Objections fail to block Plaza construction

Sod it: Mayor Brad Pettitt, Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson, councillors and skaters at the turning of the first sod for the controversial Esplanade Youth Plaza.
Sod it: Mayor Brad Pettitt, Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson, councillors and skaters at the turning of the first sod for the controversial Esplanade Youth Plaza.

Though a few sods had already been turned by the excavation equipment that has been deconstructing the Mound all week, Dr Pettitt said, though contentious, it was a great project for the collaborative spirit and engagement of the young people in the community.

‘The proof in the pudding will be in terms of the final project when it’s finished,’ he said.

‘The election’s over, it’s being built, it’s a done deal.’

But it is far from a done deal for Fremantle Resident and Ratepayers Association, which continued to claim the City had demonstrated a lack of accountability and poor consultation in pursuing the project.

Association interim chair Claudia Green said the City was planning a second stage, further eating into the reserve land and public funds.

‘There is a strong argument that central Fremantle’s most important, well-used public green space should be preserved, rather than treating it as ripe for development and commercialisation,’ she said.

Dr Pettitt told the Gazette there was nothing to back the Association’s claims that councillors had been unduly influenced by developer CONVIC in supporting the ambitious design.

Skateboarding WA state manager Ben Bowring said in time the people who had opposed the plaza would be bringing their grandchildren there.