I am very disappointed and extremely annoyed to hear that Fremantle Council has yet again not budgeted to get power into the very popular Roundhouse tourists destination, so that the volunteer guides can move forward with their plans for new and modern displays.
It does not cost the City of Fremantle a cent to keep the Roundhouse open 363 days a year, as it is run by just 40 volunteers, who also open the historic building up after hours for weddings and event.
Fremantle Councillors constantly lament that they want to activate Arthur Head when the Roundhouse receives 130,000+ visitors a year, but they are not willing to support the tourism industry.
I am totally flabbergasted about that when Tourism WA keeps telling us that tourism is a huge growth industry.
It only needs $ 10,000 to run power into the cells for interactive displays, so that the guides can start to get the funding for the $ 200,000 project for which the professionally designed plans are ready.
I often criticise the lack of priorities at Fremantle Council that seems to always be able to find money for greeny projects, but when it comes to support one of the most visited tourist destinations in our city it just can’t be bothered.
No, let’s just donate another $ 14,000 for a tiny parklet in Wray Avenue that only a handful of people use, but stuff a volunteer organisation that looks after 130,000 tourists a year. It’s pathetic and I am disgusted!
East Fremantle Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail is Australia’s youngest Deputy Mayor. His impressive presentation at the Fremantle Network of the vision plan for the East Freo Leeuwing Barracks and foreshore showed why he was elected by his peers to the position.
A lot of water will flow under the bridges before the plans will be realised as the Defence Department owns the land and will have the final say after all, but at least the Town of East Fremantle is pro-actively involved in what must be one of the most significant development projects for the town and greater Fremantle.
McPhail said this was Fremantle’s day and Fremantle’s time and that the area is an emerging area for opportunity thanks to Fremantle Council, and it needs a regional big picture view.
He said the two major future visions for river foreshore development in the Perth metro area are the Leeuwin Barracks and the South Quay project, and he showed East Fremantle’s Port to Point Vision, all the way from Fremantle Port to Point Walter. It is about how we reconnect Fremantle to its foreshore McPail said.
He rightly pointed out that the South Quay project is a long way away still, while the Leeuwin development is imminent with land sales starting later this year, and said the East Street jetty area could be beautified by Fremantle Council before that.
Riverside Drive is old and needs to be realligned to accommodate the vision plans and the huge Leeuwin development that would see some 1,400 new residents moving into new apartment buildings, a new hotel, shops and large green open spaces for residents and the wider community to enjoy.
The vision showed two major 15-storey towers on the 14 hectare site plus 4-8 storey buildings spread among the large public spaces that will connect to river boardwalks.
It will require careful planning by the Town of East Fremantle and Mainroads to accommodate the additional vehicle movement along Preston Point Road and Riverside Drive as the majority of the new residents and visitors will be driving cars.
Michael McPhail is right that he sees this as a huge opportunity for Greater Fremantle and I believe it is essential for the two local councils and State Government to work together on a vision plan for the foreshore area from the Fremantle railway station all the way to Point Walter.
It’s another perfect autumn day in beautiful Fremantle so ideal to enjoy the school holidays.
There are lots of families and young people wandering around Freo and many are sampling the seafood delights in the Fishing Boat Harbour.
There has been speculation in the Fremantle community if the swans on the Townhall would be black or white after the extensive conservation work, but they are neither.
The swans were originally not painted at all, like the rest of the Townhall clocktower, and were only painted black in the 1960s.
The stunning Freo Townhall will be 130 years old on June 22 this year. It was opened on that day in 1887.
I am always on the look out for so-called street photos when wandering around inner city Fremantle and noticed this backpacker relaxing at the old Orient Hotel this morning.
It is not often one sees people fishing at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach but today there were a few, probably because the South Mole was packed full. But it paid off. I watched one man reeling in an 80 centimetre-long salmon.
Got this lovely colourful family selfie photo, as well as the dressed-up fisherman sculpture in the Fishing Boat Harbour.
It was unusually quiet on Sunday afternoon for the Fremantle International Street Arts Festival but traders told me it had been busy during lunchtime.
There were only a handful of people in High Street between 2-4 pm when I walked around to take some snaps and even the Cappuccino Strip was not packed full.
It is likely some people came into Freo for the evening performances, but compared to very busy Friday and Saturday it was relatively quiet on Sunday, so now hoping that the masses will come today for the last day of the free festival.
I must admit the festival has not excited me as much this year as previous years, so I hope other people will have found more fun in the acts.