The merry-go-round of life revolved. In Asia there was war, and (here) the profoundest peace’ Randolph Stow, Author

This 1965 quote from Western Australian author Randolph Stow in his iconic novel “Merry-Go-Round in the Sea” has some great parallels to life in Fremantle this week. As the coronavirus war continued to take hold in China, we saw the positives of our safe and peaceful harbour come to fruition with a cruise ship windfall – an incredible opportunity not only for our local retail and hospitality services, but also our marine and engineering support services as well.

Our Chamber perspective on this opportunity was featured in ABC News, the Fremantle Gazette and ABC Radio across the week.

We also saw the negatives as more of our live seafood exporters made the choice to keep their catch at peace in the sea until market demand picks up and access into China becomes less of a challenge.

The coronavirus also triggered opportunity to advocate on behalf of our local exporters and their distributors in timely conversations around regulation, health certification processes and industry support at a federal government level. We have very much appreciated being part of these conversations alongside our national body the Australian Chamber of Commerce.

Our conversations highlighted the complexity of striving for high price markets, with a variable cost supply chain, how the demand and high prices in the Chinese market, has driven an almost singular focus and finding new markets at a push to meet the higher prices on which leaseholds are based is now near on impossible. That said, we did see some up-side in the state regulations that allows industry to spread catch quotas spread over the year, this is difficult to pass onto support services, such as the Chamber’s export documentation work, transport and logistic companies and much of a seasonal workforce being stood down while we wait for the Coronavirus war to pass.

The need for diversity of industry for our local economy was an important part of the story this week… the swing down in live export trade, being counter balanced with the swing up in unscheduled cruise ship stopovers.

We are very fortunate to be part of a micro economy based on an incredible diversity of industry sectors.

We invite you to join us to learn more about one of these sectors at our local marine and engineering industry at our next business after hours event in March. There are only 5 places left to join us as we tour the Australian Marine Complex to learn more, network and watch the sun set on this incredible facility on our doorstep. REGISTER today (with priority given to Fremantle Chamber Members due to limited capacity at this event).

Our “Experience Fremantle” maps, produced in partnership with Hello Perth were in hot demand this week, with the Fremantle Visitors Centre placing last minute requests for more and more boxes. A big thank you to Chamber member Hello Perth for driving this initiative, and the City of Fremantle for some financial support. These maps are such a great way to craft your own Fremantle from the Inside adventure last to share with your staff, clients and visitors.

The “Experience Fremantle” maps will go to every newly arriving employee at the new Kings Square development as the building slowly begins to open up from March 2020.

We are working closely with the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital to collate some Welcome to Fremantle offers and experiences to encourage the new workforces to get out and make the most of all our Port City has to offer. If you have an idea for an offer you would like to make to the teams that are soon to call Kings Square home please email details and a strong image to before the end of the month.

It is also worth registering for our “Creating Attractions and Events” Set the Month in Motion, supported by the City of Fremantle’s Business Capacity Building Program. Scheduled for 8am on Wednesday 4 Marchour expert panel will be ready and willing to help us get the creative juices following on how we attract and make the most of these opportunities. Register at the website.

As always our latest podcasts are now live on all stations, if you find yourself on a beach contemplating the random swings of life – download and have a listen at AppleGoogle or Spotify.

Finally, we  look forward to sharing with you our Corporate Partners event as we swung up-river to watch the sun go down on the beautiful Duyfken last night. It should make for some magic photos to share in next week’s edition!

PS don’t forget we always welcome content, stories or features for the Chamber Weekly out each Thursday. Keep us up to date with things happening at your business at