The High and The Low: Fremantle’s High Streets have one of Lowest Retail Vacancy rates in Perth

Interesting data released this week on the health of retail in some of Perth’s high streets.

  • Beaufort Street in Mt Lawley and Highgate had vacancies of 9 per cent
  • Bay View Terrace in Claremont 10.16 per cent vacancy
  • Subiaco’s Rokeby Road featured nine vacancies on 5.94 per cent of its net lettable area (Hay Street in Subi is reportedly higher again but wasn’t in the study)
  • Cottesloe’s Napoleon Street had a 6.81 per cent vacancy rate.

While the report does not mention Fremantle, internal research shows that know Freo’s Market St & South Tce sit at 5 & 3 per cent respectively (in 2015). City of Fremantle staff have also estimated that our High St in the West Ed would also have a 3 to 5 per cent vacancy rate.

This means Fremantle’s high streets are currently performing better than Subiaco, Cottesloe, Mt Lawley & Claremont.

Only Oxford St in Leederville is performing better than Fremantle.

In these tough economic times we should be proud of that.

‘KRAKEN – A mid winters blaze’: an activation of the Bathers Beach Art precinct

Blazing Swan and the City of Fremantle are proud to present ‘KRAKEN – A mid winters blaze’ an activation of the Bathers Beach Art precinct providing a free community event for Fremantle residents and the wider community. Bathers Beach and surrounds will host a sunset sculpture burning of the Kraken, as well as a series of family friendly art workshops and activities.

What to expect –

  • 12pm – 5pm Acoustic music at Bathers Beach boardwalk gazebo
  • 12pm – 7pm Fashion and craft markets on Bathers Beach boardwalk
  • 3pm – Welcome to Country by Reverend Sealin Garlett (Bathers Beach Gazebo)
  • 5.30pm – Effigy burn on the beach at sunset accompanied by fire twirling and drumming
  • 12pm – 11pm Food and theme camp activities at J-shed
  • 3pm – 11pm DJs at J-Shed grass
  • 12pm – 7pm Food trucks in front of Kidogo
  • 12pm – 9pm Pop up bar at Kidogo
  • 12pm – 5pm J Shed and Mrs Trivett’s place residents hosting workshops
  • 12pm – 9pm Photography and light exhibition in the Whalers Tunnel

Fremantle’s West End on the State Register of Heritage Places – Permanently

Today we had the new Minister for Heritage David Templeman in Fremantle to announce the permanent registration of the whole of Fremantle’s West End on the State Register of Heritage Places.

The cultural heritage value of the West End has long been recognised locally and I’m delighted it is now recognised at a state level – not to mention that it is the largest ever addition to the register with 250 buildings and 200,000 square metres that embody the exuberance of the gold boom era

The West End is a rare example of an intact port city business district during WA’s gold-boom era in the 1890s to 1900s so it really is a special place.

The West End’s built heritage represents the very best of our past and the best cities in the world not only protect these landmarks but sympathetically adapt them for modern use.

As our heritage coordinator likes to say, “Fremantle is not a museum but a vibrant city. For our city to grow yet remain true to its character, it is important that our heritage buildings are restored, used and loved by future generations as part of an urban centre.”

The City of Fremantle and Heritage Council alike, couldn’t agree more and hope to see future conservation works recapture the spirit that has made the West End so iconic and special.

As we celebrate this prestigious listing today, we also celebrate the people who made this possible – from the working groups and former councillors to our local property owners and residents. Thanks to everyone involved.

Property Industry Sundowner on Freo


The supermarket giants have pledged to stop supplying the single-use bags

Thanks everyone for my lovely birthday wishes yesterday.

A nice surprise present was that the major supermarkets have finally agreed to get rid of single-use plastic bags. The tide of community opinion seems to have finally persuaded them and Freo – once again – was at the forefront of bringing about this change. Well done all.

Plastic bags in the firing line as public figures line up to trash inaction in NSW, Victoria and WA

There are growing calls for a national ban on single-use plastic bags, after Coles and Woolworths yesterday announced they would phase out the environmental hazards.

The supermarket giants, as well as New South Wales chain Harris Farm Markets, have pledged to stop supplying the single-use bags to shoppers within 12 months.

