I hopped on the train to Perth to listen to the free lunchtime Musical Morsels concert by WASO musicians at the Concert Hall there and on my way took some photos of the new Perth library.
What an exquisitely minimalist and classic building this is that would be a great iconic feature at Fremantle’s Kings Square. It’s the kind of heritage of the future architecture that I would love to see in Freo and it was designed by Freo architects Kerry Hill who also created the new Civic Centre for the City of Fremantle.
And the free WASO concert with cellist Louse McKay was superb and around 130 people were in the audience.
Relatively new City of Fremantle CEO Phil StJohn will have a few sleepless nights over the next months to come up with ideas and solutions to relocate all city staff during the demolition of the old and the construction of the new civic centre at Kings Square.
Where in Fremantle is there enough office space to accommodate some 450 staff and also the library, or will the library be closed during the development, which will take well over a year?
I doubt there is much vacant office space left in the new Atwell Arcade four-storey office building and no other buildings come to mind that would have enough floor space to accommodate all CoF staff.
There will also have to be a temporary Council Chamber with public access for Council and committees sittings. That could probably be done upstairs at the former Kulcha space, but it does not have disabled access.
The library could be relocated for a year to the Number 1 studio at J Shed but it is a bit out of the way of public transport and does not have sufficient parking.
Maybe the former Woolworth supermarket space in Adelaide Plaza can accommodate a lot of staff. The buildings is owned by Sirona Capital so they would be keen to assist the City.
It won’t be an easy task for the CEO to come up with solutions, so good luck Phil!
The Fremantle GROWERS GREEN FARMERS MARKET needs and deserves the support of the Fremantle community and beyond, so please spread the word not only in Fremantle but tell friends from other suburbs how great this community market is.
Join the NEW Facebook page Friends Who Like Growers Green Farmers Market!
It is on every Sunday from 8-12 at the South Fremantle Senior High School on Lefroy Road and part proceeds got to the school.
I love Growers Green as it has a real sense of community and it is very relaxing to spend an hour there connecting with people, listening to live music, have some nice breakfast and buy great fresh produce.
See you there on Sunday!
I want to share this message from Facebook by Aboriginal elder Robert Eggington about Australia Day in Fremantle:
This is where the community decision was endorsed by our community to support the Fremantle Shire’s decision to change the date of Australia Day and attempt to ensure that their celebrations avoided the day of the arrival of the first fleet to commit the first act of genocide on our people.
This is where it was decided to ban the fireworks displays. At Dumbartung we believe that this first step may lead onto other changes as to how this country and its identity can actually identify and recognise that Australia was built on the blood shed of our people.
So to all those who advance Australia fair such as Robert Issac and others, yes there was a meeting and yes it was held at Dumbartung and yes many senior elders and community people representing thousands in their families supported this beginning of change!! So don’t talk on behalf of our community from your government appointed positions Mr Issac and Mr Ben Wyatt.
May our Campfires Burn Forever
Some of the families at the meeting were the Eggington’s, Pells, Bropho’s,Woods, Eades, Ronan’s Colbung’s Collards, Moore’s Ben Taylor and others.
SIRONA CAPITAL managing director Matthew McNeilly spoke about the Kings Square project his company is doing in partnership with the City of Fremantle at the monthly Fremantle Network event on Monday evening.
The great news is that the KS Project will not be done in 3 stages as was planned previously but that Sirona has decided to do the whole project in one stage, which means the Civic Centre and Library, designed by Kerry Hill architects, will be built at the same time as the former Myer and Queensgate buildings development.
This will mean a much shorter period of having building sites at Kings Square which would be disruptive for local businesses and traffic, so hoorah to that. It means we will see businesses moving in by the end of 2019 before Christmas!
Demolition of the Queensgate building will start in April and building will commence in July 2017, but the concrete structure of the Many building will be retained, which is better for the environment as well.
The total development site is 2 hectare and the project costs are $ 280 million, so one of the biggest development projects ever done in Fremantle. It will create 20,000 sqm of office space and 5,500 sqm of retail space with the possibility of entertainment areas such as a cinema.
A new feature has been added with a retail “trench” between the buildings that will be on different levels and break up the facades fronting Kings Square. The trench will run from Newman Court to William Street and will have food, bar, retailers, lots of greenery and seating.
The facades will have lots of timber but also brick and other surfaces and there will be lots of greenery, even in the basement.
The carpark will be significantly modernised and integrated in the development.
I believe the Kings Square Project is a game changer for Fremantle and that the modern new shops will attract new people to town and significantly benefit the Fremantle retail and hospitality traders. I went to the brand-new Cotton On shop in the High Street mall yesterday and it was very busy there and a delight to shop in a modern large environment. It felt very good, so I bought some new T-shirts.
