Surfers’ iconic site set to be replaced

North Fremantle councillors Robert Fittock and Doug Thompson in front of the 40-year-old mural. Picture: Jon Bassett
North Fremantle councillors Robert Fittock and Doug Thompson in front of the 40-year-old mural. Picture: Jon Bassett

‘The plan is to tell a detailed history of the area with a ‘story wall’ with artistic photos, and Fremantle is working with representatives of surfing groups and artists to ensure the new design meets expectations and reflects the significance of the site,’ Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said.

The current 1950s-era kiosk and toilets were left roofless by a storm about two years ago, but surfers had used the 40-year-old mural showing the North Fremantle flour mill and surfers as a meeting spot before coastal Curtin Avenue was moved inland for Leighton Beach apartments.

The council allocated $1.8 million for a new kiosk and toilets, parallel to the new Fremantle Surf Lifesaving Club, in its 2014/15 budget.

Dr Pettitt said the photographs showing the area’s history could be put on the eastern side of a replacement toilet block.

Tenders for an operator of an adjacent kiosk would be advertised later this year, and the business would trade next to a restaurant above the surf club and food van in an adjacent car park.

‘But the van is an interim thing serving at weekends, and it’s not really opposition as a kiosk would have a different ambience and food and drinks for families,’ North Fremantle Cr Doug Thompson said.

Cr Robert Fittock said beachgoers and joggers should see work on the site begin almost immediately, finishing with landscaping to stop sand drifting in the area.

A 75sqm kiosk will face north to protect users from south winds and make it easy to use for nearby picnickers, and there will be more beach showers.

Work on the two buildings is expected to start by late September and last nine months, during which time joggers and swimmers will have portable toilets.