Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2017


The delightful Vice Chancellor of Notre Dame University Celia Hammond was one of three speakers at the monthly Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel to talk about UNDA’s Urban Activation Project for the West End of Fremantle, that will see four activation and relaxation nodes being created for students, the community and visitors to Freo.

Celia Hammond said UNDA had been pushed for years, by Mayor Brad Pettitt especially to do more for street activation in the precinct and was shifting offices away from ground level to make way for commercial tenancies. “We love being a part of the West End and are trying to be a good neighbour.”

UNDA creates 700,000 visits a year to the West End, so that is a very significant number.

The university engaged CODA for the activation plan that is about mixed use and a dynamic precinct, collaboration with the City of Fremantle, increase visitations and duration of stay, offer a rest place for all, improve high quality urban spaces and ground level activity.

The Vice Chancellor also said that Notre Dame University is looking at student accommodation but not in the West End and that the uni has refused a students’ request for an ATM on campus as it wants to encourage its students to walk into Fremantle and support local traders, as they do on the UNDA student App.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton who organises the Fremantle Network deserves to be congratulated for the idea as it is a fantastic way to hear from all different parts of the community. Contrary to what some people say about the Network it is not about Greenies and socialists but it embraces the whole community and gives us a chance to work together, share ideas and feel a great sense of belonging!

Roel Loopers

9 Responses

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  1. freoishome said, on May 28, 2017 at 7:56 am

    NDU isn’t a school it is a Uni. Many students will have probably only have 15 contact hours/week, and many of those lectures are probably online. So they actually spend a far more significant time at their residence and recreational facilities, eg, 30 hours in private study. Health sciences have more contact hours 20ish.

  2. freoview said, on May 27, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    and Freo businesses would lose out during the day on thousands of students buying coffees, breakfast, lunch, etc. and the West End would be a ghost town during the day.
    Students move from lecture to lecture, hence it is essential that the lecture theatres are close together. That’s why all universities have a campus and that is why UNDA needs so many buildings in the West End. To give that all up and buy and build somewhere else would require very large sums of money UNDA does not have.


  3. freoishome said, on May 27, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Just a thought bubble!

    If NDU had its lecturing facilities say in O’Connor, in the square boxes that such organisations seem to like for such purposes, and instead used the blocks they have in the West End for the residential and recreational use that students require, interspersed with private and maybe affordable public housing. They could have a bus service between the two campuses, ie, the residential and the lecturing campuses. CoF would have a larger mixed resident population, more likely to create a significant base for activation 7x 24.

    What do you think?


  4. Pete said, on May 27, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Paul (freoishome) … I totally agree with you !

  5. freoview said, on May 25, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Obviously outside the West End, but in Fremantle, and they are looking, so not much more I can say about that David until UNDA let us know what progress they are making on it.


  6. David. said, on May 25, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    The headline reads NDA wants student accommodation…..but there is only one line on this,

    The article states not in the West End——where then ?

    It would be good to get some student accommodation into the city. The derelict woolstores would be the perfect area to try to develop.

  7. Rob Fittock said, on May 24, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    I think we need to go back to the early 70s when 600 odd Alcoa and associated personal left en-masse to greener pastures in Booragoon, the Port became automated and the owners of the West End buildings were reluctant to maintain them or bring them up to a standard to attract new tenants and the pubs and clubs closed

    UNDA has resurrected what could be said was a West End with unloved and underutilised buildings by preserving the buildings and investing in compliant internal fit outs to provide the necessary accommodation for its core mission….teaching

    In 2014 the University celebrated its 25th Anniversary of Teaching Excellence and will continue to do so for many years to come just as I will celebrate it being there

    You will need to ask the traders how they are faring in an area that has been ‘systematically and unapologetically shut down’ and while UNDA may look at activating more of its street fronts on High Street, I can understand that it is not its core business….teaching is

    What will help with the West End High Street activation for example will require a willing Council to undergo major works to the street, paving, trees, landscaping, parking et cetera to create a truly special shared space

  8. kel said, on May 24, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Yes agree totally Paul.

    Another point that seemed to go under the radar on monday night is that NDU is entering into leasing out some of its ground floor to “commercial tenants”

    As a Not for Profit Organisation (University) it is exempt from paying rates to the City of Fremantle.However when it is leasing out its property to Commercial Tenants, surely that portion of land must incur a portion of rates be paid to the City of Fremantle? These Private Commercial Businesses will be making a profit one would assume.

    Is if fair that the other retailers/competitors in High Street and surrounding streets of the West End are the only businesses to have the unfair disadvantage of having to pay these high rates.

    A case in point is the cream Heritage Building on the corner of High and Henry Street (includes Finishing Touch Art Gallery) pays over $20,000 in rates and $12,000 land Tax.Now thats a disadvantage!

    One can only Imagine the substantial loss of Rates to the City of Fremantle when NDU reaches out and takes over chunks of East, North and South of the City Centre.

    Mayor Brad Pettit is on the record of supporting NDU expansion in other areas of the City Centre.This should not be allowed to occur without proper in-depth Community Consultation and it should be a Local Government Election issue in October.

  9. freoishome said, on May 24, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I am concerned about the scale of NDU. The map of the buildings they occupy currently includes 4 entire blocks, nearly a quarter of the West End, 47 sizeable buildings. It was quite a shock to see!
    Clearly the Vice Chancellor wants to grow it further, the restriction being Gov’t funding! Even with that constraint she has in mind further growth of 10%+, to 6000 students. I’m guessing another 5 buildings, as they come onto the market! Pushing it towards 5 entire blocks?
    When will it stop?
    I was also surprised to hear her say that NDU don’t have a budget to maintain their historical buildings. That it will have to come from a new different source of funds, implying Gov’t. I don’t know of any other organisation who can get away with avoiding their building maintenance, on the grounds of they haven’t budgetted for it, and more worryingly that they have acquired many historical buildings in the West End that require specialist maintenance, ie, greater expense. The message was in essence, it will just have to wait!
    I find it bizarre that people support NDU for tinkering around the edges, lip service to participation as part of the Freo community, with some tiny activation and vibrancy projects, when they are the biggest offender, when it comes to killing off activation and vibrancy. They have systematically and unapologetically shut down the West End! They seem intent on extending that process, uncontrollably.
    As to accomodation for their students, will that be rate exempt buildings, for a city already struggling due to its rateable size and population? What % need housing? How significant will that be in the overall scheme of housing needs within Freo, affordable housing etc?

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