Fremantle Town Hall On Deaths Door

Tonight we see where council will pull the money from for the Town Hall restoration work.

Last week at SGS we heard that the town has 12 months of life left as if it has to face another winter rain the damage.

Even from google street cam it doesn’t look real flash does it, decades of neglect.

The exterior of the historic Fremantle Town Hall building is in need of urgent conservation work to arrest the rapid rate of deterioration occurring due to water penetration. It has now been almost thirty years since the last major capital expenditure on the building and key elements such as the roof cladding and rainwater goods need to be replaced before winter 2016. Problems caused by inappropriate surface treatments and repairs to masonry elements carried out in the1950s – 60s when there was little understanding of how to conserve traditional building fabric, also need to be addressed to prevent ongoing deterioration of masonry, embedded steel and timbers and decorative stucco work”

Lets hope we don’t get any heavy summer rains in 2016 before the needed work starts?

It’s a little hard to see how this has been allowed to get so bad, for years the COF has been finding restoration work that was done badly from decades ago, so it can hardly been surprising that the town has a similar issue.

Then there is the stories about the town hall rood access being dangerous as I understand they could not use the flag poles due to access restrictions for safety.

The fact that our town hall is in such a poor state of repair is disgraceful. The council has no problems finding for funds for concreting our grass areas, parks, funding political rallies/advertising, etc, spending millions of dollars on issues like that. How many 10 of thousands of dollars has Brad Pettitt the Mayor spent on his Junket trips to Japan, Europe over the last couple of years to name a few? No problems funding those.

Here’s a few items out of the 2015/16 budget they can find money for;

  1. One Planet crowd match $100,000 which appears to be a crowd funding group in Holland great value to the Fremantle rate payer
  2. One planet sustainability $100,000 festival
  3. EV Highway gateway $20,000, one day they are against people using cars and pushing for public transport, how they are investing in something hardly anyone uses. How many people in Fremantle have a 100% EV, as hybrids don’t need recharging stations, just a regular petrol station? I’m sure the carbon emissions to build the network will far out way the carbon savings of the handful of people who may use it.
  4. CUSP report another $20,000, which reads more like a political/ideology document than a factual representation of the issues not in the budget that I can find but spend it they shall.

That’s just a quick glance and that’s getting towards $250,000 on feel good stuff with no measurable outcomes, or KPI’s

Looking through the budget they seem to have stashed away cash from the investment reserve everywhere, I thought the investment reserve was to be used to invest in property to generate revenue to ensure the city can provide amenities, services and lower the burden to the rate payers?

So while we have funds for basketball courts on the beach, we are $700,000 short of funds to save the town hall. thats if it all goes to plan with no cost over runs, which is highly unlikely?

The question is responsibility and priority, 1st you spend funds on things that need to be done, then the excess if any we use to build or improve ratepayer’s amenity.

It’s hard to do when we give out the parks for free to profit making organizations and then also pick up the bills for the damage they do paces like the esplanade?

How have things gotten so bad in maintenance issues which ultimately will led the final costs of repairs being higher than they should be. Last I heard the city was $50,000,000.00 behind in maintenance issues, I wonder where it stands now?

 

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One comment

  1. Benjamin says:

    This is hard to believe Mark. Maintenance gets more and more expensive if you don’t keep on top of it. To let the town hall get within a season of ruin is appalling and I hate to imagine how much cheaper it could have been as part of a well run, planned maintenance program.

    If you go into the building, the lifts frequently don’t work and it looks like it was it was last refitted when Mike Brady was an architect on TV. I’d hate to see what else is wrong with it.

    I simply cannot relate to the way this council spends our money. There is surely an annual budget process where certain things are prioritised over others. Your examples of misallocations of funds make me shake my head in confusion.

    Well done with this website and your articles. Keep up the good work.

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