Tony the Pizza Seller

The new establishment, Bar and Restaurant, at Bathers Beach may be viewed by some as a success but after numerous visits I have to say that it is a disapointment.

There is no bar to sit at and have a quiet drink, but that is ok if you had good service to tables, but that unfortunately is lacking.

I do know one of the owners, Henry Liascos, whom I have written positively in the past, but I am at loss at how a great potential outlook has been denigrated by lack of design , poor ambience, even worse service and rude staff.

Tony, the pizza seller, was employed at the Raffles in Applecross, and now unfortunately Fremantle have to endure his arrogance and rudeness. He has a habit of being so rude to customers it is art form, learnt at the Raffles.

Henry, a tip, when your staff threaten customers, it is time for them to go.

I have walked.

Alley Cat – Over My Dead Body

The operator of Bathers Beach Sunset Market, Georgie Adeane, has applied to the City of Fremantle to start an evening, springtime Market, called Alley Cat Street Food Markets.

Not content with taking over the beautiful precinct around Bathers Beach, this time she is proposing the West End of High Street in front of Chalkies Cafe, opposite the Roundhouse. This is between 2 residential apartments, Samson Bond Store and the Marina Village apartments.

Unlike other bloggers, I will declare an interest. I live in the area and have had a gutful of people parking everywhere including blocking the garage of 13 residents.

When I complain about parking and unsuitable signage to the chief blogger, employed by Georgie, but not always declared, I am put in my place as “everyone loves the Markets”.

I have written on previous blogs re the problems concerning parking, and will do everything possible to stop this proposal that reeks of greed and opportunism.

We will soon see the last remaining restauranteur leave the West End when his lease expires. Something I warned about in this blog.

Why is the City contemplating this proposal from Ms Adeane and where does the Mayor sit, along with representatives, Rachel Pemberton and Simon Naber?


Bathers Beach Saturday Markets to close.

The City of Fremantle is about to accept the Sunset Events proposal for J Shed at historic Arthur Head, and if that is the case the Bathers Beach Saturday Markets will have to be considerably smaller or have to close.

Sunset Events are proposing a 850 – 1500 capacity Tavern and Ticketed Concert Area at J Shed. To give an idea of the size, this is larger than the Great Hall at Little Creatures. They will have 12 – 15 ticketed concert events each year that by necessity will be fenced off denying residents and tourists access to the area.

At a very well attended FICRA meeting this evening there was unanimous opposition to this proposal as it is much too large, and would have considerable negative impact on inner city residents.

Bear in mind that Arthur Head is an A Class Reserve.

The original Council proposal was for a small bar/cafe/gallery to compliment the art activities in the area and this would have widespread approval.

This proposal is totally wrong, Sunset Events are gifted an A Class Reserve, on the beachfront, for $70,000 a year.


Bathers Beach Markets

The Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets have proven very popular but the organisers are letting down Fremantle West End residents.

Tonight the parking was a shambles, and with limited parking inspectors, cars were parked everywhere including blocking residents’ garages. The organisers should look at providing guides so that visitors are aware of their options, such as all the parking outside TAFE near the South Mole. It is not good enough that parking facilities are not advertised by the organisers.

After all they are happy to advertise the markets by inappropriately placing a sign in front of the iconic Roundhouse, and on PTA property. Who in their right mind would place a sign so close to the rail line?


Bathers Beach Update

The debate goes on and I have decided to post the latest email from a FICRA committee member, Maryrose Baker. So that everyone can understand the background, I have also posted Agnieshka’s email, as it is in the public domain.

