Freo's View

GREG JAMES’ EDMUND RICE BRONZE SCULPTURE

Posted in art, bathers beach, city of fremantle, culture, education, greg james, history, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on November 7, 2018

 

Edmund Rice

 

Fremantle J Shed artist Greg James is one of Western Australia’s truly outstanding bronze sculpture artists, as he proves again with the remarkable sculpture of Edmund Ignatius Rice, that will be installed at the Christian Brothers College in January.

Irish born Rice(1762-1844) was a Roman Catholic missionary and educationalist who established the Christian Brothers, who still follow the traditions established by Rice.

If you happen to walk past J Shed at Bathers Beach ask Greg James if you can have a look at the bronze artwork.

Greg is already working on his next work that is very Fremantle. His great, great grandmother was a passenger on the Marquis D’Angelsea in 1829, that was shipwrecked at Bathers Bay. She lost all her belongings, including her piano, which will be the focus of James’ heritage art work, and something the City of Fremantle should definitely buy.

 

Roel Loopers

THE FUTURE OF FREO’S J SHED

 

With the saga about a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach now finally closed it is now time for Fremantle Council to look at a long-term plan for historic Arthur’s Head because the Bathers Beach Art Precinct idea has clearly not improved activation of the area, and that is what Council supposedly was hoping for when approving the 21-year tavern lease with Sunset Events.

There are a few simple facts about the art precinct and that is that quite a few artists have tried but could not even earn enough to pay the rent, and only a few real professionals such as Greg James, Jenny Dawson and Glen Cowans have survived and contributed to the area, and to a lesser extend also the messy looking David Giles gallery where many Sunday painters gather.

We also know that hospitality operators looked at the No 1 glass wall studio at J Shed but did not believe it was financially viable to start a business because they would have had to invest in sewerage, toilets and building a commercial kitchen, and the costs were prohibitive. It was also questioned if a hospitality venue would be a good neighbour next to a semi-industrial art workshop where grinding, welding, wax and bronze melting takes place.

Activation is a buzz word in Fremantle, as was placemaking for a few years, but what does it really mean and how much of it is needed at Arthur’s Head? Already the Roundhouse attracts some 150,000 visitors a year and that is the number of people actually going through the door, while many who walk up to the limestone cliff face just wander around without entering. It is a coming and going that make the place look popular, and the Glen Cowans gallery next to it offers fantastic underwater photography that is admired by many visitors from all over the world.

If Fremantle Council is seriously interested in activating the area why does it not use the lawn next to the Roundhouse and the A Class reserve in front of J Shed more often for events, one has to wonder. Why for example is the far west end of High Street not used as a stage for the Street Arts Festival to attract people there and help the activation Freo councillors keep dreaming about? Why is there no weekend art and craft market in the area?

Where is the investment in the area when Bathers Beach still does not have public toilets and where the connectivity from The Fishing Boat Harbour to Victoria Quay is still not resolved properly? Why are the Pilot’s Cottages not lit up at night, that would also discourage homeless people from using them?

Why also do we live with scaffolding and fencing around the cliff face since May, and work has still not started on it when tourists numbers and cruise ship visits will increase during the warmer summer months? Why has it taken so long, nearly half a year!, to find a solution?

Fremantle Council needs to walk the walk and put ratepayers’ money to good use at Arthur’s Head, because the area looks run down and uncared for and that is unacceptable for this heritage and tourist precinct. Forget activation, prioritise tender loving care first!

Roel Loopers

J SHED TAVERN LEASE TERMINATED!

 

In a great exclusive the FREMANTLE HERALD today reports on its front page that Sunset Events has asked the City of Fremantle to terminate its 21-year lease for a tavern at J Shed.

The development approval was rejected by the WA Planning Commission last month, but there were fears in the community that Sunset Events might take it all the way to the State Administrative Tribunal, instead the events promoters decided to walk away from the Bathers Beach venture.

This is an amazingly good outcome for the Fremantle community and heritage groups who protested long, loud and clear against the inappropriate proposal, but the majority of Fremantle Councillors just did not want to listen to them and now have egg on their face for pursuing this for far too long.

It is now time for Fremantle Council to revisit plans for J Shed and the entire Bathers Beach Arts Precinct, which needs to have new innovative ideas to activate it more and better and to make it a tourist destination in the significant heritage area just below the Roundhouse.

