The City of Cockburn welcomes renewed debate on the future of South Fremantle Power Station in North Coogee following the unveiling of a large piece of graffiti art at the defunct facility on the weekend, by a well-known Perth graffiti artist.
The words “IT’S FOR US” were completed by Perth graffiti artist Doofus and a team of 13 others on the former coal storage area adjacent to the power station, owned by the State Government’s Synergy energy corporation.
City of Cockburn Acting CEO Daniel Arndt said the artwork was another example of why the City valued reactivating the ever popular power station site for public use, along with recording and incorporating its unique graffiti art which began proliferating at the site when it closed after 34 years of operation, 34 years ago this year.
“While we don’t condone unauthorised access to privately owned property, the City is aware that the power station site has long been an enigma for graffiti artists, and will continue to be until the site is legitimately opened up to public access,” Mr Arndt said.
“The new artwork and the interest in it, is another indication that the power station is highly valued by the community, not just in Cockburn and neighbouring Fremantle, but Perth, statewide and further afield.
“In 2018 the City approached Synergy and Landcorp (now Development WA), to consider replacing the State Government’s 2014 plan for full restoration of the power station with a more financially affordable solution to open up some sections for uses like playgrounds, outdoor cinema, art displays, BMX events, functions and performances.
“The City would also strongly support any State Government moves to invest in relocation of the adjacent switching yard which will need significant funding to modernise its operation in the next decade.
“Investing these funds now to relocate this important piece of energy infrastructure would reverse some constraints of the site, opening it up for alternative uses, including restoring the building to showcase its cathedral-like spaces, austere interior, raw materials and design; a perfect backdrop for a variety of public uses.”
“The City recently completed community consultation on the future direction for creative spaces in Cockburn, and it demonstrated an overwhelming need for spaces and locations for local, neighbouring and visiting artists, performers, musicians and craftspeople to practice, share and showcase their talents.
“The power station, which is so recognisable in the Cockburn landscape, is high on a wish list as a focus for arts activity in the City, as is the case at similar revitalised facilities around the world.”
Mr Arndt said activation of the power station, positioned between the oceanfront residential suburb of North Coogee and Development WA’s Shoreline urban development, would help realise the Cockburn Coast’s full potential.
“It’d be fantastic to see the abandoned South Fremantle Power Station take on a similar profile to the East Perth Power Station which is now the subject of a $218m redevelopment, announced by the Premier in April this year, following Development WA’s intention to revitalise the landmark into a vibrant waterfront community.”
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