Recfishwest and local fishers call for return of car access to Freo fishing landmark

South Mole was a haven for local anglers with mobility issues allowing people to drive right up to their spots with their gear…until now.

There are many cherished fishing spots which are part of the WA landscape and are embedded in local community culture.  

That’s why we share the local fishing community’s concern and dismay to learn that Fremantle Port Authority has reopened South Mole to foot traffic only after closing it in March following a spate of illegal camping, and anti-social behaviour.   

On behalf of our cast of 700,000 WA anglers we’re calling for Fremantle Ports to reopen full vehicle access to South Mole, and urging all anglers to have their say on the issue by filling in the Ports Authority’s quick survey on the issue before it closes on 6 June.     

Shutting off vehicle access to South Mole – a great spot for squid, herring, gardies, salmon, skippy and pink snapper – is a real blow to the thousands of anglers who fish the Mole – particularly seniors and those with impaired mobility.

In highlighting this issue to our members, I can’t really put it better than in the words of local angler, and longtime Recfishwest member, Graeme French.

A local angler speaks out 

“I’m 70-years-old with mobility issues and South Mole was one place where I can easily get out of my car and fish. It’s good for my physical and mental health and I meet up regularly with old fishers there to swap stories, it’s a bit like a Men’s Shed for fishermen,” said Graeme.

“There are limited fishing options for people with disabilities. I have not seen any of my friends at South Mole since the (vehicle) closure, which has affected my mental health and I suspect theirs to some degree.

“We should not be restricted by the actions of a minority of people. Fremantle Port Authority should work in liaison with Fremantle City Council and police to put in place policies and solutions to this problem rather than simply denying or restricting access.”

Recfishwest understands the illegal camping issues that gave rise to the closure of the Mole is a headache for the Port Authority to manage, but as Graeme says simply shutting out anglers with mobility issues is not a solution – this is too valuable a spot in a fishing-mad city to restrict access to this group of anglers with such needs.

Better provision for anglers with disabilities  

Furthermore, North Mole currently possesses a disability platform and vehicle access, and we believe South Mole should be given the same amenities to better accommodate all fishers.   

Our partners Fishability has been negotiating with Fremantle Ports to install platforms on South Mole to cater for more anglers with disabilities with Recfishwest supporting this initiative.   

We encourage you to also ask for these provisions when taking the survey so all anglers in our community can continue to enjoy this great fishing spot.   

We all stand alongside Graeme, his mates and the thousands like him who fish the Mole.Together let’s make a strong case for vehicle access to South Mole to be restored.  

Recfishwest Chief Executive Officer
Dr Andrew Rowland