What’s to fix?: Lutton

07. 8NEWS

• Linley Lutton

FREO is not broke, so why fix it?

“Yes, there are some rundown buildings,” Linley Lutton tells the Herald after his talk to more than 200 locals who’d turned out Tuesday for his address, Fremantle—Which Way?.

Having resigned two weeks ago from the council’s $1000-an-hour design advisory committee, Mr Lutton is calling on residents to re-engage in local planning by establishing a properly representative group to deal with the council.

“Developers and elected members come and go, the community is permanent,” he says. “When the community disengage the vacuum is filled by others who treat the city as their personal fiefdom.”

There is no urgency to adopt multi-million-dollar projects…

A few 1960s buildings, unoccupied woolstores and retail departures from Fremantle, “doesn’t signify a broken city”.

Freo is not at a crossroads, he says, adding there is no urgency to adopt multi-million-dollar projects such as Kings Square and Victoria Quay.

Nor is heritage conservation holding back development in Fremantle.

Some in the audience expressed concern regarding his belief high-rise can be accommodated according to best urban planning practice.

Most backed him returning to the DAC, which was established three years ago to provide the council with expert advice on major projects.

Mr Lutton says he’ll return only if the DAC is reformed: the chair (currently Geoffrey Bolton) must rotate amongst members, the chair’s role should be limited to facilitating meetings and formal voting procedures and records should be adopted.

The meeting was attended by councillors Andrew Sullivan, former chair of the city’s planning committee, and Bill Massie.

Cr Massie said the council was trying to fix the damage caused by previous councils. Cr Sullivan doesn’t believe the city is broken, but fears it will slide into insignificance if nothing changes.

Mayor Brad Pettitt says Mr Lutton’s comments are disappointing and misleading.

“The idea that Fremantle didn’t need to do something fundamentally different is disappointing,” he says. “I ran on the idea of revitalising Freo.”


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