Wayne’s Story

I just read this story about Wayne, one our newest employees at the City of Freo in the Parks team and thought it was a nice way to start the week:


Wayne’s story |

“I love to work for the Council… they’re a very, very friendly team.” You might see Wayne happily working in the City’s green spaces as one of two new staff with disability in our Parks team.

He secured the job through a partnership between the City and his local Disability Employment Service (DES) Biz Link. “I was unemployed for a couple months and then Biz Link got in touch with me and they said to me – we’ve got another job for you at Fremantle council.”

Wayne has tried a number of jobs since he was in an accident 20 years ago. While he hasn’t enjoyed all of these roles, he was still motivated to find fullfilling work. “If you don’t work and you haven’t got many friends you can’t really communicate. But you come to work and you’re talking to people you work with and that’s really good.”

If you or someone you know with disability is looking for work, start today by contacting a DES provider such as BizLink, Community First, Forrest Personnel and EDGE Employment Solutions.

City of Fremantle workplace achievements

All initiatives are developed as part of the City of Fremantle Access and Inclusion Plan (AIP) 2016-20 which provides that people with a disability have the same opportunities as other people to obtain and maintain employment with the City of Fremantle.

This is to be achieved by:

  1. ​People with a ​disability will be encouraged and supported to apply for roles with the City.
  2. City workplaces will be accessible and safe for existing and new staff.
  3. The City will create, develop and customise employment opportunities and roles for people with a disability.

Achievements to date

  • Successful appointment of two people with disabilities via a targeted employment approach.
  • Successful grant funding application which will see the hire of a young trainee with a disability in the new financial year.
  • Successful grant funding application for on-site training which provided vision awareness training and will deliver training in deafness awareness and mental health awareness training targeting customer facing staff as well as ELT and EM’s.
  • Developed and implemented an online disability awareness training program available to all staff via LMS and which is mandatory for new employees as part of the induction program.
  • Attainment of salary budget which will be used to create customised position opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Securing of a 12 month partnership agreement with job access which delivers specialist support and expertise to the City on disability employment including free training for recruiters of the organisation.
  • Changes to internal recruitment processes such as offering access assistance when inviting for interviews and offering documents in alternative formats.
  • Built relationships with the local disability employment providers and implemented a process whereby all vacancies are disseminated to the providers.
  • Placed two people with disabilities into work experience opportunities.

We have more work planned over the next year which will see out recruitment processes and practices as ‘best practice’ for disability employment and achieve the City’s strategy of being an accessible and inclusive organisation.

$3.1m Fremantle Town Hall restorations nearing completion

With conservation works nearing completion, scaffolding will gradually be removed over the coming weeks to reveal the Fremantle Town Hall’s exterior in all its original splendour – much as it looked 130 years ago in 1887 when first unveiled.

The  $3.1m works—which began in May 2016 and were extended into this year after specialist contractors found additional critical restoration work was required—included major structural repairs, a new slate roof with improved drainage and the refurbishment of the clock, which was taken apart to be cleaned and serviced.

The town hall restoration project is the largest conservation project we’ve ever undertaken and is the first stage in the transformation of Kings Square.

Throughout the restoration we’ve been very careful to respect the original intention for the town hall to look like a high-quality, finely-detailed stone building. This has involved removing the external paint which has been slowly suffocating the town hall since the 1960s to reveal its unique stucco finish, with natural variations in colour and texture that form part of this.

The end result will see the town hall not only look like it did in 1887, but also function like it was intended to, with the walls being able to ‘breathe’ again for the first time in decades to absorb and then expel moisture and salt.

It may look a bit different than what we’re used to seeing in modern times, but up until 1965 this is what people would have known the town hall as looking like. By doing this vital work we’ve ensured the town hall will be around for the next 130 years and beyond for future generations to enjoy.

This is another key part of our commitment to conserving and sensitively adapting Fremantle’s heritage buildings to underpin our future as a vibrant 21st century city where heritage and modern buildings coexist and complement each other.

About the town hall restoration

Before current restorative works were undertaken it had been almost thirty years since the last major capital expenditure on the Fremantle Town Hall.

Since mid-2016 a large team of skilled stonemasons, plasterers, lead workers and slate roofers with specialist traditional skills have transformed the exterior of the town hall building using traditional building methods.

Key elements such as the roof cladding and drainage systems needed to be replaced urgently to protect the building from ongoing deterioration prevent the loss of culturally significant features and address concerns about public safety.

Gutters and downpipes were too small to cope with current extreme weather events and have led to ongoing damage to the interior of the building. These elements have all been enlarged.

There were also ongoing issues caused by inappropriate surface treatments and repairs to masonry elements carried out in the1950s–60s. At this time there was little understanding of best practice conservation which had unfortunately led to the ongoing deterioration of masonry, embedded steel and timbers and decorative stucco work in the town hall.

During the works, it was discovered some inaccessible parts of the building were in worse condition than expected and extra works were required. To prevent further deterioration of the building and to make use of scaffolding already in place for the current restoration works, it was more efficient and cost effective to complete these additional works now.


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.”


The whole time I have been mayor there has been a Liberal State Government. Whilst the Fremantle Council worked constructively with them (including after much work getting 1500 State Government office workers committed to Fremantle) and formed some good relationships there was (unsurprisingly) plenty we didn’t agree on. Given this, the emphatic win by the ALP on the weekend opens up some exciting new opportunities for Fremantle.

South Quay

After the CEO and I met with some of the key ALP players in Fremantle last year to explain the Fremantle Council ‘s position on a range of matters, the ALP pleasingly committed to redevelop the south side of the Fremantle Port.  This is a wonderful opportunity to connect the Fremantle city centre to our waterfront. South Quay is a huge project and one that will happen in the longer term but it is essential (now that we know that Fremantle Port will be capped ) that we start doing some planning on how South Quay can be more than a fenced car park with views. Importantly, it is an opportunity to create a much better arrival point for visitors on cruise ships. Here were some thoughts on this from a year ago and a map of the area we’re are talking about:


Fremantle Hospital and Oval

With the Fremantle Oval deal with the Dockers finally done and the oval soon back under the City of Fremantle’s control, there is a new opportunity to have parts of the Fremantle Hospital site incorporated into a major Fremantle Oval redevelopment as we outlined last year and in our Freo 2029 plans. This of course has dovetailed nicely into the ALP’s recent announcement on having a stronger focus on making the Fremantle Hospital site function more effectively again. Repeated feedback suggests that around 50% of the site is not currently being used. Whilst this is disappointing, it does present a huge opportunity to get that site reused and unused portions redeveloped.

PFL and Knutsford

Finally, the killing off of Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link by the ALP gives some certainty to the redevelopment of the Fremantle Depot site and other land around Knustford Street (where the tunnel was previously expected to emerge). We are working with Landcorp and others to pull together a nation-leading an environmentally sustainable, mixed use, medium density area but the PFL tunnel was putting that under a cloud. But with the election done we can go ahead with this and hopefully even take the outcomes from the award winning WGV development to the next level.

So congratulations to Mark McGowan and his team and our re-elected local member Simone McGurk. We look forward to working with you. It is going to be an exciting and busy time ahead!

PS We are meeting with the Dept of Transport this week too to see how we can progress this!:


It’s time to ride and shine!

As part of Bike Week, this gentle evening ride is designed to celebrate cycling and shine a light on you and your bike. Starting at South Beach and winding along the beachside shared paths, the relaxed 5km ride is suitable for people of all ages and riding abilities. Just make sure you glow! Kit out your bike with lights, reflectors, glow sticks + extra points if you use recycled materials.

The ride starts at the South Beach night markets and follows the bike path to Fremantle Roundhouse before returning to South Beach. Registration table opens at 6:30pm where participants can pick up their free bike light, with the ride departing at 7pm.



TIME: 6:30PM – 8:30PM



Winterfold Primary School’s new nature based Playground

Today Simone McGurk and I had the fun job of opening Winterfold Primary School’s new nature based Playground… by not just cutting a ribbon but also going down an old school slide.

There is a world-wide recognition of the need for children to have access to natural play spaces that allow creative play and adventure. This is because Nature play encourages the development of gross motor skills and coordination, and promotes mental and physical wellbeing in children.

It is great to see Winterfold embracing these concepts with this fabulous nature playground. It aligns nicely with the Fremantle Council’s focus too. Not only was the Fremantle Council was pleased to fund the design of the playground as part of its Community Development Grant program but we’ll shortly be looking at designs for a new playground using the principles of nature play as part of our Kings Square redevelopment.

A big part of getting the design right will involve asking the community, including kids, about what they want to see as part of this. So please keep a look out for more information on this and how you can get involved in design workshops – this will be happening in the coming months.

In the meantime, check out the great work Winterfold Primary School has done.

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.