Letters 31.7.21

Rock on

ANYONE walking from the J-Shed to Bathers Beach needs to be aware of the risk of rocks falling on their heads.

Work around the Whalers Tunnel is costing ratepayers a rock-load of cash but has fallen short at the rear of the J-Shed.

Even with funds from ratepayers and the state governments Fremantle council, the sustainable council, cannot find the cash to complete the works to make this a safe place for people to walk. 

Council has “a duty of care” to all and must make this a priority.

Not exactly a photographic opportunity for visitors wishing to take a snap or two of the heritage-listed Whalers Tunnel.

Hopefully in the hew hiked budget council has allocated funds to make this tourist precinct safe for all to enjoy.

Bill Massie

Handy idea

ROMAN Emperor Julius Majorianus (457-461 AD) was an heroic figure and a keen fan of heritage. 

He stated: “We, the government of the state wish to put an end to the unhealthy practice which has created much disgust, because one permits buildings to be destroyed and thereby robs the town of its majestic appearance. Therefore we command that buildings constructed by the old shall not be desecrated. Those police officers who do not intervene when monuments are threatened by violence shall, after they have been whipped, have their hands cut off.” 

If Julius was Emperor of Fremantle he would be aghast to see how little money council allocates each year to heritage, the destruction of places like King’s Square – and the impending demolition of the wooden traffic bridge. 

This year council brags it is spending $3.06 million on heritage, but $500,000 is money carried forward from last year borrowed from Emperor McGowan for repairs at Arthur Head.  A further $2.2 million is for basic roof maintenance at the Fremantle Markets that should have been done years ago, with $1.7 million of that to come from the market managers in return for another long lease without going to public tender.  

That leaves a paltry $360,000 for a world famous town with around 4,000 listed heritage properties.

The Fremantle Society appreciates that council has overspent by millions on their admin building, but even though Emperor Julius was unfortunately decapitated in 461, 

I am sure he would have chopped a few hands off along the way to protect Fremantle’s heritage.

John Dowson 

The Fremantle Society

Answers hidden

LACK of due diligence by Fremantle council continues on the stagnant civic centre project. 

Answers still remain hidden by the council on total project costs. 

Yet here we are with the council taking on additional financial risk with the rushed appointment of a new project managing contractor without proper due diligence. 

Cursory background credit check, open ended contract, no penalty clause for delays, unclear defects liability responsibility, draft contract not available, audit committee to only review contract after signing, and vague references to unspecified legal advice and risks. 

All voted to proceed happily by councillors last week (except Cr Vujcic) with glowing self-congratulations on a job well done, meanwhile the ratepayers will be left to clean up the financial mess for the next generation.

Craig Ross
Little High St, Fremantle

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