The announcement by Mayor Brad Pettitt that the derelict Woolstores building will be made into an artwork is a tiny step towards making this eyesore a Fremantle icon again.
It is also pleasing to know the owner, Marilyn New, who also owns the Esplanade Hotel, has been instructed to make sure the building does not deteriorate any further, and the demolition through neglect won’t be allowed to continue.
At present the Heritage Act is under review and will be rewritten. I sincerely hope there will be new massive fines for owners who let heritage buildings rot away and new laws that will force owners to maintain those buildings.
What we have witnessed with the Woolstores over many years is unacceptable and the owner should hang her head in shame for holding the city at ransom over this. The people of Fremantle, through their elected council, made it very clear to Marilyn New that we do not want a taller building on the site. She should accept that and develop accordingly.