The Jan ter Horst house, that Fremantle monument crying out against government incompetence, on top of the hill in Beaconsfield, became a Christmas meeting point for the neighbours, and to ring the century-old bells Jan has on his roof deck. The oldest bell is from 1796.
The house must have one of the best views in the area. 360 degrees uninterrupted from the hills to Perth and Scarborough and from Rottnest to way past Kwinana. Stunning!
Ter Horst’s battle against Fremantle council and State Government has become legendary and one can still see him driving around Fremantle with a coffin on the roof of his car. He’s a stubborn old Dutchman.
The first lines of the Metallica song For Whom The Bells Toll seemed apt this morning:
Make his fight
on the hill in the early day
constant deep chill inside.
Now, now, City of Fremantle, what is going on? It is not right to encourage people to break the law, but I believe this sign does. It is painted at the end of the contra-flow bicycle lane near the Town Hall at William Street, but it is technically on the footpath that is part of the High Street mall, where it is not permitted to ride one’s bike. This could get cyclists into trouble if they get stopped by police for riding on the footpath. Naughty!
I believe it is time metropolitan local councils, or the state opposition, should start legal action in the High Court against the discriminatory council amalgamations the Colin Barnett Western Australian government want to force upon us. It can’t be right that council mergers will not be enforced in the country because the National Party put pressure on the Premier, while those in the city will lose their voice and democratic right to decide what they want for their community.
The fact that the Liberal/National government wants to remove the Dadour Act from the Local Government Act shows Barnett is concerned the people do not want mega mergers and lack of community consultation and input. The Dadour Act allows electors of local government to request a poll on any proposed mergers.
It is not acceptable we will lose the democratic right to decide the destiny of Fremantle and it is not acceptable the government wants to discriminate against one section of the Western Australian population. What’s next Premier, a law that discriminates between those who were born here and those who migrated?
We live in a democracy and Colin, the wannabe dictator, should pull his head in and listen to the people instead of lying and breaking pre-election promises faster than the crockery at a Greek wedding.
NO FORCED COUNCIL AMALGAMATION!
To be fair, to be fair…..I received the legal advise on Kings Square from the City of Fremantle lawyers Jackson McDonald today. The firm acknowledged that the delay in sending the requested information to the Fremantle Society was their responsibility and not that of City of Fremantle’s officers.
We’ll read the report carefully and take it from there.
A query from a Curtin University student, and the Police criticising the City of Fremantle‘s new graffiti laws made me contemplate if graffiti, or street art, has any value for society. I first need to say that I don’t consider so called tagging street art or graffiti, it is mindless vandalism, akin to bored, inconsiderate people scratching names and messages into trees and rocks.
I believe street art is important because it does what art should do, but mostly doesn’t, and that is to challenge people. A large percentage of public art is representational and easy on the eyes, it is non-confronting and non-challenging, has no social or political messages, and does not question, it is art created mainly as pretty decoration rather than as a reflection of society.
It is difficult for graffiti art to get shown in established galleries, so young creative people need an outlet outside the commercial gallery circuits to show their work to a larger public. Street art, assigned or unauthorised, does that. Local councils have to accommodate that need and that important interaction with the community.
I love the quirky graffiti of Banksy, the stunning murals of Roa and to a lesser extend that of Vhils, all artist are represented here in Fremantle. Roa’s large Numbat in Henderson Street makes me aware every time I walk by that this beautiful native animal is nearly extinct and that is a very important message to us all
The world changes from street/grass roots level and hardly ever from the top, and so street art is important in making valid points, to protest, upset, even disgust. We need this alternative, challenging and sometimes confronting way of expression because when youths remains silence there is no change in the world. That is why I consider graffity important. It is an in your face way of communication that we should not underestimate.
The City of Stirling, Western Australia’s biggest council, wants to introduce new laws to stop Demolition by Neglect. Owners would be given 60 days notices to do repairs and if that does not happen officers of the city would be allowed to enter the buildings and order repairs for which the owners would have to pay.
