Freo's View

FREMANTLE COUNCIL’S MOMENT OF INSANITY

 

J Shed

 

Predictably Fremantle Council last night voted to recommend for approval by the WA Planning Commission a 300 patron tavern at J Shed on Arthur’s Head, against the express wishes of the local community, Noongar people, artists and heritage groups.

But the battle was lost long before last night when over four years ago Council in a moment of collective insanity decided that the best applicant for the Expressions of Interest process for a bar/cafe/gallery was the proposal for a 1,500 patron live outdoor music venue and an 850 patron tavern, and signed a 21-year lease with Sunset Events.

Since then the live music aspect was taken away as the Council back tracked more and more because of public outrage, so at the end they believed everyone had compromised enough and 300 patrons was just a bit more than a small bar, and a tavern would activate Arthur’s Head.

The public gallery was jam packed full, and more than 30 people spoke for an hour and a half, with 80 per cent of them being against the tavern.

There were many new faces and young artists and valid arguments were made that a good arts venture would help activate J Shed and the historic area, while a very eloquent young psychologist warned about the dangers of alcohol and public health, but it was all to no avail and only four of the nine Councillors present voted against the proposal.

It was very disappointing that the elected members were abused by some people in the public gallery as that is totally inappropriate. The planning approval went through proper process and the community has elected Councillors to make decisions, and as with all decisions governments make half of the people won’t agree with them. For the record. I don’t agree with this one either.

The deciding authority is the WAPC and even if they approve Sunset Events’ application they will still need to convince the liquor licensing authority that a tavern at Bathers Beach with only portaloos is a good idea.

I am very disappointed with Fremantle Council about this issue. They did not have the backbone to admit the 21-year lease for a tavern was wrong, so they had to back their wrong decision all the way. That is not good governance.

Roel Loopers

 

MORE CREATIVE WAYS TO ACTIVATE ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

In context to the controversial tavern proposal for Fremantle’s J Shed there is a timely article in today’s property pages of the WEST AUSTRALIAN by Brett Mitchell, who is a lecturer at Curtin University at the School of Design and Built Environment.

The article Past, present populate our cityscape argues that we can no longer treat development sites as terra nullius.

Brett Mitchell writes “Our past history and future aspirations should be entwined as creative starting points for making meaningful places.”

He writes that before moving forward we have to look back first. Mitchell uses the heritage-listed cemetery in East Perth as an example where development dictated the shifting boundaries, and that once important meeting places for Whadjuk Noongar people became surrounded and claimed for expansion.

“With an awareness and retelling of our embedded stories the built environment also offers us a chance to reveal the past within the present” writes Brett Mitchell.

These are the things Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt clearly did not consider when he wrote his block post about the, in his opinion, historic irrelevance of the A Class Reserve at Arthur’s Head that is home to J Shed.

The cliff that was once there was the point of the first lighthouse in Fremantle, probably just about where J Shed now is.

We should never ever try to rewrite history to make political points, because it is flawed and very wrong. Arthur’s Head is arguably the most significant historic site in Western Australia and any development there needs to be done with respect for the past.

The desired activation of  Arthur’s Head can be achieved in better and more creative ways than building a tavern there. It is only Council’s shortsightedness and stubbornness that has prevented better outcomes.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

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TIME TO HAVE A SUNSET ON TAVERN PROPOSAL

 

 

The Sunset Events proposal for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach will go to Ordinary Council-hopefully for the very last time!-this Wednesday and it could be a close call.

Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, who is against the tavern, is on holiday and Councillors Rachel Pemberton and Sam Wainwright will declare a conflict of interest, so these three won’t be voting.

If there are no other apologies there will be ten elected members who will vote on the item.

It is likely that Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillors Dave Hume, Adin Lang, Andrew Sullivan and Hannah Fitzhardinge will vote for the tavern, while Councillors Jeff McDonald, Bryn Jones and Jenny Archibald will probably vote against it. How Jon Strachan and Doug Thompson will vote would be a guess, but if they vote against the proposal the casting vote of the Mayor would get it over the line for recommending it for approval by the WAPC.

But the deciding authority is the WA Planning Committee, which rejected the previous proposal because a tavern was inappropriate use of the A Class reserve at historic Arthur’s Head. Will they change their opinion just because the number of patrons and the outdoor footprint has been reduced?

Whatever the outcome it is time to move on and have a long term Masterplan for the area.

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! I have been advised that Councillor Jon Strachan is also an apology so that will make the voting by only 9 elected members very interesting.

FREMANTLE COUNCIL J SHIT GOVERNANCE

 

The Fawlty Towers approach to governance by Fremantle Council on the proposed J Shed tavern development continued at the Planning Committee on Wednesday evening and will be repeated again at full Ordinary Council next week.

The Bathers Beach saga has been going on since November 2012 when the City asked for Expressions Of Interest (EOI) for a bar/cafe/gallery for the No 1 unit at J Shed on historic Arthur’s Head.

With stars in their eyes the naive Council then decided to sign the ‘applicant driven’ 21 year lease for an 850 patron tavern and 1,500 patron outdoor live music venue, against the express and loud wishes of local residents and heritage groups, Fremantle Ports and neighbouring J Shed artists, as well as Noongar representatives.

But when Sunset Events finally put their planning proposal in Councillors got cold feet and rejected the application, which subsequently was also rejected by the WA Planning Commission, which is the deciding authority.

Since then the proposal has been watered down a few times and is now only for a 300 patron tavern on a reduced parcel of the A Class Reserve and no outdoor live music events. If that is actually financially viable for the proponent is very questionable, and according to a CoF director I spoke to this afternoon Sunset Events will need to find a financial partner for the around $ 1 million development to be able to realise it.

The WAPC rejected the proposal because it was inappropriate in use, bulk and scale for the area and Councillor Jeff McDonald passionately reminded his fellow Councillors of that.

McDonald said that the land is of regional significance, the parking requirements are not addressed, that it is not a low profile development, and it is not at all similar to Rottnest Island!

Mayor Brad Pettitt however believed that the proposal for a tavern is a real opportunity to activate the West End and Arthur’s Head and that the plans were now close to where the Council initially wanted to go. One has to wonder then why Council signed a 21 year lease for an large 850 patron tavern and an even bigger 1,500 patron music venue in the first place, when all they wanted was a small bar. Yes Minister!

The process has been unfair to everyone! Sunset Events had every reason to believe in good faith that Council would support the tavern and music venue when they signed the long lease, but the same elected members who approved the lease keep stuffing the proponents around until the proposal is close to no longer being viable.

The J Shed artists had to live with the anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen with their work spaces, studios and galleries and if the impact of the proposal might mean they will have to move elsewhere.

The heritage groups are of course concerned about the negative impact on one of the most significant historic areas in Western Australia and how that might impact also on tourism.

The inner city residents are rightly concerned about drunks, anti social behaviour, littering of Bathers Beach and parking issues. One can just imagine that at night time clever motorists will find that Mrs Trivett and Captain’s Lane, as well as Fleet Street are just fine for illegal parking and maybe having a quick wee in the dark. With the Whalers Tunnel closed at night it is a long walk around Arthur’s Head in the dark to the Little High Street and Victoria Quay carparks.

The fact that there are no plans for building a proper toilet block should also be a concern as portaloos are unsightly and smelly.

Councillor Jenny Archibald summed up pretty well what I have been saying for years. Arthur’s Head and the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct need a more cohesive approach from Council. She said it was disappointing Council is willing to compromise so much and that the original EOI was interesting. May I remind the Mayor that he agreed before the October election at an event in the National Hotel that the Bathers Beach Art Precinct needed to be revisited by Council because it was not working!

Councillor Adin Lang said it was unlikely a cafe could afford to spend $ 1 million on infrastructure.

Don’t waste your time folks watching a satirical program on TV, come attend Fremantle Council instead when they debate the J Shed proposal and you’ll get a mix of Yes Minister and Fawlty Towers all on the same night and free to hot air. If it wasn’t so sad to watch the incompetence it would be a good laugh.

Roel Loopers

NEW PLANS FOR SMALLER J SHED TAVERN

 

The City of Fremantle Planning Committee will next Wednesday, May 2, deliberate another planning approval by Sunset Venues for the No One unit at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

The application is for Partial change of use to tavern, additions and alterations to existing building.

Fremantle Council agreed two weeks ago to change the lease conditions for a smaller-300 patron-venue and rent reduction, so the next steps are planning approval and a liquor license.

I would have been a lot more at ease if the application had been for a large licensed restaurant/cafe that could cater for weddings and corporate functions. The insistence of creating a tavern at Arthur’s Head does not sit well with inner city residents and the neighbouring artists at J Shed.

There is little doubt that the planning approval with sail quickly through Fremantle Council and it will then be up to the WA Planning Commission and liquor licensing authorities to stop the tavern, or approve it.

Whatever the outcome, this has been going on for far too long!

Roel Loopers

FROM THE FREO FPOL COMMITTEE

 

The Fremantle Council Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee last night approved all, but one, items on the agenda. Some of them will have to go through full council next week before being implemented though.

