Freo's View

FREO COMMUNITY GETS BACK ITS OVAL

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle dockers, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 7, 2017

 

 

The City of Fremantle will get back the keys to Fremantle Oval this week after a deal was struck with the Dockers AFL football club to relinquish their 37-year-lease over the oval.

It has been a disappointing process as the Dockers insisted on getting paid for their clubhouse and Fremantle City after lengthy negotiations reluctantly agreed to pay the footy club $ 1,5 million over three years.

The City will now use the precinct for temporary staff accommodation during the construction of the new Civic Centre at Kings Square. It will also create 140 new public car bays on the Stan Reilly site next to the oval.

The very good news for the Fremantle community is that the city has a concept Fremantle Oval Project plan that will see the oval used again for concerts and events. This will help spread the load of all the festivals, events and concerts in Fremantle and will reduce the use of the suffering Esplanade reserve.

The Fremantle Oval Project, together with the Kings Square Project and the imminent development of the police and justice complex in Henderson Street by Silverleaf will positively change the southern heart of the CBD and connect Wray Avenue with the Cappuccino Strip.

I am delighted to see so much progress in the inner city, as long as we stop some of the the loony development proposals for the heritage West End.

 

Roel Loopers

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FREO CITY PAYS DOCKERS $ 1.5 MILLION FOR OVAL

Posted in city of fremantle, development, heritage by freoview on February 24, 2017

The City of Fremantle will pay the Fremantle Dockers $ 1,5 million over three years for the football club’s administration building and for them to relinquish the lease over Fremantle Oval.

This is a very good outcome for Fremantle as the Dockers initially wanted over $ 9 million and up till two weeks ago a sum of $ 4 million was still on the cards.

It means the City can now continue with its Fremantle Oval development plans and also temporarily move staff there while the new Civic Centre is built at Kings Square.

The development of the precinct south of Kings Square is a very important one, so interesting to hear that Fremantle developers Silverleaf, who bought the former  Court and Police complex at Henderson Street, have also acquired all the Warders Cottages east of William Street, so expect a development there in a few years time.

Roel Loopers

BUSY SUNDAY FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in cruiseliner, fremantle, shopping, tourism by freoview on February 12, 2017

 

It looks like it is going to be a busy Sunday in Fremantle although there is still rain forecast.

The Queen Mary 2 arrived this morning and thousands of passengers were disembarking to take in the sights. Many hopped on busses to the Pinnacles and the Swan Valley, but a large number also walked into Freo.

City of Fremantle volunteer guides were at hand to assist with directions and information.

Add to that the 10,000 spectators expected this afternoon at Fremantle Oval for the first home game of the Dockers AFL women’s team and it should be buzzing in good old Freo this afternoon.

Come visit Freo today and enjoy the unique atm0sphere and the many quirky shops and cafes you won’t find in any shopping centre!

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE OVAL DEAL GOOD FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, local government by freoview on February 7, 2017

Although no formal agreement has been reached between the Fremantle Dockers and the City of Fremantle indications are that it could be a good deal for Fremantle.

Delegated authority is with the CoF CEO and the Fremantle Football Club board will only meet on the 22nd to sign off on the deal, so we are still a few weeks away from knowing for sure if the Dockers will relinquish the long-term lease of Fremantle Oval when they move to Cockburn in April.

My understanding is that the initial demand of $ 7.9 million for the clubhouse has come down considerably and well under $ 4 million, to the point where it actually becomes a pretty good financial solution for the City, and it will avoid a long and costly drawn-out legal battle.

Since the City will  temporarily have to move from Kings Square for at least two years for the development of the new civic building, the opportunity for City staff to move into the Dockers clubhouse seems better than leasing commercial space that might cost up to 4 million over two years.

It will also help to initially rehouse the East Fremantle Football Club until the redevelopment of the Stan Reilly site and Fremantle Oval project start.

It looks like a win-win for all but let’s wait for the fine prints.

