“The age we are entering is the creative age because the key factor propelling us forward is the rise of creativity as the primary mover of our economy”
– Richard Florida

It is almost a year ago to the day that I started my Chamber Weekly with this Richard Florida quote in what was one of our most popular editions to date.

We have worked to advocate for the creative sector within Fremantle for over 12 months, as we know supporting this industry base means jobs growth. It also means investment attraction, greater liveability, marketable tourism events, destination marketing opportunities and audience draw to experiences from outside the City.

I was so disappointed to open the Fremantle Herald article on the weekend and see the title “Artists Horrified by Chamber Attack”! This misleading title refers to a policy position paper produced by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIWA), NOT the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, that outlines a lobbying reform agenda to the State Government called 20202 Reform Road Map.

This document includes a recommendation that local governments take a line item review of their expenditure, and as part of that the 1 per cent of the construction value of a project for public art should not be an enforceable requirement under planning schemes.

We have spoken at length with the Artists, Architects and Designers that form part of our local Chamber prior to this article being published, and are seeking clarification from our Property Sector members. We were not approached for comment on this article prior to it going to press.

It is our belief that the 1% of construction value for public art, if applied in a site and project specific way, can not only enhance the liveability, but create a greater return on investment for the project and also our community.

Sally Mathews, WA Chapter Councillor of the Australian Institute of Architects, and Fremantle Chamber member through her company Matthews & Scavelli Architects, stated in response to the article that the work they did with local pattern artist Eveline Kotai, pictured above, has done nothing but enhance the project from their point of view, and in the projects saleability.

Sirona Capital’s investment at FOMO Kings Square and DHA housing’s public art approach at the LIV Apartments are other great examples of the colour and vibrancy that can be brought to shared spaces through use of public art.

The Chamber and its members have strong concerns around the public perception, and the way this article is headed, that the creative sector within our community may think the Fremantle Chamber is letting them down and I wish to re-assure you that this is simply not the case.

The Creative Industries are such an important part of Fremantle’s local economy and it is our belief that they should not be penalized in any form of COVID-19 response.

The requirement of property development to support public sector art and artists goes to the heart of our values as a local business community. We will be sharing this message widely with the State Chamber WA, and again shows why having a local Fremantle Chamber to represent your interests is so crucial.

On a more positive note, we launched a new website this week, with an important Chamber Member Directory that we hope will help us live our “support local” message in a practical and real way as we enter this new phase of recovery.

It was wonderful to see such positive coverage in the ABC News on Fremantle opening its doors over the weekend. I have also just completed a talk back radio interview with Olly Peterson on 6PR looking at the CIty’s release of more flexibility around alfresco dining, why we shouldn’t close the cappuccino street to traffic and why Fremantle is such a great destination to explore.

Finally I encourage you to jump online, explore our new website, upload your organisation’s details onto the Chamber’s Member Directory (see instructions in the Chamber Weekly below) and help us keep promoting the industries and sectors that make doing business in Fremantle so great.

While you are there, RSVP, or purchase guest tickets, to our Winter Warmers Launch event sponsored by Vasse Felix Wines at the beautiful Moore & Moore. It is going to be truly an amazing to get together after such a long break between wines.


Read The Chamber Weekly HERE