THE FREO GLASS IS MORE THAN HALF FULL!
I very much liked the Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel on Tuesday evening with a panel of business people.
Chamber of Commerce CEO Olwyn Williams, National Hotel owner and new BID chairman Karl Bullers and Many 6160 manager Kate Hulett were all on the ball of what Fremantle needs, especially Kate with her very positive and embracing call for collaboration was very inspiring to listen to.
Olwyn Williams said Fremantle should be the jewel in the crown as a retail experience but there was a need to reposition the second most visited place in WA. She said there had been a decline in retail and traditional services for years and that Fremantle was mainly a weekend economy.
The Chamber supports more housing and workplace development in the CBD to make Freo shine as a destination again, and we need to have all week activation not just on weekends and evenings.
The East End needs to change and Fremantle needs a fresh look, Olwyn said.
Karl Bullers said that Fremantle has a very strong base to build on but that safety and security are major challenges for the city. Heritage is the strongest asset that can be built on but we also need sympathetic development.
We have a unique city with Bathers Beach in the heart of the city but that is not promoted well enough.
Freo needs serious rejuvenation and busses should not go through Market Street and South Terrace.
Karl also called for free weekday evening parking and I believe that is a very good idea as it probably cost more to have parking inspectors on duty than the City receives from parking meters during the evening hours. He also called for more public toilets.
I cannot stop myself from expressing my admiration for Kate Hullet who manages Many 6160 at Kings Square and also runs the hat shop Kate&Abel there. What great positive and inspirational vibes she produced. The Freo glass is more than half full when one listens to her.
Kate said we need to stop saying THEY need to do something about it in Fremantle when it is all of us who can be part of the changes and improvements. “We’ve got the power ourselves to change Fremantle!”
We need to challenge people’s perception of Fremantle. It is a wonderful place and we need to stop the boring repetitive negative record, Kate said.
She also said businesses needed to do more cross promotion on social media to support one another and that we need cultural events that are all encompassing.
The present and future presidents of the Notre Dame Students Association were rightly upset that none of the panel speakers had mentioned the significant economic contribution the students and staff make to Fremantle and I agree with that.
As I said tonight, I don’t believe we are selling the Fremantle story very well at all with people from out of town not being made prominently aware of cheap all-day parking spaces all over Fremantle and we can do a whole lot better than that. Fremantle has a great positive story to tell and the entire community should be doing that!