|SOB SOB (Save our Bridge) and SOS SOS (Save our Square)|
Above is from the latest Fremantle Herald.
Sob sob, the news is not good, but thank goodness next week Fremantle Council will hold a meeting with Main Roads and others to discuss the bridge issue.
A key person at the meeting will be retired Main Roads engineer Lloyd Margetts, who had 35 years experience with the Fremantle Traffic Bridge and knows more about wooden bridges in Western Australia than probably anyone else.
The Fremantle Society has spoken to Mr Margetts and other engineers, and there is no doubt the issues around the bridge are complex, but solvable.
It didn’t help when the Liberal Party under Richard Court got rid of much of the Main Roads expertise and in house ability to fix and maintain wooden structures. The privatisation of so much Main Roads work has led to a massive blow out in maintenance costs with one engineer claiming that outside companies are at times charging “ten times” what the in house cost would have been. This is impacting the ability of Main Roads to organise for the orderly maintenance of our bridge and other timber bridges. The Fremantle Society heard yesterday that the Guildford Association is alarmed to find that Main Roads are trying to claim that the Guildford wooden heritage bridge, even older than ours, is only heritage listed up to the waterline.
The other thing that doesn’t help the Fremantle Traffic Bridge is that the rail bridge was put in the wrong place. Thinking that the traffic bridge would soon be demolished, the rail bridge was built without careful regard to lining up the spans for navigation.
Save Our Square – just when you thought the dramas and tragedies and wastefulness of King’s Square was coming to an end, the council is advertising in this weeks Herald to change the name of the Square.
King’s Square and Queen’s Square were named in 1833 as part of the Regency planning for our town. Those names should not be messed with because of political ideology seeking to wipe out our “shameful past” as some councillors see it.
When suggestions were made months ago by councillors that King’s Square should be renamed Midgegooroo Square in honour of a man who murdered four people in cold blood, Cr Pemberton said “Well Captain Fremantle was a child rapist” – a false claim that has deeply offended the Fremantle family and many others.
Please go to Have My Say on Fremantle Council’s website and have your say on this sickening ideology in a world famous heritage town.
The Fremantle Society
Please call John Dowson on 0409 223622 if you want copies of any of our reports or if you wish to volunteer or donate to our work.
2 October, 2020