Fremantle’s Green Plan Dying with its Trees


Not so long ago the COF had a Green plan review workshop, where the community got to come along and have some feedback on what was important to them for Fremantle in regards to the city Revised Green Plan.

All in all lots of good comments and feedback, more parks where there’s none, more tree canopy, less hard surfaces, no more concrete in our parks. etc etc.

I also brought up the issues of tree plantings in the suburbs and the damage that was being done in the way they are watered, which of course developing trees need.

I took this photo to the meeting to show what I meant, as the water is washing away the top soil leaving the roots exposed and blasting away the ring of mulch that’s there to contain the water and protect the new delicate roots and topsoil.


From this we can see,

  1. The topsoil is washed away exposing the roots
  2. The mulch ring is also washed away and the water is running the verge not watering the tree that needs it.
  3. The upper plant is dying and the roots further down have sent up new shoots which also die off quickly.
  4. Strangely enough the council is watering the lawn better here than the esplanade.

This has killed 3 of the new trees on my block over the last couple of months, 2 have been replaced this week, strangely leaving the 3rd dead one.

So some of these trees have been replaced 4 times now and we still don’t have much more growth than we started with 5 years ago.

Not to mention the cost of the tree, the man power to plant them, the cost of watering only to kill them and then to repeat the cycle.

Planting 7 and killing off 3 is not a great ratio of success.

Considering the loss of over 100 mature trees at Kim Beazley site due to council’s approval and the plans to resurrect the canopy, if this going to be their MO and success rate it doesn’t stand much of a chance of getting a green canopy back in the 30 or 40 years.

Here is what the cnr of Yalgoo and Hope use to look like.

A quote from Greg Moore “Mature trees are significant assets to our environment and society, regardless of where they occur or whether they are native or exotic. A great deal of effort has gone into managing, conserving and preserving these trees. Considerable human effort and time has been expended on the trees, as well as a great deal of real energy in the form of fossils fuels that has underpinned their maintenance. There has also been significant water resource allocated to their growth and development. They are community assets in every sense of the word — society has invested resources in their establishment and management, and they have matured as assets and are now returning great and diverse benefits (Moore 1997) to society in return” So it like at the Kim Beazley site they have lost 100 hundred years of canopy growth.

Fremantle already has the 2nd worse hard cover record in Australia (202020) and it’s getting worse, with plans to concrete parts of South beach miles more concrete coming for the esplanade with hard surface courts and paths everywhere, the heat sink of Fremantle just steadily increases.

One would think that a supposedly green council would want to lessen the global warning rate not exacerbate it? By destroying tree canopies, not including open public space in green fill (Burt st) and concreting over park lands.

All in all you wonder what’s green about it the plan at all, maybe they can include some green tint in the next batch of concrete.

Fremantle’s Real Problem, Too Much Politics in Council

aus parliament house

Are there Delusions of Grandeur on Fremantle Council?

Yesterday on Freoview we see one of the real problems Fremantle faces, state and federal political ideology deeply entwined in Councillor fundamental position.  Quote ”Worse still, not only is Barnett willing to sell the Port but will use scarce funds to privatise the road that feeds it. Barnett & Abbott are racing to build their new truck sewer straight through the middle of East Fremantle and North Fremantle. In doing so, they will sever with the swiftness of a terrorist’s sword the connectivity’s that several generations of Fremantle people have fought so hard to maintain and rebuild.

Imagine a life behind high concrete walls that divides Fremantle like Berlin was. The freeway style toll road will make access in and out of our city centre hopelessly constrained especially from the north and east.”

I don’t get how he thinks the road is being privatised by selling the port?

Tonight Councillor Sullivan’s comments are emotive, politically motivated and basically should have no place in the council arena. Making emotionally provocative statements comparing the sale of state assets to the actions of terrorists beheading people have nothing to do with local government issues.

It seems clearer and clearer that council’s political ideologies and allegiances are clouding the real operation of council from its true function. The political links/loyalties of councillors should be secondary to their paid responsibilities of council duties.

If they feel their political ideologies are more important than their fiduciary duties to the rate payers and residents of Fremantle they should fore go their council positions to concentrate on state or federal politics.

It must be quite clear now if not before that comments that Dave Hume, Bill Massie made on Wednesday night that council’s actions be driven by their responsibilities and duties to its rate payer and residents base not personal political agendas is valid, as it is a real issue in Fremantle council?

The state government decision to sell the port may be dumb but the effect is on the whole state and best handled there.  The FPA make their own operational decisions, state or private owned, the COF opinion is just that?

Here is a little tit bit of the freoview discussion from Andrew and his Shakespearean style theatrics over the Perth Freight Link

Here is my response to Andrews’s theatrics, in fairness you should read his comments as well as mine, as I unlike the City of Fremantle believe people should read both sides of the story to better judge for themselves. I have posted it here on Fremantle Reform, so I can add links easily, so click on Roels link to see Andrews and others comments on the issue


My Comment to Andrews, see link above as seen on freoview

“First Andrew I will wait to see what proposal the 3 consortiums come up with before, I support one thing or the other (a point made by Rachel Pemberton at SPC) or start comparing High St to an active berlin wall. I would rather see an actual plan in black or white to form a view than make one, based on your over sensationalist rhetoric with executioners, swords, terrorists, communist walls, sewers etc, Isn’t it possible to have a normal discussion?

Trying to cross High St now on foot at times is a pretty risky affair now! I wouldn’t say it’s a safe road for neighbours to ample across now. Come to think of it if I wanted to go north or south I wouldn’t use that part of High St anyway I would cross over at Amherst where I’m not running the current truck gauntlet.

I must have missed the game of thrones series where they had terrorists, your quote was “In doing so, they will sever with the swiftness of a terrorist’s sword” doesn’t sound like a game of thrones analogy to me, though people should try and google “terrorist sword” and see how many links they get back to the game of thrones series. It may prove to be a fruitless task?

As for guaranteeing what kids will and don’t do I will leave their actions and accountability to their responsible guardians.

For a highway dividing a community I can show you examples of how they can be built where it’s a positive outcome with parks and grass but that would just leave you with another place to pour concrete as we saw in More Council Concrete for Fremantle Parks or you could look at Fremantle’s Councils Perceived Anti-Car Stance


Hamburger Deckel project in Germany is burying the A7 autobahn to make parks and new land

As the state government is about as forthcoming with detail on plans as the City of Fremantle is, i.e. Kings Sq hidden documents, I expect to see little in transparency from either. Didn’t the CEO reference that fact in his mini-series called the response.

As for little eco systems, I wasn’t the one who voted for the chainsaws and chippers to destroy 100+ trees on the old Kim Beazley site. In the name of higher density, that sounds like something Barnett would do though oh and a group of Fremantle councillors.

It’s great you’re so concerned about Cockburn wetland, perhaps if the councillors put as much effort into the tree canopy/open public spaces of Fremantle we wouldn’t have the second worse rating in Australia from 202020 report. Perhaps you could focus on the city you were elected to actually represent, a good point made by Dave Hume on Wednesday night. A quick look at google earth shows how barren Freo is from Parkland and the only significant greens spots are the esplanade, some sports grounds and the golf course and you poured concrete onto one. (I would mention the footie ground but if that’s handed over to the COF I can’t imagine it lasting to long.) Luckily the 202020 report was done before that, as that little gem could have tipped us over the line for no1 spot for worse hard covering report from the 202020 report.


  1. City of Maribyrnong (VIC)
  2. City of Fremantle (WA)
  3. City of Holdfast Bay (SA)
  4. City of Rockdale (NSW)”


%d bloggers like this: