Almost 300 people attended the Fremantle Notre Dame University talk on indigenous recognition in the Australian constitution by Fred Chaney. Chaney is a very inspirational, measured and likable man, who made it clear that “the devil is in the detail” when it gets to the stage of adding the recognition of Australia’s Aboriginal people to the constitution, and the referendum it requires to do so.
He quoted Aboriginal and Wadjela leaders and that it is the question of how the country deals with its history. Recognise how and recognise when, is the question, Chaney said, and that Edward Burton was right when he said there is no racial quality,there is inner quality.
Chaney was optimistic about the future and the changes he had already observed in Australia, especially with the mining/commercial industry no longer working against Aboriginal people but with them. It was also good that there is political unanimity with all parties supporting the recognition.
He asked if we will ever close the gap between non-indigenous and indigenous people, who die on average 15 years earlier than white people and he warned that closing the gap for many meant assimilation instead of equality.
Australians should admire, respect and glorify the magnificent survival of the Aboriginal people in this harsh continent and embrace their culture.
I have long argued that Australia will only have its real identity when it truly acknowledges and embraces our indigenous culture. Tokenism and empty words are not enough and the move toward recognition in the constitution is long overdue.
On that note, go and visit Fremantle’s Aboriginal Cultural Centre on Arthur Head, just five doors down from the Round House. Say Kaya(G’Day), sign up for a course and look at the beautiful art.
There is a very important forum at Fremantle Notre Dame University this evening at 7pm. The honourable Fred Chaney will discuss the planned recognition of Australia’s indigenous people in our constitution.
It is something I believe is long overdue and it has bipartisan support in Federal Parliament from the major parties.
The referendum on it, and the implementation off it, are still a long way away with Prime Minister Tony Abbott hinting it might happen in four years.
There are critics of the recognition in the Aboriginal and Wadjela communities, with some saying it would only be tokenism and would distract from doing the really hard yards and making the difficult decisions and changes required to finally get indigenous people an equal lifestyle and life expectancy as the non indigenous ones.
Come along this eve at 7 o’clock to Tannock Hall on the corner of Cliff Street and Croke Lane, opposite the Fremantle Herald building. It is a free event!
There is an interesting article on Photoshop manipulation in regard to eating disorders of women, by Fremantle Notre Dame University School of Law lecturer Marilyn Krawitz in In Principo, the University’s magazine.
Ms Krawitz reports on the Photoshop Law in Israel that requires female models to have a minimum BMI of 18.5, and when photographers or magazines manipulate photos to make models look thinner, they have to include a warning that covers at least seven percent of the photo.
I quite agree that excessive photo manipulation needs to be recorded somehow, as many photos are drastically changed in PS and other software, and that alters the reality of photos that will be seen as historic documentation by future generations. The Photoshop ‘reality’ is in fact fake reality because things that were in the original photos might have been taken out, or things could have been added.
There is another issue for me. While eating disorder in young women is serious, the manipulation of innocent children under 15 in fashion photography is equally disturbing to me. Girls are made up and dressed up to look sexy,and are photographed in seductive poses and plastered on magazine covers as some kind of sex bombs, and that is absolutely unacceptable.
Every photo we take is the recording of our history and we need to be aware of that at all times. The overuse of Photoshop and other similar software often is a tool to hide bad and mediocre photography.
But I received a few complaints already from Fremantle people who claim that smokers occupy the alfresco areas at cafes and restaurant and subject others to passive smoking.
I asked the City of Fremantle what the rules for smoking are and here they are: Smoking is not permitted in alfresco dining areas throughout WA under the state government’s Tobacco Control Act. Local government officers are increasing awareness of the law by advising members of the public and business owners of their responsibility and explaining the law to tourists. In relation to enforcement, officers can issue an infringement if a customer refuses to stop smoking in an alfresco area. Free ‘no smoking’ stickers and signs were provided to alfresco operators when the law was introduced. City of Fremantle officers pro-actively inform businesses operators and customers of the law and will investigate complaints upon request. Infringements are issued for willful non-compliance.
So if anyone smokes in an alfresco area let staff know it is unlawful and enjoy the sunshine!
Fremantle is in the news for all the right reasons, with an ABC TV report last night on the proposed ban on plastic bags in our city. Fremantle Council will next Wednesday vote to adopt a local law banning single-use plastic bags, that is likely to go through council unopposed. There is already a ban on plastic bags in the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt said there’s a lot of support for the ban from the Fremantle community, and that the idea came from local community groups.
Fremantle Council last year introduced a plastic bag ban but it was rejected on a technicality in State Parliament by National and Liberal MPs. Under the previous law, customers would have been able to purchase environmentally-friendly bags but only if retailers charged 10 cents per bag. That mandatory charge has been deleted from the law that will go to Council next week, because according to legal advice, local government cannot legally impose a mandatory charge for retailers to collect.
If the proposed law gets approved, retailers who ignore it would face a fine of $150, while repeat offenders could be fined up to $2,500.
Brad Pettitt said while the thin non-degradable bags would be prohibited, alternatives such as paper and compostable bags would still be available.
The City of Fremantle Strategic and General Services Committee met on Wednesday evening to debate some interesting agenda items, with the two major ones the applications to create bars at the Kidogo Arthouse and Moores Building art centres.
Kidogo owner Joanna Robertson said she would take advise from Council on building toilets inside the lean out, but asked that consideration should be given to allow for a weather protection structure to be built to accommodate the alfresco use of the area, which get buffeted by strong sea breezes often.
