One of my watershed moments was visiting Fremantle when I was 10 years old during the excitement of the America's Cup. Fremantle back then was a city full of promise, poised on the brink of something truly remarkable.
Twenty four years later, who could have predicted that there would still be the same amount of people living in the city centre? And that the same infrastructure would also remain, only looking a lot shabbier.
830 city centre residents is not enough
It is no longer an option for Fremantle to maintain the status quo. Development must occur if our great city is to avoid a graceful decline. It is also an imperative that we work with the community and developers to ensure that all new development is built up to a standard, and not down to a price.
Equally, careful planning must be undertaken so that infrastructure and community facilities are able to keep up with the influx of new residents.
- Complete an economic feasibility study and make the results publicly available. This will enable reasonable parameters regarding height, residential, retail, and office space to be set.
- Undertake community visioning and engagement that treats the people as experts. This will ensure that new development caters for the needs of Fremantle's current inhabitants and traders, as well as those of developers.
- Understand what new infrastructure and community facilities and services will be required to maintain Freo's liveability.
- Put into place a policy that will require developers to contribute to the provision of these facilities and services, so that the financial burden doesn't fall solely onto ratepayers.
- Prepare a place making plan for the city centre, so that our public spaces are not forgotten.
- Ensure built form codes are prepared prior to any development controls being finalised in a planning scheme.
As Councillor this will be my focus on Council - ensuring that we inject new life into the city centre and that new development in Fremantle is undertaken responsibly.