“Dear Rachel

 As a resident of Fremantle (just across the border from the West End) and a frequent user of Bathers Beach (the closest to me) I declare strong objections to Rob Harrison’s insistence on assuming that he speaks for ‘the ratepayers of Fremantle’ in his relentless pursuit of expanding the current grassy area of the Old Port into the forecourt of Kidogo. Contrary to Rob, I think it would be wrong move to attempt to turn the former Kerosene Store into some kind of domestic building with pot plants and lawn in front of it. In addition my anecdotal evidence (the personal survey of local businesses and users the area on my three recent visits) suggest to the contrary i.e. that ALL surveyed users were happy with the recent upgrading of the Old Port as being consistent and complimentary to the reminder of Arthur Head reserve, including Bathers Beach. The function and character facilitated by the upgrading is more respectful of the reserve’s harsh climatic conditions, contrary to what would be the case if the Council expanded the lawn with the associated expensive to maintain infrastructure in order to keep it alive, let alone in good condition, in this exposed and harsh costal environment. The devoted members of FICRA, who have been assisting the Council with maintenance of Bathers Beach know how much efforts goes into maintaining the native coastal vegetation to appreciate how much more expensive and difficult it would be to maintain large patches of grass exotic to the area.

 And contrary to Rob’s assertion that what has been recently installed by Council is ‘a museum’, I believe (and have anecdotal evidence to prove it) that it offers more choices to visitors what to do in the area than if the Council agreed to turn it into a version of South Beach. BTW South Beach is close enough for the majority of West End residents to walk there if the main thing they expect from an urban beach is lawn. I also disagree that Rob is speaking for the ‘ratepayers of Fremantle’. On the contrary I have reasons to believe Rob speaks mainly for himself and a relatively small associated interest group of people. He definitely doesn’t speak for me nor the visitors and several local business I managed to survey for my own interest.    

 So congratulations and thank you for your hard work for the benefit of ALL ratepayers. I do hope that the reference group you are planning to establish will indeed include a wider representation of Arthur Head users, with deeper and unselfish interest in making the best out of this unique and attractive public reserve. 

 So keep up the good work and best of luck with integrating greater representation of the ratepayers into this intensely personal debate

 kind regards

 agnieshka kiera”

Response from Maryrose:

“Self-Serving opinions representing a gross Conflict of Interest and which are Offensive to Local Residents.

 Dear Agnieshka

 I simply cannot let your viewpoint and email below go unchallenged. Your opinion manifests the gross conflict of interest which arises from your status as a former city employee and commissioning architect for this development. It also indicates your lack of understanding of this area and lack of respect for the views of those who live in the neighbourhood. The occasional visit from a neighbourhood halfway to South beach does not provide you with any real understanding of how the Bathers Beach area is used.

 As a Precinct FICRA does speak for the residents of the West End and Rob Harrison does speak on behalf of the vast majority of those residents and those familiar with Bathers Beach. I am particularly offended by your comment that” Rob speaks mainly for himself and a relatively small associated interest group of people”.  Not so Agnieshka…….. Rob accurately represents the views of most residents of the West End including those of us who actually PUT IN countless voluntary hours for no personal gain other than to improve our community.

 FICRA and the Friends of Bathers Beach have been intimately involved in this area for 20 years.  You know this because you as a City heritage architect have called upon Harriet Olney and myself in the past in “community consultations” on previous heritage interpretations around Arthur Head. 

 Your prejudice arising from your gross conflict of interest is most evident in the anecdotal survey you relate during the course of your three(sic) recent visits. My experience arises from walking along and around Bathers Beach two or three times EVERY DAY and it does not arise from a personal prejudice to defend a development for which you were responsible.

 FICRA is lobbying for the need to improve just a couple of features.  THERE ARE ELEMENTS OF THE DEVELOPMENT THAT DO NOT WORK! It’s not just the harsh non people friendly landscape that has been created!  It is other design errors such as the placement of the second set of showers way out on the periphery and on (hot) sand.  These and other flaws have been emphasised by Rob and Joanna on behalf of many.

 FICRA has PUT IN on this development now for ONE and A HALF years.  We have raised it at FICRA meetings with 40 people in attendence.  We’ve been quoted in The Herald on it. At those meetings the overwhelming if not unanimous view was that changes were necessary. We are not asking for a version of South Beach (and yes many of us do walk and bike down to South Beach)….all we are striving for is that this development be slightly modified to become more people sympathetic.