  • The contract for J Shed between the City of Fremantle and Sunset Venues will be changed for a smaller venue. The Director of City Business explained that is not a planning approval, so the proposed  300 patron tavern might still be stopped when and if Sunset Venues applies for it and for a liquor license.
  • The Solar Farm also got the tick of approval but Councillor Andrew Sullivan said he would have liked to see officers explore the possibility and costs of remediation of the site as it might well be profitable if it could be developed for residential living.
  • The new Precinct Policy was also adopted with Councillor Andrew Sullivan saying he never saw the need for precincts to be managed by the City, as community groups should rise and fall depending on the interest and participation of residents.
  • The contract for Fremantle Oval with the South Fremantle Football Club will also go ahead, so the footy club is getting all their Christmases at once. It appears they have been playing a bit of hard ball with CoF, so I am not sure why we so desperately need the club at the oval as it will not generate any income for the City. Not even the outgoings for power, water, etc. have reached an agreement yet. Councillor Rachel Pemberton was very worried about the big LED sign and said the City should make sure that the SFFC would not put up more of them.

Roel Loopers

 

REDUCED J SHED TAVERN ON FREMANTLE AGENDA

 

Fremantle Council is relentless in ignoring the clear messages from the community about not wanting a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

This Wednesday the Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee will debate to  change the lease conditions for Sunset Venues for the No 1 unit at J Shed as below:

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION

Council approve the following amendments to the lease with Sunset Venues for Unit 1 J Shed, Fremantle:

  1. a)  Reduce the patron capacity to a maximum of 300;
  2. b)  Removal of clause/s relating to concert events;
  3. c)  Reduce the size of the lease area by approximately forty percent (40%)from 1493m2 to 892m2;
  4. d)  Reduce rent from $83,950p.a to $50,370p.a.;
  5. e)  Add a condition precedent clause to provide for planning approval andliquor license approval to be achieved; and
  6. f)  Add a clause to provide for development to commence within twenty-four (24) months or lease to be terminated.

While the number of patrons capped at 300 more resembles that of a slightly larger small bar, I have no doubt that this new proposal will also receive strong opposition from the neighbouring J Shed artists and the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association-FICRA.

Roel Loopers

THE CHANGES IN FIGURATIVE SCULPTURE LECTURE

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, j shed, sculpture, Uncategorized by freoview on March 28, 2018

 

There is an interesting lecture at the Greg James studio at J Shed this evening from 7-9pm.

Jason Arkles will be giving a lecture: “The origins of Renaissance sculpture – how the figure evolved from the Gothic tradition in Renaissance Italy”.

$20.00 entry fee, refreshments provided.

Jason Arkles is an art historian and sculptor and details the actual and technical stylistic changes that occurred in figurative sculpture six hundred years ago that transformed the art from little more than architectural decoration to the iconic beauty of the Florentine Renaissance.

Arkles is an American sculptor working in the traditional methods and materials one would normally associate with a sculptor in Florence. His large-scale figurative work in bronze, marble, terracotta and wood can be found in public and private spaces, museums, cemeteries, and churches in Europe and America, including on the façade of Saint Mark’s English Church, here in Florence. Trained locally in the studio of Charles H. Cecil (the human figure in clay), in Studio Sem in Pietrasanta (marble), and in a Pontifical Academy in Rome (sacred art). 

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IMAGES OF INDIA FREO FUNDRAISER

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on March 16, 2018

 

 

OPENS TONIGHT!

Images of India is a fundraising exhibition by local photographer Juliet Murray.

The exhibition opens on Friday 16th March at 6.30pm at the Art of Freo Gallery at J Shed and runs Wednesday to Sunday 11-4pm until March 25th.  There will also be a fundraising raffle with heaps of great prizes.

India is a land of contrasts. It is a country that is immensely rich; in culture, spirituality and diversity. It is enchanting and beautiful place, overwhelming to the senses.

On the flipside, poverty is significant, with one on 5 living in extreme poverty, without access to basic human needs. Of the poor, only 20% have access to toilets, 60% to electricity and 6% to running water.

This fundraising exhibition aims to capture both the magnificence of this sacred country and it’s people whilst highlighting the issue of extreme poverty and struggles that the people face, in a compassionate and sensitive manner.

Proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to the Australian Friends of Asha, who work to support and raise awareness of the important work that is done by Asha India in tackling issues that keep slum dwellers trapped in poverty. Their programmes help slum residents gain access to healthcare, financial services and education, and make it possible for them to make long-term, positive changes to their lives.

http://www.australianfriendsofashaslums.org.au/

 

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FREO J SHED ARTIST JINA LEE IN THE MEDIA LIMELIGHT

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on December 31, 2017

 

Jina Lee

 

Great to see Fremantle J Shed artist Jina Lee getting a big photo in the Sunday Times today.

The Korean-born artist is an outstanding sculptor who travels all over the world to create stunning stone carvings. At the moment she is in New Zealand for a sculpture event, after having returned from Italy only recently.

The work in the Sunday Times photo is for the Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea, so go and have a look at it. It’s on from March 2-19.

Jina is one of the most delightful down to earth people one can ever meet and can be seen grinding, chiselling and polishing behind the Greg James studios at J Shed on Bathers Beach most days when she is in town.

She won the $ 10,000 Rio Tinto Emerging Sculptor Mentorship 2017.

 

Roel Loopers

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