Fremantle

On December 6, 17 people taking part in a non-violent direct action against fences erected in Beeliar Lake, south of Perth, were issued with move-on orders by WA police. The next day, more people were given move-on notices.

Chris Jenkins, one of those issued with such a notice, told Green Left Weekly that the protestors were not giving up and that the atmosphere was one of “quiet determination”. They set up camp that night and are preparing to stay for a second night.

Earlier this year Fremantle City Council decided to cancel its Australia Day fireworks next month, describing them as “culturally insensitive”. Instead, the council announced plans to hold a free concert in Fremantle’s Esplanade Park on January 28.

The event, titled “One Day in Fremantle”, features a concert headlined by John Butler, Dan Sultan and Mama Kin and will celebrate diversity and multiculturalism in Australia today.

It was standing room only on October 8 for the launch of the Walyalup (Fremantle) activist centre.

The centre, which serves as the local Socialist Alliance branch office and bookshop, will also be available as a meeting and outreach space for local grassroots community groups.

Already the Fremantle Refugee Rights Action Network meets there fortnightly. Soon the office will feature a Nyoongar advocacy service run by local custodian Corina Abraham.

The Fremantle Council voted 10-1 to drop its annual Australia Day fireworks on August 24 in recognition of how sensitive this date is for many First Nations peoples.

It is worth restating the obvious: modern Australia, like Canada, the US, New Zealand and South Africa, began as a colonial-settler state founded on the violent dispossession of its Indigenous peoples. But Australia is the only one to hold its national day on the very date that marks the beginning of that dispossession.

The Walyalup-Fremantle branch of the Socialist Alliance announced on April 6 that Chris Jenkins will be its candidate for Fremantle in the federal election.

Twenty-six-year-old Jenkins is a nurse at Fremantle Hospital and resident of South Fremantle. He completed his degree at the University of Notre Dame, where he also campaigned for students' right to free speech in the face of stiff opposition from the university administration to students speaking out in favour of LGBTI rights.

On July 21 about 400 people packed the Fremantle Town Hall, with an overflow crowd of more than 100 gathered around an outdoor screen, as part of the campaign to stop the Perth Freight Link (PFL).

PFL is a $1.6 billion freeway project conceived by Prime Minister Tony Abbott with no local consultation or planning. Its purported function is to serve the growing number of truck movements to and from the container terminals at Fremantle port.

Community resistance to the Perth Freight Link, a $1.6 billion freeway project proposed by the state and federal governments for the south-west region of Perth is growing at an explosive pace. The strength and depth of this opposition is now so strong that the issue will almost certainly dominate the next federal and state election campaigns.

Farmers are worried that the proposed privatisation of Fremantle Port will lead to a dramatic rise in their freight rates. The 800% rise in rents charged to stevedores by the newly privatised Port of Melbourne would be ringing some alarm bells.

Closer to home are the disastrous consequences of the privatisation of Western Australia’s freight rail network via a secret 49-year lease signed in 2000 when Premier Colin Barnett was Minister for Transport.

The residents of Perth’s southern suburbs are fighting to stop construction of the Perth Freight Link (PFL), a $1.6 billion segment of the federal government’s national infrastructure program.

The fight is as significant as Sydney’s struggle to stop WestConnex and Melbourne’s struggle against the East West Link.

A decision by the Fremantle City Council at its March 26 meeting to reject a Main Roads WA request to voluntarily hand over land began a dramatic new phase in the campaign against the state government's freeway building agenda.

The state government wants to replace a section of High Street on the eastern approach to Fremantle with a freeway at a cost of more than $100 million. This is intended to be the first link in their plan to build a six lane "freeway standard" route connecting the Kwinana Freeway to the Fremantle container port.

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