It is fantastic to hear that East Fremantle Mayoral candidate Barry de Jong has pledged to give his salary back to council, if he gets elected, so that the money can be used to create a new community art award. That is putting your money where you mouth is!
Another art lover has also nominated for East Freo council. Tim Milsom, CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is standing for Preston Ward. He has been a great supporter of the Arthur Head artists and Sculpture@Bathers, so should Barry and Tim be elected, the arts will receive a boost in East Freo.
Once merged, the Freo/East Freo combination will be a powerful arts supporting new council.
I have long said that Fremantle people complaining about our city should listen to what visitors to Freo have to say because their appreciation of Fremantle is very high. I always go home with a spring in my step after a day as volunteer tourguide at the Round House, because it is such a positive experience as the tourists make so many compliments about Fremantle.
Here are a few things Canberra Times writer Mal Chenu wrote about Freo in the Traveller section of that newspapers:
THE WEST END
Affordable rents and an artisan attitude have created this brazenly funky precinct. You’ll find something no one else in Sydney is wearing among the unique outfits, jewellery and accessories at Love in Tokyo and the other groovy boutiques. There’s fine art with a difference at Merenda and Japingka galleries and colourful Indian fabrics and curios at Kartique. Take a break at the “very Freo” New Edition bookshop, incorporating the Grumpy Sailor Cafe and a fashion designer in the rear.
Renowned Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto (aka Vhils) has chiselled into the wall of the Norfolk Hotel a quite brilliant “sculpture” portrait of Australia’s first female senator, Dorothy Tangney. Vhils’ unusual technique fits the Freo street art model snugly. An eclectic graffiti policy means an arts committee decides whether “installations” have artistic merit. Other pieces not to be missed include the huge numbat on the Old Spice Building, the zebra on South Terrace and the boxing kangaroo on the side of the National Hotel.
The “cappuccino strip” has long been touted as the go-to place for your morning java but in truth it’s getting a bit old, although there are still a few lovely venues. For a more modern and Freo-funky experience check out the Middle Eastern-themed Attic in Bannister Street, Moore & Moore cafe (and art gallery) in Henry Street, Hush Espresso in Market Street and Chalky’s Espresso Bar in High Street, which also has offers a huge range of teas, juices and meals. But really, it’s almost impossible to get a bad cuppa in Freo.
MINI SYDNEY VIBE
The comparison may not be immediately apparent but there are plenty of similarities – a working harbour, sailboats aplenty, heritage buildings, a progressive bike-loving mayor, superb coffee and excellent restaurants with water views. On a sunny weekend Freo is Newtown meets The Rocks with a seaside holiday town vibe. Fremantle’s community spirit is a force of nature – whether it be an important planning decision or simply saving a tree.
Will the Fremantle Dockers get the great new training facilities they want in the City of Cockburn or will the project have to be scaled down or even abandoned because of the new Federal Government’s unwillingness to guarantee funding? The former Labor government promised $ 10 million towards the $ 114 million dollar project planned for Beeliar Drive, but the new minister insists all projects need to be resubmitted for funding.
The City of Fremantle tried very hard to keep the Fremantle Football Club in town with plans to redevelop Fremantle Oval, but the Dockers’ board decided it was best for the club’s future to make the move to Cockburn. The development of a huge sporting complex there now appears to be in jeopardy.
Photographer Jarrad Seng is a brave man, and probably like most photographers slightly mad, as he hung out of a small plane over icy Iceland to capture its stunning nature from the air with his camera. The results will be on show in Seng’s exhibition ‘alltervatn” at the Feast Your Eyes Gallery in the all new MYRE project at Kings Square that will open soon. Jarrad Seng’s show opens on October 6 from 5-7 pm.
The ballot papers are arriving in our letter boxes for the local government election and I think some people plan to put a protest vote in against Mayor Brad Pettitt, because they are very irate about the Esplanade skatepark in particular and Planning Scheme Amendment 49 and other council decisions. But is it wise and to Fremantle’s benefit to elect the other candidate Matthew Hanssen and make him the new Mayor of our city?
I have been very vocal about my disappointment about PSA 49 that will allow buildings of up to 12 storeys in the CBD. I was especially upset with Pettitt when he voted for it on council, while only a week or so earlier he had stated in the Planning Committee he would not vote for double-digit storeys and he would want to cap them at nine. He didn’t.
