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ING on the horizon in Fremantle

“The controversial ING development planned for Victoria Quay is back in the news with the announcement that building works are set to commence next January. The developers received WAPC approval in December 2008. I presented a petition in Parliament on 16th March on behalf of the Fremantle Society containing 590 signatures, calling for an immigration museum and the retention of the O’Connor Centre which was gifted to port workers during WWII by then Prime Minister John Curtin. I am talking to Government Ministers about the possibility of a performing arts theatre being included in the development, as it seems extraordinary that we don’t have one in Fremantle given the support for the arts here. I hope that the developers seize this last opportunity to include something more for the community, so that this development will be one that we can all enjoy.”

The petition can be read here in Hansard

Extract from Hansard – 16th March 2010

Ms A.S. CARLES to the Minister for Planning:

I acknowledge the president and members of the Fremantle Society in the public gallery this afternoon. The developer of the controversial Victoria Quay ING development in Fremantle was quoted in the Fremantle Herald on 13 February this year as saying that building work would get underway after Christmas.
(1) Will the minister please table the latest Western Australian Planning Commission approved plan for the ING development?
(2) Will the minister update the house on the status of the funding of the Phillimore Street master plan, given that implementation of that plan is a condition of ING’s development approval?
(3) Will the minister confirm who is paying for the upgrade to Phillimore Street, how much it is estimated this will cost, and when such upgrade is to occur?

Mr J.H.D. DAY replied:
I thank the member for Fremantle for notice of this question. She, in fact, gave notice yesterday, which gave me and my office plenty of time to get the information requested.
(1) I am advised that in December of last year, the proponent, ING, satisfied the design conditions of approval that had been applied by the WA Planning Commission when it gave its initial approval of the project in 2007. By way of background, three years prior to this time, the proposal had been the subject of quite substantial debate, public meetings and submissions in the Fremantle area. I acknowledge people from Fremantle in the public gallery, at least some of whom were involved in those public meetings and discussions. There was also community consultation and surveys carried out, as well as heritage, retail and traffic studies undertaken. As a result of all that, the proposal has undergone a significant reduction in scale and design. It is a significant development for Fremantle, and it will enhance, in my view, the amenity of the area with increased activation through the development of entertainment spaces and commercial space, and also a substantial retail development. The total value of the investment was estimated at about $200 million in 2007; it will obviously be somewhat higher now.

The development includes 12 000 square metres of shops and entertainment facilities, including 2 500 square metres of retail area—including food and beverage tenancies—and 9 500 square metres of high-quality specialised retailing and entertainment facilities

It is notable that the location is on Victoria Quay, as the member stated in her question, and it is very close to where Queen Mary 2 was berthed on Sunday. I think the member for Fremantle was one of a number of members of Parliament from both sides—including me, I am pleased to say—who had the opportunity of spending a couple of hours on Queen Mary 2 on her maiden visit to Fremantle. I think everybody will agree that it is a magnificent ship. Significantly, we are seeing an increased amount of cruise activity and tourism activity through the port of Fremantle, and I think everybody would have to agree that that is a good thing for Fremantle and the Western Australian economy. In a moment I will table the documents as requested.

(2) I am advised that the implementation of the Phillimore Street master plan is not a condition of the ING development approval.

(3) I am advised that Fremantle Ports, the City of Fremantle, and the Public Transport Authority have in place a working group to manage the issues associated with the implementation of the Phillimore Street master plan.

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