centre and suburbs.

“We’ve also made sure we continue to provide support to our local economy through the addition of more parking bays in and around the Fremantle city centre and continuing our strong tradition of activating Fremantle via our $1 million world-class festival and events program.


Key projects/initiatives (2017/18)

Roads and footpaths

  • $1.9m for road improvements in the city centre and suburban areas
  • $421k for new and upgraded footpaths


  • $990k to deliver 165 new inner city car bays at the Stan Reilly site (corner South Terrace and Parry Streets)
  • $70k to provide overflow parking at Leighton Beach to ease congestion issues during summer months
  • $40k to provide a temporary car park in North Fremantle

Waste services and verge management

  • $597k to improve staff resources to manage suburban open spaces including a new rapid response team for city and suburban areas
  • $70k to increase hours of operation of City’s recycling centre
  • $160k to reimplement residential verge mowing in suburban areas – one of only two councils in WA who provide this service.

Parks and green spaces

  • $5.4m for maintenance of Fremantle’s parks and open spaces
  • $1.07m to continue to upgrade Cantonment Hill into a high-quality community open space
  • $150k to replace play equipment at parks
  • $130k to upgrade parks in Hilton and White Gum Valley
  • $32k to add a lawn area at Bathers Beach

Arts and culture

  • $3.4m for operational expenses, events and exhibitions at the Fremantle Arts Centre
  • $1m for community festivals and events
  • $205k contribution to a major new international public art exhibition in Fremantle

Community facilities

  • $1.8m to begin construction of a modern, multipurpose community and sporting facility at Fremantle Park

For more detailed information visit the Agendas and minutes section of the City’s website.

Find out more about the Kings Square Fremantle Renewal.



The carpet is vacuumed and five stages (and a tram) are set for the City of Fremantle’s much-loved Hidden Treasures Winter Music Series which kicks off next Thursday July 6.

For the past six years Hidden Treasures has given WA music fans a rare peak inside the tucked away, incredibly evocative old venues that dot Fremantle’s West End such as the Buffalo and Navy Clubs.

Now a staple of the local music calendar, Hidden Treasures has developed a reputation as a taste-making showcase of WA’s hottest young acts while also celebrating specially-reformed cult bands from the state’s rich musical past. It’s the unusual audience this creates – crusty rock dogs rubbing shoulders with 19 year-old hipsters – that makes Hidden Treasures such an unpredictable delight.

The unearthed treasures sailing into the Navy Club this year are particularly exciting. On Thursday, Wayne Green & The Phantoms, sweaty ‘70s sungods of the Scarborough Beach Hotel, reform to play a once-in-a-blue-moon Freo show. Likewise, in week two surf titans The Neptunes resurface from Atlantis to play a 30th Anniversary show. Elsewhere cult psychobilly quintet The Automasters restart their well-primed engine but not before we drag one of Australia’s most accomplished ‘sidemen’ – two time Grammy-award winning pedal steel player Lucky Oceans – to finally take centre stage in a career retrospective entitled ‘Lucky Oceans & Friends’.

But Hidden Treasures is no rose-tinted walk down memory lane! This year The Orient, Buffalo Club, National Hotel and Packenham Street Art Space (PSAS) have been programmed as the ultimate, up-to-the-minute WA playlist on shuffle. Swampy noir rockers Rag N Bone, country connoisseurs Ralway Bell, songwriting savants The Chlorines, soul upstarts Demon Days and reggae believers Crucial Rockers are just some of the highlights of this four-week local love in. Another highlight in week one sees the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra collaborating with leading hip hop artists POW Negro, Mathas, POW Negro, Silvertongue, Alex Ford & Hyclass in the two showcase A Hip Hop Hooray.

In 2017 Hidden Treasures will also welcome its first ever roving, ever-changing, venue – the Fremantle Tram. The local tourist shuttle will regularly pick up punters before stopping at picturesque locations such as the North Mole Lighthouse for stripped-back acoustic concerts by artists including Lucy Peach, Timothy Nelson and Steve Parkin.

The good times will continue at the National Hotel with our ever-popular ‘Freonality’ Afterparty DJ Sets where guest DJs include ex-Docker Peter Bell, Koi Child DJs Lucky Oceans and even little old me. I am excited about dusting off some old classics and newbies for a DJ set at The National and taking part in this celebration of WA music.

I love the way Hidden Treasures draws together such a diverse range of music lovers from all over Western Australia. Veteran music fans are exposed to brand new acts and younger punters get to experience the local heroes of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. This community-building element alone makes Hidden Treasures an incredibly valuable part of Fremantle’s cultural calendar.

Tickets to Hidden Treasures are $20 on the night only. Tickets gain you entry to all venues: The Navy Club, Buffalo Club, Packenham St Art Space, The Orient and National Hotel. Hidden Treasures runs from 7:30pm-midnight on July 6, 13, 20 & 27

For the full line-up and timetable head to
Instagram: @freofestivals
Twitter: @freofestivals


New 21st century Fremantle Council building gets heritage tick of approval

The City of Fremantle’s soon-to-be-built $50m administration and library building will enhance the important heritage aspects of Fremantle’s Kings Square according to a recently received heritage impact statement.

The independent report by Griffiths Architects has shown the new building has a ‘favourable effect on heritage’ by providing strong interactions between the historic Fremantle Town Hall and the civic and community functions of the new building.

The report advises the new building will help return the town hall to prominence by reintegrating the town hall back into the centre of civic life:

The overall presentation of the town hall, civic functions and administration will be visually enhanced by a more integrated 21st century building that relates well to the town hall, Kings Square and William Street and Newman Court.

The changes will reintegrate the town hall back into day-to-day city life, provide proper connections to services and lift areas and ensure that contemporary requirements that can be so damaging to historic buildings are located in the new building.

The Freo Council has taken a long-term approach in determining the design for the new building. It must be able to stand the test of time to last 100 years or more to become Fremantle’s future heritage. This report is further proof this will be the case.

We carefully weighed up all the information available and decided a full redevelopment rather than a refurbishment of the existing building will best meet the long-term needs of the Fremantle community.

A complete redevelopment will look better, function better, cost less to maintain and operate and will mitigate the need for costly extensions and technology upgrades in the future. As well as the positive heritage implications, the new buildings will deliver better facilities and customer service experience.

The report was critical of the current 50+ year old building saying it had failed to make a positive contribution to the urban setting of Kings Square, was intrusive, dislocated the town hall from its administrative functions and was past its useful life.

While serving its purpose for more than fifty years, the current building is highly inefficient from an environmental and operating cost perspective; suffers from concrete cancer, has significant asbestos contamination issues and does not meet legal disability access requirements.

What we didn’t want was to build something which, like the current civic and administration building, needs replacing in 50 years’ time. Council made a conscious decision to ‘build it once and build it properly’ in determining the design of the new building.

The final detailed design phase for the new building is currently being completed with demolition of the current building and construction of the new building to begin in early 2018.

View a copy of the Kings Square Development Heritage Impact statement.

Launch of Boomerang Bags and Plastic Free July at Growers Green Farmers Market this Sunday

You are invited to join us for the Launch of Boomerang Bags and Plastic Free July at Growers Green Farmers Market this Sunday, 9.30am, 2 July 2017.

Boomerang Bags is a community movement. The bags are made by volunteers using recycled fabric and are available for shoppers to use when they forget their own shopping bags.  This stops the need to use plastic bags.  The bags are boomeranged around the community via stands which enable you to drop off and borrow again.  This simple idea has given communities the opportunity to think and share sustainable practices, recycle materials and come together to stop the amount of single use plastic.

We hope you can join me along with Plastic Free July founder Rebecca Prince Ruiz, and Minister Simone McGurk at Growers Green Farmers Market and see how we are embracing the phase out of single use plastic  in Freo.

