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1966 Royal Visit v 2020 Covid Virus Visit

The Queen Cannot Help King's Square This Time

On April Fool's Day, 1966, just 54 years ago, the Queen of Australia arrived in Fremantle to open the new council building in King's Square entitled the Exhibition Hall (see map above)

She had travelled from Government House with an escort of 10 police motorcycles in a cavalcade of vehicles led by the Chief Inspector of Police.

Along the way the route was lined in places with schoolchildren, and patients from the Home of Peace, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, the Repatriation General Hospital, and the Salvation Army Eventide Home.

She arrived into a bustling port city with thousands of lumpers, a port whose chief commodity was oil, and which catered for up to 200,000 ship passengers a year.

As she exited her vehicle in King's Square, she was greeted by the legendary Mayor Sir Frederick Samson and his wife Mrs Laurie.

It was a stunning coup to get the Queen to open the council's new King's Square building.

Fremantle Society Resolution: Defer the Council Administration Move to King's Square.

Given the financial crisis the council has gotten itself into, the Fremantle Society at its meeting on April 14th unanimously passed a motion: " That Fremantle Council defer the completion of the new administration buildling as an administration building until there is a more positive financial climate, and in the meantime use the building as an Exhibition Centre, including the multi million dollar council art collection still in storage after decades."

There is no tenant for the 828sqm tavern in the building, and no money for the expensive fit out so that staff can relocate from Fremantle Oval. Leave them there - there is no financial boost to the Fremantle economy by having staff or council in King's Square rather than where they are.

There is no signed tenant for the speculative extra floor being built in the new building, though the Rottnest Island Authority was going to sign a lease (the Labor member for Beaconsfield Cr Fitzhardinge is a member of the Rottnest Island Authority Board).

With some help from at least one of the well known business heavyweights, the new partially completed building could  be an excellent temporary Exhibition Hall, even better than the previous iteration, but with council's own extensive art collection and that of other private collectors.

The Fremantle Society has made various suggestions about the budget in recent weeks, including a 20% pay cut for CEO, senior staff, and councillors, which council has since implemented.

Council meets this Wednesday 15 April. 

Besides supporting the Notices of Motion from the Electors' Meeting that are on the agenda, members are urged to encourage council to bring down a sensible budget.

John Dowson
President
The Fremantle Society

0409223622

John.dowson@yahoo.com

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