Long wait for facelift

THE death of a man at the derelict South Fremantle power station last Saturday is unlikely to prompt authorities to rush redevelopment.

The Byford 24-year-old died after falling 15 metres through a hole inside the Gotham-like building, a favourite haunt of graffiti artists, photographers and adventurers since its decommissioning in 1985. The accident prompted renewed calls for the site’s redevelopment.

Cockburn mayor Logan Howlett says transformation of the heritage-listed site could still be 15 years away.

It was flagged for residential redevelopment in 2014 and Mr Howlett says the city is working hard to get things moving, but ultimately is at the mercy of market forces.

• South Fremantle power station — still a long way from transformation. Photo supplied | Ela Nuić

• South Fremantle power station — still a long way from transformation. Photo supplied | Ela Nuić

“The Cockburn Coast will eventually see 6000 new homes and around 12,000 people living in this new coastal enclave,” he says.

“The power station precinct masterplan was approved by the city in December 2014 and will eventually see the power station accommodating retail, commercial and residential components along with space for community activities in the surrounding locality.

“Whether this takes five, 10, 15 or more years is uncertain.

“Its transition from a light industrial area will occur as the market determines.”

Photographer “Cam”, who has done several shoots in the power station, says the site is easily accessible from the beach or through gaps in fencing.

“The only way to make the site safe is to knock it down or redevelop it,” he says.

Mr Howlett says improving security will be discussed with Synergy, which still owns the site. “Our understanding is that the coroner will make recommendations on what actions need to take place, if any,” he said.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

19 Cirque 20x7

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