Freo's View

FREO COUNCIL NEEDS ARTHUR HEAD RETHINK

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, culture, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on July 10, 2017

 

arthur-head

 

I have been thinking about this for many months, because I am confused, annoyed, flabbergasted and puzzled. I cannot believe that the same Fremantle Council which has done such tremendously good strategic and long-term planning work has messed up Arthur Head so badly.

It is beyond me that the Elected Members have created the Bathers Beach Art Precinct mess and J Shed debacle, when they were so good at future planning Fremantle in other areas.

The new Sunset Events proposal for a 400 patron tavern at J Shed should still be un-approvable because it is inappropriate for the heritage location and A Class Reserve, but why did Fremantle Council let it come this far in the first place,?

Let’s stop blaming Sunset Events, which has every right to pursue with the tavern idea after Fremantle Council signed a 21-year lease with them. Sunset Events at that time had the support of Fremantle Council for a 850 patron tavern and a 1,500 patron outdoor live music venue. Let’s not forget that!

Why that contract was ever signed, after severe public opposition and even a special electors meeting at the Townhall, is anyone’s guess. I believe it was the stubbornness of certain Councillors rather than common sense.

We now have a stalemate where Council and Sunset Events more or less have each other by the balls, so to speak, and no one can make a move without inflicting severe pain.

Council cannot rip up the contract and Sunset Events won’t get the size of venue that will be a financial success for them, but there is a legally-binding contract that neither can get out off.

The Bathers Beach Art Precinct has been a shambles that created a ghost town at night at Captain’s and Mrs Trivett Lane, where homeless people reside, shoot up and defecate.

The artist’s studios have done absolutely nothing to activate the area and attract more people, and the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre in a tiny old residential cottage was tokenism at its worst and failed dismally as well.

Only the highly professional Glen Cowan underwater photography gallery bravely battles on, but gets little to no support from the neighbouring cottages, that are mainly closed.

But no one at Fremantle Council wants to admit it was a failure and they keep telling the community and affected J Shed artists that it is a work in progress, when the rest of us know that train wrecks have no future, but for the scrap heap.

Council urgently needs to revisit and revise the Bathers Beach Art Precinct concept because it is not working. It also needs to realise that cutting off the connectivity between Victoria Quay and the Fishing Boat Harbour at the proposed J Shed tavern is bad for tourism, and unfair to the J Shed artists.

Everyone makes mistakes, and great people admit to them. It is time for Fremantle Council to show greatness and start from scratch!

And why are there still no signs on the Number One unit at J Shed that Sunset Events has applied for planning and liquor licensing approval?

Roel Loopers

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