Tesla bounces kids from their tramps

The Circus Centre and Freo Flyers have been forced out of their studio space because Tesla has purchased the building.

A TRAMPOLINING school which has trained state and national championships is homeless, and a circus school that hosts international artists has been forced to leave Fremantle after global energy company Tesla bought their Carrington Street home.

All up 10 businesses have been given eviction notices in the O’Connor complex by Tesla, though the electric car manufacturer didn’t get back to the Herald by deadline about its plans for the site.

Some businesses have already found alternative premises, but for Freo Flyers trampolining club director Leo Kimble the news has been devastating.

“There were a lot of tears last night for our last day of classes,” Mr Kimble told the Herald on Thursday.

“The thing is that because of what we do and the building we need, we haven’t been able to find anything suitable.


“I have looked at 36 buildings in the last two-and-a-half months while holding down a part-time job, running classes and organising the business.”

Mr Kimble said Freo Flyers needed something with a roof at least nine metres high, but that meant mostly industrial premises. What he’s seen 

so far are too big for a small trampolining business to take on – especially if they require him to lock into a five-year contract.

“We have people bounding over eight metres high,” Mr Kimble said, adding a visiting Japanese elite athlete had regularly tapped an 8.8 metre high beam.

He’s also sad that 15 young coaches he’s mentored since opening four years ago are out of a job. Some have already taken jobs elsewhere, meaning he might struggle to fully staff the business if he does find an alternative home.

Parents have been forced to take their kids to the nearest centres in Subiaco and Wangara, and while there a fair distance away, he says getting into a new routine might mvake some hard to entice back.

Chris Mayhew has been running The Circus Centre for seven years, recently sharing the space with Freo Flyers.

Mr Mayhew has found a new building in Bibra Lake, but says the move might put him out of range for some of his young students, particularly those from less affluent families who rely on public transport.

He says it’s also sad to see Fremantle lose more creative businesses.

“We have grown and been thriving both as a community resource for youth and as a small-medium growing profit-for-purpose organisation,” he said, adding that he doesn’t take a wage as the owner.


“On our most recent holiday program, we had over 700 kids attending.

“We have many children with disabilities, on the autism spectrum, highly anxious, or from diverse backgrounds including non-binary, and even refugee children who fled from the war-torn Ukraine … we have 100 per cent waived their fees for the past year.

“We have never knocked back a student who couldn’t afford their fees.

“We have helped develop a new upcoming generation of confident bright young people, some of who have gone to work professionally in the industry here and overseas, as well as many who have taken their talents developed here to help teach in the community.”

One of the international performers who use the centre is Fremantle Street Arts regular Theaker von Ziarno, who fears that losing the two businesses working together might compromise WA’s capacity in the international cultural landscape.

“Without the Circus Centre, I will no longer come to Perth to train aerial or direct other aerial artists to the city.

“All other aerial training venues in Perth have limited capacity, and the Circus Centre is the only space that can accommodate the level of aerial training required for professional excellence.”

If you’ve got a venue with a 9-metre roof that fits Mr Kimble’s bill, or know of an available one, contact us at news@ fremantleherald.com and we’ll pass it on. Also check out The Circus Centre’s Facebook page to catch up with their new Bibra Lake home.


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