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Mayor accepts the Dockers have given Freo the heave ho

Mayor Brad Pettitt said the loss of the Dockers would be a big symbolic loss for Fremantle.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said the loss of the Dockers would be a big symbolic loss for Fremantle.

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt has all but accepted defeat in the battle to keep the Fremantle Dockers in Fremantle.

He said that while the Fremantle Football club's chief executive reiterated in a meeting with the City's chief executive on Thursday that a final decision had not been made, it had become increasingly clear that Cockburn was the preferred option.

The City of Cockburn council accepted a non-binding heads-of-agreement arrangement between the City and the Fremantle Football Club on Wednesday night which is the basis for preparation of a business plan.

Mr Pettitt is a big Dockers supporter but says this affair had caused some of his passion to dissipate.

Mr Pettitt is a big Dockers supporter but says this affair had caused some of his passion to dissipate.

The agreement relates to a proposed $107 million integrated facility, which would house both an aquatic and recreation facility and a new elite training base for the Dockers.

While Mr Pettitt said "the fat lady" was yet to "sing" the City was already looking into "plan B" of their development options for the Fremantle Oval.

He said this could involve renegotiation with the Dockers about their use of the facility for the future.

"(We could) revisit how the Dockers use the site," Mr Pettitt said.

The proposed Dockers facility in Cockburn is not planned to be operational until 2016.

"We may have to renegotiate changes now if they are no longer the primary users of the facility," Mr Pettitt said.

If the Dockers moved to Cockburn, the South Fremantle Football Club would become the oval's primary user.

The move to Cockburn would also see a change in the financial arrangements that currently exist between the two parties.

It is understood that the City has provided an interest free loan to the football club for a number of years.

"We'll need to revisit the financial arrangements in light of this."

Mr Pettitt said while Fremantle had presented a strong case for the club to stay put, the Fremantle Football Club had obviously been attracted to the idea of a greenfields site and the benefits in terms of future proofing over using a CBD site.

The mayor said while he was a big Dockers supporter and would probably remain a supporter, this affair had caused some of his passion to dissipate.

"It's a tough decision, I haven't renewed my membership yet, I'm still contemplating it," he said.

He said the loss of the Dockers would be a big symbolic loss for Fremantle but in terms of development, the city had plenty to keep it busy.

A development of the Fremantle Oval would be expected to go ahead, minus the elite sports facility.

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