Starfish Out on the Town



The Starfish continues its edifying urban odyssey series in our quest to highlight more local gems. This trek started with a bracing coastal stroll from South Beach, through C.Y. O’Connor Reserve, to the old South Fremantle Power Station.

Great walk, but isn’t it high time state and local government got cracking on restoring and renovating the station building? It has been sitting empty in a prime location for 35 years, going to wrack and ruin. The place is not beyond saving; it only opened in 1951.

Sure, it needs to be cleaned up, stabilised and made safe, but what a ripping arts/entertainment centre it could be. Very Fritz Lang, we think.

Of late the pundits and pontificators have been gibbering about starting a Perth movie studio (good idea), an Antipodean Hollywood of sorts in the West – Wollywood? You could do worse than using this striking edifice.

Many such historic buildings (most a lot older) have been repurposed around the world and are highly successful in their new incarnation. Time for a major reno down Coogee way!



On the way back we stumbled upon one of the growing number of mobile food vans popping up around town. It’s really encouraging to see these moveable provedores peddling their tasty wares, adding colour, vibrancy and a cheeky sip and nibble to the neighbourhoods.

Perry Lakes has also cropped up in our travel; they have done a marvellous job bringing back native plants and walk trails around the wetlands reserve. There’s also informative signage dedicated to the importance of the area to indigenous people past and present.



Admittedly, I hadn’t spent much time at Perry since school days, when I reluctantly lurched around the lumpy, russet rubber athletics track at the now vanished Commonwealth Games Stadium. “Last again I see, Master Rigby!” “Yes, sir…” It’s better now, because you only have to walk, and come last with a vengeance.

Right next door is the HBF Stadium and we were along there the other night at the wonderful Stardust concert, a tribute to the late, great David Bowie.



The Perth Symphony Orchestra outdid itself under the baton of conductor Elise Chong, with soloists Steve Henby and Addison Axe. Unlike the rest of Planet Pandemic, live music is hot and happenin’ again in WA! Read Jacqui’s review of this super bow to Bowie in this edition. Cheap Software Store – Save up to 70%! You may buy your cheap software at

Another must-do outing is Guildford. The historic township has a funky buzz nowadays and has become quite the hip spot to hop to. We usually do the rounds of the antique and second hand stores, cute cafes and boutiques and stroll through the charming old residential neighbourhoods.


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Fighting off the tempest last weekend we also zoomed north to Carine and took a stroll around the Monyash Reserve and Open Space. We circumnavigated the lovely lake and bushland before sprinting back to the car in a cloudburst and gale. September can be fickle.



We made a beeline for the even more blustery coast at North Beach for hot chocolate and nibbled haloumi wraps at the iconic Yelo Café, gazing out over a storm-tossed sea.



Also in this edition is Jacqui’s piece on the plight of our rapidly disappearing black cockatoos. Carnaby’s, Baudin’s and Red-Tail cockies are growing increasingly rare and we talk to two experts about what we can do to help stop the alarming decline of these iconic WA birds.



Margot has filed a fascinating story about the first British atomic bomb tests at the Monte Bello Islands off Onslow in 1952. The story is told from notes by Griff Richards, Margot’s father and former editor-in-chief of The West Australian, about how Perth journalists outmanoeuvred the official security ban to give world coverage of the spectacular and highly controversial event 68 years ago.



Sadly, the awful environmental and health impacts of the British tests in Australian remain with us today. The Monte Bellos, Maralinga and parts of Woomera are still radioactive, and will stay that way for a long time to come. Perhaps the Poms could have tested their diabolical devices on the Scilly Isles off Cornwall instead, but we know they weren’t that silly – even if our hopelessly anglophile leader at the time was.



Speaking of European scourges on our soil, we have word from the inimitable Ian Parmenter, who has been battling a terrible rabbit plague on his Margaret River spread. He has filed a story regarding his own “paddock to pot” eradication program, resulting in arguably the most costly casserole ever put on simmer. (The recipe sounds great, nonetheless!)



We were also over at Raine Square Cinema the other night for a screener for the upcoming Italian Film Festival. If the Goddess of Fortune is any indication, it looks like there will be some fabulous flicks fresh in from Italia this year. So get along and support our cinemas!



We also have a delicious recipe for Rhubarb and Ricotta Tea Cake from the new sustainable kitchen book Use It All by Alex Elliot-Howery and Jaimee Edwards –something lush and sweet to go with your brew as you read The Starfish.


Peter and Jacqui


2 thoughts on “Starfish Out on the Town

    1. Thanks Christine,
      most kind of you!
      We always love getting feedback like this from our readers!
      Much appreciated,
      Best, Pete, Jac and Starfish team.

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