 Your email has a touch of ‘shoot the messenger’ about it, and is redolent of the disrespect you accord the views of those who actually do live in the Bathers Beach neighbourhood.

 FICRA, and Rob Harrison its spokeperson, perform a vital function in accurately and fairly representing the views of the residents of the West End. It is offensive that you think you can better represent or understand those views!


 Maryrose Baker

FICRA Committee”

Bathers Beach

The last few days there has been a lot of email discussion regarding the Bathers Beach development, as a consequence of an email from Rob Harrison, Chairman of FICRA to a City officer. This prompted Councillor Rachel Pemberton to reply that a working group would be formed, as discussed at a recent meeting with the Mayor, but that there were other priorities. After several emails from members of FICRA, the architect of the development, recently retired Agnieshka Kiera joined the discussion.

I will not publish her email as I do not have her permission, but am happy to do so and Rob Harrison has replied, so I ask you to make up your own minds.

I have written at length regarding this development and its problems on this blog in September, so you may want to revisit my comments and photographs back then.

Rob’s email:

“Hi Agnieshka,
Thanks for your email and I respect your opinion, but I am sorry, you are wrong on many counts. FICRA Committee are elected/nominated to represent the Fremantle Inner City Residents. We are not paid and do it for Fremantle and our community. We are the peak resident and ratepayer body. We are acknowledged by the City through agreements, funding, planning advice and monthly meetings with City reps including the Mayor, CEO and consult regularly on issues within our Precinct. We are responsible owners, residents and ratepayers who value, acknowledge and respect good work. We work closely with the City, our elected members, businesses, the Port, PTA, Police, and other government and private areas. We previously acknowledged that the Bathers Beach boardwalk, the new lawn, Kidogo and a lot of other work has been a definite improvement to the area. Please don’t confuse the issues.  What we are strongly opposed to is the excessive hard unusable surfaces and in particular the limestone/quartz outside Kidogo. And I am sure you understand the reasons.  FICRA is not about me or any one individual as you suggest. We have a variety of strong and diverging views on almost every issue in Fremantle, but I will say that the Bathers Beach issue has galvanised opinion with many people are very angry – me included.
As the architect and mastermind of this work you may find it difficult to acknowledge that ratepayers and residents don’t agree with you, however we have been up front from day one. When we realised this bad piece of heritage interpretation was being imposed on us by one or two people we objected strongly and our objections remain today and will continue until this issue is sorted out.  Please don’t get the overall project confused with the limestone/quartz surface. The Mayor, Rachael, Tim, the City, FICRA, Business, Arts community are all looking at other options and getting quotes to undo and repair this limestone area. And that is our priority when the working group commences before we head off in other directions. You may be surprised to know some of the other issues that concern ratepayers and residents about this project include. 
  • Lack of proper consultation and listening to resident groups and ratepayers. This project displayed a bad attitude of “We know what’s best for Fremantle people and we don’t need to listen” Residents and ratepayers are over this attitude and welcome changes.
  • A Project that failed to properly consider the needs of residents today and into the future. An “Urban Beach” as you like to call it is a beach, where people want to come and enjoy. Why should residents walk to South Beach for this enjoyment as you suggest when we have a beach on our door step. Black concrete and dusty limestone is not enjoyable for anyone.
  • A substantial amount of money spent for some, but little improvement. The project failed to maximise what could have been achieved for Fremantle through proper consultation with the people. We didn’t get the best bang for our buck. 
  • An extremely poorly managed project. An ad-hoc approach to project management. This has been a big lesson to the City and residents and hopefully will never happen again. 
  • No project oversite and unexplained overruns and delays – Talk to businesses and residents. 
  • A Project that has some good features but still plenty of substandard work that with proper over-site should not have occurred: Including:
  • Lights still not connected on the deck
  • Lights still not connected to the Mortuary
  • Wires hanging down under the lookout boardwalk
  • A Water fountain that directs excess water onto concrete instead of lawn. 
