Cockburn residents have six weeks to have say on Greater Fremantle campaign


Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett with west ward councillors Carol Reeve-Fowkes and Kevin Allen.
Greater Fremantle supporters Adin Lang and Alan Beazley.
Cockburn residents have six weeks to have say on Greater Fremantle campaign
Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett with west ward councillors Carol Reeve-Fowkes and Kevin Allen. Greater Fremantle supporters Adin Lang and Alan Beazley.

THE community will have six weeks to voice its opinion on the Greater Fremantle campaign after the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB) locked in dates for its public submission period.

The LGAB also plans to host a public hearing in October, but the City of Cockburn has taken issue with the location of that meeting.

Proponents of the community-led push known as Greater Fremantle want the port city’s boundary extended to include part of North Coogee and the whole of Hamilton Hill, which is currently in Cockburn.

Members of the community will have between September 1 and October 13 to have their say on the proposal.

The public hearing has been scheduled for October 5 at the PCYC Progress Hall in Hilton, Fremantle.

The City of Cockburn has called for the meeting to be moved somewhere within its boundaries, or for a separate meeting to be held in Cockburn.

“The City of Cockburn has requested that a meeting be held in Cockburn, considering the lack of parking at the PCYC in Hilton and considering that it is mostly Cockburn electors who will be affected,” Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Local Government said the LGAB was considering the City of Cockburn’s request for a change of venue.

“The Hilton venue was initially chosen based on its suitability, and it is not unusual for the hearing venue to be located in the vicinity of, rather than actually within, the affected area,” she said. “It is expected that there will only be one public hearing for this inquiry, as is normally the case.

Greater Fremantle convener Adin Lang said he was happy for the meeting to be held in Fremantle.

He said the last time Greater Fremantle tried to hold a meeting in Cockburn, they were prevented by the local council from entering the building because it was not a licensed meeting venue.

“So to save everyone sitting in the car-park again, I guess Hilton is the best place,” he said.

Greater Fremantle campaigners have argued people in North Coogee’s South Beach Estate and Hamilton Hill identify more with Fremantle than their current council and use the port city’s facilities more than those in Cockburn. They also feel an unbalanced portion of their rates are being spent outside their suburbs.

The City of Cockburn is confident it can counter those arguments when the LGAB begins its investigation, pointing to a recent ReachTEL poll which found only 17.5 per cent of residents want to move north, its well-established cultural groups including the Azelia Ley Homestead Museum and Cockburn RSL, and infrastructure upgrades which it says Fremantle is unlikely to be able to fund.

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Greater Fremantle convenor Adin Lang has called on the Coogee Beach Progress Association to withdraw a statement he says has confused some members of the community.

In a June newsletter to Coogee residents, the Association said Greater Fremantle supporters had “proposed to transfer the suburbs of North Coogee, Hamilton Hill and part of Coogee to create the greater City of Fremantle”.

Mr Lang said Coogee had never formed part of the proposal and requested the group correct the mistake.

“It’s misleading information that is confusing for me and I’m sure it’s even more confusing for the general public,” he said.

“I have asked the President of CBPA to withdraw the statement and clarify with all members in the next newsletter that Coogee is not included in the proposal.”

In a statement CBPA vice president Daryll Smith did not say if the statement would be withdrawn.

He said Greater Fremantle campaigners had not attended community meetings “to explain to residents what they are actually proposing”.