Freo's View

FREMANTLE RESPONDS TO KWINANA PORT FUTURE

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has responded to today’s announcement by WA Premier Mark McGowan that a new port will be build at Kwinana and operating there from 2032. The Mayor said the council’s position on the future of Fremantle port was clear.

“For more than 120 years the inner harbour has been central to Fremantle’s identity as a port city, and the employment and activity associated with the operations of the inner harbour are a critical component of the Fremantle region’s economy,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“While we recognise the need for an expanded role for the outer harbour at Kwinana, the council has been very firm in its view that the inner harbour should be retained as a working port.

“We will need to take some time to sit down and properly review today’s announcement and consider where to from here, but obviously any move to end container handling at North Quay will have massive implications for Fremantle.

“I’m looking forward to hearing from the state government what they have in mind to compensate Fremantle for the loss of such an important asset and how they plan to support the Fremantle economy during the transition to the outer harbour.”

In August 2018 Fremantle Council reaffirmed a position that container handling should be maintained at North Quay, provided the associated land side transport arrangements had no greater impact on the local community than current port operations.

The council also called for Victoria Quay to be progressively developed for community, tourism and commercial uses, with a focus on improved facilities for cruise ship passengers, and that car imports and other freight shipments coming through Victoria Quay should be transferred to another location as soon as possible.

As I suggested about a week ago the announcement by the Premier today appears to be one to make it palatable for Kwinana and Fremantle, with so many unknown factors still that might change the direction of the government in the future. No jobs are at risk for at least a decade, with promises of thousands of jobs when the new port and roads get built.

 

Roel Loopers

 

HISTORIC PHOTOS IN MANNING ARCADE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, heritage, historic, Uncategorized by freoview on August 6, 2020

 

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Silverleaf Investments have beautified the Manning Arcade even more by putting up two large historic photos of Fremantle at the High Street Mall entrance.

Roel Loopers

PERFECT MATCH FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, Uncategorized by freoview on August 5, 2020

 

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More exciting news for Fremantle! As flagged on Freo’s View a few weeks ago the Match property group has commenced with the construction of the M/27 by Match residential development behind the former Energy Museum at Fremantle Park.

The four-storey building will house 40 apartments, so that means more people living in Freo’s inner city.

Match’s managing director Lloyd Clark said “After the great success of the Heirloom project, which really ignited the apartment boom in Fremantle’s East End, we’re delighted to be involved in bringing life back to another of Fremantle’s heritage treasures.

“Match has had significant involvement in Fremantle and its stretch of coastline for almost a decade with many varying projects catering to people from all walks of life.

“There really is no other place in the world like Fremantle, and with the revitalisation that is currently underway we’re very confident it has a bright future.”

A few hundred metres down the road the Yolk Property Group is well under way with the construction of the eight-storey residential apartment block on the former Spotlight sight, so Freo is positioning itself for the future.

The Match group did the fantastic Heirloom woolstores development in Queen Victoria Street and already redevelopment the former S.E.C. museum for a food and beverage outlet or boutique office space.

Roel Loopers

A MULTICULTURAL FREO CIVIC CENTRE

 

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I have not posted anything for a while about the Walyalup Civic Centre construction at Fremantle’s Kings Square, so here some photos I took an hour ago.

While I was admiring all the massive steel on view a worker on the site lamented that almost everything used for the building is imported. He said all the steel came from Vietnam, while they were waiting for the large glass panels to come from China, as they were in Singapore at the moment. We are getting a very multicultural new council house. The lack of manufacturing in Australia is indeed and issue.

The Moreton Bay fig tree that will be relocated from Ord Street in front of The Fremantle Arts Centre to Kings Square is imminent. It will be done this month I was told by the City’s Kings Square project director Russell Kingdom, so that will be a spectacular sight.

The construction of the playground will also commence as soon as the civic centre building is completed, and that will be in the first quarter of next year, so not that long to go.

Roel Loopers

MANNING PLAZA NEARING COMPLETION

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, city planning, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on August 3, 2020

 

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The Paddy Troy Lane Plaza of the Manning building redevelopment by Silverleaf Investments is almost finished with some mature trees and benches added to the landscaping.

The large chook mural by Amok Island is a lovely feature and so is the arcade with the creative ceiling lights.

Work has just started on a mural at the Grumpy Sailor cafe and Captain Walker’s bicycles have also opened in the arcade. Go and check it out. Freo is on the upward move!

Roel Loopers

BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN COMMUNITY AND MAIN ROADS

 

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The Covid restrictions in the Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University created a graphic entrance to the very first DesignFreo event Old Bridge/New Bridge, with a forum of Member for Fremantle Minister Simone McGurk, City Planner Russell Kingdom, Aboriginal coordinator Brendan Moore, Community Consultant Rebecca Clarkson and Designer and Engineer Dr Anthony Duckworth/Smith, that was well moderated by Meri Fatin.

I really like community forums but was skeptical from the beginning about the fact that Main Roads had not sent a representative, because I feared that all we would be hearing was going to be based on not knowing the facts, constraints and opportunities of this important project for Fremantle.

