An article about young architects and city development in today’s Sunday Times magazine has me wondering about certain facts in the article.
Journalist Jade Jurewicz mentions successful architect Nic Brunsdon, who among many innovative things such as Spacemarket and MOANA also started the Many 6160 retail and design incubator in the former Myer building at Fremantle’s Kings Square.
The article claims that Many pumped $ 1.7 million into the Fremantle economy since it opened in 2013 and because of Many there has been a 25 per cent reduction in vandalism in the area.
Where do these figures come from? Many is only open for four days a week, so I doubt it has a severe impact on the reduction of vandalism at Kings Square and I doubt it is highly successful as a retail environment as one rarely sees shoppers in the building.
I like fresh new innovative ideas, but the fact is that many mini retailers tried Many and left because it was not financially successful for them. Many is more or less a slightly more upmarket weekend market where presumably many traders have more secure income on weekdays to support their Many shop income, so how it has pumped $ 1.7 million into Fremantle, as the reporter claims, I’d like to know.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt is also quoted in the article and rightly says that cities develop in layers. Archeologists will no doubt also agree with our Mayor, but while the layers of innovation, development and progress are good, the physical layer of boring and mediocre new buildings in our city will have a long-lasting negative affect on the character of Fremantle. At present it looks more as if we are trying to put layers of manure on top of fields of beautiful roses. That is not acceptable!
The Sunday Times reports today that WA Premier Colin Barnett, who is also the new Minister for Tourism, has indicated the promotions for WA should be focussing on Perth and not on the natural beauty of our state.
The Premier told the ST that Brand Perth should be our selling point focus, not beaches and the rugged Kimberley. The Premier believes that is what Asian tourists want.
Strange then that the national tourist body only recently said that Chinese tourists want a country/outback experience, and 95 per cent of visitors to the Fremantle Roundhouse I talk to have expressed that they find Perth dull and much like other big cities but that they love the heritage of Fremantle, Ningaloo Reef, the outback, Margaret River, Albany and the rugged coastline.
On that note I wonder if/what the City of Fremantle is doing in regard to offering package deals for the Street Art Festival to attract interstate and overseas visitors. This is a great free three day festival that deserves package deals with tourism operators and airlines. We could for example have a night performance in the Fremantle Arts Centre only for those who arrive here on a package deal for the SAF.
Reading the number of visitors the VIVID light festival in Sydney attracts, I believe Freo could step up a little in that regard as well and not just rely on large numbers of visitors from the suburbs on the long Easter weekend.
Fremantle Federal MP Melissa Parke got married to arts patron Warwick Hemsley at the Freshwater Bay Yacht Club on Saturday.
Melissa did not invite this top bloke blogger so unfortunately I did not take any photos I can show you and the article in the Sunday Times today will have to do.
Sunday Times journalist Joe Spagnolo reports the couple left by boat from Point Walter for the wedding event at FWBYC.
Melissa is a gorgeous, genuine and sincere person whom I respect so I wish her and new hubby a great and long life together!
It will be interesting to see where Mrs Hemsley will reside and if she will move away from Fremantle or if Warwick will make the move to Freo.