Letters 10.10.20

All that’s left

I HAD a thought about the Kings Square renaming debate… Why not “St John’s Church”, “High Street Mall Extension” and “Newman Court”? 

That is all that is left of Kings Square, so why do we pretend we still have public open space in central Freo. Freo Council built Brad’s Palace on top of it!

The only remaining open space surrounds St John’s Church, which is owned by the church, so why does Freo Council seek to rename a space it doesn’t own? 

If the news that Sirona has just sold 75 per cent of its Kings Square development for $250 million is correct, then Freo Council has been played like a fiddle. With its remaining equity included, it looks like Sirona has crystalised a $100 million windfall on its investment. Nice work! 

Meanwhile Freo Council is financially crippled, it eroded $30 million of rate payers’ value on its own investment, has handed over its investment properties to Sirona for a song, and had saddled us with $50 million in debt. It looks like there are winners and losers in this “partnership” – as predicted.

At least the place is “revitalised”, or perhaps that didn’t happen either?

The Emperor has no clothes…

Martin Lee

Super all round

GREAT work Fremantle council workers.

Gone are the bad old days when an event on the Esplanade left it covered in rubbish and vehicle furrows. 

Early morning, after the wonderful win of South Fremantle premiers, not a bottle-top or track to be seen on the pristine emerald green lawn. 

Well done Freo council workers.

Also a congrats on the happy holiday initiative by the Fishing Boat Harbour traders, flying the superheroes into Freo, to entertain the kiddies and relieve the mums and dads.

Suzanne John
High Street, Fremantle

Heard not seen

IN response to comments made by Melville Bowling Club president Tim Smith in last week’s Herald (“Bowls lease delayed,” October 26, 2020), I would like to point out that I have never received a copy of the brewery “plans” as he purports.

In raising my concerns with the bowling club lease in Parliament and through the media, I referenced plans for a brewery based on a conversation club members overheard between mayor George Gear and other members in which they spoke about a brewery.

Ironically, the existence of these plans weren’t confirmed until mayor George Gear sent an email to the CEO alleging that the city’s administration leaked the brewery plans.

This dialogue between the mayor and CEO, which itself was leaked, confirmed that it was the mayor himself who personally handed the plans to the administration for consideration, despite the mayor telling media outlets that there were no plans for a brewery on the site…

Nevertheless, it’s astounding that Mr Smith is “angry” that the “plans” fell into my hands, given they had been submitted to the City of Melville for consideration. 

Given the interest groups that became heavily involved in last year’s Melville local government elections argued for more transparency and accountability, it’s concerning with the way this whole lease saga has developed. After that toxic campaign, no one should be angry that these plans became public knowledge.

Whether it is a brewery or another commercial development on the site, the entire Melville community deserves to know the plan.

My belief is that this site should be retained for sport and recreation purposes (ie. a bowling club) – not a commercial development. I note that Mr Smith commented that a restaurant or bar is more likely in order to generate extra revenue for the Club.

If a commercial development is included, then the financial benefit should go to the entire community and not a small cadre of social club members. It is the Melville community’s land after all…

Mike Nahan
Member for Riverton


THE Melville Bowling Club has been granted a 50-year lease (not a 99-year lease) which is permissible on City of Melville owned land. 

If the club was located on Crown Land, it could only be 21 years. 

The bowling club has been situated at the same site for 63 years so it seems logical to grant them a lease for another 50 years. They will pay $681.30 annually which was the charge set by the City of Melville for their type of not-for-profit club.

Retaining the bowling club has three benefits. It promotes sports for seniors which is deficient according to the council’s ARIS report. It ensures no commercial development will encroach on our precious foreshore which the recently failed wave park would have. And it is home to numerous clubs including Probus, Scrabble, Nomad Darts, WA Pigeon Club, School P&C groups, Scottish Dance, Swimming Club, Concert Band, BMX Associations, Football Club, Junior Cricket, ACTIV Group, DFES and Red Cross to name a few. 

In respect to other clubs in the City of Melville, I would be happy to see the same long leases granted to them if they have proven longevity in our City.    

Katy Mair
Councillor, City of Melville

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