The City of Fremantle’s premature purchase of 2 Jones Street, O’Connor in 2014 for $7.8 million for a new city depot can only be described as a scandal.
The Council decided that it wanted to redevelop its current depot site at 81 Knutsford Street for housing. Before having a clear plan for this, it purchased 2 Jones Street, O’Connor for $7.8 million in 2014 to be its new depot site. It turns out that the O’Connor site is contaminated so the Council can only rent out a hard sand area for $11,994 pa – a terrible return on a $7.8 million investment. To make matters worse, the cost of holding the site is $142,000 pa.
The Council has now decided to retain its Knutsford Street depot and recycling facility and has admitted that the O’Connor site is now ‘surplus to the City’s future operational requirements.’ In other words, the O’Connor site is an expensive $7.8 million dollar dud!