Roel Loopers

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J SHED SAGA NOT OVER YET

 

Word on the J Shed grapevine is that Sunset Events is going to take the application for a tavern at Bathers Beach all the way to the State Administrative Tribunal, after it was refused this week by the WA Statutory Planning Commission as being an inappropriate use of the A Class Reserve.

I believe it is disappointing that the SE directors are so stubborn and want to fight a proposal that has been strongly rejected by many community groups and the WASPC.

Rumours also have it that if Sunset Events do not get their way at SAT they are considering legal action against the City of Fremantle, although CoF are not the deciding authority.

So here we go again, deja vu and groundhog dag all together.

Roel Loopers

HERITAGE GUIDES MISREPRESENTED AT PLANNING COMMITTEE

Posted in arthur head, bathers beach, city of fremantle, heritage, j shed, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on September 5, 2018

 

A disturbing fact turned up in the minutes of the most recent WA Statutory Planning Committee, that dealt with the application for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

It is recorded in the minutes and clear that former Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides president Cheryl Greaves misrepresented herself to the state government committee as a spokesperson for the Roundhouse volunteer guides organisation, when she was not authorised to do so.

7.3 Proposed Change of Use to Tavern and Additions to Existing Building at Lot 2051 Fleet Street, Fremantle (J-Shed) (Item 8.5) Presenter: Ms Cheryl Greaves – Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides Association Ms Greaves made a presentation to members on behalf of the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides Association in support of the recommendation by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. Ms Greaves discussed the historic importance of the Arthur Heads Reserve and that it is a dedicated A Class reserve because of its heritage significance and that the nature and scale is not fit for the reserve and the application should be refused.

While the on-line minutes of the WASPC still have to be authorised at the next committee meeting I assume that they are correct.

Current Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides president Frank Duffy confirmed yesterday to me that Ms Greaves had asked for permission to speak on behalf of the volunteer organisation but that request had been refused.

Cheryl Greaves was a very controlling president of the Roundhouse volunteers group and a stickler for rules and regulations when she was in charge. Everything had to be done by the book, so it is astonishing that against the express directions of the present committee she decided to address the WASPC without the authority to do so.

No matter how passionate we all are about protecting Fremantle’s heritage and character, we can not walk around and claim to speak on behalf of an organisation and its members, when all we do is express a personal opinion. It is very bad form, unprofessional and not acceptable.

 

Roel Loopers

 

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FREO J SHED TAVERN REFUSED BY WAPC!

 

The WA Statutory Planning Committee announced in the Minutes today of their meeting on August 28 that they REFUSE the development of a tavern by Sunset Events of the No 1 studio at J Shed at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach.

The committee members agreed that the area could be activated but there was a need to find an appropriate and compatible use.

“1. The proposed application does not comply with there requirements of the Clause 30 (1) of the Metropolitan Region Scheme as it is inconsistent with the purpose for which the land is reserved under the scheme, inconsistent with the orderly and proper planning of the locality and does not allow the preservation of amenities in the locality.
2. The proposed application does not comply with there requirements of Development Control Policy 5.3 – Use of Land Reserved for Parks and Recreation and Regional Open Space as it is not of a nature and scale compatible with the use and zoning of the surrounding land, the nature and purpose of the reserved land and the environmental character of the location.”

This is a huge win for Fremantle heritage groups, local residents and the J Shed artists who have been fighting Fremantle Council from the very start of the proposal.

Council signed a 21-year lease with Sunset Events for an 850 patron tavern and a 1,500 patron outdoor live music area against the strong opposition of all the community groups and Fremantle Ports. Even a packed Townhall for a special electors meeting did not sway the elected members to change their mind.

Sunset Events watered down their proposal to a tavern for only 350 patrons and no live outdoor concerts but the WASPC still believed that this would be an inappropriate use of the A Class Reserve.

The lease contract between the City of Fremantle and Sunset Events will now be declared null and void.

Roel Loopers

 

J SHED TAVERN RECOMMENDED FOR REFUSAL BY SPC

 

The WA Statutory Planning Committee will next week on August 28 debate the application by Sunset Events for a tavern at J Shed at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach.