On another positive note Matthew McNeilly told the audience that the Heirloom by Match residential development on Queen Victoria Street was completed on Monday, so people will soon move into their new apartments. That will be the first of the big positive change of the run down East End of the CBD, with the construction of the large LIV apartment development by Defence Housing opposite Heirloom, commencing early next year.
Freo is on the move and it is a well-overdue, very positive and exciting one! I can’t wait!!!
Robert Peters of FREO FOOD was the second speaker at Monday’s Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel, and the concept of the community having more control over the food chain by purchasing from small growers and farmers is very interesting.
“It is a platform to regain ownership of our food system to build connections with producers and each other to revolutionise how we engage with food.”
Unfortunately it was not very well communicated how it worked and how the idea can grow without becoming another fresh food shop. At the moment there is a depot but Robert did not mention where that is, so I assume we’ll have to check out the Facebook page to find out more, but he did mention that food could become more expensive once they went into a brick and mortar venture.
Better quality food produced by local producers but 10-15 per cent cheaper than the shops sounds almost too good, but the future will tell if that is sustainable.
I am not sure also if Food Freo is a not for profit group, but one can also go to houses and buy products there direct from those who grow vegies in their gardens.
Blueberries from Jandakot, pork and other meat from Margaret River, eggs from a couple who started a small egg farm, bread, root vegetables and lettuce, mushrooms, fish, local garlic. It all sounds great, and Robert said it was “really value for farmers and consumers.”
I was surprised though to hear that the group is now thinking of including craft from local artisans as that is a whole different kettle of fish, and my impression was that there are a lot of unresolved business issues the group should sort out first before expanding and sell anything else.
For that same reason I am at loss why Freo Food applied for a six-month lease of the No 1 studio at J Shed in the Bathers Beach Art Precinct. I am not at all sure how a food business does fit in with any of the criteria for that art area.
Anyhow, it is a great idea to buy direct from producers and if it can become a viable business good on them!
Nice to see two tall ships in Fremantle harbour this morning with the Young Endeavour sailing ship joining the SS Leeuwin at B Shed berth.
It’s a beautiful day in Fremantle yet again, so why not enjoy the sunset at the Under The Bridge Food Trucks at the East Street jetty this evening and watch the sun set behind the port.
Five trucks will offer a variety of international food to choose from and you can even throw in a line and catch some fish while there.
It’s on from 5-9 pm, so head out to the Swan River!
The monthly Fremantle Network event is on at the National Hotel TODAY from 6pm, so come along, listen, ask questions, meet new people and network!
Robert James Peters of FREO FOOD will talk about the group’s idea to revolutionise the way the food system works and how to regain community ownership of it, so that will be food for thought.
Also on this eve is Matthew McNeilly of Sirona Capital who will give an update about the Kings Square development that will commence early next year. This is a development welcomed by many and criticised by others so ask the hard questions or give some positive feedback.
I always enjoy the Fremantle Network events, so join in! It’s free, upstairs at the National, so a good excuse to have a drink or stay for a meal.
The Fremantle Society will have its AGM on December 7 where president John Dowson will be re-elected unopposed.
The Society has played a very important role in protecting Fremantle’s heritage for more than forty years, but I believe it has lost its way by being too negative and too narrow focussed, and rumblings within the membership suggest that Downson’s anti-height, anti-development and anti-change rhetoric is wearing thin not only outside the Society but also among the community group’s members.
It is a shame that the negativity is making the Society irrelevant, as many people in the community, Councillors and CoF officers no longer take Dowson’s criticism serious and stop listening to what the Fremantle Society has to say about the future of Fremantle.
The Society needs to find some balance and a strong committee that will guide its president and stop the relentless negativity in the media, as it is counter productive.
I have no doubt at all that John Dowson means very well and that he is passionate about protecting Fremantle’s heritage, and so am I, but blaming Fremantle Council, particularly Mayor Brad Pettitt, for development rejected by CoF but approved by state agencies DAP or SAT, is unfair and makes one question the integrity of the Fremantle Society.
The Society always had a very strong voice and was respected and listened to and while it did not win all the battles, it has done some remarkable work. Instead of whingeing about a down pipe in the wrong location Dowson should have been proud of the great outcome of the Warders Cottages, for which FS fought so hard, and also for the Society’s achievement finally getting the Gunners Cottages at Cantonment Hill restored.
I agree with Dowson that a lot of new development in Fremantle is ugly and inappropriate and I will stand side by side with him and FS fighting the Notre Dame University proposal for the corner of High and Cliff streets and other mediocre and inappropriate buildings, such as the one proposed by the Yolk developers for the former Spotlight site in Adelaide Street.
The Society needs to do what it does best and find the right battles to combat instead of the blanket approach of no change, no height, no development, because Fremantle is in desperate need of residential, commercial and tourist development and the Society should be supportive of positive change and progress in our city.
I sincerely hope John Dowson and the new committee will find a more balanced and respectful way of expressing their views, so they have more impact and will be taken serious again.