Meeting stormed

Protestors including Rafferty Noble Harker were told they couldn’t come in if they hadn’t registered with Main Roads.\

POLICE were called to a meeting about the design of the new Fremantle Traffic Bridge on Tuesday evening after it was stormed by a big group of protesters who want the old one retained.

Around 80 protesters turned up, but most hadn’t booked a spot with Main Roads and were refused entry.

Save Old Fremantle Bridge Alliance campaigner Isadora Noble was among the protesters and told the Herald after deciding it wasn’t an out of control gathering the police left without arresting anyone or issuing move-on notices.

Ms Noble said Main Roads representatives then threatened to cancel.

They relented by would not accept any questions about the old bridge, despite a show of hands showing that of the 80-odd people in the room, the vast majority were there to try and save it.

Protestors let Main Roads know they’re there to save their old bridge, not design a new one.

“A lot of angry people in the room,” she said.

Ms Noble said the alliance’s support had grown to more than 6000 people, with 200 a day signing up to their change.org petition.

“This is a message to Main Road, state government and Fremantle council that the community wants this bridge saved,” she said.

The alliance is due to meet with councillors on Monday to ask for the council’s resolution on the bridge to be firmed up to clearly back its retention. As it stands the motion only states that the council supports a replacement bridge, but Ms Noble says that could be interpreted as supporting the old one’s demolition.

But mayoral candidate Hannah Fitzhardinge says the council should be wary of taking on another expensive state heritage asset, pointing to the headache the Round House was giving the council (“Let’s give it back,” Herald, August 28, 2021).

She doesn’t even want the stumps suggested by the state government.

“I believe even they would need a complete rebuild; where’s the money going to come for that,” Cr Fitzhardinge said.

by STEVE GRANT

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