Clarifying Pubs and Non-Alcohol Areas in Freo

There was a slightly odd headline and byline in The West today that got the recent Freo Council review of land use diversity and licensed areas weirdly wrong (the rest of the article was actually quite good though) 

This Notice of Motion by Deputy Mayor Waltham is timely and worth looking into more fully.

So on this basis we had to put out the following correction:

The City of Fremantle is not considering a policy to have non-drinking areas in pubs.

At its meeting on 13 December the Fremantle Council requested the City’s administration to prepare a draft Local Planning Policy to provide guidance in the assessment of planning applications which include a proposal for a licenced area.

Acting Fremantle mayor Ingrid Waltham said that in considering a draft policy the intention was to provide guidance on what proportion of a development site should be used for a licenced premises and what proportion should be set aside for other uses such as short-stay accommodation, entertainment, commercial or retail.

“We want to ensure that when developers put forward a proposal for a site in Fremantle, it’s not just for a pub but also includes a range of other uses like shops, offices and accommodation,” acting mayor Waltham said.

“That way we make sure Fremantle offers a diverse mix of attractions that everyone can come down and enjoy.”

A draft Local Planning Policy will be developed by City of Fremantle officers for consideration by Council.

Burt Street Project EOI Released

The Housing Authority, which forms part of the Department of Communities, is seeking to collaborate with a private sector developer or consortium who embraces our Vision for the Burt Street Project, to create a new affordable community that enriches the unique character of Fremantle.

Reference #EOI HOU1450717
Closing Date and Time – 2:30pm WST Friday 16 February 2018


ABC News: Subiaco and Fremantle: The two Perth ‘phoenix’ suburbs set to become vibrant again

The recent exit of football from Subiaco after the iconic oval’s closure has dealt the area a harsh blow. Across town, the number of empty shops in Fremantle’s city centre continues to grow.

The two communities have been struggling to draw consistent crowds for some time. But Curtin University urban planning expert Dr Shane Greive believes that “like a phoenix rising from the ashes”, Subiaco and Fremantle are on the way back up.

“We have an interesting concept in the academic world: creative destruction,” Dr Greive said. “The idea that something has to die first before you get the new birth coming out of it.”

“So yes, things are dying, but also I think that’s just the ground for things to grow again.

“Maybe we’re looking at Subiaco and Fremantle in winter and maybe we’ve got to think about that Subiaco and Fremantle in spring emerging.”

Death by gentrification

Dr Greive said while Fremantle had maintained a strong community vibe, Subiaco had in some ways lost its identity and both suburbs had been suffering from what he called “late-stage gentrification”.

Subiaco Fremantle talent composite

“Gentrification is actually a good thing in the first stages, it’s basically new money and new people coming into the neighbourhood — fantastic,” he said.

“It gets about halfway and you’ve got an older crowd, a younger crowd and a mixed-income crowd — also fantastic.

“Then what happens after that, the investors start to move in, the oligarchs start to move in and you end up losing people, values go up and they outprice themselves from the market and it takes them 10 or 15 years to figure out what went wrong.”

Penny Taylor recently won a six-way race for Mayor of Subiaco, replacing outgoing mayor of 12 years, Heather Henderson. She said she had a plan to avoid making the same mistakes.

“In my doorknocking and campaigning I was given permission to not just listen to the people with the loudest voices,” she said.

“The info that I got from that is valid for more than a week, that’s valid for some time, and I think I will continue listening.”

Ms Taylor said reducing red tape was a priority and that a recent change to alfresco licensing laws was a move in the right direction.

“If it takes you six months to get open that’s not great,” she said.

“But if you can open as quickly and efficiently as possible in a way that meets the requirements — that are there for important reasons — and also meets the owner’s dreams and vision for their own business, then that’s a way that the administration can be part of making Subiaco vibrant.”

Locals and tourists enjoy the sunshine as they dine along the 'capuccino strip' in Fremantle

Freo’s weekday problem

Brad Pettitt was recently re-elected Mayor of Fremantle for his third term and admitted the city centre in the port town had been struggling.

“It would be fair to say, over the last decade or so, the heart of Fremantle hasn’t really worked as a seven-day-week economy,” he said.

