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Focus on ‘big picture’

FREMANTLE City Council is close to pulling out of the economic development of the port city to concentrate on more “big picture” issues.

It is also considering rationalising its $73 million property portfolio.

Council strategic planning group manager Rob Jefferies said the council had taken a hands on role with the city’s economic development for the past few years.

It set up and funded the Retail Steering Committee that coordinates Fremantle’s retailers.

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is restructuring to control the group.

The chamber will also take the Fremantle Tourism Association into its charge.

Mr Jefferies said council would concentrate on its alliance with the chamber to create Fremantle First.

“We launched that as a brand name recently,” he said.

The Fremantle First brand is designed to standardise all communications about the port city.

“We are also liaising with the WA Government and the Fremantle Port Authority regarding the Fremantle Waterfront Development,” he said.

“The master plan for that was released to the public recently. We are now down to the next stage of planning.

“We are now undertaking the Blueprint, which looks at how the Fremantle CBD integrates with the waterfront.”

Mr Jefferies said once the chamber had restructured and Fremantle First was up and running, the council would reassess its role in Fremantle’s economic development.

He said the FCC would revise its property portfolio.

“Some of our property is for community uses and others are for commercial uses. We may look to sell some council buildings to help boost the city’s economic growth,” he said

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