Ageing harbour a  business blocker

• Fences, barrier tape and plastic bollards around Fishing Boat Harbour aren’t helping trade, say charter boat operators. Photo by Steve Grant

A BLOCKED walkway, barrier tape, safety cages, acrow props and warning signs are bringing down the look of Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour says a business owner.

The charter boat operator, who didn’t want to be named, said she’s missing out on passing trade because a small ramp that connects Mews Road to the boardwalk near her mooring has been closed before Christmas.

“We’re not totally reliant on passing trade, thankfully, but of course when people come down and see the warning signs they just turn around,” she said.

“You know what it’s like down here at the weekend.”


It’s also meant passengers with large eskies, ice boxes or equipment have to lug them around Joe’s Fish Shack or Little Creatures to reach the mooring, which has led to delays for her and a neighbouring charter company.

But she says the whole place is starting to look tatty, with the alfresco area next to Joe’s Fish Shack surrounded by a “cage” because of safety concerns, while part of the building which hovers over the water is held up by acrow props as its pylons have deteriorated.

The old Mussel Bar building nearby is still empty and its fallen ceiling visible through big, dusty windows overlooking the harbour. She was told by workers that plans for a burger bar fell through after the condition of the building’s pylons were investigated.

Across the harbour orange tape shrouds part of a jetty which has been condemned, and she’s been told the rest will also soon be closed, meaning she’ll have to find a new mooring for her boat.

The Department of Transport controls the harbour and pointed out that it had replaced its section of timber decking last November so people could walk from Kailis’ Fish Market through to Little Creatures.

It says the small walkway is the responsibility of brewing giant Nathan Lion, which owns Little Creatures and the department had been working with the company to get it re-opened.

“The depot jetty and six fingers on jetty 3 have reached the end of their structural life so have been closed,” the department said in a response to the Herald.


It confirmed the remainder of the jetty would also be demolished, with replacement work due to start in 2022.

“There are vacancies on jetty 1 and jetty 2 that can accommodate the vessels that will need to move.

“DoT will be working closely with any impacted pen holders to ensure minimal disruptions.”

It said the cost of replacing the jetty “has not yet been finalised”.

Lion Nathan’s head office in Sydney was clocked off for the day when the Herald called, but they said they’d get back to us as soon as possible.


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