South Mole -When will We the People see her again?

This Sunday, 14 April, it will have been 4 weeks since Fremantle Ports closed South Mole to campers.

And it’s still closed off, not just to campers but to all the citizenry of Freo – walkers, cyclists, fisherpeople, Notre Dame students skipping class – who love it so.

If you walk, cycle or drive along Phillimore Street, Fremantle and then make your way around Fleet Street hoping to visit South Mole you’ll find the gates are still closed ‘until further notice’.

Must be time, surely, for the gates to be re-opened.

The Port people might think the South Mole precinct is theirs but, truth be told, after 100 years or so of public access to the South Mole precinct we the People have rights. And even if we don’t, we have voices! Think Les Misérables!

It’s time to re-open, Port people!

One assumes Freo Ports are actually busy, head-scratching, trying to work out how to re-open without inviting back the same anti-social campers who caused the closing in the first place. The obvious thing to do would be to re-open with more surveillance of visitors’ activities to ensure the parking and no camping rules that are meant to apply in the South Mole precinct are complied with. This is what the City of Freo did when faced with a similar regulatory dilemma over South Beach a little while back – and it worked!

An even more imaginative solution, it strikes us here at the Shipping News, would be for the Port people to begin envisaging life around the Inner Harbour as it will be soon enough when the Future of Fremantle planning processes kick in and the Port, Victoria Quay and South Mole become seamlessly integrated with the West End of Fremantle, and its East End too. The Port has for too long been kept too separate from Fremantle.

Why not use the recent South Mole closure experience as an opportunity right now to make South Mole, from the currently locked gates to the Mole, a pedestrian and bicycle only access area with pleasant walkways, a dedicated cycle path, seating, Instagram picture points, and information along the way about the Mole’s and the Inner Harbour’s amazing history, including the WW2 submarine story along the lines the SOS group advocate for? Now isn’t that an idea?

Time for some creative thinking Freo Ports. Why don’t you set up a proverbial IDC – an inter departmental committee, including City of Fremantle reps – and consult we the People to see what we all think?

Might seem a tad frightening, but why don’t you give it a go? You might find it liberating! Democratic even.

By Michael Barker, Editor, Fremantle Shipping News


* If you’d like to COMMENT on this or any of our stories, or draw to our attention flags we may well have have missed for this story, don’t hesitate to email our Editor.


*** Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to receive your free copy of The Weekly Edition of the Shipping News each Friday!