Port gets friendly

Ports minister Alannah MacTiernan, Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk and Ports CEO Chris Leatt-Hayter with the news friends volunteers.

VICTORIA QUAY’S activation took another step this week with ports minister Alannah MacTiernan launching a volunteer guide program.

With the McGowan government committed to developing a commercial and tourism precinct at the quay, the port authority has been gradually ramping up its engagement with the community.

Under the Friends of Fremantle Ports program, 14 volunteers will run free walks for groups of up to 30 people along the quay, telling them about its rich history and how it operates today.

Some of the volunteers are ex-port workers, including one of its former pilots, while others have experience in marine fields or history.

Shirley Burbidge already has plenty of experience as a long-term guide at the Roundhouse.

“I love talking to people and you get visitors from all over the world coming here because they think Fremantle is wonderful,” Ms Burbidge told Ms MacTiernan at the launch.

The minister said the quay was already emerging as a major tourism drawcard. “We are very, very appreciative of you doing this, and to me it shows what a strong community you have in Freo,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“The new Friends of Fremantle Ports will bolster our capacity to tell the story of Victoria Quay better and more often.

Local Labor MP Simone McGurk said locals already knew the port is a hidden gem.

“There’s such a rich history at the port and throughout this area,” Ms McGurk said.

“We’re working to invigorate the precinct, realise its potential and bring more people in.”

by STEVE GRANT

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