Freo's View

SEEDY BUSINESS AT FREMANTLE ESPLANADE

Posted in city of fremantle, esplanade reserve, local government, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on December 13, 2019

 

 

Large parts of the Fremantle Esplanade reserve have been cordoned off because of the fear of large branches of the Norfolk Island pines falling down, after an unusual  growth of heavy seed pods, much further away from the tree trunks, is making the branches too heavy.

Contractors are on site to cut down branches and remove excessive seed pods. This is also happening at South Beach and Parmelia Park.

Roel Loopers

 

FREO TAKING THE PUBLIC PISS

Posted in beer, beer festival, city of fremantle, festivals, local government, toilets, Uncategorized by freoview on November 10, 2019

 

beer 1

beer 2

 

Festivals bring a lot of people into Fremantle and that is a good thing, but what is not good is that the Esplanade public toilets are not available to the general public during the Beer Festival this weekend.

There are no public toilets in the Fishing Boat Harbour, only those a long walk south from Little Creatures near the carpark, and who knows about those?  Nor are there public toilets at Bathers Beach, so the next public toilets are inside the Fremantle Markets and at Kings Square. That is not good enough City of Fremantle!

Roel Loopers

FREO CITY, SUPPORT THE WEST END ACTIVATORS!

 

Carriage Cafe

 

I hear that the owners of the cute Carriage Cafe on the Fremantle Esplanade have been told that they can stay till March next year and then will be offered a lease until 2022, but with the option for the City of Fremantle to terminate the lease on a monthly basis.

This is ridiculous, unprofessional and unworkable, as no one in their right mind will invest in a business that does not have a secure long-term tenure.

Last winter the thick plastic ‘curtains’ that keep the wind and rain out of the cafe’s dining area where ripped to pieces during a storm, so the owners will have to put new ones in which will cost thousands of dollars. Why would they do that if they can be chucked out on short notice? Even a pop-up shop gets a six-month lease, for heaven’s sake!

Why does Fremantle Council make it so hard for businesses who want to stay in Fremantle, when vacant shop fronts pop up faster than weeds in our city? Does anyone at all understand what commercial viability means and how important safe tenure is?

Let’s be realistic and pragmatic about the Esplanade masterplan. The new hub and new cafe won’t happen for years, if at all, because the City of Fremantle does not have the money to finance it, so accept the reality and support the Carriage Cafe owners who have plans to also open at night as a restaurant.

West End businesses were left off the new shopping map, and Arthur’s Head businesses are not sure about their future there, while the place is falling apart because of poor maintenance, so it’s urgent time for Fremantle Council to stop talking about wanting to activate the West End of Fremantle and actually start supporting those who are already activating it!

Roel Loopers

 

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

 

WHY POSTPONE FREMANTLE PROJECTS HALF WAY?

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 12, 2018

 

Fremantle Councillor Andrew Sullivan had a grumpy old evening at the FPOL Committee last night, and he had valid reasons for it.

Sullivan said he was not happy at all that the planned Esplanade hub was pushed back by up to three years and that the Naval Stores at Cantonment Hill renovations would only be done in half.

“It frustrates me that almost always we postpone big projects halfway” he lamented. In three years time we will agains spend hundreds of officers’ hours and community consultation to start all over again.

It is fair to wonder why this happens when the 2018/19 budget also allows for a new $ 25,000 concept plan for a city square at the railway station. When Alannah MacTiernan was a WA government minister more than ten years ago I walked with her from the port building to the railway station looking at plans for the upgrade of Phillimore Street, a new square at the station and a new roundabout at Cliff Street.

Three years ago CODA architects created plans on behalf of Fremantle Ports for the Victoria Quay development that also included detailed plans for the relocation of the busport and a town square, so why do we need more experts and spend more money on what already has been done?

The masterplan for Princess May Park was approved two years ago, but nothing has eventuated, so why the community consultation and all the hours of creating it?

Even more years ago then Councillor John Dowson complained that the City wanted to do a masterplan for the reactivation of the West End. Go to the library he said and look at the glossy document the City did on this only 2-3 years ago. Why reinvent the wheel again?

For an outsider it all looks self serving so that that someone who might be called a special projects officer, who is hidden somewhere among the hundreds of city staff, will have a reason for his/her job, so they are given useless tasks and repeat projects that have already been well investigated. It’s a waste of time and money.

Councillor Sullivan was rightly frustrated and Fremantle Council needs to learn to prioritise better and stick with the projects they have approved, not pushing them down the line of priorities when something else that also looks worth doing comes up.

