Projects concern residents

The association has identified a laundry list of projects around the City it believes had not had enough consultation of the people who were going to pay for it.

Interim chairwoman Claudia Green said the most pressing project that concerned members was the proposed Esplanade Youth Plaza, purely because at $1.6m it was the most costly.

However, she said there was also frustration at the locations of temporary food vans and pop-up musicians not being open to suggestions and consultation from ratepayers and businesses.

She said while previous consultation had identified support for a skate park on the car park next to the Esplanade reserve, since then the project had grown in scale, cost and moved to the grass of the reserve without the ratepayers’ support.

‘How did all of that take place? There are gaps in what we know about the decisions made on the location,’ she said.

‘They did a mail out calling for input on a change to off-lead dog walking hours at the Esplanade, but not on a $1.6m project?’

Fremantle chief executive Graeme Mackenzie said the original draft masterplan was out for months of public consultation and included a skate facility within the park, of a smaller overall size, but of about the same length.

‘Of the written submissions received that commented on the skate facility, 84 per cent (42 submissions) supported the facility as proposed and 16 per cent (8) opposed it. ‘

However, the council removed the skate facility from the plan to consider the feasibility of the car-park as a location instead, which proved to be unviable.

He denied the City had fallen prey to the vested interests of skate park design consultants.

‘The ideas for the scope of the project came via consultation through the City’s youth plan and public consultation on the design of the plaza early in the project’s engagement phase,’ he said. The association is calling for a survey of all ratepayers before the project goes any further.

It has also appealed to Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk and Opposition spokeswoman for Volunteering and Heritage Margaret Quirk for support in lobbying the State Government.

Ms McGurk said she had raised the matter with Local Government Minister Tony Simpson on behalf of the association.

– Read the full responses of City of Fremantle chief executive Graeme MacKenzie and Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk here