From the Council Chambers – July 2018

Getting wet planting for National Tree Day.

A big thanks to Craig Wilson from the Perth NRM Coastal and Marine Program  and all the City of Fremantle staff who braved the wet weather as we planted for National Tree Day.

The sand dunes in front of Bathers Beach House are now looking well planted.

While National Tree Day is officially on Sunday this event was registered with Planet Ark as a corporate National Tree Day planting event.

It started in 1996 and since then more than 3.8 million people have planted 24 million trees and plants – and it’s still growing. This year we’ll be among more than 100,000 people around Australia planting more than 350,000 seedlings.

This we even trialled hessian plant protectors instead of the usual plastic ones so we can reduce plastic waste.

Well done to all involved.

What should apartments look like? ABC Perth Panel

This morning I was on a panel on ABC Perth to discuss how can we do urban density better. It was a very stimulating debate and the link is here:


Urban infill is a reality for dozens of Perth suburbs, but the challenge is getting local residents on board.

So does the focus need to be more about what these buildings should look like?

What constitutes good design?

The previous government released a draft policy called Design WA to underpin this very concept.

But it’s under review, and that’s raised concerns among some architects, developers and councils who say the current policy is working and allows flexibility to negotiate better designed buildings.

Taking part in this discussion is architect Sam Klopper and the Mayor of Fremantle, Brad Pettit. 

Duration: 35min 52sec


One Planet Actions in Freo

The City of FremantIe is delivering on the One Planet Fremantle strategy through initiatives funded in its 2018-19 annual budget.

The centrepiece of the budget is the allocation of $46.3 million towards the construction of the City’s new administration building and library, as part of the broader Kings Square Renewal project.

The aim was to make the new administration centre one of the most energy efficient buildings of its size in Western Australia.

The City of Fremantle is very proud of our One Planet status and incorporating a range of sustainability features into our new home was an absolutely critical part of its design

Our target is for the new building to be zero carbon, so it will have a sophisticated automated opening façade system designed to capture Fremantle’s famous sea breezes and enable natural ventilation for most of the year.

It will have high-performance, well shaded windows to minimise heat loss during cooler periods and minimise heat gain in summer.“We’ll also operate the building within broader temperature bands than standard office buildings, which will further reduce the energy consumption of the air conditioning systems.”

Other sustainability features will include a 240kw solar PV system, energy-efficient LED lighting and water saving appliances.

Another key sustainability measure in the 2018-19 budget is the allocation of $920,000 to implement the new three bin Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) waste management system.

The new FOGO system is a key step towards achieving the City’s One Planet target of a 70 per cent community recycling rate by 2020, and will also protect ratepayers from long-term increases landfill costs.

The budget also includes:

  • $50,000 to purchase carbon offsets to maintain carbon neutral status
  • $40,000 to implement the verge garden scheme
  • $32,784 for a new cardboard and aluminium bailer for the Fremantle Recycling Centre
  • $14,000 to provide Living Smart sustainability workshops
  • $10,000 to introduce a local container deposit scheme at three Fremantle Primary Schools
  • $12,000 to install solar panels on community buildings
  • $10,000 to implement a car share scheme
  • $30,000 for works and maintenance in the City of Fremantle Bike Plan
  • $65,000 to revise the Sir Frederick Samson Park management plan
  • $102,000 for coastal monitoring and assessment at Port, Leighton and Mosman beaches

For more information on the City’s One Planet strategy visit the One Planet page on our website.


The West: “Freo ripe for new investment to regain its edge”

For those of you that missed it, there was a worthwhile article in The West yesterday  “Freo ripe for new investment to regain its edge” that is worth a read.

While the opening line “Fremantle’s reputation as an edgy, trendy location may be beginning to wane” would probably be more accurate if it were to say that it has steadily waned over the past few decades, the overall theme that “Fremantle represents a “major opportunity for transformative investment” is absolutely spot on.

Freo has recently turned the corner as we go through a period of revitalisation and investment to bring people back to Fremantle to live, work and visit. But there is still a way to go and plenty of opportunity.

A key point which the article articulates is that while the state government has invested billions of dollars in new public infrastructure in Perth over the last decade  (Perth Arena, Stadium, Elizabeth Quay, Northbridge Link, Yagan Square, Cultural Centre, New Museum etc), all Freo’s got is the offer of a coat of paint for the Fremantle Passenger Terminal. In spite of that, and thanks to the joint efforts of the private sector and the City of Fremantle, there is still $1.3 billion dollars’ worth of investment in the pipeline for Freo.

