The Fremantle Bridge is One of Many Urgent Issues

Time for You to Do Some Work

If Fremantle Council and its councillors did their job, there would be no need for the Fremantle Society to spend hundreds and hundreds of hours researching issues and campaigning to get good quality outcomes for Fremantle. They, especially the mayor, (who will by the time he leaves, have received over $1.5million of ratepayers' money) are not negotiating good deals, not looking after heritage, and not improving Fremantle's finances.

At the moment there are numerous major issues, from the moving of the port, giving away a $7 million ratepayer asset for a film studio, Markets Lease, Arthur Head, and the Bridge issue to name a few.

Fremantle Society members need to do some of the work.

We need volunteers to deliver pamphlets next week.

We need donations.

We need you to DO something. A letter/email is still a valuable contribution.

Below is what we submitted to the community group fighting the bridge issue with us.

Three things from the Fremantle Society:

1) Old Bridge: Main Roads are saying the current bridge was only a 'temporary one.' They have provided no evidence of that.

Too many people are giving up on saving the current bridge, when:

a) It is heritage listed at the highest level.

b) It is a handsome bridge that has, and continues to, serve the community very well. 

c) It is the longest wooden bridge in the state and has decades of life left if heavy vehicles are removed.  It is a tourist asset telling the story, like the wooden wharves of the port, of the vast amounts of WA jarrah promoted for building.

d) It is not dangerous and has not caused a fatality. In fact, it protects Northbank from serious erosion.

e) There are other wooden bridges in the metro area that are OLDER than ours, and Main Roads isn't seeking to demolish them

f)  When Main Roads demolished the Mandurah wooden bridge they conned the community with promises that werent fulfilled.

g)  The Federal Government, donating half the money for the project, should not be party to the demolition of a heritage listed asset.

2)  New Bridge:  We need a visual of a new bridge we would accept- above is a poor copy of the iconic bridge printed in the Herald as part of a Thinking Allowed on 4/11/2006. I have asked the Herald for a better copy. Main Roads propose a dreary flat concrete structure.

3)   Council: The council urgently needs to tell us what their action plan is, which should include 10,000 public submission forms printed and delivered by council to counter the predetermined position of the Main Roads one. 

The council submission form should:

a) point out that the current bridge, under the Burra Charter, cannot be demolished until it has reached the end of its life, which is decades away.

b) seek to keep the current bridge while having a new iconic bridge near it (as happened  in the top image above 100 years ago when there were two bridges)

c) slow the whole process downs so North Fremantle concerns can be incorporated.

d) understand, with the Bicentennial only 8 years away, an iconic bridge, a protected heritage one, a rejuvenated North Fremantle town centre, and genuine traffic solutions for Fremantle, would make this whole issue a great Bicentennial Project, planning and funding for which should start now.

Where is the huge banner on the Naval Stores we agreed on? It needs to go up yesterday. A huge banner covering most of the building.  Suggested:   "Hands off our Bridge!"

Finally, a small point, but one not mentioned, is that the original ferry capstan base, which is heritage listed along with the bridge, has been neglected by the government for decades, and is part of the wonderful story of the river crossings in this area.

The Fremantle Society seeks an inspiring outcome to these issues, minus more mendacious Main Roads mediocrity.


John Dowson
The Fremantle Society

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