The WA Heritage Awards 2017 finalists were announced today and Fremantle is well represented.
The Gunners Cottages at Cantonment Hill, the Heirloom by Match of the Dalgety woolstores, Hillcrest in North Fremantle, the Mediterranean Shipping Company Wilhelmsen House at Cliff Street, and just south of Freo the former Coogee hotel and post office have also been nominated.
Well done to all and may the best adaptive reuse of a heritage-listed building win!
It is the last day of the first month of the new year and what a month it has been. It was the wettest January since 2010 and we had the hottest Australia Day since 1979.
We also had the most controversial Australia Day ever in Fremantle and the most inspiring Nyoongar smoking ceremony and One Day in Freo concert.
And we are witnessing one of the most distressing demolitions of pristine nature at the Beeliar Wetlands.
So here some golden oldies of rain to remind us all that we live in a unique place here in Freo!
It no longer comes as a surprise to me that City of Fremantle officers recommend approval for a 185 sqm restaurant and 285 sqm climbing wall for the Naval Store at Cantonment Hill as part of the long-term lease to the ENKEL collective.
More and more we see the non-approvable being recommended for approval by CoF officers and that is disappointing. It is a worry because Councillors take serious notice of the expert advise of the officers, even when common sense appears to be lacking in some recommendations to the elected members.
The ENKEL item is on the agenda of this Wednesday’s Planning Committee but will be decided by the Western Australian Planning Committee.
City officers believe it is an acceptable proposal although there is not sufficient parking nearby and even drop off and pick up points near the Naval Store would be very challenging.
Officers say the lack of parking is made up for by the car park at the East Street jetty on Beach Street, but that would require people to walk up the hill and cross four lanes of the very busy Canning Highway at a dangerous intersection at a bend in the road. How many parents will risk this with their children to get to the climbing wall, and how many elderly people would dare to take the risk to get to the restaurant?
Parking and access is going to be one of the main issues with the Cantonment Hill development because activation will mean traffic concerns for local people and safety concerns for visitors because of the awkward location of the site.
It might have been better to create a car park with trees on the site proposed for a children’s playground just east of the hill, because it is unrealistic to assume that most people will visit the site by bike or on foot. Most will come by car and that has has not been catered for.
Bad call, officers!
I hear Fishing Boat Harbour traders are telling fellow business people the State Government have promised them $ 200,000 to install a shark net at Fremantle’s inner city Bathers Beach.
This would be a ridiculous waste of money as the beach is hardly used and only a handful of people swim there and I have never heard of a shark scare in Bathers Bay.
I have seen dolphins, seals, pelicans, drunks and even a dead whale there but never a shark, so why waste tax payers money on a shark net?
Some of the major traders down there are treating Bathers Beach as if it is their own property and that does not sit well with the community and other businesses.
There were thousands of people protesting against a shark net at Cottesloe Beach a few years ago so I wonder how the Fremantle community will react to this news.
Fremantle resident Leanne McKenzie is passionate about Freo and alternative living and sees a need for innovative new ideas to deal with the fact that Fremantle is becoming more expensive and becoming less accessible to those on lower incomes.
Leanne believes that people who want to live in and be part of Fremantle should have diverse housing options available. She says “Fremantle is what it is because of passionate community minded people, so if this type of person wants to live here they should have access.“
She has years of experience with construction and renovations, and personal experience as owner builder renovating her Fremantle workers cottage on a very tight budget, and exactly how she needed it, but paying tribute to its humble origins.
Leanne says she took the decision to help the many others who struggle to get started extending and renovating their homes, and she has assembled an excellent team of designers, real estate professionals and trades to help guide others in taking the step.
“It is better reducing our ecological footprint, solar, thermal efficiencies etc. and upcycling our homes if practicable, rather than bowling over and starting from scratch.”
When Leanne McKenzie was told that her 90 sqm 3 bedroom home was too small for energy efficient hydronics systems, she decided to design one herself.
“I want to equip people with the information and processes so they can make informed designs about their renovations, incorporating new technology and not spend big dollars if they are not precisely sure what they want. We don’t need BIG to live happy, we need quality spaces that enhance our lives and connect us to our neighbourhoods.”
She is working to design a very special tiny house. “Mobility, ecological footprint, advanced technology is all part of our future for how we will live, but (re)connecting to our natural world, our neighbourhoods and communities is more important. This is what Fremantle does so well, and this should be accessible to all of us. “
For more detail contact Leanne.mckenzie@UrbanAesthetics.net.au
LiveLittle.com.au for more information on tiny house initiatives
While the City of Fremantle has been contemplating how to activate historic Arthur’s Head, long time occupants are already doing it well and appropriately.
Yesterday we had a huge crowd at the Roundhouse for the Nyoongar smoking ceremony and for the last weeks we had sell-out performances inside the Roundhouse in the evenings for the Out of the Cave Fringe Festival show. See the photo above I took last night at 7.45 pm.
Great also that Glen Cowans opened his underwater photography gallery next to the Roundhouse early at 9 am yesterday during the smoking ceremony!
Down the road at J Shed the number 2, 3 and 4 galleries with Greg James, Janet Nixon, Jina Lee, Lesley Barret, Jenny Dawson, Peter Zuvela, Ross Potter and Ellen McCarthy are all involved in activation. Sculptures are on the reserve, exhibitions are organised, there are programs for school children during the holidays and a real engagement with the community.
Interesting that one Freo Councillor said to me yesterday that when the Roundhouse puts new displays up we need to acknowledge the Nyoongar people, and that is already planned. But we are waiting for the City to put power into the Roundhouse so we can start applying for grants and it would also be a very good idea for the City to allocate a substantial amount of money for that to support the volunteer organisation. We are looking after over 130,000 visitors a year, seven days a week and only close on Good Friday and Christmas Day, so we are a significant tourist destination.
At the smoking ceremony four of the elderly Roundhouse guides came in very early to support the event. Pretty bloody good I reckon, and two of them were on duty every night for the theatre performance!
The first of the FREE Harbour Sundays concerts at the Fremantle Maritime Museum starts today and will go on every Sunday from 6-9 pm until 26 February.
With local live music, DJs and panoramic views over the Indian Ocean, it’s the perfect way to finish your weekend.
Today The Durongs, The Floors and DJ Sarah Tout will provide the entertainment and the bar will be open.
Great views from the upstairs deck over Fremantle Port and the perfect location to watch the sunset.
It is a worry to read in the Sunday Times this morning that Fremantle Sunset Events director David Chitty has admitted his company does have financial problems and paying suppliers after a less than successful Southbound event.
Several companies claim Sunset Events owes them tens of thousands of dollars with one of them making strong personal attacks on Facebook.
The worry for Fremantle is what this will mean for the Jerome Laneway Festival, but more importantly what it will mean for the 25-year-lease Sunset Events has signed for the No 1 studio in J Shed at Bathers Beach.
Rumours are that the company still wants to go ahead with a scaled-down version of the tavern and music venue, after planning approval for it was refused by Fremantle Council, the WA Planning Commission and the State Administrative Tribunal.
Will Sunset Events be able to commit hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a tavern, toilets, commercial kitchen, etc?
Maybe it is time for City of Fremantle officers to pro-actively engage with the events organisers and find out if it would be better to move on and for them to relinquish the lease and for the City to find a more appropriate use for the historically significant location.