ADIN LANG is a councillor with the City of Fremantle, which recently gave its approval for a redevelopment of the Woolstores Shopping Centre, including a new police station for Fremantle. Woolstores owner Gerard O’Brien is on the shortlist after submitting a tender to the McGowan government to provide a station building. But Cr Lang says he’s now heard on the grapevine the government is now thinking of building it on land it owns within the city. He reckons that threatens to pull as much as $400,000 in much-needed rates from the council’s coffers, as well as thumbing a nose at developers like Mr O’Brien, who’ve reportedly spent up to $300,000 on design costs.
THE City of Fremantle has approved the development of a new purpose built complex for WA Police in the heart of Fremantle.
With the JDAP recently approving this development, it promises to be an economic catalyst for our East End.
Speaking with the developer this week, they are ready to employ 120 construction workers; it’s “shovel ready”.
COVID-19 period I write this with a view of what Freo looks like on the other side of this current crisis. This is a great economic stimulus package for the COVID recovery period in Freo and WA:
• 120 construction jobs;
• Reinvigorate the tired old Woolstores and East End;
• More police on the beat in Freo; and,
• More rates revenue for Freo
Fit for purpose
Fremantle is severely under-staffed for police. The current police station (which was meant to be temporary) is an old bank that offers limited scope and growth opportunities.
The new building offers five storeys at 7081sqm, with police office space over levels 3 to 5. Ground floor includes a lobby and workshop in addition to 8 visitor car parking bays, 10 car parking bays, bus, caravan, prisoner van, and truck parking.
Police take more than 10 valuable car bays in our West End that would otherwise be taken by shoppers who spend locally and support our retail. The sooner we have off-street parking for police, the better off our retail traders will be.
Police cars currently parked in the street have been subject to multiple attacks by vandals, costing the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars. The new development offers dedicated off-street secure parking for 113 cars on the first floor.
State government help
This development application follows a request for tender by the WA Government who are seeking a new site for the Fremantle Police Station. While the final site has not been selected and multiple sites are being considered, I believe this particular site works from a city planning perspective, ease of access for police while also contributing to the revitalisation of the Eastern End of Freo.
There is no upfront cost to the state for this new development whereas building on their own land, it would cost tens of millions and delay the project by at least years while funding and approval is sought – plus delaying more police on the beat in Freo.
The developer has done their bit, City of Fremantle has done theirs, now it’s over to the state government to invest in Fremantle’s safety, economy and future.