Freo's View


Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 10, 2018


An interesting flaw in the City of Fremantle’s Percentage for the Arts or Heritage policy came to light during the Planning Committee on Wednesday evening.

Fremantle Society president John Dowson made the very sensible suggestion that the percentage should be used to reinstate the wrought-iron verandahs on the Manning Buildings when they are developed, but was told it is not possible to use the percentage for the arts/heritage on a private building.

I had just written down that the Quest Hotel and another Pakenham Street development both have percentage for the art works attached to their buildings, when Silverleaf director Gerard O’Brien made exactly the same point to the Councillors.

The percentage for the arts and heritage policy was introduced to enhance and beautify the public realm, and Councillor Rachel Pemberton made the realistic observation that verandahs are very much in the public realm.

It is absolutely non-sensical that building owners and developers cannot spend percentage for heritage and arts money on beautifying the public realm with heritage features, but are forced to spend it on often pretty mediocre and uninspiring art that can be attached to their buildings.

Developers tell me that a lot of the money from percentage for the arts is spend on administration and art consultants, and not on the actual art work, so let gets some reality in a policy that is clearly flawed and needs to be amended, so that we can encourage developers to reinstate verandahs, which look much better than modern awnings.

It would be a win win for all!

And to make it clear! I love great public art and believe the percentage for the arts and heritage is good, but it needs to be realistic and flexible.

There are many silly rules and regulations in our planning laws and some of them are detrimental to achieving the best outcome. All the community wants is the very best building outcomes, not silly bureaucratic nonsense.

Roel Loopers

2 Responses

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  1. Suzanne said, on January 12, 2018 at 5:29 am

    I agree with you both Roel & Pete.
    Unfortunately the Developers are too clever for our Councillors who apparently agree to any ghastly apparition, with no thought to the grand heritage of our iconic Port City. Irrespective of the opportunity for heritage commitments and guidelines to assist them. How could anyone agree to those ugly giant boxes springing up every which way?
    Rapid sight/site destruction, courtesy of a kowtowing Council.

  2. Pete said, on January 11, 2018 at 8:36 am

    I’m with you Roel. In fact the Mall itself has been trashed partly because of the lack of attention to verandahs.
    The Mall looks like the main street of a wheatbelt town in the 1970s.
    Aluminium garage roller doors … really !
    The Manning redevelopment offers a big opportunity to help address this issue.

    And while we’re at it … what about moving the John Curtin statue to a more prominent position – just a few metres to the top of the Mall (east) looking down High St to the Round House Prison ? ?

    I sometimes think that the City decision makers walk around town with their eyes closed.

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