A local newspapers is reporting on its front page about parking issues, markets, vacant shops, controversial development, high rents, etc. in a local council. Fremantle? Nah, Subiaco! Front page of…



If we look back a few years and refer to media reports, the city of Fremantle and its Mayor Brad Pettitt recognized or at least talk about the need for retail environment to improve in Fremantle, as we see in the Wests story below.

Sadly 6 years on things have only gotten worse.

Freo needs more people, shops: mayor

“Fremantle needs to renew itself as an economic centre by growing its population, bringing in more office workers and attracting a high-profile department store such as David Jones in order to boost its stagnating retail sector, according to the city’s mayor. “

Sadly the Mayor missed the other part needed, the one the council could have the most influence on the anti-social, issues, Graffiti problems, maintenance of the city control assets, the city has a bad parking image, so what has councils done, sell off more parking, plus removed more on street parking. Not to mention approving more office, business and residential projects all lacking in parking infrastuure, while whining about the poor retail situation Fremantle is in. Go figure they are not helping the situation.

So while other centres and expanding and are aggressively increasing their parking assets, freo’s regressing and selling off the parking it does control. Freo council is just anti-car, which will lead to anti growth.

Fremantle opposes Garden City plan

“The City of Fremantle says a plan to double the size of Garden City Shopping Centre flouts the guidelines and will siphon more retail from the port city and undermine its efforts to establish a key economic centre. “

So while other centres are going, Fremantle is reaching for Kleenex to cry about others doing their jobs while they continue on the blind campaign running Freo’s opportunities  further into the ground.

Garden City to double floor space

“Garden City shopping centre at Booragoon will become the retail heart of a restaurant, entertainment, commercial and higher-density residential precinct under plans endorsed by the WA Planning Commission.

An expansion to make the shopping centre WA’s biggest is just one plank in a broader city centre overhaul that includes the development of a new high street and piazza, a revamped cinema complex and the introduction of small bars and restaurants intended to draw people to the area outside shopping hours.”

So now it will not be long before new bars and restaurant takes over from Freo as a night time entertainment district. As long as they (Melville) controls anti-socials issues, benefits like massive free parking and the ability to shop, go for dinner and park once, is a win win for Booragoon and lose lose, sadly for Fremantle.

When Councillors have attitudes like we see from Andrew S comments on Roels Freo View, it doesn’t bode well for Freo’s future.

A cut and paste of part of Andrews comment, the link above at the top of the page will link anyone interested in reading the full list of comments, plus Roel’s orginal post. Its important to read the full context of ones comments not just trust my POV.

“The third issue is that regional boxes like Garden City transfer the cost of parking into the rents and thats equitable because all the people parking there are visiting the one centre. There is really no other reason to be parking there because there is nothing else to do but to go in to that centre – yawn!. In essence, you pay for parking at Booragoon through the shop till rather than in the car park. In a diverse and complex city centre, that opportunity really doesn’t exist even through the rate system. Paid parking is adopted as a more direct and equitable user-pays system.”

A simple example of the inaccuracy of such statements is going to a place like the coffee club in freo or Garden city where you would see the price is the same at both locations, no extra charge at Booragoon because parking is free. No to mention all the other added benefits of booragoon

  • Better ambiance with much less anti-social issues
  • Close to the Freeways, Canning Hwy, leach Hwy, Roe Hwy, easy enter and exit in your drive in and out
  • Bus Terminal hub
  • Air-condition shopping experience from top to bottom,
  • No crossing streets, or dodging cyclists and skaters, etc, safely navigating with the kids with less to worry about
  • No druggies and drunks laying in the centre of the shopping trip.
  • No parking tickets for being back to your car, when your a minute late from your max parking time of 30mins
  • No caught in the heat or rain
  • ETc, etc.

Sadly Freo over the last decade has only gone down hill, both  state and federal governments have done little for Freo over the same time. Not much interest from our local members either who seem more interested in events outside our city than what is happening too it. When the state has tried to give needed infrastructure its met with councils protesting, spending thousands of dollars on meaningless reports, to object to simple needed infrastructure like roads to ease congestion in and around the city. More interested in driving political party rhetoric than amenity of its residents.

Hence Fremantle is where it is and sadly little sign that recover is coming as other centres surge ahead and fremantle is moving backwards.

Fremantle Reform Added to http://freo.org.au/planet/

The Fremantle Society  http://fremantlesociety.org.au/blog/  , Fremantle Tribe, For Fremantle people and places

Has a side service, where one of its members maintains a great blog to the Fremantle Freo community, where he collects freo oreintated blogs, websites etc for the www community to view its a really great service, so good job Sam.

Round House Freopedia

I believe Sam also runs the wiki links page for Freo where the Fremantle Society has set up a QR code tags system for building around town where anyone can use a smart phone to read the tag and its takes you to wiki link to read info about the place you are standing, its called Freopedia. See Roels blog on it at freoview

Independence Day 4 Freo

crosses southern

Come July 2015 a commissioner or commissioners will be appointed as care takers of the new greater, City of Fremantle (COF).

This individual or group will be in place till a new COF council is elected, supposedly in Oct 2015.

As this commissioner is not elected by the electors of the new Fremantle but appointed by the minister for local government,  we would hope they would be an independent individual or group, just to keep Freo ticking along till the new COF council is elected.

Nothing new for issues to before COF council for more than a year,  so hopefully the commissioners have limited power or authority,  to keep the amenity for ratepayers and residents functioning, leaving issues, like budgets, policy, major decisions to the new in coming council.

Independent what does this mean in this situation, someone who is?

  • Unbiased
  • Impartial
  • Neutral
  • Un-involved
  • Unprejudiced
  • Detachable
  • Fair
  • Objective
  • Equitable

So the question is what sort of person will the minister appoint to this position?

Will they for fill these points above, someone who’s there as a care taker, just to mind the shop, till a real representative body is elected by voters in Freo to get on with business.

So it begs to question how could a person who is currently working for the city or an elected member of the old entity, or anyone who intends to run for the new election possibly be independent.

So I find it quite disturbing that the current council wants to attempt to influence the ministers appointment of commissioners to be made up, by putting forward themselves.

Further they already have decided to attempt to delay elections till possibly mid 2016. This is a council that has already had 2 special electors meetings called due to community concerns about due process (making decisions in the best interest and procedure for the residents and rate payers.

Is this the best independent body the minister could appoint for the duration of 1st july 2015 till elections are held.

If something controversial has to happen in this time, the minister would be clearly open for criticism, something I’m sure the opposition, anti-amalgamation crowd and press/media would love.

I think the government has learn good lessons from Canning,  Cockburn etc, so true independent commissioners seem the best way forward.

Roel has some great points on this issue and some great comments from locals,  the ones who will have to live with whomever the minister appoints




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