Roel Loopers

 

CONCERN ABOUT ESPLANADE TREES

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on September 23, 2017

 

 

Fremantle worrier Kel Smith is concerned about the big tree at the Esplanade and the huge branch that runs across Marine Terrace. He is worried it might break off and kill someone.

Near the public toilets and Vasco da Gama monument the City of Fremantle planted more new trees yesterday.

Driving along Marine Terrace on Thursday night I was surprised how dark the area is and wondered if there could be a string of small lights from tree to tree to lighten up the street and park and make it look more attractive and festive.

It would also make the Esplanade feel a bit safer for pedestrians.

 

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

NEW GRASS FOR FREO ESPLANADE

Posted in city of fremantle, esplanade reserve, Uncategorized by freoview on August 16, 2017

 

 

Only a few days a go I showed photos of all the puddles and mud on the path near the Carriage Cafe on the Fremantle Esplanade.

So fair is fair, and here some photos of the City of Fremantle laying new grass on the reserve today.

 

Roel Loopers

ESPLANADE NEW HUB ON SLOW BURNER

Posted in city of fremantle, esplanade reserve, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 8, 2017

 

A new burger restaurant on the Fremantle Esplanade remains a pipe dream for the time being, as City of Fremantle officers do not believe building the new hospitality venue should be a priority for the City, and they are hesitant to recommend that proponent Parklife should construct the building themselves on crown land.

The City has nominated $ 1.1 million in its forward budget estimates to construct the so-called Esplanade Hub in the 2018/19 financial year, however it is likely the officers will recommend to council that this is a lower priority project when compared to other projects. so it is probable that it will be delayed till at least 2019/20.

The Esplanade Reserve Masterplan was signed off in 2015, but has been controversial in the community, with even some senior officers at the City not being supportive of the new ‘hub’ idea near the railway line and Tourist Wheel.

At the Strategy and Project Development Committee last night Councillor Rachel Pemberton mentioned that sometimes Council loses track of Masterplans and they grow too big, and she said the area is surrounded by food and beverage options already.

Other Councillors said they would not want to be burned again, as happened with the Sunset Events tavern at J Shed.

Councillors Doug Thompson and Andrew Sullivan were at loggerheads, with Thompson saying that the Kings Square Project was the main focus for the City and it could not afford another major project for five years or so, while Sullivan said the Esplanade was crying out right now for that kind of development and that a city like Fremantle should be able to handle more major projects at the same time.

Councillor Ingrid Waltham said the City should be looking for other options, a smaller cafe, and that the proposed burger restaurant was too big. Councillor Pemberton agreed and said the community would not be too happy to lose more of the grassed area, and that it might be better to do the project in the future when the Esplanade was extended into the Italian Club carpark.

Councillor Thompson made one of the best observations of the evening, by saying that no one had ever said to him that we need to redevelop the cafe on the Esplanade.

Councillor Pemberton also questioned if the Dismantle containers were actually used and suggested strongly that if they are not used they should be removed, or Council could take them over for uses related to the Esplanade Youth Plaza, such as skateboard hire.

I believe the City of Fremantle would do well to investigate what can be done to retain the Carriage Cafe in its present location, as moving it might structurally not be possible. Instead of spending a lot of money on building a new food outlet, Council should be looking at how it can support the existing cute cafe and help it grow into a restaurant and small bar with nearby public toilets.

We don’t always have to reinvent the wheel in Freo and we don’t really need another burger outlet, or another food outlet when there are nine of them on the other side of the railway line at the Fishing Boat Harbour, from Little Creatures, Baskin&Robbins, Joe’s Fish Shack, Han’s Cafe, Cicerello’s, Kailis, Char Char Bull, Bathers Beach House, all the way to Sweetlips.

 

Roel Loopers

MORE TREES FOR FREMANTLE ESPLANADE

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on July 21, 2017

 

trees 1

 

A cluster of six young pine trees were planted on the Fremantle Esplanade yesterday by contractor Environmental Industries.

These trees grow very large, as one can see in the background, so I was surprised about how close they were planted together.

Maybe it’s just a nursery for them to grow to more maturity before they are relocated elsewhere on the reserve?

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ESPLANADE GRASS A MESS AGAIN

Posted in city of fremantle, esplanade reserve, nature by freoview on November 7, 2016

esplanade-grass

 

What an absolute shame to see the state of the Fremantle Esplanade grass after the City spent so much money on it last year.

No one is to blame as the surface has some kind of disease that can only be treated by taking many metres off the top soil and that would be an enormously expensive job.

But I wonder if the Esplanade Masterplan actually addresses this very important issue. It is no good to remove the Carriage cafe and build another hospitality venue when the reserve looks awful. It is not practical or financially viable to just keep putting new grass on it that dies within months because of the disease.

Roel Loopers

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