City to uproot FERN
THE Fremantle Environmental Resource Network (FERN) has been asked to leave 26 Montreal Street in preparation for the High Street upgrade.
Fremantle Council voted at November’s council meeting to write to the Environmental Protection Agency for permission to terminate tenancy arrangements at 26 Montreal Street, serve notice to FERN and approve the demolition and site clearance.
Councillor Sam Wainwright introduced amendments to help define the council position, saying the City intended to develop a new community facility.
“In the future FERN may be considered as a tenant of that facility, although current council policy requires an open process allowing evaluation of proposals.
“In the interim, the council is prepared to work constructively with FERN to enable it to maintain some of its services, through non-exclusive access to existing community buildings where this is feasible.”
Mayor Brad Pettitt said he supported the amendment, as it reduced ambiguity on the council position.
“It may not be ideally what FERN wants but I am happy to support it,” he said.
FERN convener Renee Mckie said when they first saw the letter about termination it was a shock.
“They gave us 30 days to close over Christmas when we had put on a vegan buffet to help the less fortunate around the festive season,” she said.
“It was a shock that it was happening so quickly.”
Ms Mckie said she hoped there would be more communication of when the termination would happen.
“We have bills we need to pay; if we can remove, sell or relocate trees elsewhere it would be really beneficial for us,” she said.
“After last night we do feel a little bit more relaxed but there is no 100 per cent guarantee.”