City to up­root FERN

Fremantle Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Leah Roberts

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.”

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