Contrary to Fremantle Council the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage ‘Considers the current application has not fully addressed the SPC’s reasons for refusing the previous application and it is therefore recommended that the application be refused’

I believed from the start that the SPC would not change their mind that a tavern is inappropriate use of the A Class Reserve at historic Arthur’s Head, and that in this case size would not matter, so reducing the number of patrons would have no impact on the decision.

If the committee agrees with the refusal recommendation Fremantle Council urgently needs to go back and revisit the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct, as it is not working in its present form.

Roel Loopers

 

 

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FREO COUNCIL CHANGING THE GROUND RULES, COUNCILLOR WARNS

Posted in city of fremantle, enkel, j shed, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 26, 2018

 

I’ll publish more about last night’s Fremantle Council meeting, after I return from tour guide duty at the Roundhouse this afternoon, but I do want to address this issue as it now came up twice at council meetings.

When debating the Naval Stores lease at Cantonment Hill to ENKEL Councillor Jon Strachan said “This Council is good at Expressions of Interest, but than keep changing, changing and changing them. We change the ground rules!”

Councillor Rachel Pemberton agreed with him, as had Councillor Andrew Sullivan who had a bit of a rant about Council abandoning projects at a previous Council committee meeting.

Reason is that ENKEL was supposed to get the lease over the fully renovated Naval Stores but Council decided to do only half of the job and not do their part of the deal, so now new negotiations have started on the rent, use, activation, etc.

The same happened to the preferred tender of a hospitality outlet at the planned new Esplanade Hub, that has now been pushed back by three years.

And we all are aware of the enormous debacle of Council granting a 20 year lease to Sunset Events for the number 1 unit at J Shed for a 850 patron tavern and 1,500 patron outdoor music venue, until they basically shat their pants and started back pedalling so far that there is nothing left of the original proposal, and Sunset Events now has got Council approval for a 300 patron tavern only, and that is still subject to approval by the WA Planning Commission and a liquor license.

Fremantle Council on occasions are worse than children. Give them a new toy and the old ones are abandoned immediately. That is not a great sign of maturity or professionalism and as Councillor Pemberton said it will warn off people from wanting to sign a contract with the City of Fremantle.

 

Roel Loopers

 

PLAYSPACE AWARD FOR J SHED ARTIST

Posted in art, city of fremantle, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on July 5, 2018

 

Jenny Dawson art

 

Fremantle J Shed ceramic artist Jenny Dawson was a member of the team that won the Playspace Award by Park&Leisure Australia for the Piney Lakes Sensory Playground in Melville.

” This award is given to a regional level play space that involves a range of stakeholders, contributes to the creation of a sense of “place’’ for its local community and exhibits landscape and/or structural design innovation that delights and aids childhood development.”

Jenny Dawson collaborated with students of three primary schools in the area and DADAA artists to create the work.

Roel Loopers

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COMMUNITY OUTRAGE ABOUT FREMANTLE HERALD’S F WORD USE

 

The front page of the Fremantle Herald does not have the head line Community Outrage About F Word, but the paper did publish several letters to the editor expressing outrage about last week’s article about the J Shed debate at Fremantle Council.

Editor and owner of the Herald Andrew Smith does however apologise to Aboriginal elder Herbert Bropho for publishing the awful F word headline above a photo of him.

According to Andrew Smith the F word headline reflected the mood of the council meeting and hence it was deemed appropriate by him to publish it.

The Herald then publishes it’s own Thinking Allowed-why not call it an editorial?- in which it claims that most community members miss the main point that Fremantle Council is ‘badly divided, split down the middle’ and argues it is time for a rethink about the activation of Arthur’s Head.

Fremantle Council is indeed divided about a tavern at J Shed but only 4 Councillors voted against it at the last meeting. Councillors Strachan, Pemberton and Waltham were absent and Councillor Wainwright did not vote, as he had declared a conflict of interest.

It is not a factual understanding of procedures to claim Fremantle Council is badly divided, but that probably comes from the fact that the Fremantle Herald very rarely has a reporter present at Council and Council Committee meetings.

The first things that needs to happen before Council can rethink the activation of Arthur’s Head is for the WAPC or the Liquor Licensing Authority to reject the tavern proposal.

While I too would love to see a substantial Whadjuk Noongar presence at J Shed it would be up to our indigenous leaders to decide if that would be an appropriate location for an Aboriginal cultural centre as a tourist attraction.

Roel Loopers

 

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