While Simone McGurk tried hard to convince us that there would be appropriate community consultation by Main Roads it has been rumoured that the design of the bridge had already been commissioned, so that is the end of community consultation to get an iconic bridge that will be a stunning entry statement to Fremantle.

As Anthony Duckworth/Smith said Main Roads is very good at delivering transport functionality, and that is going to be an issue for the Freo community, that would like to see the creation of new public realms at the foreshores at Beach Street and North Fremantle.

There should also be significant acknowledgment of Noongar culture and respect for the Wagyl river serpent, but can Main Roads be bothered about a ceremonial entrance to Freo, when all they want is move as many vehicles as safely and fast a possible over the bridge?

It is going to be a very complex issue because of the existing bridges and the narrow opportunity of location and the challenge will be to not destroy the North Fremantle town centre, or build the bridge too close to the apartments there.

Is keeping the old bridge technically possible, will it be cost effective to keep it and will it create the best outcome? These are things community consultation could address if Main Roads actually told us what the constraints and requirements are, but not even our local Cabinet Minister knew any details about that.

It was agreed that not enough community consultation has happened so far and that is an unacceptable shortcoming by Main Roads, which no doubt will present us with a done deal that we can comment on and that is ‘community consultation’ ticked off for them. Where is the broader conversation of what the gateway in our city should look like? Where is the desire to create great new public realm? Where will the reference be that the area was a significant Derbal Yaragan river crossing for the indigenous people?

The new bridge is going to cost about $ 230 million, so we might as well get it right and spend a lot of time with stakeholders and the community and stress the importance of place making over functional bridge building. As Anthony Duckworth/Smith said ” We need to look at it from a human perspective not a vehicular one.”

I left the forum feeling flat because there were no answers to any concerns, no facts about constraints, options and opportunities, and that gut feeling that what the Freo community wants is a long way away from what Main Roads will give us.

Roel Loopers

WHO WOULD PAY FOR TWO BRIDGES?

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The-sold out-DesignFreo forum about the new Fremantle traffic bridge this evening will be interesting, even though it looks as if no one from Main Roads will attend.

I am one of many who, for historic and sentimental reasons, would love to see the old wooden bridge retained, but I hear that the state government is keen to demolish it and if they’ll leave anything of the bridge it can’t extend over the Swan River.

It would be a real shame to lose the bridge. I for one would have loved the long jetty at Bathers Bay to also still be there, as it would have been a huge tourist attraction, but sadly not every dream becomes a reality.

Being pragmatic one has to ask if it is the best use of taxpayers’ money to keep the old bridge, just for heritage and sentimental values, because it would be costly to have to maintain two bridges and the City of Fremantle is in no position financially to look after the old timber structure. We are still hoping for the state government to take over the responsibility to repair Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse because Freo City does not have the money for it.

The forum will be filmed and that will be made accessible soon after the event to those who can’t attend due to the Covid-19 restrictions of the Notre Dame University venue.

I’ll report on the forum tomorrow morning.

Roel Loopers

BIG PLANS FOR FREMANTLE TECHNICAL SCHOOL SITE

 

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More great news for Fremantle with the confirmation that the Prendiville Group has purchase the former Fremantle Technical School, opposite the Fremantle Markets and have big plans for the site.

The West Australian reports that the hospitality group will relocate their headquarters to the building and also set up a training college for the hospitality industry, as well as open a temporary alfresco cafe.

The even bigger plan is to build a small hotel or student accommodation above the carpark.

The Prendiville Group bought the building for $ 3.55 million from the WA state government.

The Prendiville group has a very long association with Freo and Peter Prendiville was the Chancellor of Notre Dame University until the end of 2019.

It will be fantastic to see the site activated and to get more people working and studying in our gorgeous port city.

Roel Loopers

EAST FREO WOODSIDE FOCUS GROUPS

 

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Hall & Prior Aged Care are proposing to regenerate the former Woodside Maternity Hospital at 18 Dalgety St, East Fremantle into a world-class health and aged care community.
The development will revitalise the location for community use and amenity, and includes a full refurbishment of the Woodside heritage homestead to its former glory.

For more information visit www.WoodsideAgedCare.com.au

RSVP for a focus group by calling Joseph from Creating Communities on (08) 9284 0910 or visit; www.WoodsideAgedCare.eventbrite.com.au

Roel Loopers

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FANTASTIC FISHING BOAT HARBOUR FACELIFT

 

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The Fishing Boat Harbour upgrade between Cicerello’s and Joe’s by the Department of Transport looks fantastic, and it is only stage one of it, I was told yesterday.

Tenders are out currently for stage two, which is from north of the Char Char restaurant all the way to Bathers Beach, so that will be amazing. The Bella bronze sculpture will also be back, so the place will be even more of an attraction.

The cobblestone pavers are great. They have so much texture and anti slip about them that the City of Fremantle should consider them for Kings Square, once the Walyalup Civic Centre is open.

Roel Loopers

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