The Fremantle Network’s West End Forum: 6pm Monday 22 May

Hear three different perspectives on Fremantle’s historic West End:

  • Celia Hammond, Vice Chancellor of the University of Notre Dame, will share their activation plan for the west end.
  • Gaelle Beech from Anjel MS, is one of the West End traders, and will discuss the area from a business point of view.
  • Maryrose Baker and Richard Mehan from the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association (FICRA) will share a residents perspective and vision for our historic heart.

Join in the discussion and share your vision for this very special part of our city.

6pm Monday 22 May upstairs at the National Hotel. See you there.


Freo’s West End Largest Single Place to be Included in the State Heritage Register

It has been another very big week for Freo. In fact I can confidently say this has been one of the most satisfying weeks in my time as Mayor. On the back on the transformative Kings Square project, I felt especially proud and pleased with the State Listing of Fremantle’s amazing West End. These two projects side by side powerfully demonstrate Fremantle is both encouraging quality new investment AND protecting and promoting the wonderful heritage assets we have like never before.

Fremantle’s West End this week, became the largest single place to be included in the State Register of Heritage Places and it covers nearly 200,000sqm and features 250 buildings, many embodying the exuberance of the gold boom era when Fremantle was a thriving port town.

Bounded by Market Street to the east, Collie Street and Marine Terrace to the south, Little High Street to the west and including both sides of Phillimore Street to the north, it has an important story to tell about the State’s early history and development.

Heritage Minister Albert Jacobs gave a great speech in Fremantle to announce this that I though was worth sharing:

The proposal to heritage list Fremantle’s West End was always an ambitious goal from the start…

It involved a 200,000 square metre area, including approximately 250 buildings, and requiring conversations with 400 owners.

It will come as no surprise that this project has kept the State Heritage Office very busy for most of the year gone.

As Minister for Heritage, I am fortunate in merely having to digest the sum of all this work – a hefty 500-page report that outlined the project.

The report assured me of several key things:

the well-considered nomination put forward

the comprehensive work done to share information and engage with stakeholders

the conclusion that Fremantle’s West End is an area rich in its own distinct history.

Truth be told, it was easy for me to make the decision because, together, the places within this area help tell the story of the development of Fremantle and also Western Australia.

As such, it gives me great pleasure to announce that West End, Fremantle will be the newest addition to the State Register of Heritage Places.

Fremantle’s West End is the largest single place to be included in the State Register.

I have consistently been referring to the West End as one place because that is entirely the rationale of its cultural-heritage significance.

Yes, individual places within West End have their unique stories, but the precinct, as one discrete area, offers a snapshot of Fremantle as a thriving port city business district during the gold boom.

The heritage listing of a precinct this size is, in itself, rare.

However, the sheer density of heritage buildings in an area this size makes the heritage listing of West End rare, on a national scale.

It is always a little difficult to make a definitive comparison with so many variables, but our research suggests that there is no other similar precinct that is heritage listed on a State level in Australia.

The inclusion of West End in the State Register will enhance its profile as a tourist precinct, potentially increase visitor numbers, and ultimately give businesses a real economic boost.

Registration brings with it other benefits… private owners of State Registered places are also able to apply for funding to help with the cost of conservation planning or projects through the Heritage Council’s annual Grants Program.

We are all familiar with the well-known saying: ‘Adapt and survive’

In many ways, West End has proved itself flexible enough to do just that, with a significant part of the precinct now enjoying new life as the Notre Dame University.

The proliferation of popular bars, eateries and speciality shops that have been adapted from heritage buildings in the area are testimony to the fact that heritage is good for business.

However, the West End still retains much of its original maritime identity as even today, many businesses that continue to service the maritime industry remain established in the West End.

I am truly excited about the inclusion of West End in the State Register.

I spoke of this as an ambitious project, but the heritage listing of West End also speaks of collaboration and partnerships.

I’d like to acknowledge:

the City of Fremantle, who had the initial vision and nominated the West End for State registration

the heartening support of owners like you, Michael and Eleni (from Kakulas Sister), who also understand the benefits of registration and championed the cause in the community

the tremendous work undertaken by the State Heritage Office in coordinating the heritage assessment, community engagement and providing me with the information I needed to make this decision.

Thank you all.

 west-end-media jacobs-media-conf



West End, Fremantle – Submissions closing on 2 May

Don’t miss the opportunity to comment on the Heritage Council’s proposal to include the West End precinct in the State Register.

Submissions close 2 May 2016 and the Heritage Council is especially keen to hear from owners of property in the precinct.

