A PUBLIC meeting on Hamilton Hill being part of Fremantle turned into a rowdy scrum, with insults traded and the man who initiated the push, Adin Lang, booed and heckled.
Almost 300 people packed the Hilton PCYC on Wednesday night to tell the local government advisory board Mr Lang was “full of shit” and Fremantle was a “scungy hole”.
And at the end of the night, just six people put their hand up in favour of moving to Fremantle.
The Greater Fremantle proposal was accepted by the LGAB earlier this year when Mr Lang collected 250 signatures from residents keen to claim Fremantle as their postcode.
Fremantle council kept clear of the push, but Cockburn was swift to pledge $50,000 to a turf-war, its hackles apparently still up about the 2015 council merger (which would have seen Cockburn carved up between Fremantle/Kwinana).
As Mr Lang approached the mic he was booed and jeered, until the LGAB vice-chair Mary Adam stepped in calling for order.
His speech failed to win any support as he opened with the Fremantle’s cafe scene and beaches: “Together, united, we’re going to make Fremantle a better city”, Mr Lang said to incredulous guffaws.
He finally got a cheer from the crowd, when he said: “I’ll close now”.
What followed was an onslaught of criticism of Fremantle and its council and praise for Cockburn.
Opposition to the push was vehement, while others said identifying with Fremantle’s shopping and cafe strip wasn’t enough to justify a border change.
As well as bad-mouthing Fremantle one Cockburn resident said Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett was the “best bloke around”.
Businesses moving out of Fremantle, anti-social behaviour in the streets, and a “council which bickers about heritage” were some of the reasons given for staying with Cockburn.
Fremantle deputy mayor Dave Coggin and councillor Dave Hume were in the crowd but unable to speak in defence of their city because Fremantle had not officially endorsed the boundary shift.
The nail in the coffin for Cr Hume might have been an older ratepayer relishing the opportunity to point out the Dockers would soon be the “Cockburn Dockers”.
Cr Hume left shortly afterwards, shaking his head.
Cockburn council made it clear the meeting was organised by the LGAB, but the City provided a bus for retirement village residents to attend, and advertised the event on its website saying: “Make your submission on why you do not support a boundary change.”
Submissions to the LGAB can be made up to October 13, after which a recommendation will go to the WA local government minister.
by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM