Freo conversation getting courageous

FREMANTLE’S new strategic vision moves into its next phase this coming weekend, with the council hosting a series of workshops, panels and conversation aroudn the theme “courageous conversations”.

Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge told the Herald it brought together information gathered through the first phase of the consultation and would help prioritise what went into the council’s upcoming Community Strategic Plan.

“It’s about validating the views that we got through that consultation and translating it into what we do about it,” Ms Fitzhardinge said.

Good spread

She said the city had engaged with 4102 people through the council’s consultation website and physical meetings between staff and residents.

“It’s been a good spread.”

• Fremantle mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge

While there’s no great surprise in an ageing city like Fremantle that over-65s were the biggest participants, Ms Fitzhardinge said it was somewhat suprising that there were around double the 18 – 24 year olds than those in the 25 – 34 year old bracket.

“Given that the 65+ was the biggest group, if you are 35 and under, do you want the next 10 years to be defined by that generation,” she said as a dig to get them more engaged in this weekend’s conversations.

“We understand people are working, but we need to hear their voices.

Ms Fitzhardinge said there was also a lot of people unaware that the city had a community strategic plan, which she took to be a good thing.

“People were saying ‘this is the first time I am hearing about this’, which means we are not engaging with the usual suspects.

She said a couple of the themes which have emerged so far include climate change, living in the local area, access to green spaces, retail and building on Fremantle as a creative city.


“The climate was big with young people, and that goes into not only what are we doing, but what are we doing to prepare for climate change,” she said.

Ms Fitzhardinge said the were genuine risks from gentrification in encouraging an artsy city with accessible studio spaces, so it would be important to catalyse Freo’s “energy” make it happen.

“Investment is a priority, whether it’s the city or another mechanism, such as is there ways we can liberate other spaces,” she said.

The Courageous Conversations are being held Saturday July 29 and Sunday July 30 from 10am – 4pm at the Fremantle Town Hall, and Ms Fitzhardinge said they would be running kids’ activities to ensure families could participate.

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