Freo's View


Posted in fremantle, housing, lifestyle, living by freoview on January 30, 2017

Fremantle resident Leanne McKenzie is passionate about Freo and alternative living and sees a need for innovative new ideas to deal with the fact that Fremantle is becoming more expensive and becoming less accessible to those on lower incomes.

Leanne believes that people who want to live in and be part of Fremantle should have diverse housing options available. She says “Fremantle is what it is because of passionate community minded people, so if this type of person wants to live here they should have access.“

She has years of experience with construction and renovations, and personal experience as owner builder renovating her Fremantle workers cottage on a very tight budget, and exactly how she needed it, but paying tribute to its humble origins.

Leanne says she took the decision to help the many others who struggle to get started extending and renovating their homes, and she has assembled an excellent team of designers, real estate professionals and trades to help guide others in taking the step.

“It is better reducing our ecological footprint, solar, thermal efficiencies etc. and upcycling our homes if practicable, rather than bowling over and starting from scratch.”

When Leanne McKenzie was told that her 90 sqm 3 bedroom home was too small for energy efficient hydronics systems, she decided to design one herself.

I want to equip people with the information and processes so they can make informed designs about their renovations, incorporating new technology and not spend big dollars if they are not precisely sure what they want. We don’t need BIG to live happy, we need quality spaces that enhance our lives and connect us to our neighbourhoods.

She is working to design a very special tiny house. “Mobility, ecological footprint, advanced technology is all part of our future for how we will live, but (re)connecting to our natural world, our neighbourhoods and communities is more important. This is what Fremantle does so well, and this should be accessible to all of us. “

For more detail contact for more information on tiny house initiatives


The intention of the City of Fremantle to outsource the management of the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre(WACC) at Arthur Head is questionable as reports to Council suggest the centre won’t be financially viable in its current location.

I believe it is fair to say that WACC has been a disappointment as it has neither created an Aboriginal experience for overseas tourists, nor created a community centre for the local Whadjuk Noongar people.

An investigation by Dr Bryn Roberts of the KOYA Aboriginal Cooperation into the feasibility of WACC should be considered before handing over the centre to an organisation that will require City of Fremantle financial support for up to five years.

Dr Roberts refers quite often in his report to a business model of April 2013 by Urban Aesthetics that states that viable management of WACC would need to create $ 200,000 income a year to cover expenditure.

Urban Aesthetics also recommended J Shed as a better location for an Aboriginal centre than a small Pilot’s Cottage at Captain’s Lane, as the cottages were places to live and sleep and not fit for the purpose of an Aboriginal centre. UA also believed the closeness to the Roundhouse was unacceptable because of its history.

J Shed would provide a more flexible space with higher visibility to attract more visitors and would also be easier for parking and dropping off Aboriginal Elders, UA states.

Dr Bryn Roberts writes that this history is relevant to the report as KOYA cannot see the Walyalup Cultural Centre become financially viable over the next ten years(if ever) in its current location.

I believe it would be remiss of the City to invest ratepayers’ money into WACC when expert advise it that it is in the wrong location and won’t succeed there. I warned about this when the city was contemplating to start WACC at Arthur Head, initially in the cottage at number 11 Captain’s Lane that was occupied by the Fremantle Society.

If the proposed tavern at J Shed by Sunset Events does not get approval of the State Administrative Tribunal the City of Fremantle should seriously consider moving WACC to the number 1 studio there, invest in building a cafe with outdoor deck and Aboriginal art gallery to create income. The large outdoor space is also very suitable for Aboriginal events and even the Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival during the Fremantle Festival.

It is not good enough for the City to realise the WACC is not working in its present form and its present location and shift finding solutions for it to a private or community organisation. What needs to happen first is for the City in collaboration with Noongar elders to create a long-term concept for WACC and decide if it even should be moved to a more central location in the CBD.

Roel Loopers

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