100,000 New Residents for North Fremantle

Tonight at 6pm there is an important meeting in the North Fremantle Community Hall about the future of the port, organised by the North Fremantle Community Association.

Gerry MacGill states:

The recent release of the Westport Taskforce’s short list makes this meeting particularly important. We will be privileged to have the participation of Westport Taskforce chair Nicole Lockwood, Fremantle Port’s CEO Chris Leatt-Hayter, Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt, and internationally recognised transport expert Professor Peter Newman. This is a golden opportunity for you to be informed about the scenarios for the Container Port’s future and for you to express your reactions to them.

The Fish Army have found out about this meeting and no doubt will be there in force to back the union position about keeping Fremantle Port.

North Fremantle residents may want the container port gone, but they should be careful what they wish for.

Plans for high rise development on former port related land are well advanced, with serious international developers ready to swing into action, salivating at the prospect of 100,000 residents stacked in ultra high rise towers in the narrow neck of port land.

The developers’ plans do not envisage a repeat of the North Port Quay environmental fiasco supported by Peter Newman who will be presenting at tonight’s meeting with Mayor Pettitt, but developers do plan some development into the ocean.

Liberal MLC Simon O’Brien presented a smaller such development plan to Fremantle Council 20 years ago.

Richard Weller, whose book Boomtown proposed a range of alternative futures for Perth, suggested Sky City, high rise infill development for a total 450,000 in Perth CBD, Rockingham, and 76,000 people in North Fremantle. The current developers want more than that.

The MUA (aka Fish Army) have repeatedly ‘accused the MacGowan Government of pandering to property developers who want to carve up North Fremantle.’ (Paul Murray August 24, 2019). MUA deputy secretary Adrian Evans said: ‘We are as shocked as the rest of the community in hearing that Fremantle could lose our identity and 130 years of history so property developers can build condos and make a quick buck.’

They won’t be building condos, but towers of 20 storeys and up.

Tonight’s meeting sounds like fun.

Good news reported by Fremantle Ports but not picked up by the media is that for the first time ever there is air quality monitoring around the Inner Harbour, something the Fremantle Society has been pursuing for years. Also, the Port has announced that the number of truck movements on Tydeman Road has been going down since 2014, and last year the number of trucks was the same as in 2010, even though container trade had increased 38% since then.

While the port issue is huge, the Fremantle Society asks that members do not get distracted from local issues, as the dismal financial and heritage performance of Fremantle Council needs constant attention in this election year (nominations close this Thursday).

John Dowson

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