West End, Fremantle covers nearly 200,000 square metres, and includes about 250 buildings.

Fremantle’s highly intact West End brings to life the optimism and exuberance of the Gold Boom in Western Australia. Entry in the State Register will help share this story with the broader community and visitors from further afar. Good planning for a vibrant mixed-use and the sensitive development of this heritage precinct will pave the way to making West End one of the highlights of a visit to Western Australia.

Find out more on the State Heritage Office West End webpage

Provide your view using the West End Submission Form

Photographic Negative - Glass

Photographic Negative – Glass

Missy Higgins Kicks Off Concerts at J-Shed

It was really great to see the first big concert work so well at J Shed last night. It was one of those idyllic warm summer nights. A zephyr like Fremantle Doctor and the glow of the lights of Bathers Beach and Fishing Boat Harbour made for a special backdrop.

Missy Higgins concert was sold out and around 1000 people attended the expanded J Shed concert format. In my view it was a success not only because those who came clearly thought it was an amazing spot for concert but also because the fears articulated in the public advertising period – including traffic impacts, noise and anti-social behaviour – did not appear.

What we had instead was a wonderfully relaxed and diverse concert audience from under 7 weeks to over 70 years of age, all well behaved.

After a tasty feed from one of the half dozen or so food trucks, a short welcome from the City of Fremantle to all attending and an acknowledgment of Noongar country, I left the concert about half way through to check out the noise impacts on the West End that had been hotly debated.

Up behind the Roundhouse at the lookout there were a few people and families enjoying the view and music but once you were around the other side at the Roundhouse’s front door you could only hear the music from Bathers Beach House and the Kelp Bar. Surprisingly none from the J Shed concert. Once down on High Street in the West End there was almost no sound from the concert at all as far as I could tell. While I expect that different concerts and wind conditions will have varied results in regard to noise it was good to experience it working so well (and how we were advised it largely would) on its first night.

These concerts were undoubtedly one of the most controversial parts of the J Shed approval and what its first big night showed is that it can work well and 12 or so of these a year would not not be an unreasonable imposition.

I’d be interested in others feedback as we are seeing the first 12months or so as a bit of a trial where we can iron out issues. Personally I am looking forward to the next one and J Shed becoming an iconic concert destination.

IMG_2294 IMG_2295 IMG_2296 IMG_2297 IMG_2300

West End State Heritage Listing Open for Public Comment


The State Heritage Office launched their next phase of stakeholder engagement on the proposal to register the West End today. Packages have now gone out to all stakeholders and additional information and links all the documentation and forms is now on their website.

The State Heritage Office will also set up an information kiosk at the Hotel Fremantle building (cnr Cliff and High) on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 March so people can drop in and ask questions.

For the biggest heritage listing EVER in WA to be successful we need as many stakeholders as possible to put in a submission supporting the West End registration. This doesn’t mean we all have to agree on the exact boundaries but it would be great to see everyone get behind the broad principle to see this WA icon get the recognition it deserved on the state’s heritage list.

The period for providing comments on registration will be open until Monday 2 May 2016.

West end zone of significance on some of the benefits of state’s biggest ever heritage listing.

A good article by Kerry Faulkner on some of the benefits of state listing Freo’s West End.

Fremantle's High Street West End in the present (left) contrasted to its appearance in the boom period (right).
Fremantle’s High Street West End in the present (left) contrasted to its appearance in the boom period (right).

The inclusion of Fremantle’s West End on the state’s heritage register will cement its reputation as an exceptional part of Western Australia.

It will also be the biggest addition to the list in its history, comprising 200,000 square metres and 250 buildings.

The British claimed the Swan River Colony in 1829 by hoisting a flag at Arthur Head which sits at the most westerly point of High Street which is the centrepiece of the West End.

The State Heritage Office wrote to 400 property owners last month asking for their feedback on the proposed listing, which was instigated by the City of Fremantle.

The area is bounded by Market Street to the east, Collie Street and Marine Terrace to the south, Little High Street to the west and Phillimore Street to the north and is described by the State Heritage Office as “a highly intact port city business district with a fine cohesive collection of buildings predominantly dating from WA’s gold-boom expansion era 1890s to 1900s.”

If owners give the go-ahead the listing could be rubber-stamped by the Heritage Council by August.

Caporn Young Real Estate associate director Stefanie Dobro​ says it’ll make property there even more desirable, based on its reputation as a place of significant historical value.

She says once landowners get over their initial heritage-listing fears they will recognise the many opportunities it presents.

