Productive and Native. Highlights of the Community Verge Walk

Today’s community walk to look at verge gardens was really inspiring. Not only was the walk well attended by many impressive people willing to share their ideas and experiences, but we got to see some really great resident-initiated verges as we wondered along Holland, Montreal and Forrest Streets in Fremantle. Thanks to everyone for sharing ideas and knowledge. I leant lots.

Pleasingly the consensus was that the new City of Fremantle verge policy was definitely heading in the right direction as it encouraged more people to plants native plants or even vegetables in their front verges. The policy not only helps people make verge gardens but it also cuts red tape and lets people do creative things – many of which are already happening if Fremantle. Please check out link to policy on previous post.

What became apparent too is that native and productive verges are not only good for environmental reasons such as reducing water use and increasing biodiversity but they are also important socially, as residents use, enjoy and come together (and even share excess produce) as a result of more attractive verge gardens.

Here are some photos:

On the Verge of a Greener Fremantle: We’d Love Your Feedback

As you hopefully know already, the City of Fremantle encourages residents to develop gardens on their verge. We especially love native gardens that bring birds and biodiversity into our suburbs.

While we have seen some great verge gardens popping up all around Fremantle, we want to see lots more. So in the budget this year we decided we to allocate more resources and services to help people do this.

This includes

  1. a verge preparation and mulch delivery scheme to make it easier for residents to convert a verge to a garden.
  2. An increase the number of subsisted plants made available to the community to support verge gardens.
  3. more regular mulch pickup days for the community.

We are also looking a revising what you can put on your verge. Fruits and nut, trees, astroturf, vegetable planters???

We would love you thoughts before the Fremantle Council meeting on Thursday.

To get a feel for what works on the verge I am going to do a community walk around on Sunday afternoon starting at 1.30pm at the Cool Room Café on Holland Street for an hour or so to discuss what works and doesn’t. You would be very welcome to join us.

Also check out the item on page 138 0f the agenda here:



Food treasure tips for Fremantle

The West’s Hermione Stott with Rob Broadfield have put together this great summary of the perfect day grazing Fremantle’s best venues. I think they did pretty well. There is a fun video on the link too.



You’re in Freo. You’re hungry. You’re thirsty. It’s hot. There are people everywhere, spilling out of cafes, bars, juice joints … where do you go?

Like everywhere in Perth you can’t just rock up to any old place and expect top-notch nosh with a side of wow.

You’ve got to know where you are going, whether it’s for an oh-so-healthy acai bowl or well-constructed negroni.

For the most important meals and drinks of the day, and with some expert help from local hooch slinger and bar owner Darcy Travers from Strange Company, food critic Rob Broadfield and yours truly have sourced new, off-the-beaten-track finds.


Third Wheel, 408 South Terrace, South Fremantle;open 7 days 6.30am-2pm, and 7.30am on Saturday and Sunday

Set up by a young local couple and delivering simple, affordable fare, delicious coffee and mouth-watering sweets.

Third Wheel.
Third Wheel.Picture: Danella Bevis/The West Australian


The Attic,16 Bannister Street; open7 days 7am-3pm

These guys have been around for a little while but have just started opening for seven days. Check out the green chilli eggs — one of the best breakfasts in Fremantle.

Green chilli eggs.
Green chilli eggs.Picture: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Bottega, 87 Market Street;open 7 days 6.30am-6pm

Awesome and delicious for lunch (and breakfast). House-baked bread, tasty rolls, and delicious Italian fare. It’s also a classic Freo experience to sit on the cafe strip and people watch.

Bottega.Picture: Danella Bevis/The West Australian


Blink Espresso, 19A High Street; open Monday-Friday 7am-2pm

Blink and you’ll miss it. If you’re in a hurry Serge won’t keep you waiting. If you have a moment he’ll chew your ear off.

Studio 37, 22 Pakenham Street; open Monday-Friday 7am-4pm and 8am-1pm on Saturday

A favourite local meeting spot with great coffee.


