In a breaking news story you are hearing first from the Fremantle Society, the Australian Institute of Architects, representing 12,000 professionals, has come out and endorsed the efforts of the Fremantle Society and Save Freo Bridge Alliance to keep the heritage listed traffic bridge and repurpose it.
The Australian Institute of Architects state:
"This almost century-old structure is an iconic reminder of Freemantle's (sic) history and important cultural significance. It should not be demolished. It could be retained and adaptively re-used for recreation and tourism purposes."
This and further commentary is contained in a submission to Infrastructure Western Australia, a submission regarding the WA State Infrastructure Strategy Foundations for a Stronger Tomorrow. The Institute supports the recycling of assets.
The Australian Institute of Architects is the peak body for the architectural profession in Australia. There are around 13,500 architectural businesses in Australia with about 40,000 employees.
This exciting support for the heritage gateway into Fremantle is unlikely to get coverage from rags like The West Australian newspaper, because it would be seen as criticism of the State Labor Party, which the paper protects at all costs. Labor councillor for Beaconsfield Hannah Fitzhardinge, running for mayor, has toed the party line on the bridge and again stated at the final candidates' forum that she does not support the heritage bridge.
The MP for Fremantle, Labor's Simone McGurk, last week refused to accept a petition of over 6,000 signatures to save the bridge handed in by Save the Freo Bridge Alliance.
The Fremantle Society has borrowed Angie's cartoon about the heritage Fremantle traffic bridge (above) which appeared in the latest Fremantle Herald.
A key person to convince is planning minister Rita Saffioti, who drove down to Fremantle again last week, not to comment on the Institute of Architects' report, but to launch a short strip of bitumen for the bike path.
Time is running out to save the bridge. She can be contacted: Minister.Saffioti@dpc.wa.gov.au
The Fremantle Society