Roel Loopers

 

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DOCKERS TO HAND BACK FREMANTLE OVAL TO CITY

Posted in city of fremantle, development, dockers by freoview on February 7, 2017

The City of Fremantle has issued a media release to announce that the CoF is close to signing an agreement with the Fremantle Football Club for the hand-back of Fremantle Oval to the City.

Details of the agreement will be made public once the contract is signed, so it is still not clear if the Dockers will insist on getting a 4 million dollar pay-out to relinquish the long-term lease they have for the oval.

With the Dockers AFL women’s team playing at the oval this weekend and the urgent need for reducing concerts and events on the Esplanade, it is very good news Freo City will now manage the venue and can get started on the Fremantle Oval precinct redevelopment.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE BREEZE JUST HOT AIR?

Posted in city of fremantle, cricket, sport by freoview on December 17, 2016

I don’t often write about sport on Freo’s View but must express my amazement about the City of Fremantle’s involvement with the Fremantle Breeze Big Bash League cricket team and that the franchise will be playing at Fremantle Oval.

It tactically seems very inappropriate when C0F is in a legal battle with the Fremantle Dockers AFL club to relinquish their long-term lease for the oval when they relocate to Cockburn next year.

With the (unlikely) possibility of a BBL team playing at Freo Oval the Dockers’ management must see dollar signs flashing in front of their eyes, so they now have an incentive to hold on to the lease and stay put and sub-let the ground to Fremantle Breeze, should that franchise ever eventuate.

With the City of Fremantle also wanting to develop and shift the oval Fremantle Breeze might not have the oval available to them for a long period during development.

I think John Townsend, sports journalist with the West Australian, put it succinctly “It is a thought bubble dressed in a cricket shirt.”

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE OVAL TO OCEAN EVOLUTION

Posted in city of fremantle, community, development, fremantle ports, local government by freoview on December 7, 2016

evolution-photo

 

The City of Fremantle Oval to Ocean/Port City Priorities function at the new Coast restaurant at Port Beach on Tuesday night brought a lot of influential people to Fremantle, but Premier Colin Barnett stayed away although he had sent an RSVP.

Here a list of the crème de la crème I saw, but I might have overlooked some big wigs: Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority CEO Kieran Kinsella, Silverleaf’s Gerard O’Brien, Committee for Perth CEO Marion Fulkner, Josh Wilson MP, Matt Taylor MLA, Simone McGurk, Lynn McLaren, Chamber of Commerce CEO Olwyn Williams, Fremantle Port CEO Chris Leatt-Hayter, Fremantle Foundation CEO Dylan Smith, many business people, Councillors and CoF staff.

The Evolution of Fremantle is Happening Now Mayor Brad Pettitt said, but that was about it as the announcement that the development of Fremantle Oval and South Quay are key priorities of state significance was just a rehash of what already has been in the public realm for years. It was akin to opening a Christmas present and finding books one has already read.

A better station forecourt, moving the bus port east, building a commercial precinct, etc. are already plans Fremantle Ports had for years and went through extensive community consultation, but have been put on hold because of the possible sale of the port.

But let me embrace the Christmas spirit(s) to be more positive about last evening. It is very good when people of that calibre connect and hopefully they will engage and collaborate with the City of Fremantle and assist in shaping our city into a modern and vibrant one. Especially MRA boss Kieran Kinsella could be of great help, but that will require the State Government to allow him to take charge of the South Quay project.

There is no doubt that at present South Quay is underutilised by Fremantle Port and the Passenger Terminal is too far away from the train station, and we witness mainly old people pushing and pulling heavy luggage along either side of the railway line, rain or shine. That is not a great experience and neither is the derelict woolstores building.

I agree that South Quay should become an integrated tourist and commercial precinct, and if port buffer zones can be adjusted it should have a residential component.

Interesting in that regard to hear Labor party leader Mark McGowan in the presence of Simone McGurk on TV yesterday saying that the Passenger Terminal was substandard and South Quay should be developed. Instead of having a whinge I would actually like to hear the Labor leader telling us what he will do for Fremantle, the Perth Freight Link, etc. because being negative about the government is not good enough and we need to see more leadership, ideas, innovations and promises from the Labor leader before the election because most state governments have neglected the port city for many years, so what will a Labor government do for Freo, Mark?!

