Dollar signs debated

Advertising at East Fremantle Oval has been endorsed.
Advertising at East Fremantle Oval has been endorsed.

Fremantle Football Club received sponsorship money for the signs, which were placed to increase the chance of being captured in television broadcasts.

But club chief executive Adam Kelly said the club was not aware it required planning approval to erect the signs until they had already been placed.

He said the club had increased the space between each sign in the hoarding by way of compromise. The Town also requested more trees be planted around the sign to reduce its impact.

During the meeting Town planning services manager Jamie McDonald said there was little risk of the decision setting a precedent because there were no other similar sites in the town.

He said the oval being crown land was not subject to Town policy and that council was being asked to offer a recommendation to the WA Planning Commission, which would decide.

Resident Damien Flynn said it was now open slather for sporting groups or other bodies wanting to erect large obtrusive billboards to cite this precedent if any objection is raised by council should these be on Town vested land.

‘Makes you wonder if the Town of East Fremantle is worth saving from amalgamation given its decision to place the commercial interests of the football club ahead of its community.’

Mayor Jim O’Neill said the number of sporting and community groups in East Fremantle was a great strength of the town and many were supported by the ratepayers of East Fremantle while some were financially independent.

He said the club had received significant financial support from the Town.

‘It has probably received more assistance from the Town than it has from the City of Fremantle. On a per capita basis that contribution from ratepayers would be even higher from the Town of East Fremantle,’ he said.

Last financial year the Town contributed $120,000 on the East Fremantle Oval site, as opposed to the club, although much of this would have been staff costs connected with watering, turfing, maintenance etc.