Modern Eatery, 6/124 High Street Arcade; closed Monday, open for lunch 11.30am-2pm except Tuesday and dinner 5.30-9pm

Some of Fremantle’s best sushi and a delicious showcase of Japanese cuisine. Little known fact, it also has beer on tap.

Coccolicco, 185 High Street;open Monday-Friday 7am-3pm

Huge, simple and delicious sambos from $7-$9. Good coffee to boot.

Coccolicco.Picture: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Cafe 55, 55 High Street; open Monday-Friday 7.30am-3pm

A local haunt for cheap Vietnamese.

The Orange Box, 20 Leighton Beach Boulevard, North Fremantle; open 7 days 6.30am-3pm

Ex-Rockpool head chef rocking one of the best beachside kiosks in Perth. Well-executed hospitality.

The Orange Box.
The Orange Box.Picture: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Short Order Burgers, 1 James Street; open Thursday-Saturday 6-10pm and 5-9pm on Sunday

Best damn burgers in the Port City.


The Local Hotel, 282 South Terrace; open Monday-Friday 11am-late, Saturday and Sunday 9am-late

The pub that does what it says on the label. It’s not unusual to bump into any number of Fremantle locals enjoying a boilermaker or glass of rosè.

The Local Hotel.
The Local Hotel.Picture: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Norfolk, 47 South Terrace; open 7 days 11am-midnight

New chef and a new smoker in the courtyard. Great drinks and great food, great vibes to meet friends for a bevvie and snack.


Strange Company, 5 Nairn Street; open noon-midnight 7 days

New menu at the moment. Head chef Ricky is back from a recent trip to Spain and Italy and his dishes are thus inspired, using top-quality local seafood, heirloom tomatoes, local carrots and an all-Australian cheese list.


Manuka Woodfire Kitchen, 134 High Street; open Tuesday-Sunday 5-9pm

Heavily spruiked already but worth every word. One oven, woodfired, that’s all.

Holy Smokes, Shop 8, 17-23 Collie Street, open Tuesday-Thursday 4pm-midnight, Friday and Saturday noon-midnight and Sunday noon-10pm

Serving up food that’s healthy for the soul, if not the heart.

Little Lefroys, 310 South Terrace, South Fremantle; open Monday-Wednesday 7am-3pm, Thursday-Saturday, 7am-9.30pm and Sunday 7am-1pm

This little local gem is a find. Does great brekkie, lunch and dinner. Lovely staff, rocking menu and great wine list. Ticks all the boxes.

La Sosta, 85 Market Street;open Monday-Thursday 5pm-11pm and Friday-Sunday 11am-11pm

Authentic Italian fare at fabulous prices.


The Odd Fellow, 47 South Terrace;open Wednesday-Sunday 7pm-midnight

Live music, adult drinks, simple food.

Miss Chats, 59 High Street; open noon-midnight 7 days, 10pm Sunday

Classy, unpretentious joint with rocking tunes and great cocktails.

Density by Design – showing density done well

“Our sprawling cities are reaching their limits and we find ourselves at a cultural crossroads as the great Australian dream must adapt to a new era.”

This is how this impressive new online series Density by Design hosted by Dr Josh Byrne kicks off as it looks at some of the best medium and high density developments from around Australia. From Adelaide’s pioneering Christy Walk to the stunning new Central Park in Sydney to WGV in good old Fremantle, this is density in Australia at its best.

The theme tying each of these developments together is the growing movement away from big houses on large blocks and an increased demand for multi-residential developments near our city hubs. But it is also about the real challenge to move toward new approaches that enable innovative, affordable, sustainable design that is both liveable and affordable.

Density by Design is supported by the CRC for Low Carbon Living in partnership with Curtin University, LandCorp, City of Fremantle and Josh Byrne & Associates. The video series is produced by VAM MEDIA and Directed by Brendan Hutchens.

If you care about the future of our cities then these four 10 minute episodes are well worth a view.

I have seen all of the developments in the flesh and Josh and the team do a great job of showing them and getting the story behind each.

For more information on Density by Design visit the website and watch the series teaser.

