The biggest disappointment about the Fremantle Dockers football club wanting a pay-out to leave Fremantle Oval is not just their corporate greed, but that they don’t care about the community and don’t recognise the importance of the development of the oval for the WAFL and for Fremantle.
Plans are to have the East Fremantle and South Fremantle footy clubs sharing the facilities and holding their home games at the oval, which would mean a weekend game at the oval every weekend during the footy season.
The development of the oval and Stan Reilly site will also connect the Cappuccino Strip all the way to Wray Avenue, and part of the masterplan is to go back to the good old days where events and concerts were held at Fremantle Oval, so all that is of great benefit to the entire Freo community and would support two WAFL clubs.
It appears the Dockers only have a narrow focus on the financial triple bottom line and don’t care at all about the Fremantle community, which has supported them for twenty years. That is a slap in the face.
What also worries me is that the City of Fremantle does not seem to have added an exit clause in the lease contract in 1994 that would require the Dockers to unconditionally hand back Fremantle Oval to the City when they move their training facilities and HQ somewhere else.
What did CoF pay its lawyers for when they set up the contract, I wonder? Where the COF officers and the lawyers really so naïve to believe the Dockers would remain at Fremantle Oval for 50 years?
Why are the Minister for Sport and Premier Colin Barnett not getting involved and tell the Dockers management that their demands are disgraceful and unacceptable?
Maybe it’s time for a name and shame protest event at the oval soon, so we can expose the disgraceful behaviour of the Dockers’ management in the national media.
The Fremantle Dockers had another win and pushed out the West Coast Eagles to have a women’s team in the new national female AFL competition that will start next year.
The ‘Delightful Dockers’ will join Melbourne, Carlton, Collingwood, Western Bulldogs, Adelaide, Brisbane and Great Western Sydney.
Womens soccer has become a great success in Australia and around the world and there are already many female Australian Rules teams, so exciting times ahead. Go Freo Fantastics, or whatever they might be called.
The City of Fremantle’s Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee will on Wednesday debate to work on a masterplan for Fremantle Oval that would see the site developed in collaboration with relevant State Agencies and stakeholders. This would be similar to what is happening at Claremont Oval at present.
The initial development plans, estimated to cost $ 20 million, could start as early as next year and be completed by 2021, and see the oval turned and repositioned closer to the heritage-listed pavilion. The Stan Reilly aged-care site would be sold off to accommodate a six-storey mixed-use building that would house retail, offices and residential accommodation.
The idea is for the rival South and East Fremantle football clubs to be based and play their games at Fremantle Oval, as I and others suggested over a year ago, which would see a WAFL game at the oval every weekend during the season. This would also support plans by the Town of East Fremantle to develop the oval at Marmion Street.
Fremantle Oval would become a venue for events and concerts as Fremantle City wants to shift events away from the too frequently used Esplanade. That would be perfect for Sunset Events who now lease the former Fly by Night club hall that is just over the road from the oval.
Pedestrian access to the oval would be improved to link it better to the Cappuccino Strip and there could even be a 250 bay underground carpark under the oval. The latter was a suggestion former Fremantle Society President Henty Farrar made during a meeting he and I had with Mayor Brad Pettitt last year.
One hurdle that stands in the way of achieving these significant plans is that the Dockers have a fifty-year lease over the oval and want the City to buy their HQ building off them.
Also on Wednesday’s FPOLC is a stinger net for South Fremantle.
Artist Adam Cicanese has put a tribute to South Fremantle Football Club Bulldogs players on a wall in the Paddy Troy Lane, and included names such as Collard, Matera, Vigona, McGrath, Haywood, Roe, Melbourne and Ugle.
All you footy fans go and get a selfie in front of it. It’s just at the back of the High Street mall, so walk through the arcade there, or park at the back of the Federal Hotel-former Rosy O’Grady.
It looks like a lot of people will be going to church this Sunday, but it will be the one in Subiaco, if we can put any faith in the big banner of the Roof&Wall Doctor in Freo’s Essex Street.
“In Ross we trust” the banner screams at us, so supposedly Ross is the big G and his Derby tactics the bible. OMG how blasphemist.
It is near certain the Fremantle Dockers will defeat the depleted West Coast Eagles, but while you’re enjoying the big win just keep it in perspective. It’s only a footy game, we Eagles supporters will tell you Dockers fans, and there are far more important things in the world. Yep, like buying lots of tissues and booze to cope with the loss. It will be a blue Monday. ; > (