Rarely a dull moment – Public Art Contribution, Strategic Community Plan, Doepel St Trees, Hilton Park, Traffic Calming, Freo Oval

Welcome back to our regular feature, Rarely a dull moment with Gayle O’Leary, where we report on the highlights of Council’s regular, now fortnightly, meetings. We would have titled the feature Never a dull moment, but didn’t want to overpromise!

Dear Reader,

We said we didn’t want to overpromise and claim there’s never a dull moment, but if you ask me this has already been quite an interesting year for Council!

Here we are, nearly at the middle of 2024, and every fortnightly Ordinary Council Meeting of the City of Fremantle this year has featured something interesting and usually different.


Back again from last week. After voting to defer the item to the next available Council meeting for consideration, Council resolved to go against the officer recommendation to refuse.

Condition No.26 provides –

‘Prior to occupation of the development, the owner shall contribute a monetary amount equal in value to one percent of the estimated development cost, as indicated on the Form of Application for Planning Approval, to the City of Fremantle for development of public art works and/or heritage works to enhance the public realm consistent with the City’s LPP 2.19 and to the satisfaction of the City of Fremantle. Based on the estimated cost of the development being $14 million the contribution to be made is $140,000. Alternatively, the City may vary the requirement in relation to the public art contribution, the applicant is advised that Council may waive the requirement for the public art/heritage work contribution in accordance with clause 6 of LPP 2.19 where the development incorporates public art in the development to the same value as that specified in the condition that is located in a position clearly visible to the general public on the site of the development. In determining the appropriateness and artistic merit of the public art, council shall seek relevant professional advice.’

Council instead adopted Cr Sullivan’s alternative motion to:

NOT SUPPORT the Officer’s Recommendation to REFUSE, under the Metropolitan Region Scheme and Local Planning Scheme No. 4, the amendments to development approval ref. DAP005/23 (Three (3) Storey Mixed Use [Shop, Office, Liquor Store – Small and Child Care Premises] Development), involving the proposed deletion of condition No.26, at No. 28 (Lot 10) Cantonment Street, Fremantle for the following reason/s:
• Council maintains its support for imposing the percent for art/heritage works contribution requirement. While the inclusion of the red brick facade can be considered respectful to the heritage precinct, its inclusion is warranted, if not required, to satisfy the scheme requirement for quality design that compliments the character of the precinct. The inclusion of a red brick facade is not considered to be ‘public heritage work’ that satisfies the requirements of LPP2.19, and as such, does not constitute works that can be funded through the Public Art/Heritage Works contribution. Furthermore, the deletion or amendment of the red brick facade would constitute a redesign requiring further planning assessment on advice from the City’s Design Advisory Committee. However, on review, the Council is satisfied that the works funded by the Owner as part of the Fairburn Street Ramp heritage interpretation project do constitute a ‘public heritage work’ in accordance with LPP 2.19, albeit not located in the immediate proximity of the subject site but still within the relevant ‘City Centre and Surrounds’ contribution area. The amended condition makes it possible for the Owner to propose these works as their ‘Public Art/Heritage Work’ contribution and to demonstrate that the contribution amount has been expended to the satisfaction of the City of Fremantle.


And also back again! Remember our item on this a few fortnights ago?

The Strategic Community Plan forms the basis for the entirety of the City’s activity over ten year timeframes. It is informed by and responds directly to community input, provided that it’s done as intended, and, as the City puts it:

The Strategic Community Plan will drive our planning, budgeting, resource allocation and service delivery over the next decade and provides a clear understanding of what matters most to the people who live, work and play in Fremantle.

The Strategic Community Plan is required to be reviewed every four years under the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996. This major review in particular commenced in 2021, a long process!

Community consultation for the SCP review ran for nearly two years, the most extensive engagement the City has ever undertaken which involved “4,900 people in face-to-face and online interactions… [culminating in] more than 2,600 comments” over a variety of mediums.

Most of the feedback was positive, whereas the voices of dissent expressed opinions including:
* 1 respondent wanted to see stronger commitments to arts and culture in Fremantle.
* 1 respondent stated they felt strategic documents are meaningless. [ouch]
* [The SCP 5 key themes should] Include language that speaks to “transparency and care”. 1 respondent felt the key themes focus too much on Fremantle’s city centre, and should speak more to Fremantle as a whole.
* 1 respondent suggested “Healthy City” as a theme – a city that supports our people to lead healthier lives and improve quality of life.
* 1 respondent suggested the following language: “A city that is accountable to its residents, ratepayers, and listens to the will of its people.

Other suggestions included requiring the City to be more accountable and responsive to the wishes of its ratepayers, and reduce economic reliance on tourism and daytrippers.

Another recommended that there be “strong engagement with WA Police as they build and open their new complex”.

There were many such suggestions, perhaps too many to include in a humble Shipping News report. One thing is clear from the feedback overall: it’s hard to please everybody.

Now that advertising has closed for the SCP and the City has finished reviewing all 15 formal submissions received (a sign observed by the Mayor that “we landed very much in the right place… and it’s a really good outcome”) and the 240 individual pieces of information collected via the online MySay survey, Council voted to support the officer recommendation with amendments to item 2 as follows:

1. Receive the public submissions as shown in the Engagement Report, as provided in Attachment 2.
2. Adopt the Strategic Community Plan 2024 – 2034, as provided in Attachment 1, with the following amendments:
a. Under ‘Resilient City’, ‘An educated and empowered community that seeks to mitigate the causes and effects of climate change’ and then, ‘A community that is informed and takes action on the causes and impacts of climate change’.
b. Under ‘Liveable City’, and ‘Connected City’: ‘Streets are well connected, and it is easy and safe for pedestrians and cyclists to move within neighbourhoods and between key destinations and precincts.’

Cr Williamson-Wong moved the alternative motion on the basis that we are facing a climate emergency, which should be reflected in our Strategic Community Plan by “addressing both adaptation and mitigation”.

Fun fact: there are 137 local governments in Western Australia. Too few or too many, what would you say? And how many of them provide wine and cheese at their SCP engagements?


Council resolved to DEFER this item until next fortnight’s OCM rather than vote to:

1. Receive the Doepel Street Planning Project – Concept Report, as provided in Attachment 1.

2. Endorse the Doepel Street Concept Plan provided within the Doepel Street Concept Report in Attachment 1, noting delivery will be staged to minimise the impact of the tree removal and align with the City’s financial plan.

In North Fremantle, an avenue of lovely mature Tipuana tipu trees are causing damage to infrastructure which has raised the question of whether they should be removed. It’s not what we want to hear in the wake of the south-west forests collapse or the mass tree death due to drought and the Polyphagous Shot-Hole Borer plague we’re sadly witnessing across Perth, however… According to the City’s report, the trees I’m now dubbing ‘Tippy’ trees are renowned for being:

• An exotic, semi-deciduous ornamental tree.
• Renowned for having an aggressive root system.
• Roots typically have a radial spread of 1.5 to 2 times the height of the tree.
• The majority of roots are shallow. The main root absorption zone is in the top 300mm of soil.
• Roots take the path of least resistance such as trench lines and moisture layers under compacted roads and pathways.
• Tipuana tipu are brittle and get decay in wounds, removing roots incites decay.
• Compaction causes roots to expand and be damaged.

The City plans to respond to the issue with succession planting and has delivered a concept plan in conjunction with the North Freo community to mitigate the loss of the Tippy trees over two stages of works. The engagement itself ran from May to October 2023, reaching 633 people.

This included a drop-in session at the North Fremantle Community Hall on 10 June 2023, attended by over 20 people, followed by a survey, then another drop-in at Doeppel Street on 30 September 2023, attended by 30 people this time, and then a more detailed survey. Documentation outlining the pros and cons of the options available was presented during an engagement via Josh Byrne and Associates.

The City explored four concepts on how best to replace the trees and improve the street:

• Option 1: Deciduous Trees – Two Species
o Outer trees – a medium sized deciduous tree species (6-10m when fully grown).
o Central trees – a large sized deciduous tree species (10-15m when fully grown).
• Option 2: Deciduous Trees – Single Species
o Outer trees – a medium to large sized deciduous tree species (10-15m when fully grown).
o Central trees – a medium to large sized deciduous tree species (10-15m when fully grown).
• Option 3: Deciduous And Native Trees – Two Species
o Outer trees – a medium sized deciduous tree species (6-10m when fully grown).
o Central trees – a large sized native tree species (15-20m when fully grown).
• Option 4: Native Trees – Two Species
o Outer trees – a medium sized native tree species (6-10m when fully grown).
o Central trees – a large sized native tree species (15-20m when fully grown).

Option 3 was selected for the final concept plan.

Feedback received for the succession planting expressed support for use of native plants that encouraged biodiversity, variety in heights, increased street safety as a result of civil works, and the desire to stage tree removal carefully to allow replacement trees to grow in the meantime as echoed by Cr Archibald while Council deliberated the item on Wednesday night due to the good condition of trees in the median strip. Cue a forensic discussion on the merits of focussing on this particular street compared to others throughout the City, even the neighbouring street showing signs of wear and tear without trees to blame, precedent, and the anticipated costs.

The concept plan prioritises shade provision and selects the Chinese Pistachio tree, or Pistachio chinensis, as a deciduous tree for the outer street portions to allow for responsiveness to seasonal change. The City notes that this tree is identified as a global, non-reproductive host of Polyphagous Shot-Hole Borer, but is not identified on the Australian host list, and will require monitoring over time. Will it stay in the plan? We’ll find out at the next OCM in a fortnight!