Photo by Corey Roberts of Bowden

Baugruppen at WGV explained

I think Baugruppen has huge potential to add affordability, sustainability and tailored innovation to medium density housing in a way that Perth has not seen before …

Move over MANY 6160. Make way for MANY 2.0

If you peek inside the old Spotlight Building on Adelaide St you will be in for quite a surprise. This once empty, derelict space is now home to the very impressive MANY 2.0 – in fact I think it is even better than MANY 6160.

Great projects like this can only happen because of good partnerships. As with Sirona at MANY 6160, development group Yolk have been essential to enabling MANY 2.0 become a reality in partnership with Spacemarket and the team at the City of Fremantle. So big thanks to all for making this happen.

Below is some photos of MANY 2.0 and an article that is in the latest copy of Fremantle Story Mag on the MANY transition. Check it out and enjoy.

The dynamic retail collective housed in the old Myer building has a new home. From March 2017 (well today in fact!) the eclectic pop-up with a difference is bringing new life to the old Spotlight building on Adelaide Street.

When it first opened in October 2013, nobody quite knew how long MANY 6160 (then known as MYRE) would inhabit the building vacated by the department store. Six months? Nine? More than three years later, the temporary concept store (a mix of retail and makers workspaces) is still busy incubating independent businesses.

It’s part of an emerging trend in retail that shuns the bland, soulless shopping centre vibe in favour of a fresher, more experimental approach. “MANY has been a huge, important and interesting project,” says project manager Kate Hulett of its first incarnation in Kings Square. She names the unusual nature of the building and the cooperation and flexibility of its owner Sirona and the City of Fremantle as contributing factors to its success. “Where else would you find 20,000 square metres of space to do something like this? And where else would this work but in Fremantle?

MANY 6160 has housed an evolving line-up of retailers selling hats, artwork, vintage clothing, retro furniture, artisan lamps, jewellery and footwear. Its rooftop has seen two new bars, a couple of motorbike shows and at least one wedding. Its basement has witnessed everything from mini golf to an acclaimed art gallery to performances by Falls Festival DJs.

Upstairs, furniture makers, costume designers, upholsterers, surfboard makers, metal workers and artists have toiled away on their own projects, in the company of like-minded folk. “It’s one of the hallmarks of MANY”, says Kate. Unlike other small businesses where people work alone, the retailers and makers here can talk, connect and sometimes collaborate as a result of the communal space. As well as nurturing a vibrant community, MANY is a way for people to test their businesses without taking on prohibitive leases.

For customers, the benefits lie in the variety, the original wares and the accessibility. People can wander between shops, read books or enjoy the café without feeling pressured to buy. Kate sees it as a space where mums, grandparents, hipsters and teenagers can feel equally at ease.

Vacating the premises for the Kings Square redevelopment (the space will become mixed use office and retail) has brought a new opportunity: to reenergise another dead space with a new-look pop-up. Overseen once again by Spacemarket, the Adelaide Street space has a similar vibe but a different look. Retail stores laid out on the diagonal, for example. The café fronts both the retail floor and the outside lane near Westgate Mall. It’s hoped that regular events will take shape here.

The makers have embarked on a diaspora of their own. Some have moved to studios at the old Fremantle Police Station (cleverly renamed MANY 000), while others plumped for a warehouse at North Fremantle’s Matilda Bay Brewing. Others still are headed for East Perth.

In Adelaide Street, MANY’s retail philosophy holds. MANY 2.0 prides itself on being an outlet for hard-to-find, often handmade items that are unique to Western Australia, in a space that feels interesting and creative. “It would be hard to manufacture the feel of MANY in a cold, new building,” says Kate, who has relished revitalising the derelict Spotlight store–which will be demolished within the next two years for new apartments–into MANY’s next temporary space. “There’s no sadness in the closure of the old place. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to refresh.”

Cycling and the State Election. A Westcylce Summary

WestCycle has drawn together the cycling commitments of the four major political parties ahead of the Western Australian State Election. This table summarises each party’s platform for cycling.

Where possible, we have used the party’s own words to describe their commitment.