C.Y. O’Connor – where are you when we need you?
With State Government politicians on steroids, having saved us from Covid, and wanting to urgently spend billions of dollars they don’t have, they have rolled through parliament the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2020, giving them power to push ahead very quickly with pet projects.
This will be evident in the heart and soul of our heritage town with the moving of our port, pushing high rise development of Victoria Quay, and the proposed demolition of the much loved timber traffic bridge.
The raison d’être for Fremantle, its port, is moving in just 12 short years, in a move that has no large scale visible support, led by a Minister (Alannah MacTiernan) who over a decade ago was trying to shovel high rise ING buildings all over Victoria Quay as Planning Minister. The capable CEO of the Port is suddenly leaving, and the community is left to fight on three fronts – to SOB (Save our Bridge), SOP (Save Our Port) and SOQ (Save our Victoria Quay).
The Fremantle Society wants our port to stay and continue to thrive, wants Victoria Quay to be developed as a low rise maritime related commercial precinct as detailed in the Fremantle Waterfront Masterplan, and wants the historic timber traffic bridge to stay, whether a new bridge is built or not.
Another news story being broken by the Fremantle Society is the intention to build 25 metre high boxes on Victoria Quay for film studios. This idea arose some weeks ago, but wandered off to Jones Street, O’Connor, where the Mayor kindly offered to give away a $7.4 million ratepayer asset for nothing for years to the film industry. But apparently the developers (_ _ _ _) want ocean views and they are back at the port looking at Victoria Quay.
The idea doesn’t work for two reasons:
a) Victoria Quay is a highly important heritage area twinned with its immediate neighbour the West End, where new development should be no higher than the existing iconic goods sheds.
b) Allowing large sheds for a film industry would be a privatisation of public space, the whole business being high security with little to no public access.
C.Y. O’Connor needs to get off his high pedestal, and chase Alannah out of town.
The Fremantle Society
17 September 2020