CONCERNS OVER PORT SMALL BAR – FREMANTLE HERALD

October 7 2016, by Your Herald, in News

 

weighbridge-035

Photo: Colin Nichol

FREMANTLE council has approved plans to turn the old weighbridge at Fremantle port into a small bar, despite Public Transport Authority concerns over pedestrian safety.

The heritage-listed building is positioned on the notoriously confusing Cliff/Phillimore Street intersection and is close to a railway level crossing, but council voted to approve the micro boozer.

“People cross the railway line to get to Little Creatures and there are countless pubs positioned near busy roads and intersections,” Cr Hannah Fitzhardinge said.

“The weighbridge is laying empty and we need to activate empty heritage buildings in creative ways—inaccessible heritage is heritage lost.

“One of the big selling points of Fremantle is its quirky experiences—having a small bar in the old weighbridge fits that ethos.”

During council question time a member of the Fremantle Society argued against the bar, saying that the explosion of boozers in the city was turning Fremantle into “Northbridge by the sea.”

Applicant David Anthony said he wouldn’t make a big profit from the venue and that it would be a cute “speak easy” for locals.

Cr Dave Hume said the Fremantle Society opposed any progress in the city and that the weighbridge had been gathering dust since Scoot Freo closed.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

 

In response to Don Whittington’s “Jon’s a Gem”

I submitted a letter to the Herald earlier this week, but as with a letter I wrote raising concerns on the Sirona development, it was not published. Since Don Whittington’s letter was published in this week’s Herald, I thought it fair to submit my letter as a blog to the Society’s website in order to clarify what was said. The media doesn’t always report accurately. My letter read:

The Fremantle Society has an enviable track record of achievement, particularly with respect to protecting heritage from substandard development. However, the sports cliché that you’re only as good as your last game is apt, whether in respect to business or politics. Last week’s Herald’s “Impolite Society” gives the impression that I don’t think the Society is doing a good job. My gripe with the Society is its apparent reluctance to publically engage and debate some of the big issues confronting Fremantle. I would have expected the Society to have at least made their position clear by now on the Strategic Sites Plan and even more pressing, the Kings Square Precinct MOU with Sirona Capital. I had hoped that a group with the status of the Fremantle Society and with the ear of council would engage its members, let alone its committee, to flesh out what it thinks is a reasonable position on such issues. Are the members happy with what they know of the Strategic Sites Plan? Do they have any concerns about building heights, open spaces, infrastructure, parking, etc.?

Although the Chook’s article suggests the contrary, this is not about personalities but a wish for the Society to engage both its committee and its membership. Some egos would like to believe otherwise, as indicated in the article. I’m concerned about actions not about personalities. And in that regard, there has been little in the way of engagement of membership this year. As I said to Jenny D’Anger, I have heard that a lot of hard work is being done by the Society behind the scenes (unfortunately that’s not worth reporting). Well why not let the membership know? In the same way that we expect the Council to be transparent, consultative and engaging, the Society membership, of which I am no longer a member, also expects such behaviour from the Society’s committee. A lack of communication leads to distrust.

For all the Society membership knows, the committee may be sitting around discussing whether we should be called the “People’s Front of Fremantle” or the “Fremantle People’s Front” (for Python fans).

Lloyd Hammond

With respect to Don’s letter in today’s Herald, his praise for Jon Strachan is admirable. However, I’m not sure why he felt the need to write the letter. I have never suggested that Jon or anyone else in the Society is not hard working. I think Don completely missed the point of my single criticism; that being purely about poor communication. A different matter entirely. Since the letter, the City of Freo’s MOU with Sirona has been passed by council, and not a peep from the Fremantle Society. As Brad Pettitt says in this morning’s Fin. Review, “Sirona Capital are now in the ‘box seat’” [with respect to developing the site]. I can only assume that the Society supports the City of Fremantle’s position.

Joint letter to Editor

Dear Editor

We write in response to “Reece a lone voice against festival plan” (Herald12-2-11) as the Presidents of Fremantle’s community based history and heritage organisations. We represent members with a wide range of ages and professional expertise that have strong connections to the city’s past and who are committed to its sustainable future. Both organisations believe that, through a knowledge and understanding of and commitment to our past, our cultural capital is enhanced and enriched.

We therefore believe it is vital to maintain an independent Heritage Festival that increases understanding of the past and engages in a broader debate that focuses on the future. A well-run heritage festival allows the Fremantle community and visitors to be part of that process.

We dispute the proposition that the Heritage Festival is untenable and believe that it is not only sustainable but, by reviewing its charter and including events that allow opportunities for participants to engage in a broader dialogue, we will enhance its current profile and ensure the Heritage Festival is a highlight of Fremantle’s rich calendar of events.  In retaining and enlivening the Heritage Festival we contribute to the economic, social and environmental benefits enjoyed by our port city.

Bigger is not better. Bigger means one voice is diminished at best, lost at worst. We encourage the council to review and refine the Heritage Festival and to ensure that the international reputation Fremantle enjoys continues to engage and challenge locals and visitors alike.

Sincerely

Jon Strachan, President Fremantle Society and Anne Brake, President, Fremantle History Society