Secrets of our Cities visits Freo.

I am looking forward to Greig Pickhaver aka HG Nelson’s new series coming to SBS, Secrets of our Cities which has an episode dedicated to Freo. Once again Freo showing that we live in a city with more stories (and secrets) and interest than almost anywhere else in the country. Here is the blurb:

In the 3 part series he visits Fremantle, Fitzroy and Bondi, to uncover the “hidden history and unsung residents who’ve helped shape these places into the cities they are today.” But does he take a train to get there…..?

Now an electric, artistic hub, the seaside port of Fremantle has come a long way from its convict outpost days. Greig discovers the waves of migrants who’ve added a splash of colour to the city; including ten-pound poms, Italian migrants and boatloads of young women who arrived on ‘bride ships’. He explores the roots of Fremantle local and ACDC legend Bon Scott, and learns about the Rajneeshees – an obscure religious cult that painted the city orange.

In the trendy, latte lover’s paradise of Fitzroy, Victoria, Greig learns how a former slum where many European migrants made their home evolved into one of Melbourne’s most desirable suburbs. Fitzroy was a hub for activism and the centre of the new call for Aboriginal rights in the 1970s, and once welcomed an unlikely and unscheduled visitor: Muhammad Ali.

Greig travels to the iconic and glamourous beachside suburb of Bondi, Sydney. He learns about the large Jewish community that have called Bondi home since the 1830’s, and even catches a glimpse of a subtle Jewish spiritual boundary that lines the pavilion. He visits Australia’s very first Milk Bar and meets fashion designer Jenny Kee who left Australia for London to follow the Beatles.

Set against the backdrop of moments that have made history, Greig explores the different waves of migration that have shaped some of our most famous cities, and meets fascinating and colourful local characters along the way to remind us of our unique Australian heritage.

Tuesday, 26 September at 7.30pm on SBS.


‘Free after 3’: Freo expands free CBD parking for locals

Can I start by saying a big thank you to everyone who provided feedback into the Council item this month on residents CBD parking permits. It was really helpful.

On the back of that feedback the Council modified its position and on Wednesday night Council voted to expand free parking in the Freo CBD and simplify  the rules to encourage locals to spend more time in the CBD.

We have addressed this now so it is simply ‘Free after 3pm’ on-street. We have also retained free on-street parking in the morning until 11am.

These changes mean residents now have access to 20 hours of free on-street parking each day.

Extended free parking gives residents another big reason to shop in Freo and support local businesses. We have a great range of fantastic shops here and we encourage locals and visitors alike to make the most of all Freo has to offer

The changes came about as we responded to feedback that existing residential parking permits were underutilised.  Many residents have told us they found the rules confusing.


Effective from 1 August, residents’ parking permits now include weekends as well as weekdays and the number of hours when parking is free has been boosted. The permits also extend to public holidays.

These new conditions allow residents to park for free at all standard on-street (kerbside) car parking bays during the following times:

  • Valid Monday-Sunday (seven days per week).
  • Free parking from 9.00-11.00 am. Permit holders must abide by the posted time limits (e.g. 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours).
  • Free parking from 3.00-5.00 pm. Permit holders must abide by the posted time limits (e.g. 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours).
  • Free parking from 5.00 pm – 1.00 am. Time restrictions do not apply.

Council will also explore the potential to expand free parking into the off-street areas as well as move towards use of digital permits to make the process even easier into the future.

Visit for more information.

Quick update on the speed bump issue

It would be fair to say that some of the speed humps that have gone into Fremantle over the last months have gotten a mixed reaction! So I thought it worth providing an update on the changes planned following community feedback and a reassessment of what has gone in.

These humps were all part of separate projects that consulted and engaged with impacted residents and businesses etc over the past year. The fact the all went in so close together wasn’t intentional and has certainly magnified their impact overall.