The Greens have proposed similar laws against the practice of letting buildings, which are often of heritage value, rot and fall into disrepair.
But how would it work here in Fremantle with the state-owned Henderson Street Warders Cottages, the federal government-owned Married Quarters cottages at Cantonment Hill, and the privately owned Woolstores? Could a local government force a state or federal government to do anything? I doubt it.
We have two major eyesores in the centre of Fremantle, and whatever action the City might have taken in the past has not had any effect at all. Cruise ship passengers still disembark looking at the ruin of the Woolstores and the neglected International Backpackers, while tourists visiting Fremantle Markets are confronted with the fenced off shambles of the Warders Cottages.
It is shameful neglect we should not tolerate!
Mount Lawley is planning to introduce a Demolition By Neglect legislation in its Local Planning Scheme no 3 Amendment 27. “The purpose of these provisions is to prevent heritage buildings falling into disrepair and subsequently necessitating demolition”
This is a lead the City of Fremantle and other local governments and the state government should follow, to prevent what has been happening all over Western Australia. The neglected Woolstores building in Fremantle and the Guildford Hotel in Guildford are two examples of how owners let heritage buildings rot and fall into disrepair.
I urge Fremantle councillors to introduce a similar legislation!
Fremantle council last night voted in favour of a ban on single-use plastic bags. This is an Australian first as Fremantle is the first city in Australia to ban non-degradable plastic bags at supermarkets, retail stores, markets and fast food outlets. Retailers will have to charge their customers 10 cents for alternative shopping bags, that have to be biodegradable or reusable with a thickness of more than 60 microns.
Retailers who do not comply with the new law could be fined up to $ 5,000 and if they continued to ignore the law a fine of 500 dollar per day would apply.
The no plastic bags law will be implemented over the next six months.
Dear Father Christmas,
It is not often I write to you because I realise other people need you more than I do, but this year my wish list is not just for myself, but also for all people who live on planet earth. It is something we all desperately need and from my memory we once had. What I want for Christmas is Common Sense.
You see, Father Christmas, for some reason people have stopped taking responsibility for their own actions and instead blame others for their stupidities and wrong decisions. They believe someone else is responsible when they behave like fools, and society is paying for it.
Nowadays, dear Father Christmas people jump off bridges or mountains or balconies and when they end up in a wheelchair they blame the fact that there were no signs warning them that if they behaved irresponsibly they might get hurt or even die.
We now even need signs at beaches to warn us that when we get dumped by waves, we might hit our head on the ocean floor and get hurt. We enter the territory of sharks and crocodiles and when, once in a full moon, a human-being gets eaten by one, we want to kill them, and the media calls them rogue animals.
It will not be long until the authorities will force us to have signs near the exit doors of our homes warning us that leaving home can be a health hazard. If they don’t enforce that law they could well be sued for duty of care neglect by a drunken fool who only tried to cross a train line when a speeding train was approaching, gates were closed and bells were ringing, because it wasn’t his fault that he got badly hurt. He’ll probably also take the pub to court for allowing him to drink too much, the poor victim he is.
You see, Father Christmas, when I was brought up I was taught to look after myself, to take responsibility for my own actions, and to say sorry if I messed up, but in this modern world everyone else is responsible instead of the individual, so THEY should be doing something to stop THEM from behaving like idiots.
I believe common sense for all this Christmas would be the solution to get rid of many problems in our society. It’s a great gift I recommend to everybody.
The City of Fremantle revised GRAFFITI POLICY is out so click on the link to read it and participate in the community consultation process by voicing your opinion.
What might be ugly vandalism for some is important public art for others and somehow as a community we need to get the balance right. While tags should be removed asap, other graffiti art can have artistic merits that needs to be considered. Of course the rights of property owners to remove any form of graffiti also needs to be respected.
Go to the link above and participate in the community debate!