The shine has well and truly come off the new Admin Centre story, that cost rate payers $50+ million and counting. It’s a “white elephant” sitting unfinished in the centre of town, with $20 million debt outstanding.
The Council are in the former Docker’s building they own at the Oval (they’ve been there for several years now). The Council intends to move into the new debt laden Admin Centre in the centre of town as soon as it’s finished. This is a bad financial outcome which will leave ratepayers exposed to future rates rises for the next decade.
The former Admin Centre that the Council demolished in October 2018 and the new one that sits unfinished in the centre of Fremantle at a cost of $50+ million
Council sold 3 income generating assets for $29.5 million to part-fund the new Admin build:
- Queensgate Centre;
- Queensgate Carpark; and
- Spicer site.
These 3 income generating assets were sold to one private company called Sirona Capital without a public tender process. These income streams have been lost forever, along with these important assets that had accrued over generations.
Council ignored the financial warnings and chose to demolish its Admin Centre to build itself a brand new one in the centre of Freo. This Council naively underestimated the financial risks associated with this new build, and as a result the City now finds itself in a perilous and deteriorating financial position with at least $20 million debt owing on this new building.
I’m promoting a solution that means the new Admin Centre will pay for itself. Let’s turn a negative into a positive for Freo ratepayers.
There is a solution to stop the financial bleed…
However, it’s not too late to salvage this for ratepayers. Adele’s suggestion is to re-purpose the building now, before Council moves in. Ideally situated in the centre of the town square, she says it could become a gallery, a museum or a world class Aboriginal Cultural Centre. A place that tourists will flock to in the future. A place that Fremantle will become proud of. A place for the people.
The possibility of the new world class Aboriginal Cultural Centre here
The McGowan government has pledged $50 million in seed funding for a future Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Perth. The Government is anticipating a world class cultural centre, costing as much as the new WA Museum Boola Bardip at around $400 million, to be funded by the State & Federal Government, mining giants and big business. The location of the new centre is yet to be decided, with several locations being touted.
In 2020, Fremantle Council voted to name the new Admin Centre ‘the Walyalup Civic Centre’. Then in 2021, Council voted to rename Kings Square to ‘Walyalup Koort’, a Whadjuk Nyoongar name meaning ‘Heart of Fremantle.’
Adele says “If the Aboriginal Elders agreed, the centre of Fremantle/Walyalup which has now been renamed Walyalup Koort could be the site for a new Aboriginal Cultural Centre, with future tourists coming here on cruise ships. Imagine how special it would be for international tourists to have a traditional welcome to country followed by the Cultural Centre experience, all in Walyalup Koort.”
“We don’t need to wait for another 10 years for the vision of the Aboriginal Cultural Centre to become a reality if all parties agree to locate it in Walyalup Koort. There is a win/win solution here for Fremantle’s finances, for the State Government, for struggling Freo retail businesses and for Indigenous Australians.”
Click on the link below for the story on the proposed centre:
Adele says “My brother Andrew and I visited New Zealand in 2019 and took the opportunity to participate in a fabulous Maori cultural experience while there. Here are some photos I took of Andrew when we visited a cultural centre on the South Island.”
Adele says “the Kiwis know how to do this well, and we thoroughly enjoyed the unique cultural exchange. It’s time for Aussies to get on board and celebrate and showcase our rich indigenous culture – why not right here in the heart of Fremantle?”
Fremantle Council’s desperate last minute efforts to scupper Adele’s proposal to repurpose Admin Centre
The Admin Centre financial disaster gets worse:
Most City of Fremantle Staff have free parking provided as part of their salary packages and Council used to provide this to them in the Queensgate Carpark near the admin building. Council sold 5 inner city carparks, including the Queensgate and Spicer Site carparks, but still have to provide free parking to their staff…