The Fremantle Society encourages members to support the Heritage Festival currently underway, and to provide feedback to the Society. Fremantle’s own standalone heritage festival has disappeared, now amalgamated into the National Trust one. It remains to be seen whether the end result will be as effective. There is a good range of activities in the current program which runs until May 18th, but in recent years neither the Fremantle Council nor the National Trust has invited the Fremantle Society to participate in heritage events or issues.
The current festival was launched on 18 April, with unfortunately few people in attendance, at the revamped drill hall in Parry Street where the Fly by Night Club used to operate. The Fremantle Society president was there, along with Fremantle Society Secretary Chris Williams, Fremantle Society Treasurer Adele Carles, and former Fremantle Society Vice President Robert Bodkin. The National Trust Chairman Max Kay, who got lost finding the venue, addressed the small crowd in the wonderfully refurbished venue. His getting lost mirrored the unfortunate reality of the invisibility of the National Trust in Fremantle, despite it having many hundreds of listed properties there.
The National Trust has lost its way under its current leadership, and refuses to engage in advocacy for heritage as National Trust branches in other states do, leaving Fremantle vulnerable to the sort of damage we have seen in recent years.
The man responsible for getting the revamped Drill Hall underway, Tom Perrigo, the previous dynamic CEO of the National Trust, was not even invited to the opening. He is not impressed.
The $1 million that was required by the National Trust to be spent on the Drill Hall by Sunset Events will give the hall a new life as a high quality entertainment space, but it will put Victoria Hall, which Fremantle Council disappointingly has for put out for sale, under more pressure to survive as a performing arts space.
Heritage Council nominations close 2 May
The Heritage Council recently advertised for new members.
The organisation, viewed in the heritage community as often little more than a developer’s club, has apparently mandated that half of future members of the Heritage Council should be female.
While equality of opportunity is fundamental, equality of outcome as proposed is odious and insulting to women.
Victoria Quay High Rise Plans:
Phil Griffiths last year criticised the Fremantle Society for criticising the Heritage Council. Ironic, given that after strenuous opposition from Fremantle Council to Fremantle Port’s ING plans for large boxes on Victoria Quay some years ago, with various heritage reports from Fremantle Council and others like the Fremantle Society opposing the scale of the plans, Phil Griffiths wrote a report for the Heritage Council approving the ING plans.
Unfortunately, those plans are back in an even larger form, with Fremantle Ports setting up a new taskforce to push for large boxes on Victoria Quay up to at least 10 storeys in height, and driven by the same people like Alannah MacTiernan, who were behind the ING plans.
The Fremantle Society will be writing about that in more detail very soon.
Originally posted by the President 5 May 2019.