Stand on oval plan wins day

An artist’s impression of Max Hipkins’ alternative proposal for Elizabeth Quay.
An artist’s impression of Max Hipkins’ alternative proposal for Elizabeth Quay.

The motion, proposed by Mayor Alan Ferris, was a watered down version of that proposed by former mayor Jim O’Neill and supported by residents at the electors’ meeting earlier this month.

It contained no reference to protecting the A class reserve status of the oval nor did it refer to leaving the bowls and croquet club as they stand.

However, it did commit the council to forming a community group to seek resident input on ‘any future development of the East Fremantle Oval Precinct’.

‘I want to see this move forward, I don’t want to be back here debating this in two years’ time,’ the mayor told councillors at the meeting.

‘I would say we can meet with the community group in four weeks and have the building assessment done in four to six weeks.’

After the meeting, the mayor told the Gazette the situation was now one of collaboration with the community, unlike the angry words exchanged at the electors’ meeting.

Speaking at the council meeting, resident Gerard McCann said East Fremantle Football Club needed to be excised from the plan so the Town could get Lotterywest and Department of Sport and Recreation grants for the rest of the area.

However, residents were adamant they wanted the club to continue to be part of the community, but that some responsibility needed to be taken for its premises, which were in such a severe state of disrepair as to be unsafe.

‘We need to deal with the safety issues and then put a time frame in place for the rest,’ resident Maureen Flynn said.

However, David Edinger said the electors’ meeting represented only 0.0038 per cent of the residents of East Fremantle.

‘It’s important the whole community has a say,’ he said.

‘If it needs extra rates I’m all for that but people on the other side of town may not be. How many of you play croquet or bowls?

‘It’s all very well to have a passion for those facilities but you have got to use them. They need the support of the whole community.’

Resident Patty Newton said the football club needed to take responsibility for its facility.

‘That fallen sign and the disrepair, that reflects badly on the club, not the council or the residents,’ she said.