Freo’s War on Waste Event – Tuesday the 27th of June

Plastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenges people to do something about it. Initiated in 2011 by Freo local Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and the Earth Carers, there are now more than a million people from 130 countries world-wide in making a difference.

As Freo works towards banning plastic bags (again!), local farmers market manager Kylie Wheatley has created ‘Fremantle Boomerang Bags’. Volunteers from all walks of life get together to make re-useable ‘boomerang bags’ using recycled materials, as a means to provide a sustainable alternative to plastic bags. This excellent community initiative is been launched at the Growers Green Markets at South Fremantle High School, just in time for Plastic Free July.

And it’s not just the community but local businesses are getting on board too. Heath and Emma from the Raw Kitchen in Freo have taken on the challenge to reduce plastics and other waste with gusto and are bringing commitment, solutions and innovation to reduce waste in their restaurant, both for their customers and in the kitchen.

Are you part of the War on Waste?

Come join the discussion:
6pm, Tuesday 27 June
Upstairs at the National Hotel Fremantle

Fremantle Projects and Architects Shine at the WA Architecture Awards

Fremantle projects and Fremantle-based architects once again did extremely well at the WA Architecture Awards that were announced on the weekend.

A range of Fremantle-based architects including Officer Woods Architects, Bernard Seeber, CODA Studio, Local Architecture, David Barr, spaceagency, and Slavin Architects all got awards and/or commendations. We clearly have a lot of talent in our port city.

Check out these great Fremantle projects that were all recognised.

Leighton Beach Changerooms and Kiosk by Bernard Seeber


Strange Company by spaceagency


Gen Y house by David Barr Architect


South Terrace Supported Accommodation Hostel by spaceagency


19 Douro by Motus Architecture


Grey Street House by Local Architecture


MSC by Slavin


Heirloom by Match by Cameron Chisholm Nicol

Here are the winners with a Fremantle connection taken from

The Jeffery Howlett Award for Public Architecture – East Pilbara Arts Centre by Officer Woods Architects
Commendation – Leighton Beach Changerooms and Kiosk by Bernard Seeber
Commendation – Karratha Super Clinic by CODA Studio

Commendation – Bunbury Catholic College Mercy Campus by CODA Studio and Broderick Architects Joint Venture

Commendation – Grey Street House by Local Architecture

Architecture Award – Gen Y Demonstration Housing Project by David Barr Architect
Commendation – 19 Douro by Motus Architecture
Commendation – Heirloom by Match by Cameron Chisholm Nicol

The Margaret Pitt Morison Award for Heritage – South Terrace Supported Accommodation Hostel by spaceagency

Architecture Award – 19 Douro by Motus Architecture
Architecture Award – Strange Company by spaceagency

Commendation – Perry Lakes Redevelopment Project by CODA Studio

Architecture Award – Grey Street House by Local Architecture
Commendation – Comben Place by spaceagency

Architecture Award – Gen Y Demonstration Housing Project by David Barr Architect
Commendation– East Pilbara Arts Centre by Officer Woods Architects
Commendation– Mediterranean Shipping Company (Aust.) Pty Limited – Head Office for Aust & New Zealand by Slavin Architects

Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture – Mediterranean Shipping Company (Aust.) Pty Limited – Head Office for Aust & New Zealand by Slavin Architects
Commendation– East Pilbara Arts Centre by Officer Woods Architects


The Australian Institute of Architects WA Architecture Awards entries exhibition is in the lobby of Allendale Square (77 St Georges Terrace, Perth) runs till Friday June 30th. The exhibition is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Light rail on track for Perth’s south, with route from Murdoch to Fremantle mooted

In today’s Sunday Times there is a good story about the Southwest Group of Councils (of which Freo is a part) and light rail.

I think it is good example of cross-council collaboration and planning to enable public transport in our region to be improved when the budget and political stars align.

You could say it is about working together to make sure public transport is purposely and carefully planned into our cities and not accidentally planned out as too often happens.