Revamp all at sea

THE state government unveiled plans this week for a $3 million dollar facelift of Fremantle Port’s arrival terminal, but it’s a far-cry from the glitzy upgrade Labor promised in the lead up to the 2017 election.

Mark McGowan had pledged to redevelop South Quay to create a “world class tourism precinct and cruise ship terminus”, which would include hotels and restaurants, creating more than 18,000 jobs.

But the $3m upgrade does not include air-conditioning, despite cruise ship holidays being popular with retirees, and will largely involve upgrading the canopy of the heritage building, refurbishing floors and giving the terminal a fresh lick of paint.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt says more needs to be done to make the port city a premier cruise-ship destination.

“While the upgrades to the terminal will be a great short-term improvement, once passengers walk out of the terminal they’ll still find themselves in a giant, ugly car park,” he says.

• Labor’s Lisa O’Malley, Simone McGurk and Paul Papalia with Mark McGowan (second left) in December 2016, when he was talking up the millions the proposed redevelopment of South Quay would pump into WA’s economy.

“The City of Fremantle is eager to work with the government to progress that planning as quickly as possible.”

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti told the media this week that a lot of work had already been done in preparation for redeveloping South Quay.

But when the Chook asked Ms Saffioti for details, we received this: “I have had a number of discussions with Mayor Brad Pettitt, Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk and Fremantle {Ports] to plan how we move ahead for the future redevelopment of the area,” Ms Saffioti said.

“The vision is still to create a major tourism precinct and to further activate the area—likely starting around the western museum area to create better connectivity with the heart of Fremantle.

“In the shorter term, this western precinct will be easier to develop because there are fewer constraints.

“We all share the same vision for this area and are very excited about the many opportunities the development of South Quay will bring to Fremantle.”

by EMILEE NEESON

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