Colin Barnett: "If I was still Premier, I would put Fremantle Council into Administration."
Colin Barnett, who recently completed nine years as Premier of Western Australia, has long been a member of the Fremantle Society, as North Fremantle lay within his electoral seat of Cottesloe.
Recent controversial decisions of Fremantle Council, particularly relating to Australia Day, and being told that the council still refuses to fly the Australian flag from the Town Hall long after spending $3 million to fix it up, led the former Premier to tell the Fremantle Society this week that : "If I was still Premier, I would put Fremantle Council into Administration."
The Australian flag is only a symbol, but a very significant one, a reminder to council of its governance responsibility, and a source of pride for Australian citizens. Then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, once a staunch republican, said in January this year: “So, I think the Australian flag will be flying over Parliament House long after all of us have shuffled off the stage of history.”
Fremantle in its hey day was a town full of flying flags, from national and state ones to those of various shipping companies. The Australian flag is available free of charge from the local Federal member of parliament. It does not have to be taken down each evening. It can be flown at night if lit.
The Fremantle Society commissioned aerial views of King's Square as shown here, and the image shows the Town Hall without its flag. But it also shows how King's Square could be as a true civic square, rather than a cluttered triangle with a $50 million building the council cannot afford.
(Photograph is copyright and cannot be copied)