To the prospective Mayor and Councillors of Fremantle.
Fremantle is alive but not very well.
Like many suburban and regional centres Fremantle cannot continue to survive in the 21st century by relying on traditional shops and services in the digital on-line market world.
Introducing government offices into regional centres helps, but its an artifice that might not be sustainable in the long run.
Fremantle has one huge natural advantage over other regional centres: its waterfront! Why don’t we use it?
Victoria Quay with its water vista, the passing parade of boats and yachts and the romance of ships and shipping is the key to attracting visitors and customers to the city.
But like many 19th century ports the city has resolutely turned its back on the waterfront. A few steps have been taken but with little co-ordination and vision. The Maritime Museum is a long walk. The new bar/restaurant is also a distant destination from the station and the city centre.
Councillors, it’s time to properly connect the city with its waterfront in order to capitalise on its attraction and to strongly link the traditional city centre with Victoria Quay. The shortest and most legible route is needed!
The obvious direct walkable link is via the Fremantle Railway Station, modified to permit pedestrian access both north, to the quayside, and south, to the traditional city centre via busy Queen and Market Streets. Yes, needs some changes to the train platform and bus station, but I think easily engineered.
Establishing the ease of people movement to the waterfront then enables so much to be done to enhance the quayside experience and activity …. all within easy reciprocal access to the city centre.
I suggest this should be priority one for our new mayor and councillors?
* This Opinion Piece was written by John Adderley, resident of City of Fremantle (address supplied)
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