Their decision will affect customers in Australia’s two biggest markets — NSW and Victoria — as well as Western Australia.

All other states and territories have already implemented bans, or have plans to do so.

The move, which is expected to cut the number of single-use bags circulating in Australia by about 7 billion annually, has been welcomed by industry heavyweights and environmentalists.

National Retailers Association chief Dominique Lamb said he was preparing members for a total plastic bag ban in light of the supermarkets’ announcements.

“It is not meant to be an impost on small business; in fact it’s often going to be cheaper because they will have different types of bags they can implement and also we’re going to find that we’re going to have a change in culture around plastic bags,” he said.

War on plastic waste

Craig Reucassel presented the ABC TV series War on Waste, which put the spotlight on recycling and sustainability down under.

“One of the hardest things in the War on Waste was trying to find out why the states weren’t bringing this in,” Mr Reucassel said.

“It already existed in some states and it is generally popular in states that have plastic bags bans.

“I was trying to figure out why WA, NSW and Victoria, weren’t doing it.

“It didn’t seem like there wasn’t a push back against it? It was just the lack of political will or desire to do it.”

Woolworths said more durable, re-usable plastic bags would be made available at a cost of 15 cents, along with multi-use hessian bags.

“I think the (Federal) Government still needs to come in,” Mr Reucassel said.

“They (Coles and Woolworths) are not the only organisations that are doing this.

“There are still a lot of other supermarkets or other chains that are still using single-use plastic bags, so you still need the legislation there.”

WA a bag battle ground

If there was a perception NSW and Victoria were dragging their heels on bag bans, WA’s former Government took the cake for tardiness.

In 2013, the City of Fremantle announced plans to outlaw single-use plastic bans in its southern Perth jurisdiction, but the move was twice struck down by the Barnett Government.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the council was preparing a third attempt at introducing at the local law.

“This time the State Government has said they would not block it,” he said.

“We need to advertise the local law, and that’s happening next week, so we’d expect it to be in place within six months.”We have a new state government which is much more sympathetic to it.”

Mayor Pettitt described the decision by the major supermarket chains as “significant”.

“I think it’s fair to say they’re the biggest single users of plastic bags,” he said.

“When we did our local laws in 2013, the only objections we had were from the major supermarkets.

“You can’t help but think that this would pave the way for a whole ban on single-use bags across the country.”

Tips for living without plastic bags

  • Separate your rubbish, learn what you can recycle
  • Use composting bins to dispose of wet waste
  • Don’t line your bin, simple wash it weekly or as needed
  • Raise chooks to feed food scrap too
  • Be selective about what you buy – take glass containers and buy food in bulk
  • Take plastic or green bags back to the supermarket to recycle
  • Try to use biodegradable bags

“Free After 3” – Freo residents parking in central Freo

Not everyone knows this but the City of Fremantle gives out parking permit to residents for free parking in off-peak times in our CBD.

BUT… the current rules around this are kinda messy and complicated and as a result it is not understood but is instead rather under-utilized. So we are keen to update and simplify it and it is coming to FPOL committee this Wednesday evening.

CURRENTLY the permit allows access to free parking for all ON-STREET car bays with the following conditions:

  • mornings, between 9.00-11.00 am, time restrictions of the parking bays apply, MONDAY-FRIDAY ONLY
  • afternoons, between 3.00-5.00 pm, time restrictions of the parking bays apply, MONDAY-FRIDAY ONLY
  • evenings, between 5.00 pm-1.00 am, time restrictions of the parking bays do not apply, MONDAY-SUNDAY
  • OFF-STREET parking between 8.00 am-5.00 pm in car park 12B on Beach Street only, SATURDAY-SUNDAY.

Yes it is a bit all of the place and complicated. The recommendation to the committtee aims to simplify this by:

Making resident parking free after 3pm and before 10am on City of Fremantle OFF-STREET car parks every day of the week.

These would roughly be the locations:

Is this something you would support?

If not, what would you change? (Remembering that we can’t just make all parking free, all of the time, for everyone without major budget implications)

Are these off street locations useful given there is also half hour free already on High Street and free night parking on High and Adelaide Streets.

Is the change from 11am to 10am an issue?

Your feedback would be appreciated.

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