Councillor and Chair Andrew Sullivan rightly pointed out he believed the toilet issue at Bathers Beach was not resolved and ad hoc, and even with Kidogo and the Fishermen’s Co-op building being developed there would still not be public toilets at the inner city beach. He said he had hoped that the inside solution at Kidogo would also have accommodated an outside solution for public toilets, and that having toilets inside the art centre was only the second-best option and not the first-best one.
I agree with Andrew Sullivan that it can’t continue that the onus is on private operators to in fact run public toilets for the City. The fish&chips outlets in the area constantly get non-customers using their toilets and they need to keep them clean at a cost. That is a cop-out from the City which business owners should refuse to accept. The argument by Councillor Dave Hume that Council does not want the footprint of the former kerosene store changed, is not dealing with the reality that the area is being more and more used and public toilets of some sort and somewhere at Bathers Beach are required. Putting the head in the Bathers Beach sand instead of finding a proper solution is not good governance.
The item was approved under delegated authority, so Joanna Robertson can now go into the nitty-gritty of getting planning approval, a liquor license and a new lease contract with the City. Good luck!
The Moore&Moore Cafe application for a bar is not supported by the Fremantle Arts Centre, which manages the Moores Building Contemporary Art Centre there. Director Jim Cathcard believed there would be a clash between the use as a gallery and a bar, and there could be issues at exhibition opening and events if a bar was run simultaneously. Mayor Brad Pettitt pointed out that venues can de-license themselves for specific occasions, as the Fly by Night does when schools and community groups perform there. He also believed there could be another solution found to house the artists in residence who are staying at the Moores, and I agree with Brad on this.
One concern I have is making sure that the art on display is safe from damage and theft in a bar environment. People using the cafe don’t get intoxicated but many people consuming alcohol do, and that needs to be addressed. As the Mayor pointed out, Fremantle wants small bars, especially in the ghost town-like West End that is dead after dark, so solutions need to be explored. The item was deferred to full council.
I contacted Fremantle CLANCYS manager Justin Rogan to find out why the Racing and Gaming Department rejected their application to run a bar at Victoria Hall, during the three months period the building at Princess May Park is refurbished. Justin is on holiday in Vietnam, but here his reply:
The application for “removal of license” from Clancy’s to Vic hall was submitted on the recommendations of racing gaming liquor, so that was what I did. I submitted a comprehensive submission with supporting letters from Mayor Brad Pettitt and Tom Griffiths (Economic and Marketing Manager COF) and others, and a 500 signature petition.
The applications was accepted across the RGL desk about 5 weeks ago, they even went as far as to waive the $3500 application fee and the requirement for a “public interest assessment test” which is arduous. All indications were that it was a fairly straight forward process. As we hadn’t heard from them we contacted them last week, only to find that there had been very little progress and when pushed for a decision, as timing was critical, the application was refused due to an interpretation of the liquor licensing act by the director.
Basically the application was the first of its kind and deemed too risky to grant as it would provide a precedent for future applications, basically tainting all operators with the same brush and once again making decisions/based on the fear of the lowest common denominator. There are around 20 staff who now won’t have employment over that period, not to mention the hours of work and planning put in by the team over the previous few months.
We will endeavor to try to resolve the issue and are looking at venue options around Freo as well,
Clancy’s Fish Pub
I am baffled by Fremantle Council’s decision not to fine Hush Cafe owner Daniel Leppard for repeatedly ignoring orders not to proceed with changing the interior wall of the High Street property. He was told to abide by the planning rules and received at least two stop work orders, which he elected to ignore, so it is not as if he acted in good faith and out of ignorance. He knew what he was doing was wrong, but decided to go ahead with it anyway. And it wasn’t the first time either, as Leppard had previously ignored to get planning approval for the previous Hush at Market Street, a Council officer told me.
Far too often in the Perth metro area property owners and business operators show disregard for heritage buildings. They let them fall into disrepair or make unauthorised alterations out of selfish greed, and sadly councils let them get away with it often.
I have absolutely no sympathy for Daniel Leppard. The Hush Cafe owner acted in selfish interest when he decided to go ahead with the unauthorised alterations to the building, but when confronted and threatened with legal action he played the poor small business owner who might be forced out of business by cruel council officers, if he had to replace the plaster at a cost of around $ 10,000. So what?! Leppard deliberately ignored CoF officers’ demands to stop work and he deliberately damaged the heritage wall, so let him pay. To believe he will reinstate the wall once he leaves the business is pretty naive. He’d probably sell it on as an ongoing business and make it someone else’s problem.
Someone who starts a business in Fremantle’s beautiful heritage area and in a heritage listed building knows he will have development restrictions. To ignore them is plain vandalism and council has no reason to be lenient with such a rogue business owner.
Mr Leppard told the Fremantle Herald that his painting of the wall looked “cool and grungy” and shows respect for the heritage building, but it was not his judgement call to make and the experts told him not to proceed with it. If it was about personal taste and preference many of Freo’s heritage buildings would no longer exist or would have been altered unrecognisably. Daniel Leppard can only blame himself and he really has no excuse for ignoring Council orders. What he did should not be accepted.
There are a lot of good cafes in High Street and surrounding streets, so I suggest that anyone who is serious about preserving Freo’s heritage gives Hush the cold shoulder and instead supports one of the other cafes in the area, to let owner Daniel Leppard know we are not impressed with his attitude. I for one will never have a coffee at Hush again.
Senator Mathias Cormann, the Federal Minister for Finance, will be speaking at Fremantle Notre Dame University this Wednesday April 9 from 6-7 pm. His lecture will be about his personal reflections on his career as a lawyer in politics. This is a free event and all are welcome.
The location is the Michael Keating room in the former Fremantle Hotel, corner High and Cliff streets.