Quay forum goes local

THE revitalisation of Fremantle’s Victoria Quay is one step closer after local architects and urban planners gathered last month to develop another vision for the precinct.

The quay’s current use as a carpark and offloading zone for vehicle imports starkly contrasts with the “people-oriented waterfront precinct” the state government has envisioned.

Fremantle spaceagency architect Tobias Busch attended the design workshop and said while it was very early days for the project it was important for local architects and planners to be included in the design process.

“[It’s] probably something that should happen more in my opinion,” he said.

”I certainly think [the workshop] should’ve helped to bring a little bit of a broader view, and put a bit of the design aspect into the whole decision-making process.”

Density

Mr Busch there weren’t any concrete vision or timelines for the quay’s development yet, but noted there were key themes – one being an increase in urban density.

“There’s possibly a lack of people living in Fremantle to support commercial development,” he said.

”If anything happens it would need to incorporate a level of residential development.”

An underlying consideration of workshop discussion was to ensure the West End was not negatively impacted by development, and that the boat sheds would stay.

“It’s really a long process and too early to make a call, judgement or critique at this stage,” Mr Busch said.

“It’s something that’s got to run its course and hope they do it right.”

Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk who chairs the Victoria Quay Steering Group responsible for the redevelopment process said that working with local expertise was important to achieve a full realisation of the quay’s potential.

“Their contributions will guide the steering group going forward as we work towards transforming our waterfront over the short, medium and long term,” Ms McGurk said.

By SEAN HILL

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