Council resolved to:

1. Adopt the Hilton Park Place Plan, as provided in Attachment 1, and note the outcomes of the community engagement.
2. Endorse the Draft Hilton Park Masterplan, as provided in Attachment 2, for the purpose of community engagement, noting the following:
a. A cost estimate, priorities and staging are being developed to inform the next phases of the project.
b. The building project scopes will continue to be developed considering functionality, uses, schedule of accommodation, design requirements and investment levels.
c. The sub-projects will be identified in and aligned with the City’s capital and renewal financial plan, available grants and other financial contributions for delivery.

Did you know the suburb we call Hilton was developed as a Garden Suburb? Inspired by the global Garden Cities movement, Garden Suburbs can be found in a few parts of Perth such as Floreat and Hilton.

This is a comprehensive project for the park known as Hilton Park, however, which is a 19 hectare District level open space in Beaconsfield. The Place Plan themes developed through the Place Working Group and community engagement are:

• Better Together – neighbourly, balanced, sharing, connected (head icon).
• Big Hearted – safe, healthy, rituals, more than sport (heart icon).
• Got Gumption – strong spirit, leaders, resilient, innovative, equality (hand icon).

Local sporting groups and other users prompted the City as an output of this process to masterplan for the park to address the “fragmented” nature of the park, meet current and future demand for community uses, and active and passive recreation.

The Masterplan will guide the City’s management of the park over the next ten years and includes the delivery of a new community facility for $5.6 million to replace the existing Ken Allen building. The new facility is intended to promote women’s participation in sport.

During community consultation, which involved working with Traditional Owners, half of the respondents advised of their support, subject to the City addressing:

• Need to give greater consideration/recognition of the existing disc golf course on site.
• Consideration of parking, access and safe pedestrian movement.
• Greater clarification around:
o Implementation of the plan to see how the actions match the vision. o How the off-lead dog area will work.
o How actions can be measured to demonstrate progress.

If the City endorses the draft masterplan, the next phase of community engagement on it should occur in June so take a look at the docs and watch this space!


Did you comment on this one?

Some of our streets are perhaps busier than they were designed to be, which has prompted the development of this policy via Cr Pemberton’s notice of motion.

Yours truly may have taken a moment to tinker about with the interactive map on the City of Fremantle website during the engagement period which spanned from November 2023 to February 2024, and comment on the streets in her neighbourhood.

Council resolved to DEFER the report but include it next time with an amendment from Cr Mofflin to include item 4 to address local access roads (not the major thoroughfares) as follows:

1. Receive and acknowledge the community feedback provided in the Safe and Functional Streets Engagement Report, as provided in Attachment 1.
2. Adopt the updated Traffic Calming Policy, with inclusion of amendments to include speed reduction initiatives, as provided in Attachment 2.
3. Adopt the updated Narrow Street Safe Access Policy, with inclusion of amendments pertaining to the ranking of measures as informed by community feedback, as provided in Attachment 3.
4. Requests the Chief Executive Officer to bring back a report to Council by December 2024, which explores opportunities and the process to be followed for the application of a ‘City-wide’ 40km/h speed limit for the City of Fremantle.


Council resolved to:

1. Note the submissions received in relation to the draft Fremantle Oval Conservation Management Plan, as outlined in Attachment 1.
2. Endorse the Fremantle Oval Conservation Management Plan, May 2024, prepared by Griffiths Architects, as provided in Attachment 3.

Griffiths Architects prepared the draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for Fremantle Oval to replace the 1996 CMP and recognise details not incorporated in the original CMP such as:
• Whadjuk Noongar connections to the place
• Migrant history
• Archaeology
• Fremantle Dockers and their links to the oval and buildings and structures
• Fremantle Prison’s World Heritage Listing and inclusion of Fremantle Oval in the buffer zone for this place
• Conservation and refurbishment work undertaken since 1998.

Community engagement ran during 1 November 2023 and 15 December 2023 and culminated in 12 written submissions to the City, including a late submission from the Fremantle Society. The submissions raised:
• Concerns over flaws in the Conservation Management Plan;
• Fears of overdevelopment of the Oval and how this could comprises the World Heritage status of Fremantle Oval, Fremantle Prison, and the surrounds;
• A desire to detail policy requirements that would prevent adverse impacts from development on the heritage significance of the vicinity;
• Emphasising the role of the Oval in the Buffer Zone of the World Heritage listing for Fremantle Prison;
• Expand upon the convict history of the Oval and its connections to the history of Fremantle Prison and the former Convict Grant;
• Restrict the scale of development, protect significant views, and protect the site’s archaeological significance.

It was acknowledged that “we could debate this document for weeks” given differing views on how best to reinterpret the history of the site and the relationship between each key place!

One last thing: we can likely expect news regarding the City Plan towards the end of May.

What’s that, you say? We’ll be able to tell you more in about a week.

That’ll do for this one. Until next time!

Report by Gayle O’Leary


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