The Freo Network debates: “Is Democracy in Crisis?”

This month we take politics out of the pub and into a very serious forum to discuss if democracy is failing us (or perhaps working very well?) with local political players including Josh Wilson MP and Ben Morton MP and political reporter Jane Marwick.

The Fremantle Network and the Notre Dame Labor and Liberal clubs invite you to join them in a conversation: Is Democracy in Crisis?

Since 2010 Australia has seen five changes of Prime Minister, with each change involving alarming levels of angry disunity within our major parties. Worldwide, we see voters becoming disenchanted with the democratic process, either refusing to be involved or voting for populist and extremist leaders.

Is our Democracy in crisis? Why are citizens reporting low levels of trust in political leaders and the system itself? And how can we restore our democracy to good health?

The Fremantle Network and Notre Dame University Politics students invite you to join them for a conversation about the problems facing our Democracy and possible solutions.

With special guests: 
Ben Morton, Liberal Party MP for Tangney
Josh Wilson, Labor Party MP for Fremantle
Jane Marwick, political journalist 

Tuesday 30th October, 7.00pm to 8.30pm 
Santa Maria Lecture Theatre
Notre Dame University

13 Mouat Street Fremantle

Freo’s urban forest is growing

More than 1800 trees have been planted over the past 12 months as part of the plan to create an urban forest in Fremantle.

In the 2017-18 financial year a total of 714 trees were planted by the City of Fremantle on residential verges and in local parks, while another 92 were added as part of the landscaping component of City projects like pocket parks, car parks and walkways.

This follows the planting of 500 verge and park trees in the previous year, and is the result of the doubling of the City’s tree-planting budget from $60,000 to $120,000.

In addition, the City also planted 12,000 plants – including 1015 trees – in dunes, bushland and the river foreshore during nine community planting days and 21 volunteer planting days with conservation volunteers and local schools.

City of Fremantle Parks and Landscapes manager Ryan Abbott said it was all part of the plan to grow the urban forest in Fremantle.

“The City’s Urban Forest Plan forms part of our Greening Fremantle: Strategy 2020, which aims to progressively increase tree planting across the City to achieve at least 20 per cent canopy coverage,” Mr Abbott said.

“An assessment last year showed our canopy coverage was around 13 per cent, so to hit the 20 per cent target we have an ongoing tree planting and revegetation program and are integrating new trees into road and path upgrades wherever we can.

“For this current financial year we’re looking to continue to expand our tree-planting program and plant another thousand trees across Fremantle.”

The suburb of Samson had the highest tree planting numbers in 2017/18 due to the City’s targeted Greening Samson project.

Mapping undertaken for the Urban Forest Plan identified Samson had some of the lowest canopy coverage in Fremantle, which meant Samson was on average two degrees hotter than nearby suburbs due to the urban heat island effect.

A total of 212 trees were planted in Samson alone, while another 299 were planted in Beaconsfield, Hilton and Fremantle, and 203 in South Fremantle, North Fremantle, White Gum Valley and O’Connor.

The species of trees planted included red flowering gums, bottlebrushes, jacarandas and tuart trees, with the varieties carefully chosen to best suit the local conditions and surroundings.

As well as reducing the urban heat island effect by providing more shade, trees also absorb carbon dioxide, filter air pollutants and provide a natural cooling effect by releasing moisture through their leaves.

Planting more trees also helps to connect regional bushland to the coast and provides habitat and food for native animals.

For more information visit the Urban Forest Plan page on the City of Fremantle website.

From the Council Chambers September 2018

Thanks for deputy-mayor Ingrid Waltham for doing this good little summary of last month’s council decisions.


Go-to guide for parking in Freo

In case you haven’t seen it already, I think this little video sums up parking in Freo rather well.

Fremantle’s Ride to Work Breakfast October 17th

Ride on down to Pioneer Park next Wednesday 17 October for the City of Fremantle’s Ride to Work Breakfast and celebrate everything great about cycling in Fremantle.

The experts from Mercer Cycles will be on hand to do the once over on your favourite ride while you check out the demo bikes and info stands. Fremantle Tours will also be running mini tours of the heritage listed West End.

Two Queens Street Food and The Black Truffle will ensure that all your breakfast and coffee needs are met to keep you cycling throughout the day.

Where: Pioneer Park, Market St Fremantle (opposite the Train Station)
When: Wednesday 17 October
Time: 7.00 – 9.00am


To RSVP head to Eventbrite

1960s City of Fremantle Administration Building Almost Gone

The not greatly loved 1960s built City of Fremantle administration and library building in Kings Square will be completely gone in a matter of weeks.

The building was assessed as being asbestos-free last month, following a four month asbestos removal program to prepare it for the final demolition phase.

This final phase will see the building demolished with the majority of the structure recycled.  The site will then be prepared for the construction of a modern, competition-winning new civic, administration and library building as part of the broader Kings Square Renewal project.

Demolition activities are currently focusing on the delicate separation of the building from the Fremantle Town Hall, some of it done by hand to protect the heritage-listed building.

Pleasingly it has gone well and the original limestone wall of the Fremantle Town Hall are now visible for the first time in decades and will be a feature in the new civic building.



Grants support State’s cultural heritage announced today

Today the State Government announced funding of $1.22 million allocated to 22 heritage places including two in Fremantle.  The program, overseen by the Heritage Council of Western Australia, offers dollar-for-dollar funding of up to $100,000 to help private owners conserve and revitalise their properties.

The full list is here:

The Freo ones are:

St John’s Anglican Church, Fremantle – $87,812.04

Adjacent the Fremantle Town Hall, St John’s in Fremantle has served the local Anglican Community for almost 140 years, standing near the site of its predecessor, which was built in 1843. The church employs random coursed limestone in its walls, with raised mortar pointing giving a distinctive appearance.

This year’s funding will assist with the underpinning and repair of the collapsing north west corner of the church and assist with the replacement of rainwater goods for the building, ensuring it remains structurally stable and can continue to serve the local Anglican community for many years to come.


3 Pakenham Street, Fremantle West End –  $40,105.10

Located in Fremantle’s historic West End precinct, the commercial building at 3 Pakenham Street was built in the 1920s and once presented with rendered bands and tuck-pointed red brick that is now concealed behind layers of paint. The windows have also been altered over time, along with the goods entrance (roller door).

This year’s Heritage Council funding will assist in reinstating the original tuck-pointed presentation of the facade, and is part of an overall plan to reactivate the building and create a bespoke gin distillery.