GOLFERS have given Fremantle council’s latest attempt to redesign the city’s public links the thumbs down.
The Fremantle Area Network Group represents three clubs who play at the Fremantle Golf Course, which is being rejigged to make room for Main Roads’ major rerouting of High Street.
FANG member Ernie Stringer said the latest iteration of the plan makes it “impossible to play a respectable game at all”.
Mr Stringer says the course is simply too short; the first whole just scrapes past 100 metres, while there’s no longer a car park in the plan.
He wants the council to reconsider its reluctance to extend the course into Booyeembara Park, while a proposal for a new clubhouse facility to be shared with park users has fallen flat; the golfers say they need something tailored to their needs.
“The current plan for the redevelopment of the golf course appears based on the rationale that the Booyeembara plan resulted from ‘extensive consultation’ and is therefore inviolate.”
But he says since that consultation the situation has changed considerably and he wants the council to revisit the plan to see if local sentiment has changed.
“I find the ease with which the current administration has cast aside rational requests for a reasonable facility in Fremantle, one that has been part of the local landscape for many years, to be insulting.”
Mr Stringer says he’s also concerned about the viability of the course for its commercial operators, saying the uncertainty has already driven players away.
With the business’s lease about to end, he says the owners are hamstrung in their ability to speak out.
FANG members met with east ward councillors Su Groome and Jenny Archibald recently, with the latter saying the course should be given a go.
“We had a designer came up with a plan that I am led to believe is a very innovative course,” Cr Archibald said.
“It will be the same par and the same number of holes, and it meets the criteria that was set.
“The golfers have strong views, but we are constrained and I don’t believe the outcome will be compromised.”
Cr Archibald said the council was also hoping the redevelopment would benefit the wider community, with a new cafe at the clubhouse to be open for park users, bringing the operator additional revenue and park users somewhere local to gather over a coffee.
Meanwhile Main Roads is roaring ahead with its works along High Street, with trees cleared and the new layout of the road starting to take shape.
That drew criticism from former Opposition leader Mike Nahan, who’s all-cap headline to his Facebook post read: “HAVE YOU SEEN THE DEVASTATION ON HIGH STREET?”.
“As part of its response to cancelling Roe 8, the McGowan government is building an expensive $118 million roundabout at the corner of High St and Stirling Hwy,” Mr Nahan wrote.
“This will not remove one car or one truck from the existing road network.
“This project has resulted in the removal of 67 critically endangered Tuart trees – some of which were 100 years old …unbelievably we have not heard one word from the activists.
“They’ve now all disappeared and all I hear are crickets.”
By STEVE GRANT