Freo's View


Posted in bathers beach, fremantle, heritage, hospitality, western australia by freoview on August 27, 2016

I don’t believe it is disrespectful to call Fremantle Society president John Dowson an enigma. The Pres. has just arrived back in Fremantle from a long stint in Europe and his latest letter to the FS members contains an interesting opinion on the controversial large deck at Kidogo Arthouse at Bathers Beach that was opposed by the State Heritage Council and rejected by the WA Planning Commission.

Dowson wrote” Joanna Robertson at Kidogo also has a fight on her hands – to prevent the removal of her new deck outside Kidogo. She is being told by the Heritage Council to remove the deck because it is detrimental to the heritage of the adjacent building. This is the same Heritage Council which approved a row of toilets in the same location, which would be far more detrimental. Joanna has indicated she is willing NOT to go ahead and build the toilets if she can keep the deck.”

Facts are that Joanna Robertson received approval to build a small toilet block and a small deck to accommodate the Kelp Bar, but she changed her mind and did not build the toilets but a much larger deck instead for which she had not applied for or given approval. For her to now say she would be willing to not build the toilets if she can keep the deck is insincere, as she has shown by building the deck that she has no intention buildings the toilets that would require part demolition of the new deck.

Not building permanent toilets would mean the regular appearance of very unsightly portable toilets in the significant Bathers Beach heritage area, so it is beyond me the Fremantle Society prefers that.

John Dowson’s swipe at the Heritage Council most likely comes because that office has proposed different boundaries for the West End Conservation Area than JD wants to see.

The Kidogo Arthouse deck saga will now go before the State Administrative Tribunal, so stay tuned.

Roel Loopers

2 Responses

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  1. freoview said, on August 29, 2016 at 9:10 am

    I agree with you Rob that the ‘dust bowl’ is rubbish and the Bathers Beach Art Precinct a dismal failure that no one seems to want to fix.
    But I don’t agree that someone gets planning approval for one thing and then decides to do something different. The rules and regulations are there for all of us and the Heritage Office is there to protect our historic sides.
    Joanna was a bit too clever for her own good and she knew she was doing the wrong thing and should have applied for planning approval for the deck once she decided not to want to build the toilets.
    In general though Bathers Beach needs public toilets, a path that continues as far as possible to Victoria Quay and does not stop before J Shed, and it needs a total overhaul of the Art Precinct concept.


  2. Rob said, on August 29, 2016 at 12:07 am

    I agree with John, it should remain and she should be thanked for her hard work, what should go is that dust bowel parking area out the front which was opposed by everyone when it was done and replaced with lawn. Currently its a beachside parking lot. Also focus fixing the Bathers Beach Art Precinct. Who ever at the City is responsible for this area needs to be sacked as they have done a disgraceful job of making it safe and activated. The lazy approach to managing this unique area is mind blowing and instead of wasting time and effort dismantling successful family events spend some time fixing this please. I am happy to walk the Manager responsible around and help them identify the issues.

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