Community Cabinet Comes to Town

Published: Monday, 27 July 2020 at 4:08:49 PM

The Town of East Fremantle was the epicentre of participatory democracy today as Community Cabinet was convened in our historic Town Hall, where our Mayor and Councillors focussed the attention of the Premier and State Government Ministers on local issues.  Among the guests were The Hon Dave Kelly MLA, Minister for Water; Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science; Youth who grew up in East Freo.

During the meetings, Mayor Jim O’Neill, Deputy Mayor Jenny Harrington and CEO Gary Tuffin sought the support of Premier Mark McGowan and his Cabinet for local priorities including the redevelopment of East Fremantle Oval.  Deputy Mayor Harrington also held discussions with Minister Templeman about the Town’s public art programme.

In his remarks, Mayor O’Neill explained that the Town – although small, the second smallest municipality in the State – punched above its weight.  A copy of the speeches made by the Mayor and CEO are available here.

He explained the Town is financially viable and sustainable, is a sought-after location where people want to live, run a business and invest, and a place that is hosting many exciting new projects for which State Government support is needed. 

“We have lots of major projects happening here,” Mayor O’Neill said, “the most exciting of which is the redevelopment of East Fremantle Oval, which is at a pivotal stage.”

Mayor O’Neill explained that the plan for the Oval was a genuinely collaborative process and the community have been involved in co-designing it from the very beginning, with the working group (including the clubs and local residents) all in favour.

The proposal for the $25 million state-of-the-art facility creates an entirely new model for community-based sports and recreation for all ages and abilities that will transform the site into an inclusive, open and welcoming space.  It is a brand new concept in which the WAFL Club is seamlessly integrated with compatible community and sporting facilities as well as open recreational and function spaces, learning opportunities and complementary commercial spaces.

 “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get this right,” Mayor O’Neill said, “and we need to partner with the State Government and other partners to deliver it for our community.”

He explained that the guiding principles were about promoting active lifestyles, making leisure and recreation available to all ages and abilities, making spaces where the community can gather – neighbours, families, and friends.  A space where they can get fit, have fun, walk their dogs, play with their kids, host a function, learn a new skill, have a meal, celebrate a life event, as well as providing a range of club-based sports for everyone to have a go, from beginners to life-long players.

 Mayor O’Neill advised that a business plan has been developed and that the conversation with the community will now continue as the project becomes ‘shovel ready’ and funding sources are being sought to bring it to life.

The project will provide important economic stimulus to the Town, will make the tenant clubs – East Fremantle Sharks, East Fremantle Croquet Club and East Fremantle Bowls Club – financially self-supporting and provide opportunities for allied health and hospitality businesses to thrive in the space.

Community Cabinet

Community Cabinet held in the East Fremantle Council Chamber

Premier McGowan and Lisa O'Malley

Premier McGowan with Member for Bicton, Lisa O'Malley MLA

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