“It’s got this great vibrancy on the weekends, but Monday to Thursday it’s quiet.

“It needs more people living in it, more people working in proper jobs during the week and of course more tourists and more visitors.”

While retail has not flourished in Fremantle for some time, a $270 million redevelopment of the city centre will add 6,000 square metres of retail space.

The Kings Square project by the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital will also include a new civic chamber, library and council office spaces for more than 1,500 public servants.

A building covered in scaffolding with palm trees in front of it.

Mr Pettitt said the retail space would be unlike any other.

“The reason I think retail will work in Kings Square is not only do you have 2,000 new workers in the precinct, but it’s also not going to be your traditional retail in some ways,” he said.

“There’s going to be lots of food and beverage, there’s going to be lots of destination retail, where people will want to come.

“It’s about actually thinking where is retail going, especially in this emerging post-Amazon kind of world of online shopping — it’s about creating spaces and places that people want to come to and have a real sense of connection with.”

The Kings Square project is expected the be finished in late 2019.

Fremantle to keep Carnival Australia cruise ships

Great news on the return of Carnival to Fremantle. this will be good for jobs in Freo and beyond.

Leading cruise company Carnival Australia has announced Fremantle will be used as a home port for Princess Cruises after an earlier threat to pull out.

The WA Government’s commitment to fix infrastructure issues helped seal the deal, which will see the redeployment of Sun Princess, with 2,000 guests.

Speaking on sister ship Sea Princess, Premier Mark McGowan said he became aware of the problems after being elected.

“They’d been making submissions to the former government for a considerable period and there’d been no action,” he said.

“It turned out one of the major issues was the dredging of the channel into Broome Port.

“The other was pulling up in Geraldton, there was a problem with what’s called the shore tensioning units.”

The Premier said shore tension units had been installed and dredging would occur at Broome next year to allow all-tide access.

Loss of ships ‘would have cost $135m’

Stuart Allison, Princess Cruises’ vice president for Australia and New Zealand, said the topic of better access to ports was an issue around Australia.

Mr Allison said the five Sun Princess cruises in October and November next year could be the start of bigger things.

“Ultimately our long-term ambition is to bring even larger ships to Western Australia,” he said.

“Be it the 3,000-guest Ruby Princess, which will be based in Australia from later 2019. Or even the flagship of the Princess fleet, the Majestic Princess — 3,500 guests — which will be based in Sydney from September of next year.

“But we can only start to make those decisions about bringing those ships to Western Australia and to Broome when we know that those tidal issues are no longer a concern to us.”

WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the knock-on effect would have been devastating if Fremantle had lost homeporting of Carnival Australia-managed ships.

“The impact of that would’ve been in a couple of year’s time a reduction of regional port visits by two thirds, and a loss of $135 million of spend,” he said.

“What we’re talking about today is huge for Fremantle and for the regions. By way of example, this ship has 2,000 passengers, 30 per cent of those passengers have come from interstate, and 12 per cent have come from overseas.”

Mr Papalia said he was confident environmental approvals would be given for the dredging at Broome, and said the operation itself would only take a couple of days.

Regional Development Minister Rita Saffioti said the Government also expected to make an announcement about plans for Fremantle’s South Quay and Passenger Terminal before Christmas.

Fremantle visitor tracker

There has been some discussion around visitor numbers in Fremantle in recent weeks. While it is challenging economic times in WA Freo is actually tracking pretty well.

To track trends in Fremantle visitor numbers, the City of Fremantle and key stakeholders have created an index to monitor changes in visitor numbers over time.

It is updated reguarly here:

The index combines data from 12 different sources at key attractions in Fremantle. The operators of the attractions share their visitor data with the City each month, it is averaged and compared against the baseline index of ‘100’ in July 2015. The data sources are:

  • Fremantle Markets – door count
  • Fremantle Prison – number of visitors on paid tours and event attendees
  • Quest Fremantle – total number of guests
  • WA Maritime Museum – total number of  general, school and function visitors
  • WA Shipwrecks Museum – total number of general and school visitors
  • Esplanade Hotel by Rydges – total number of guests
  • Fremantle Visitor Centre – door count
  • Public Transport Authority – Fremantle Station boardings and alightings
  • Fremantle Business Improvement District – pedestrian data
  • Round House – door count
  • City of Fremantle – number of connections to City of Fremantle free WiFi service
  • Pirates Backpackers – occupancy rate

Working together on Freo Oval plan

The State Government and the City of Fremantle are working together to progress plans for the redevelopment of the Fremantle Oval precinct.