The Fremantle Oval development is a very important one in connection with the Kings Square project, so I hope the Fremantle Dockers will stop playing silly corporate games of greed and show some class and gratitude instead and hand back the keys unconditionally and without the demand for a large sum of money from the City of Fremantle.

I believe the future of Fremantle is very bright with all the development going on and being planned, but one of the major emphasises of Fremantle Council should be to try to connect better with the community and glue us together so we can all be part of the solutions and evolution.

Roel Loopers

I asked the question what the Labor Party would do if they win government next year, so it is fair to publish the answer as well. This is just a small quote from a Mark McGowan paper on transport, Fremantle Port, outer habour, etc:

• A McGowan Labor Government will work with the City of Fremantle to redevelop South Quay for high-value development including hotels and commercial uses delivering a tourism precinct and a world class cruise ship terminus.

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FREO OVAL DEVELOPMENT IMPORTANT FOR WAFL AND COMMUNITY

Posted in afl, city of fremantle, football, fremantle dockers by freoview on December 4, 2016

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.

Roel Loopers

GREEDY FREMANTLE DOCKERS NOT GOOD SPORTS

Posted in city of cockburn, city of fremantle, community, fremantle dockers, fremantle herald by freoview on December 3, 2016

The Thinking Allowed article in the Fremantle Herald by passionate Fremantle Dockers supporter Chris Lewis makes good points about corporate greed.

Lewis points out that the Dockers want cash for a lease they don’t pay for and that was handed to them rent-free by the City of Fremantle, which wanted to support the new club in 1994 and also gave them a loan guarantee.

Chris Lewis calls it “One of the most selfish one-sided community plays ever seen in Australian elite sport.”

Lewis, who led the Keep Freo in Freo campaign, for which I started the Facebook page, is very irate that the Dockers are happy to use the outstanding brand Fremantle in their name, even when they are moving to Cockburn in 2017, so maybe the City of Fremantle should insist the Dockers drop Fremantle from their name, similar to the Fitzroy Football Club when they moved to Brisbane and became the Brisbane Lions.

There is always something very unsavoury about corporate greed and a lack of values, and sport is moving more and more away from being community-minded. It’s all about money and the triple bottom line and paying often  under performing young “stars’ and over-paid administrators big bucks at the expensive of the community and supporters.

The Fremantle Dockers’ demand for payment from the City of Fremantle  to leave Fremantle Oval is a disgrace and should become a national shame for them!

Roel Loopers

IMPORTANT FREMANTLE OVAL PROJECT

Posted in city of fremantle, development, western australia by freoview on September 15, 2016

 

The disappointing footy season for WA teams is over and the Fremantle Dockers will next year move to Cockburn, so what is the future of Fremantle Oval and the Stan Reilly site?

The City of Fremantle has big plans for a Fremantle Oval Precinct but is hampered by the stubborn refusal of the  Dockers to relinquish the lease that they have on it until 2054. The Dockers want a big sum of money from the City of Fremantle for their administration building, which I understand was partly financed with a loan from the City. A bit greedy maybe.

There is an in principle agreement that the South Fremantle and East Fremantle Football Clubs will share Fremantle Oval and an external project manager has been appointed by the City to overlook the development, which includes the Stan Reilly site, with retail outlets along South Terrace to connect with Wray Avenue.

One would hope the stalled development of the former Synagogue site next door will also be completed soon.

The project group (including CoF, FFC, SFFC, EFFC, Sport and Rec) used a company called Davis Langdon to prepare the business case for the co-location project.

The City of Fremantle is due to engage a company called BDO to undertake the more detailed financial analysis and funding analysis for the project.

The masterplanning and more detailed design will be done in house by Russell Kingdom – Russell recently joined Freo City from the City of Perth where he was head of City Design.

It is a shame Fremantle Oval is not yet ready to take on events as the 2017 Blues&Roots Festival has been cancelled by Sunset Events because of issues getting approval to hold the event on the Esplanade.

Roel Loopers

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