Consecutive state government underinvestment in Fremantle as Perth’s second city has been very frustrating to say the least but as I say in the article it is pleasing that the new state government has indicated it is keen to work in partnership with the City of Fremantle. As a result a lot of the groundwork (concepts plans and detailed studies) for the redevelopment of the places like the Victoria Quay waterfront and Fremantle Oval are gathering pace.

Talking about Vic Quay, there is strong Council and community support for the working container port remaining on the North side of the harbour but also opening up the Southern side of the port to the community. This would provide better public access to the waterfront by moving the new car trade etc down to Kwinana as soon as possible.

As the original PWC Report states:

“There is also an opportunity to look beyond the CBD in order to open up new areas for locals and visitors to easily access cultural, dining, entertainment and recreational facilities. Fremantle, where there has been no significant investment other than the WA Maritime Museum since the America’s Cup over 30 years ago, represents a largely untapped opportunity to establish a redeveloped Victoria Quay entertainment hub…”

I think enabling betters connection from the Fremantle CBD through to the waterfront  and working port is possibly the one of the most transformative moves we can make as a city. It will create something very special.

A major aboriginal cultural centre on Victoria Quay could be a major attractor not just for Fremantle but the whole state. We are advocating this be a key state government project in the lead up to 2029 – 200 years since European settlement.

That along with the Fremantle Oval and Hospital project are key opportunities for partnership with the state government.

Finally there is no doubt to me that  Fremantle’s future is keeping its heritage and its wonderful, sometimes gritty uniqueness but also bringing in new investment that bring more people to Fremantle more often – and good to see that backed up by PWC’s recent research.

Tomorrow’s “Mayor in the Square” will be at Harpers in O’Conner

Tomorrow’s “Mayor in the Square” aka “Council in the Café” will be going to O’Conner to Harpers Food Market near the cnr of South Street and Stock Road.

If you have any questions or comments then please pop down from 11am.

This will be the last one for a few weeks so hope to see you there

Building on history; Sunday Times Real Estate lift-out

This week’s Sunday Times Real Estate lift-out ran this update on Freo:


A key part of Western Australia’s settlement days, Fremantle has developed a thriving culture all of its own, writes CHRIS THURMOTT

BILLED as the largest project ever to be delivered by the City of Fremantle, the redevelopment of the suburb’s civic heart – The Kings Square precinct, – is at the centre of a host of developments.

The $270 million project will create more than 2100 new local jobs for Fremantle once operational – injecting $358 million into the local economy and transforming the heart of Fremantle into a thriving community, retail and commercial hub, according to City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt. “Fremantle is currently undergoing its biggest facelift in 30 years, with $1.3 billion worth of public and private investment underway,” he said.

Other significant developments include the restoration of the historic Manning Buildings in High Street Mall, the Little Lane apartments at Westgate Mall, the Ancora apartments, DoubleTree by Hilton on Point Street and the redevelopment of the Woolstores Fremantle Shopping Centre, which will be made up of new retail outlets, a hotel, office space, student accommodation and retirement living. “Fremantle will continue to transform over the next decade into a vibrant place for residents, workers and visitors,” Mayor Pettitt said.

The suburb is well known for its history and has amassed a thriving cafe, arts and music scene. “Fremantle is famous for its cafe culture, which continues to grow,” Mayor Pettitt said. “The list of eateries is endless and ranges from breweries and pubs to high-end restaurants and quirky cafes, so there really is something for every taste.”

Fremantle’s popular West End precinct is the largest state heritage-listed area in Western Australia, boasting a variety of Federation-era buildings that illustrate the workings of a port city in the 1890s and 1900s.

Fremantle is also home to the oldest public building in WA, the Round House, which Mayor Pettitt said was one of the suburb’s most popular tourist attractions. “Freo is very fortunate to have a strong sense of community, with lots of active community groups and family-friendly activities on offer, from local farmers’ markets, bike rides and suburban movie nights, to live music, art exhibitions and local sport,” he said.

A key focus for the City of Fremantle is to have more people visiting, living and working in Fremantle, according to Mayor Pettitt. He said the city was on track to exceed its target of 1500 additional dwellings completed by 2020, which would offer a diverse range of living options. “Around 1000 of those new dwellings are expected to be built in central Fremantle, providing residents unparalleled amenity and lifestyle and helping to create a more vibrant city,” he said.