Freo's View


Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 10, 2017


The sad saga of Sunset Events proposed tavern at J Shed on historic Arthur Head in Fremantle continues. The company has asked the City of Fremantle to delay the start of their lease for a year until July 2018, but the officer’s recommendation is for Fremantle Council to reject the request.

For me the proposed tavern at Bathers Beach is a black mark on Fremantle Council and its failed concept of making an arts precinct out of one of Western Australia’s most significant heritage precincts.

I fail to understand how our Elected Members ever thought it would be appropriate to put a large watering hole on the A Class Reserve just below the Roundhouse, and the Western Australian Planning Commission agreed with that and rejected the proposal.

To be fair, after the initial Council approval, they too rejected the live outdoor music venue and tavern because of its scale and purpose. One has to wonder though why they entered into a lease agreement with Sunset Events in 2014.

Sunset Events now says it will need at least a year to receive planning and liquor licensing approval, but that was pretty clear from the very beginning, so why didn’t they start on that process long ago.

The WAPC rejected the proposal in September last year so it has taken SE eight months to now hope they don’t have to start paying rent. Let’s not forget they are only required to pay 25% of the rent in the first year!

Media reports have indicated SE might be in a bit of financial bother, so maybe they are taking too much on as they need to spend a few millions on the renovation of the heritage Drillhall at Parry Street, which was the former home of the Fly by Night club.

The West End community, heritage groups, Fremantle Ports, the Arthur Head artists, and the Roundhouse volunteer guides all don’t want a tavern at J Shed so why not let it rest and find a better solution for the site.

From the FPOL agenda for June 14, 2017:

The City has received a request from Sunset Venues Pty Ltd (Sunset) for an extension of the lease commencement date from 1 July 2017 to 1 July 2018 for Unit 1, J Shed, Fleet Street, Fremantle.

Sunset has requested the extension to allow further time to gain development approval, a liquor licence, and to minimise the time they are required to pay rent without the ability to trade effectively.

This report recommends that council reject the request from Sunset for an extension of the lease commencement date on the basis that the lease already provides for this scenario.


Roel Loopers

3 Responses

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  1. bigjulie said, on June 13, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    It does not matter what color the lipstick, a 1500 drunken people booze palace is always going to be a very big pig.

  2. Rob Fittock said, on June 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    interesting comments Suzanne and I agree that it’s a tad strange that Simone wades into the High Street Bar issue but is silent on the J Shed….but there ya go and maybe it’s not what you know but who you know

    The J Shed application was always going to be a LL issue and I have no regret voting to approve the lease to give the applicant a chance to justify the proposal with the LL Director….the rest is history

  3. Suzanne said, on June 10, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Come on Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, this is what you should have been criticizing from the very start.
    Originally a 1500 person booze barn beside the Round House historic site. Suddenly you are whinging about a 50 person bar in the retail/entertainment CBD.

    One presumes our Member stayed quiet about the initial appalling booze barn decision by the Freo Council, in granting Sunset, the States most important heritage area, because you did not wish to criticize your Council.
    Well its ok to speak out now, because the Council, in recognizing their major error, have sensibly backed away.
    Onyuh Mayor and Freo Councillors.

    And whatabout you Josh Wllson….
    oopsie you also originally voted for Sunset.

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