Freo's View

CAN BID SURVIVE FREMANTLE DESTINATION MARKETING?

 

The future of the Fremantle Business District-BID is in doubt after the FPOL Committee of Fremantle last night approved the Destination Marketing Fremantle concept, which will see the additional differential rates CBD businesses pay go to the marketing department budget and no longer to BID.

It is very doubtful BID will be able to continue without funding from the City of Fremantle, although several councillors mentioned that there was a need for something like BID and that is had done grassroots work well.

There were public speakers in support of continuing BID and others supporting the new destination marketing strategy, but the consensus of the elected members was that a new marketing approach is needed and that BID was not the way forward.

Supporters for BID said BID was a lifeline and a voice for small retailers and that BID had businesses working together for the first time. That is true and nothing stops traders from continuing to work together in a kind of precinct format, I believe, so not all is lost and the good momentum BID created could continue.

BID wanted another 12 months extension and believed it could become self funding, but they had already been granted the extension and could not show they were raising enough money to be able to continue without council giving them the differential rates.

Councillors said this was not a debate about BID versus the destination marketing strategy but if Council wanted a new marketing approach for the city. It is not either or, Councillor Andrew Sullivan said. He also said the City needed to support the concept of BID and offer more support for retailers.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said that we needed to acknowledge the incredible work BID had done and that BID was always about collaboration and grassroots level liaising with businesses, and that can continue.

Councillors agreed the City needed to try something different as the present marketing is not working and businesses are not happy with it.

Councillor Doug Thompson wanted to know before the item goes to full council next week who the marketing experts would be the marketing department wants on a panel of experts.

Councillor and FPOL chair Hannah Fitzhardinge said clarity had been lacking about what BID does and what the marketing department does.

I want to make one point that gets ignored at the Freo City marketing department and that is the lack of information the City sends out to tourist destinations in the city. More often than not the tourist guides at the Roundhouse are not informed about festivals and events, so they can’t send tourists to them. We have never had a poster or leaflets for example to promote the Winter Festival and other events that happen on the Esplanade. We have begged for info about the Hidden Treasures music festival, Street Arts Festival, etc.etc. We can’t even tell tourists what’s on at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

There is also no communication between the tourist destinations, so Roundhouse volunteers don’t know about special exhibitions or events at the Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison, etc. That needs to be coordinated by the City’s marketing department and could be as easy as emailing a short list of what is on next week. It’s very good to get more people visiting Fremantle, but we need to be able to keep them here longer and tell them what else they can do.

Roel Loopers

DOMESDAY FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in arboretum, ecosystem, fremantle by freoview on April 1, 2015
Arboretum in Valencia, Spain

Arboretum in Valencia, Spain

I was leaked a draft of the City of Fremantle’s new masterplan for the Esplanade Reserve. Although the report says that it comes out of the Visioning 2029 community project and is part of the futuristic Transformational Moves plans, I believe it will leave a lot of Freo people very unhappy if implemented.

The stand out new idea is to make an “Arborium” out of the Esplanade by putting a large dome over the entire reserve. The dome will have climate control and a rain-like reticulation system to create an inner city ecosystem.

A large variety of native plant species will be introduced to the reserve and an attempt made to breed the endangered numbat under controlled conditions. The Arborium will also act as an aviary and many birds will find a new home there.

The Esplanade Youth Plaza skatepark will be incorporated to make it an all-weather youth destination, while coloured motion-triggered lights will allow for night enjoyment of the park. New paths, seating, shade structures and art and water features will be installed, as well as a big screen for music videos and live sport telecasts.

The City aims to make the Esplanade a new big tourist attraction that will link the CBD with the Fishing Boat Harbour. Latest technology will see driverless GPS-guided small vehicles taking visitors on tours of the Arborium

The down side of this green-ideology-inspired idea is that the Ferris Wheel and many of the, too tall for the dome, Norfolk pines will have to be removed, and so will the Carriage Café.

The officers recommend that the Carriage will be rebuilt and the Tourist Wheel relocated to the planned extension of the Esplanade once Norfolk Street has been extended through to Mews Road, and the Italian Club and parking lot have been made into a green open space that will create a larger Esplanade park.

Under the new masterplan the City wants festivals to be held at Fremantle Oval instead of the Esplanade, once the Dockers have moved on to Cockburn, and also more often utilise Fremantle Park for events and festivals.

I am all for new, big and creative ideas but I am not at all sure why we need a 20-metre-high dome structure over our major inner city park. It sounds a bit gimmicky to me and it would cost a lot of money to put up and maintain.

There are a few pie in the sky ideas on the City of Fremantle’s transformational moves wish list and this one can be added to it as a highly unrealistic one.

Roel Loopers

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