We have listened to recent community feedback on and are City of Freo staff are arranging remedial works to address community concerns raised at each location. These works are scheduled to take place over the next week or two:

Ord Street, Fremantle

At Ord Street the intention of the traffic calming was to improve pedestrian safety at crossing points for the Arts Centre patrons and High School students and also to deter container trucks and heavy vehicles to the Fremantle Port using Hampton Road as a short-cut.

After receiving community feedback, the  City has reassessed the installation and has arranged for the angle of the speed humps to be softened and also two of the central sets of speed humps (not directly associated with the pedestrian crossings) to be removed.

Wray Avenue, Fremantle

At Wray Avenue, the idea was to slow traffic as this was a major cycle route and the original design included treatment at five locations. Unfortunately while this was reduced following community consultation the original design was installed in error. As a result two of the speed humps will now be removed but there will be enough to keep speeds down we believe.

South Terrace, South Fremantle

South Terrace has been subject to traffic, road and streetscape improvement discussions for some time, with local residents and business owners keen to see progress in the area.

The City has commenced a program of works to start improving the road environment. The current batch of speed bumps were installed as SHORT TERM TREATMENT to calm traffic and assist in the creation of a target 40km/hr speed environment.

For the City of Fremantle  to lower speed limits we FIRST have to demonstrate to Main Roads (who control all traffic signage) that speeds are ALREADY low in the area. Main Roads Traffic Standards Section 4.2: states you can only lower to 40kmh or 30kmh if 85% of the traffic already goes at max 50kmh or 40 kmh respectively.

This initial phase is in preparation for a series of permanent raised pedestrian platforms at key intersections along South Terrace.

The first of these platforms is being planned for installation at the intersection of Little Lefroy & South Terrace within this financial year. As you may be aware this was a key point where the community wanted to see traffic slowed and crossing made safer.

The City accepts there now are too many speed bumps along South Tce and some aren’t at a key nodes as envisaged. So in response to community feedback will reduce the number of these temporary speed bumps from 15 locations to 10 locations. The removal of speed humps at five locations has been planned to try and ensure the intent of the traffic calming and slowing along South Tce remains.

Officers will also address the effectiveness of the treatments by adjusting the width of coverage to reduce the incidence of motorists swerving to avoid the speed humps.


I think once adjusted each of these project will get closer to finding the right balance between making the roads safer for pedestrians while not driving motorists to distraction. So hopefully we are over this hump!







The “Missing Tooth” in Invisible Cities Fremantle

A few weeks ago I flagged the launch of the Invisible Cities Fremantle participatory art project.

Based around an app that triggers audio at locations on a virtual map, this ‘auditory treasure hunt’ invites people to hear stories about the significant, poignant, every day or unusual relationships people have with their special places in Fremantle.

This week I got to add my little story to Invisible Cities Fremantle. It is about why I think the “missing tooth” on High St masks a significant but almost invisible Fremantle story.

The free Invisible Cities mobile app is available for iPhone and Android from

People wanting to submit memories and stories can do so at

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.

Fremantle Harbour to welcome its first Asian restaurant

Good article in the West’s property section on new Asian Restaurant in fishing boat harbour adding to a great part of Freo…

Eating out at Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour.
Eating out at Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour.Picture: Tourism WA

Han’s Cafe will open an outlet at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour — the precinct’s first Asian restaurant — joining Bathers Beach House, Char Char Bull, Kailis Fish Market Cafe, Cicerellos, Little Creatures, Baskin-Robbins and Joe’s Fish Shack.

The Perth-based restaurant chain signed a 10-year lease over 240sqm to open its 13th outlet, which it says will feature its new branding, fit-out and a refreshed menu.

CBRE’s Adrian Morabito, who negotiated the deal, said Han’s Cafe’s arrival in Fremantle diversified the food offering in the boat harbour and illustrated the confidence in the port city’s dining scene.

Fremantle is the State’s most visited tourist destination, Mr Morabito said, adding that an upturn in economic activity was helping its retailers.

“With a pipeline of projects in excess of $1.4 billion, Fremantle is witnessing increased consumer and business confidence, which is further supported by a stronger focus on residential and commercial development,” Mr Morabito said….

for full story see