Socks protest urged

Fremantle Society president Henty Farrar is urging North Fremantle voters to sock it to Premier Colin Barnett. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d404713
Fremantle Society president Henty Farrar is urging North Fremantle voters to sock it to Premier Colin Barnett. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d404713

‘The western suburbs are not ‘just up the road’ from North Fremantle, they’re over the top of Buckland Hill,’ Fremantle Society president Henty Farrar said.

‘Whereas Fremantle is just over the water where the historic and cultural links to the port city are.’

The society’s Sock it Colin protest opposes any merger of Fremantle, East Fremantle and Melville councils when Mr Barnett’s Government announces its reply to the Robson Report into local government reform, expected by the end of this month.

North Fremantle is in the City of Fremantle and Mr Barnett’s electorate but an option in the report puts land north of Walter Place and homes north of the Northbank development in a new Claremont-based, 90,000-resident council that could decide on building next to the port and more Leighton Beach apartments.

Mr Farrar said gentrification and increased real estate prices had still not made North Fremantle look to the western suburbs, or Melville, for a ‘sense of place and identity’.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettit said excising North Fremantle would be fought because it went against a tenant of reform to create communities that share interest in a location, and port-related transport corridors already went through his council’s wards.

North Fremantle Councillor Doug Thompson said his ward was safe because the Government would just merge current councils for ‘simpler’ amalgamations.

Fellow north ward Cr Robert Fittock said he personally found it ‘perfect sense’ for North Fremantle to be governed from the western suburbs because it was unlikely the port would worry about dealing with the new council north of Tydeman Road.

A spokeswoman said Local Government Minister Tony Simpson was ‘on schedule’ to reply to the Robson Report this month