“From a real estate perspective, they can’t make 100-plus-year-old buildings and houses any more”, she says.

“We recognise that heritage precincts typically attract a premium because they are often architecturally attractive whether grand or humble and are in short supply.

“Proximity to heritage precincts, such as the West End, typically have a spill-on effect on local real estate.

“On a much smaller residential scale, we see this in heritage precincts like the Plympton Ward in East Fremantle where purchasers often pay a premium for the privilege of living in heritage housing, walking distance to a main street with shops.”

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt has been quick to hose down fears it will mean owners won’t be able to make changes to properties.

He explains adaptions that are sympathetic to heritage values are welcome and in the case of businesses like bars and restaurants historical significance can provide a unique point of difference.

“We’ve seen some fantastic heritage adaptions in recent years with businesses such as Bread in Common, The Esplanade Hotel by Rydges, the National Hotel and many others using heritage as a business advantage,” he says.

The added advantage of a heritage listing is owners become eligible for grant funding for conservation work.

Fremantle’s iconic West End precinct looks to State Heritage Listing

As you may have seen in the media today the Heritage Council of Western Australia is seeking the community’s view on the proposal to include Fremantle’s iconic West End precinct in the State Register of Heritage Places.

This is very exciting news for Fremantle. If listed, the West End would constitute the largest ever addition to the register and would include around 250 buildings covering an area of approximately 20 hectares (200 000 sqm).

The potential listing would have many flow-on benefits for the broader community and owners of properties within the nominated area. The City has for a long time recognised the cultural heritage value of the precinct and inclusion on the State Heritage Register would not only provide the recognition the area deserves, it can also help unlock further potential for economic growth in a place that was the epicentre for commerce for much of Fremantle’s history.

I encourage the entire community, but particularly owners and tenants in the West End, to support this initiative by making their comments through the State Heritage Office.

Benefits of registration

Heritage has always been an important factor in tourism in Fremantle, but increasingly, heritage is also proving a unique point of difference for businesses like bars and eateries, as well as for local retailers, who are successfully adapting heritage buildings for modern needs.

“We’ve seen some fantastic heritage adaptations in recent years with businesses such as Bread in Common, The Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges, the National Hotel and many others all using heritage as a business advantage.

It’s a common misconception that heritage listing a property means owners cannot make any changes to their properties but this is not the case. Adaptations which are sympathetic to heritage values can open a place to new uses and make it relevant to contemporary life

As well as the recognition of the West End’s significance as a unique and valuable place in WA, inclusion in the State Register:

  • provides an opportunity for private owners of registered properties to apply for heritage grants from the Heritage Council
  • delivers a point of difference for businesses in the area who can market their business as being part of a State Heritage Listed historic precinct
  • allows property owners to register their interest in the Heritage Council’s plaque program whereby heritage plaques can be produced and prominently displayed on their property
  • opens up the potential for the City to use the West End’s heritage status in future marketing and economic development initiatives for the precinct
  • does not prevent an owner from making changes to their property. Owners will continue to apply to the City of Fremantle for routine development approvals, with more significant proposals referred to the Heritage Council for advice.
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Next steps

The State Heritage Office has now commenced stakeholder engagement. This process includes engaging with the more than 400 owners and 295 tenants to seek their views on the proposed registration. A final decision on whether the West End will be entered in the State Register will be made by the Minister for Heritage after considering comments received.


In 2014 the City of Fremantle nominated the West End of Fremantle to the Heritage Council for them to consider its inclusion on the State Register of Heritage Places given its cultural heritage significance to Western Australia.

The nomination followed a recommendation of the West End Working Group, consisting of City officials and community representatives, which was established in 2010 specifically to look at heritage listing the West End of Fremantle.

The area nominated by the West End Working Group (and that which is now under consideration for registration) is bounded by Market Street to the east, Collie Street and Marine Terrace to the south, Little High Street to the west and Phillimore Street to the north. These boundaries define the original ‘business district’ of gold-boom Fremantle. It is a highly intact precinct that boasts an impressive variety of Federation-era buildings that illustrate the workings of a port city in the 1890s to 1900s.

Following a preliminary assessment, the Heritage Council resolved that it should be considered for registration.


View the State Heritage Office media release

View the West End curtilage map

Visit for more information




not worth making an issue of, but for the record his statement that the Council ignored the recommendation of the West End Working Group is not correct – the FINAL recommendation of the WEWG to Council in September 2013 supported nomination of the area which has now been proposed, not the bigger area including Kings Square and the Prison