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Media Release: Italian Club, Fremantle

“It’s a bit sad this issue has been politicised because I can’t imagine there ever being anything but 100% support for the Italian Club.”

“While it is a state government department that grants the leases, they’re unlikely to go against the Fremantle Council’s recommendation and so this is largely a matter for local government.”

“That said, there are four main issues in the vicinity of the Italian Club that all need to be resolved at once rather than in an ad hoc piecemeal manner.”

“Several strategic studies over many years have suggested Norfolk Street should be extended to create a strong link between the city and the Fishing Boat Harbour. That would require some minor modifications to the Italian Club that will need to be factored in before granting a new lease.”

“Likewise, the Council is only just in the process of approving their Masterplan for the Esplanade Reserve. That strategy identifies the need for the Italian Club to be well integrated with the park.”

“Then there is the Three Harbours study. That study will investigate ways to improve the Fisherman’s Wharf area and links back into the City. There is a need to include more parking in this area, not just for the Italian Club but to free up more pedestrian space in the Fisherman’s Wharf area as well.”

“With all the potential changes in mind, it probably isn’t in the clubs best interest to be rushing ahead in isolation, only to find later on that the whole precinct is going to change around them.”

“I think the role for the Member for Fremantle should be to ensure that all of these issues are resolved in a timely manner and to achieve the best possible outcome for both the Italian Club and the broader community. That may even include giving the club an absolute water frontage to the fishing boat harbour to enable them to generate substantially more income from their facilities. That in turn would safeguard their long-term viability.”

“In matters like these, the Greens will always look for a sustainable outcome rather than engaging in politically motivated short-term stunts! We want a sustainable future for all of Fremantle’s great social and sporting clubs and we must also protect the foreshore reserves and parklands where many of these clubs are located.”

“The Italian Club, and other clubs such as the Portuguese Club, the Sailing Club, and social clubs like the Workers, Buffalo, Navy and Fremantle Clubs, are the heart and soul of Freo and will always be supported by the Greens.”

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