THE first stage of essential conservation works have been completed at one of Fremantle’s most popular heritage sites.
Since 2018 the Round House and adjacent limestone cliffs at Arthur Head have been fenced off due to falling rocks, but last week repairs to the limestone wall north of Whalers Tunnel were signed off, raising the possibility of the car park being reopened.
During stage 1 the main staircase leading to the Round House was blocked off, but it was reopened quicker than expected and nearby businesses have reported little disruption to trade.
Underwater photographer Glenn Cowans has a studio in the Captain’s Lane cottage closest to the Round House and said the works had actually helped business because the council had cleared away some messy shrubs and improved his visibility.
“They got it done really quickly for the bit that affected the stairs; also with Covid-19 and what’s been happening, I don’t think we really missed out on many people,” Mr Cowans said.
A spokesperson from the council said they were very mindful of the potential for impacting on Arthur Head businesses.
Stage two of construction is to begin this March, followed by the final stage in May which will involve stabilising the cliff face above the western entrance to the Whalers Tunnel, reinforcing the entrance to the tunnel and building a new rockfall canopy.
by MADELEINE RICK