Forrest- Destroying the numbat was nothing compared to the size of his hotel!

Can You Save the Historic Town?

The only aspect of the controversial Spicer Site 6 storey hotel covered by the West Australian was the demise of the numbat, commissioned in 2011 and painted by graffiti and street artist Roa from Belgium.

As the photo above shows, it is now gone, along with the 1852 heritage wall - of greater significance. It was heritage listed, but that didn't save it. It was supposed to be carefully taken down and reused on site. That didnt happen- a bulldozer knocked it down and put the rubble in a skip bin. Some rubble with be given to a Noongar artist to do his interpretation of someone else's history.

Apparently, to appease the arts community about the numbat, Forrest will spend up to $100,000 to get Roa back from Belgium to do a couple of new works, one of which is likely to be a Walyo.

But, he needs to appease the general community, which likes its colonial town heritage.

The big issue is that his proposed hotel is too big.

The Fremantle Society has provided you with expert  analysis from Jeremy Dawkins, former head of WAPC, Agnieshka Kiera, former Fremantle Council heritage architect, from Sasha Ivanovich, architect and former member of council's Design Advisory Committee, and Carl Payne, long time local architect. Plus our own analysis.

Fremantle's Character : Gone Forever

Make no mistake, if Forrest's plans get through without proper regard to the context of the site and the scale of the historic town he is building in, the famous character of Fremantle will be destroyed by the next developer seeking 6 storeys, and then the next one after that, and soon a walk down South Terrace will be a view of surviving facades with new builds rising above them -which should not be allowed.

Scale and height are important values in Fremantle, but never to developers, who always want more.

Do not think there are good advocates for heritage at Fremantle Council. Where are they? Not only has heritage disappeared as a priority, but all heritage budgets have been slashed, and this year even the heritage festival disappeared.

This issue is the last chance to save the historic town. The situation is that grave.

Contact the mayor and your local councillors. Encourage Forrest to spend his money -but first get him to listen to those who know Fremantle.


John Dowson
The Fremantle Society


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