A GIANT ‘Perth’ sign will sit atop the groyne south of Bathers Beach soon, much to the annoyance of the City of Fremantle.
Tourism WA informed the City of the decision to install the sign on the groyne last month in time for the ISAF Sailing World Championships.
However, Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said more people in the sailing community identified with Fremantle.
“Perth and Fremantle have very different identities and in the sailing world more people know where Fremantle is than Perth due to the America’s Cup,” he said.
The City was planning to do anything in its power to promote Fremantle to the thousands of visitors who will arrive in the coming weeks for the event, including city-specific signage around the Perth sign, the Worlds Village and the train station.
“We obviously weren’t pleased and argued that any Perth signage needed to be co-branded with Fremantle but we lost that one,” he said.
“The sign will be on State Government-controlled land so we can’t stop it but what we will be doing is a lot of Fremantle signage so that our international visitors know where they really are.
“We think (acknowledging both Fremantle and Perth) is important but just having a Fremantle sign is not appropriate because the visitors will all be experiencing the hospitality and unique place that is Fremantle.”
ISAF Sailing World Championship director John Longley said the signage was appropriate for the event as visitors would be arriving in Perth, not Fremantle.
“The main reason it is there is for the international TV audience,” he said.
“People must not forget that the event is funded by all taxpayers in WA and the benefits need to accrue to the common good, not just a small part.”