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Roger Cook and I discussed the redevelopment plans during an inspection of the oval on Wednesday.

The Freo2029 Transformational Moves strategy and the Port Cities Priorities campaign we released in December last year identifies two key priority projects for Fremantle – the redevelopments of South Quay and Fremantle Oval.

The return of Fremantle Oval to community hands represents a great opportunity to reconnect the oval to the city centre and re-establish it as the premier sporting location in Fremantle.

The benefits of the project can only be fully realised if the government moves to unlock state-owned land in the area, so it’s great to have the Minister here to show him around and explain what a unique opportunity this is to work in partnership on future plans for the oval precinct and Fremantle Hospital.

Fremantle Oval returned to community hands when Fremantle Dockers surrendered their lease on the ground in August.

Under the redevelopment plan Fremantle Oval will become the home of both South Fremantle and East Fremantle WAFL clubs and a WAFL centre of excellence for umpires and coaches.

The playing surface will be re-aligned to bring it closer to the historic Victoria Pavilion, and capacity will be increased to 20,000 to cater for football, cricket and other events.

Surplus land around the oval precinct offers a range of opportunities for future uses including better public connections through the area, a mixture of commercial and residential development and parking facilities.

Freo tourist numbers set to double with Kings Square FOMO festival precinct

This is a BIG retail announcement for Freo. Fear Of Missing Out indeed!

Freo tourist numbers set to double with Kings Square FOMO festival precinct

The FOMO space will incorporate the redevelopment of the former Myer and Queensgate buildings and carpark.
The FOMO space will incorporate the redevelopment of the former Myer and Queensgate buildings and carpark.Picture: Supplied

Kings Square Fremantle will play host to a semi-permanent festival under a radical but carefully curated multimillion-dollar plan for a borderless retail, community and entertainment precinct.

FOMO, as the precinct has been christened, will reverse the effect of decades of neglect to allow Fremantle to reclaim its status as a thriving tourist destination, according to Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly, the developer of the $270 million office, retail, church and civic precinct.

“We threw out the retail rule book,” Mr McNeilly said.

“We saw a once-in-a-generation opportunity to harness the unique personality of Fremantle to create a retail environment where the journey will be as important as the destination.”

The flavour of FOMO, the 5783sqm retail space at the heart of Kings Square, will be devised in a series of workshops with the community, artists and musicians of Fremantle, highlighting and intensifying the best of Fremantle’s makers and artisans.

The Daily will be part of an art, architecture, culture and retail hub “unique to Fremantle”.
The Daily will be part of an art, architecture, culture and retail hub “unique to Fremantle”.Picture: Supplied

Its precincts include Street Alley, Tidal Land and Newman Court — a food space with slow food, good food, fast and fresh food which then morphs into spaces selling homewares, fashion and homemade goods.

Radical retail architect, HDR Rice Daubney principal Susanne Pini, said the double-storey Emporium (the former Myer building) would echo a “cool container” with an eclectic mix of organic and free flowing retail concepts.

For example, an area called The Daily, will offer local makers workspace, gallery, retail space around the base of the old carpark area and a window for passing pedestrians into how artisans bring their ideas to life.

City of Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said FOMO will be an art, architecture, culture and retail hub “unique to Fremantle”.

The project, to include two office campuses with 20,400sqm of A-grade office space, a revamped 800 bay carpark and outdoor retail, entertainment and eating spaces and a new $50 million civic precinct for the City of Fremantle, was “a unique opportunity to take a retail risk”, Mr McNeilly, said.

The office complex will house more than 1500 workers and Mr McNeilly said that in curating and intensifying the appealing elements of Fremantle, FOMO would almost double the number of tourists visiting Fremantle from 1.6 million to 3 million a year.