  • A shower wrongly located next to the lookout. On the design plans it was a seat. Its location is an eye sore and interferes with the view and photographs people may take and hasn’t been used since installation
  • Dominated by hard surfaces. 
  • The Dust Bowl. Yes the Heritage interpretation that takes you back in time to the Kerosene Store days when things were tough. Fortunately today the building is a very popular and successful art gallery and the fine dust and grit gets into peoples eyes, over their cloths, into the gallery and is slippery under foot, particularly for our elderly who regularly visit the gallery.  It looks awful and I am sorry but no one supports poor planning under the guise of heritage interpretation. The harsh climatic conditions you mention, are no different at Bathers than any other Beach but we have the added limestone and dust swirling around.  Its basically another unusable dusty or muddy (depending on the time of the year) car park on the beach in the best location in Fremantle. Its a wasted opportunity of a prime site protected from the elements that could be used for many things
  • Wood-chips and plants. You were at the first community crisis meeting when it was agreed this area would be sand for kids to play, however we ended up with wood-chips and tacky plants that the City kindly removed
  • Massive Black Slab of concrete. I am not sure if that is another heritage interpretation but its hot, dark and unusable for people going to the beach. FICRA responsibly acknowledge this is here to stay due to cost implications removing it, as its steel reinforced for vehicles and has become another very popular car park. Try walking on it bare footed on a hot day like the vast majority of people visiting will do this summer. 
  • The Old Mortuary has structural beams that are far too low and unfortunately people bang their heads as they come and go. 
  • Exposed plastic pipes from Kidogo. These are of little heritage value, look shabby and can quite easily be broken. They are probably not legal
  • Kidogo water waste system. Kidogo is the standout at Bathers, and without it during the recent World Sailing Championships Bathers would have been a deserted dusty worksite. Talk to Joanna about this issue please. 
  • Rubbish bins. There have been issues with these being too small but it has been fixed with the kind support of the City and Brad. As you well know small bins equal rubbish going everywhere. 
  • The over engineering of pedestrian crossing. We appreciate a lot of work went into achieving this however its well and truly over engineered and creates a metal barrier between the City and Bathers. The complicated metal mess interrupts the intention of Marine Terrace continuing onto the Ocean as planned.
  • Loose rocks around Kidogo. Not even the early convicts were expected to walk on such hard and sharp rocks. They are a problem for lawn mowing and projectiles.
  • Dangerous trip areas. Walk around the development and you will see metal lids, wooden barriers, bolts coming loose and other areas raised above landscape and a danger to the unsuspecting resident and visitor. This is poor workmanship and should have been managed during the project and demanded it be fixed prior the final payment being made
  • Rail Carriages. Another good idea where the execution went wrong. These have been off the rails longer than on and sat there for months broken and damaged.
It is a shame we have got to this stage with what should have been a major Fremantle success story, fully supported by all. Had a few people listened to others from the start and made some very minor changes instead of digging their heals in we would not be discussing this today.  It would be great if you could find the time to help the residents fix these issues instead of criticising me and others for wanting it done right. It would be wonderful if you could come to the site and speak with FICRA reps and Joanna and see for yourself the issues. Arthur Head and Bathers Beach has a completely different feel to other parts of Fremantle and has been the best kept secret for years and finally it is getting the attention it deserves so families, backpackers, students, visitors, and residents can come down and enjoy it. FICRA is looking forward to working with the City, artists and businesses as we look to linking the City, the Port, J Shed, Fishing Boat Harbour and other areas with Bathers Beach.
Kind Regards.
FICRA Committee.”


City of Fremantle

Come on City of Fremantle, this is not good enough!

Once again barriers have been put up on the walk path near Kidogo Arthouse but questions that need answering:

Why are the barriers there?

Why were temporary barriers used?

Why have City officals not visited the site and fixed the problem?

Why do residents, visitors and tourists have to put up with sub standard workmanship?

Will the CEO, Mayor or any Councillor take some responsibility for this site?

Time to be accountable!

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