“To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor” Oliver Wendell Homes Sr

We set sail for the week at our incredible Fremantle Ports hosted Local Producers trade event last Thursday. Our hosts at Fremantle Ports provided not only an incredible venue and delicious catering but also one of the most magical nights in the inner harbour I have seen in a long time.

There is more on the event and a picture wrap up below but I really wanted to thank up-front the Fremantle Ports team, particularly new CEO Michael Parker, for their hospitality, and also our incredible Chamber Producers who gave up their time and produce to show us what Fremantle does best – Little Creatures, SmokeyQ, Dingo Sauce, Fremantle Octopus, Republic of Fremantle, Otherside Brewing, Kate Flower Food representing a number of her WA food clients WA Potatoes, Pelli Bags and more and also wonderful our friends at Old Bridge Cellars showcasing Vasse Felix and Leeuwin Wines. If you haven’t already tried these incredible local products I encourage you to do some investigating of these Chamber members – simply extraordinary stories and products.

This event, attended by around 100 Chamber members, Ports and export stakeholders, followed an insightful tour with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Austrade and Export Finance Australia team members to explore the connections and our industry diversity that has links across the globe. As Michael from Fremantle Tours and I bounced off each to share the history and trade story of our Port City, I was struck by just the way we do business here in the Fremantle region. Almost all of our stories were linked by connection – connection through the supply chain, connections from ocean to plate, connections between our businesses to develop a stronger product in our local, national and international markets.

This idea of connection and relationships carried through to the inaugural Asian Engagement Conference instigated by Australian Institute of Management (AIM) the following day. It showed our region to be well placed to move into the new international market placed based around a drive to find new markets, diversify our offerings and really understand the other market perspective to build strong relationships based on similarities rather than difference.

Speaking of links across the water – the Swan River Crossing Bridge options consultation survey closes next week. Currently only 10% of respondents to the survey are from the business community! I encourage each one of you to login and have your say as the implications of the final alignment selected will have significant impacts on business – both in the short term and long term. The Swan River Crossing Alliance team presented to our Development and Infrastructure and Small Business & Retail Committees yesterday and a quick take out of that discussion is presented below for your information and consideration as you look at the options more closely. The complexity and competing constraints associated with this project show there is no easy answer and careful selection of the alignment is crucial before we even think about design.

And finally closer to home, how wonderful that we have such an apt name for the new heart of Fremantle. It has been such an affirmative journey to be part of the stakeholder Kings Square consultative naming committee. The process showed the true benefit of consultation and the Councillors 10-1 vote last night to rename Kings Square Waylyup Koort (which roughly translates to “heart of Fremantle”) is not only a step forward in our reconciliation process but a wonderful new start to Fremantle to see the heart start to return to our Port City.

Read more in this week’s Chamber Weekly.