IT’S A BLOODY COUNCIL MEETING COMRADE!
Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle sat this Wednesday evening well chaired by acting Mayor Dave Coggin. The AM made one minute mistake only by not acknowledging the Noongar people, but only a pedantic Dutch imperfectionist would pick up such minor detail.
Interesting that the item for an eight storey building on the former Spotlight site at Adelaide Street was removed from the agenda without giving any reasons for it, so I wonder what is happening there.
The small bar at the old Weighbridge was on and opposed by Fremantle Society’s David Hawks who said the proposal was so ludicrous that it was almost laughable. He also pointed out that Council had approved the J Shed tavern, that was rejected by the WA Planning Commission on planning grounds.
A very interesting point I did not know about is that the proponents of the bar said they were invited by Fremantle Council to create a bar there, so that is a wee bit weird.
Councillor Strachan said he was concerned about traffic issues but not comfortable approving the lease but then not the planning proposal.
Brand new Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge said that small bars were self-regulation and the risk of heavy drinking there was minimal as the responsible service of alcohol was easier to manage in a small bar environment.
Councillor Rachel Pemberton said that Council decided three years ago this was an appropriate use of space (as they did with a tavern and live music venue at J Shed!). She said the intersection at Cliff and Phillimore streets was a disaster but had nothing to do with the proposal. This is about creating activity in the area and making use of a heritage site, she said.
Councillor Dave Hume appeared to want to show off to the new female Beaconsfield Councillor by being very macho and using the word bloody a lot in his support for the bar and questioned what it was the Fremantle Society actually wanted. “People who complain about the bloody trains should go and live somewhere else” Hume thundered.
Councillor Andrew Sullivan said the bar was all about the vision Council has for the area, but apart from the word activation I don’t believe the community actually knows and understands what Council wants to achieve in the West End, with the Bathers Beach Art Precinct not working, the Walyalup centre being a flop and the J Shed tavern debacle a pure shambles, so please enlighten us braindead commoners about Council’s great vision for the area!
The limitation on fast food outlets came back to reality and that it was actually all about creating more retail diversity. Acting Mayor Coggin said Council needed to consider what a retail mix should look like for a vibrant city and that it was a show of confidence when large franchises like McDonalds wanted to come to Fremantle. I tend to agree with that.
I very much enjoy attending Council and Committee meetings of the City of Fremantle as it makes one understand the difficulties the elected members and officers face. It’s a whole lot more interesting than most so-called reality shows on TV, so go and see some Fremantle reality at the next Council meeting instead!