While I would like to see a great skatepark in the inner city, and offered alternative locations when I spoke at council, the elected members stubbornly continued with the Esplanade location and that has understandably divided our community.
But, Fremantle, the alternative is worse! I would have liked to see more and better candidates for the mayoral position opposing Pettitt and I would maybe have made a protest vote against him myself, but Matthew Hanssen as our mayor would be an embarrassment for our city.
I have witnessed Hannsen’s inept and uninformed performances when he stood for state, then federal government, when all he delivered were slogans and hyperbole, and I watched his cringe-worthy performance in a debate with the Mayor at the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, where it was clear he had not done his homework.
In front of the crème de la crème of our business community Hannsen told us that a council that has managed to get millions of dollars of property development going and that will have created the larges development in our city ever with the Kings Square development, to stop navel-gazing. He claimed all that development stuff were just pipe-dreams, although much of it is already happening in Queen Victoria Street in the East of the city, a new hotel in Bannister Street is reaching completion, another one is on the cards for Pakenham Street and a stunning modern building will be erected for the Mediterranean Shipping Company in Cliff Street, the Point Street high impact development should start next year, etc. Just pipe-dreams?
Hanssen also made the damaging claim that the 220 million dollar Kings Square development by Sirona Capital might never happen, without offering any evidence for his assertions.
The wannabe Mayor also said amalgamation with Melville would be good and if Fremantle was only represented by a few councillors that would be okay because Melissa Parke looked after far more people. That shows Hanssen does not even grasp the difference between local and federal government. They can’t be compared. It is an absolutely nonsensical statement to make!
Hanssen’s simplistic idea for revitalising the city is to just get people opening up businesses in vacant shops, while every economic retail expert will tell us that more people will bring new businesses to town, so development of residential and tourist accommodation is essential, as is office space. If thousands more people work and live in Fremantle and hundreds of tourists stay overnight, that will create the numbers that will entice new businesses to our city. That is what the present council and mayor have been working on.
A protest vote against Mayor Brad Pettitt and for Matthew Hanssen will be bad for the future of our city. Hanssen has no big picture vision for our future, just a stop the boats attitude to local government, and he won’t stop the skatepark on the Esplanade, or change PSA 49, because he won’t have the majority of numbers required on council. That’s a fact.
Vote FOR Fremantle, not AGAINST Brad Pettitt. I did today.
Fremantle Citizen of the Year 2012
It is very special for a photographer to record the history of special events and the Fremantle Dockers participation in their very first AFL Grand Final was no doubt a very special occasion for our city. It was quite overwhelming to see the huge crowd and I had a few goosebumps and the odd tear in my eyes, because it was an emotional experience to witness the passion of the good-natured crowd and to realise I was being part of a historic event.
It was a day I will remember for a very long time and I feel rather privileged I took part in it. The photos my colleagues and I, and many spectators, took, will be an invaluable historic record for Fremantle, for Western Australia and for our entire country. Love you heaps Freo!
Here my last photos.
Some more impressions of a mainly very good and vibrant day that was a showcase for Fremantle. The Grand Final event on the Fremantle Cappuccino Strip, the Esplande and at Kings Square was a day I will remember for a very long time. It was very special to be part of this history making event, and well done Fremantle Dockers. You did Freo very proud.
Sadly a few idiots marred the day, with the Sail&Anchor forced to close the balcony around 2pm because fools were pouring drinks down on the people below. It came as no surprise as the pub opened at 8 am and that is not responsible service of alcohol. I don’t blame the S&A for that, but the fact that they do have a license that allows them to sell alcohol from 7 am on. Other establishments have similar licenses and I agree with the Police Commissioner that this has to be changed. Anyone who needs alcohol at 7 am needs medical help, not an open pub.
There was a fight in Market Street that required an ambulance and mounted police, and a woman with a badly bloodied face needed help at Pioneer Park as well. Overall though it was a brilliant day and a very well behaved massive crowd, so well done again Freo!
Many people who came to Fremantle‘s inner city today to watch the Fremantle Dockers play in their first AFL GRAND FINAL were aware of the historic significance for the club and our city.
These will be the last photos I’ll post today as I need a break. I’ll post some really great photos tomorrow, so stay tuned.