Fremantle musician Lucky Oceans performed at the free concert at the Fremantle Arts Centre and took the opportunity to stand up for his City.
‘I moved to Fremantle in 1981 and have lived there since,’ he said.
‘If it had been ‘FreMelville’, I doubt if I would have bothered.’
Fremantle Forever organiser and South Fremantle resident Marie Bout said 1115 people attended the concert and signed a petition against the proposed merger.
‘Among the signatories were Melville residents who wanted the cities to remain separate so they could better reflect their community’s interests,’ she said.
‘Fremantle is a culturally vibrant community with strong arts and festivals, including the Hidden Treasures festival, the street art festival, and the hugely successful Fremantle Festival.
‘We’re afraid that the support for Freo arts and culture would be lost with a merger with Melville.’
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt was among those who attended and said while the City of Fremantle supported local government reform, it opposed the State Government’s plan for Fremantle to be amalgamated with Melville.
‘Melville should be able to focus on Canning Bridge and Murdoch as their centres and Fremantle on its CBD,’ he said.
‘Our communities are quite different, each with their own charms, and trying to bring these together into a coherent whole will not be good for either.’
Mr Pettitt said the City of Fremantle would explain its opposition to the plan to the Minister for Local Government and would also suggest to him a compromise to the proposal.