New Markets for Freo
Statement from John Dowson, President, The Fremantle Society Thursday 19 September, candidate for City Ward election:
You heard it here first – a new markets will open shortly in the former Pine Warehouse on the Spicer site directly opposite the Fremantle Markets. True Blue have signed a lease with the new owner Twiggy Forrest, for a rent at one third of the allegedly exorbitant rents charged at the Fremantle Markets.
True Blue is offering a rent free environment for some stallholders.
A similar proposal for a low-cost market environment in Pine Warehouse when it was owned by Council was put to council by then councillor Dowson ten years ago, but rejected by Mayor Pettitt.
Fremantle Markets is an iconic part of Fremantle’s culture and a hugely important small business environment that the Chamber of Commerce and Council should insist it be run as well as possible. It is a ratepayer asset which brings in much less rent than it should to ratepayers, and is not being restored as it should be.
Today Fremantle Council issued a press release about small business. There could hardly be a more important small business for us than the health of the 150 small businesses inside the ratepayer owned Fremantle Markets.
The first photo here shows the markets with the increasing unsightly clutter of air conditioners, not hidden, on top of heritage buildings.
The second photo shows the deteriorated exterior of the Markets that has been like that for years, despite the huge income earned by the leaseholder, the Murdochs.
The Conservation Plan identified $4.75 million worth of works needed at the Markets, with $2.2 million being urgent. But only $900,000 has been spent (by Council) in ten years, and was funded by ratepayers when council had to take out a loan to pay for them. That loan still has not been paid off.
I am working with investigators to get a better deal for the 150 stallholders and for the Markets itself.
Support the Markets and the stallholders by demanding better outcomes. Make this an election issue.