South Fremantle Power Station

It's For Us?

Two years ago the image here was published in perthnow with the following explanation:

"Graffiti artist Doofus released images of the work over the weekend, which can only be properly read from the sky, crediting 13 other artists and organisations for coming together to create it.

Doofus released the photos with a quote from New York street artist Skeme, taken from the 1983 American documentary “Style Wars”,which illustrated his ethos around graffiti and an exclusion of wider public audiences.

“I don’t care about nobody else seeing it or the fact if they can read it or not,” Skeme said.

“It’s for me and other graffiti writers, that we can read it. These other people who don’t write, they’re excluded. I don’t care about them, you know? They don’t matter to me. It’s for us.”

The Perth Street Art and Graffiti Instagram account said “It’s for us” had many meanings.

“To the writers who frequent it, to the people who take photos of the ageing infrastructure, to the people who walk their dog past and admire it, to any government or developer that wants to take it away or change it — just remember it’s for us,” it said."

Exactly one year ago today the WA government announced it was going to sell the power station.

What has happened since?

The sale is shrouded in secrecy.

Michael Barker in the excellent Fremantle Shipping News states that the response from Synergy is less than helpful:

So they can’t/won’t say –
* Who the prospective purchaser is.
* What the conditions of the sale agreement are.
* If there is or is to be a Market Led Proposal or a development application under the Planning legislation over the site.
* When the sale will be reach ‘completion’.

In any decision regarding this imposing structure in such a brilliant beachside setting, the landmark status of the building must not be overwhelmed by competing  blocks of flats all around reaching to the sky in a Saffioti lovefest.

In Fremantle, the scale of the best remaining wool store (former Fort Knox) has been overwhelmed by the overscaled Liv apartments across the road from it, a disastrous outcome for protecting the scale of Fremantle and the primacy of the woolstores. That mistake should not be repeated - the Powerstation IS THE LANDMARK for the whole area.

A stumbling block will be moving the $80-$100 million switchyard providing power to many nearby suburbs. New tech of course means that the new facility can be much smaller. Before the recent election the Federal Labor Party promised $20 million for a battery storage unit in the area, one of 20 offered around Australia.

Stop the secrecy and allow the public to know what is happening with their assets.

It's For Us.

John Dowson
The Fremantle Society
June 23, 2022

0409 223622


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