Former councillor John Dowson led the discussion with five-minute presentations on the Warders’ Cottages, the proposed Esplanade Reserve Youth Plaza and the Arthur’s Head Arts Precinct.
With the mayor and a number of councillors in attendance, the residents pushed for the Warders’ Cottages to be repaired and put to use, for the youth plaza to be considered for another location and for Arthur’s Head’s heritage to be taken into account when planning the future use for the area.
The most heated discussions were for the Youth Plaza, stirring up a lot of emotion between the attendees and disagreement as to what would be the best place for it.
Mr Dowson, who attributed the problems with these issues as mismanagement from the council, said it should be a simple issue but was not going to be.
‘The priority is to protect the Norfolk pines and open grassland, which should take precedence,’ he said.
‘The city should build the facilities on the adjacent car park or Beach Street.
‘The general mood is that nobody wants it on the Esplanade.’
Attendee Jean Paul Horre, who voiced his support for the youth plaza amongst negative comments from the majority of the crowd, said:
‘I think the Esplanade revitalisation is a good idea because it is a facility that invites multi use by a variety of people,’ he said.
‘From what I’ve heard it could be a state-of-the-art facility and is something that is a classic example of what Fremantle needs.’
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt, whose offer to present at the meeting to offer the crowd some ‘context’ was denied by FICRA, he said
‘We are not here to destroy the Esplanade Reserve,’ he said.
‘We are trying to have a range of facilities for a range of ages in the one park.’
For more on the proposed Youth Plaza, see page 5.