Five new signs have gone up along Bathers Beach and Arthur Head to tell visitors to Fremantle about the Nyoongar history. The Manjarree Trial runs from the old jetty to the Round House.
The project is part of the Noongar Coastal Trial and was done by the City’s Aboriginal liaison officer Brendan Moore. It was sponsored by Perthregionnrm, formerly known as the Swan Catchment Council.
The Manjarree Trial will enhance the Aboriginal tourism experience in Fremantle and will also be great for school groups who visit Fremantle.
Yep, some of you got fooled by my April Fools about the City of Fremantle engaging Relationships Australia to help to better communicate with the community, but the unfortunate reality will remain that not much will change and the concerns of the vocal majority will largely be ignored by Freo Council.
The City of Fremantle announced today that it has entered into a contract for one year with Relationships Australia to help improve communication between the City and the Fremantle community.
RA will provide counselling and mediation services between Elected Members and community groups and individuals and will facilitate community workshops.
Fremantle Council has been criticised for not listening to the community on controversial issues such as the Youth Plaza, J Shed and Planning Scheme Amendment 49.
Mayor Dr. Brad Pettitt said that while he approached all issues with an open mind, there was always room for improvement on how the City communicated with its residents, but he cautioned that the community should also learn to listen to its Councillors.
Relationships Australia have healed many almost broken marriages and we in Fremantle are at a point where we need to start a healing process with the community before it gets much worse. Mutual respect is essential to achieve that, Dr Pettitt told Freo’s View.
Most Councillors support the idea of trying a new way of communication, but Cr. Andrew Sullivan said we should not be too precious about it, as one could well argue that Councillors were elected to know what is best for the community.
FICRA spokesman Dick Baynham said residents groups had felt for a long time that their genuine concerns were not listened to by the City. FICRA would be happy to attend counselling sessions if that helped improve the listening skills of the decision makers.
President Henty Farrar of the Fremantle Society told me he supported the new holistic approach that suited the alternative Fremantle community. He stressed that the success of Fremantle Forever for better amalgamation boundaries, showed that when Council and the community work together better outcomes are achieved.
While I am all in favour of trying new ways, I don’t believe the RA idea has much merit, as it requires Councillors to accept ordinary citizens of all ages as equals. As long as Elected Members claim they listen to and act on the wishes off an imaginary silent majority, nothing will improve as far as community consultation is concerned. But that of course is only the narrow focus view of an older person, so probably rather irrelevant as far as COF is concerned.
The warning by new Western Australian Transport Minister Dean Nalder that Perth people need to get used to traffic congestion and gridlock does apply to Fremantle as well. The rapidly growing population of WA can be partly blamed for that, but lack of planning is also to blame.
Parking is a big issue in most cities and Fremantle receives a lot of criticism for the lack and cost of parking, and with massive CBD development in the pipeline we need to plan for more cars, so what can be done about it? A San Francisco urban planner suggests that cities need to charge more for what he calls premium on street parking, to encourage people to use the cheaper off street parking structures. I believe this idea has merit for Fremantle.
On weekdays it is near impossible to find parking in the west of the city due to Notre Dame students taking up all the bays. It is akin to winning Lotto to find parking in Pakenham, Mouat, Henry, Cliff, Phillimore streets and on the Esplanade, and even the half hour free parking in High Street is often taken by the UNDA people. If the City of Fremantle charged premium fees of let’s say $ 5.00 per hour in one or two of these streets students might be more inclined to go to the cheaper Collie and Henderson streets multi-storey carparks, thus freeing up car bays for shoppers to use.
The free parking stickers for Freo residents are near useless in the west end of the city because there are no free spaces to leave the car, so they are only useful east of Market Street.
It’s good to have a different perspective now and then, so here some photos of Fremantle I took this afternoon.
With some of the very big ideas for Perth, and some rather silly ones for Fremantle, I believe it is not only time for Fremantle to join the Perth Think Tank, but also establish a Fremantle Think Tank of visionary people. What Fremantle needs is people who are not restricted in their thinking by political party preferences or narrow focus ideologies. We need real deep and creative big thinkers, not just bureaucrats or councillors, to guide Freo into the future.
The Fremantle Think Tank should include people from all forms of life, as well as planning experts, so that what we create is good for our entire community, not just some. The Think Tank needs to consider people of all ages; the need for more public green spaces for kids to play on, and quality of life adding facilities for the aged. It needs to be a group of open-minded, life and change embracing people who can think outside the box, those willing to come up with ‘mad’ ideas that can be fine-tuned into good, practical and workable ones.
The Think Tank needs to be community driven and a place of collaboration and respect, a safe place to engage with people of opposing and different views, where the greater good is all that counts, and I’d love to be part of it.
Of all the planned development in Fremantle I am probably most exited about the Heirloom by Match at the Fort Knox building, the former Dalgety&Co woolstores. The adaptive re-use of the heritage building will see it developed into stunning apartments with very high ceilings. It will be pretty spectacular and will add much-needed residential opportunities in the inner city. Go to the Heirloom website for an impressive drive-through.
Match and Sirona Capital are partners in this development and Sirona without a doubt is now the major player in Fremantle, with their involvement in the Myer, Queensgate and Spicer site developments, as well as the Pakenham Street short-term accommodation one that will start this year. They also bought the Adelaide Plaza last year.
Here some photos of the function that was held on Wednesday evening.
I finally found a way uploading photos by using a different browser, so here some stunning sunset shots I took on Wednesday evening at Fremantle Bathers Beach.
Isolated showers are forecast for today but we are still going ahead with the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets, so come along to celebrate EARTH WEEK with a one hour drumming circle, eat great food, and maybe we’ll have another amazing sunset.