Interesting to listen to an interview of Fremantle Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart on 6PR’s Perth Live show with Oliver Peterson.
Stewart cited a decline in retail and vacant shops as a Fremantle Council problem, when everyone knows that retail has been in decline for years everywhere in Perth and Australia.
The Australia Day changes were divisive and not the role of local government, Stewart said and that Fremantle had failed to take its position as the jewel in the crown because everybody loves Freo.
Interesting to note in that regard that other councils such as Cockburn, Hobart and others are also considering changes to their Australia Day activities.
Ra Stewart said she would bring Council back to basics, if elected, and implement sound financial management of city assets. I believe that is a fair point as Freo’s finances are not great and could have been handled better.
She also believes Council need to consult with the broader community and find out what their priorities are. The City of Fremantle did that with its Visioning Fremantle 2020 extensive community consultation sessions a few years ago, that lasted nearly a year.
Stewart believes there are lots of opportunities for Fremantle, and when asked about it by Oliver Peterson said that Mayor Brad Pettitt showed a lot of promise in his first term and that “there had been some investment in the city”
That must be the under-statement of the millenium as Fremantle has not seen the kind of enormous investment through development it is experiencing in over thirty years. Some development alright!
Ra Stewart also said she believes she would be able to pull all the community groups together. Anyone in politics knows that this is an extremely naïve statement, because for every person one pleases, someone else will be dissatisfied with government decisions.
One thing I do agree with is that Ra Stewart believes the City of Fremantle should have organised a big celebration of the anniversary of winning the America’s Cup. That is definitely an opportunity lost that the City’s marketing department, and BID, and the Chamber of Commerce, and the yacht clubs all missed.
Anyone who wants my vote to become the next Mayor of Fremantle needs to have realistic and achievable ideas, substance, a long-term vision for our city, and good knowledge of how council works.
The unconvincing interview I heard did not give me the feeling that Stewart would do a better job than the incumbent, so let’s wait and see if more impressive candidates nominate.
Fremantle Council decided last night to ban the use of plastic shopping bags. This is the third time in five years Council is giving it a try as the previous W.A. Liberal/National government rejected the proposal in 2012 and 2015, but the new Labor government have indicated they would support local councils banning non-degradable plastic shopping bags.
Already other councils have started the same process and Councillor Doug Thompson said that a survey showed that 32 councils support banning the environment-damaging bags.
Councillor Rachel Pemberton pointed out that it was about the material of the bags and that degradable bags could still be supplied to customers.
Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge said Council should campaign for the general reduction of the use of plastic as it was extensively used. She is right. Single pieces of fruit and vegetables are offered on trays wrapped in plastic by supermarkets, which is not only wasteful but also damaging to the environment.
There are not many endearing moments at local council meetings but last night’s City of Fremantle meeting had some cute moments about the plans for a pocket park in Hilton.
A very brave and articulate 10-year-old girl addressed Council and urged members to approve the plans, and mothers of other children read out letters written by them.
Another ten-year-old wrote that the new small park would enable them to meet new people from the suburb and meet other families.
But the laugh of the night came from an eight-year-old boy who wrote that without the park life would be boring forever.
One mum mused that while her introvert child wanted to stay at home, the extravert one wanted to go out, and it would be much safer if she could let him go to a park nearby, rather than to another park that required crossing a busy road.
Council unanimously voted to approve the pocket park.
East Ward Councillor Ingrid Waltham was elected by Fremantle Council as the new Deputy Mayor. She will replace Dave Coggin who has resigned from Council to take up a position as advisor to the Premier of Western Australia.
I am a big fan of Ingrid Waltham and find her a very thorough and deliberate Councillor who thinks deeply about all the issues at hand in Fremantle. One cannot question Waltham’s integrity and it is also good to have someone not connected to a political party in a major position at Council.
It was nice to see Josh Wilson MP attending tonight. Dave Coggin replaced him as Deputy Mayor when Wilson was elected as the Federal Member for Fremantle.
In his final speech at Council Dave Coggin said how proud he was to have served the City of Fremantle and with what this Council had achieved.
He was also very complimentary about the leadership of Mayor Brad Pettitt who allowed the other elected members to shine and have their own visions and ideas, contrary to what some community groups claim that Fremantle Council is just a bunch of greenies who all vote with the Mayor.
Mayor Pettitt said he had really appreciated Coggin’s directness and honesty and that he often had changed his mind about issues after having had a discussion with the Deputy Mayor about them.
Men are not as tough and macho as society would like us to believe. There are many men who suffer in silence and isolation from depression and other mental health problems because they are too ashamed to admit to having problems.
The ManKind Project hopes to help address men’s issues, so check out the details on the poster below.
They meet on Thursday May 4 at 7 pm at A Place To Be, 4A preston Point Road, East Fremantle.
East Fremantle Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail is Australia’s youngest Deputy Mayor. His impressive presentation at the Fremantle Network of the vision plan for the East Freo Leeuwing Barracks and foreshore showed why he was elected by his peers to the position.
A lot of water will flow under the bridges before the plans will be realised as the Defence Department owns the land and will have the final say after all, but at least the Town of East Fremantle is pro-actively involved in what must be one of the most significant development projects for the town and greater Fremantle.
McPhail said this was Fremantle’s day and Fremantle’s time and that the area is an emerging area for opportunity thanks to Fremantle Council, and it needs a regional big picture view.
He said the two major future visions for river foreshore development in the Perth metro area are the Leeuwin Barracks and the South Quay project, and he showed East Fremantle’s Port to Point Vision, all the way from Fremantle Port to Point Walter. It is about how we reconnect Fremantle to its foreshore McPail said.
He rightly pointed out that the South Quay project is a long way away still, while the Leeuwin development is imminent with land sales starting later this year, and said the East Street jetty area could be beautified by Fremantle Council before that.
Riverside Drive is old and needs to be realligned to accommodate the vision plans and the huge Leeuwin development that would see some 1,400 new residents moving into new apartment buildings, a new hotel, shops and large green open spaces for residents and the wider community to enjoy.
The vision showed two major 15-storey towers on the 14 hectare site plus 4-8 storey buildings spread among the large public spaces that will connect to river boardwalks.
It will require careful planning by the Town of East Fremantle and Mainroads to accommodate the additional vehicle movement along Preston Point Road and Riverside Drive as the majority of the new residents and visitors will be driving cars.
Michael McPhail is right that he sees this as a huge opportunity for Greater Fremantle and I believe it is essential for the two local councils and State Government to work together on a vision plan for the foreshore area from the Fremantle railway station all the way to Point Walter.
That lovely very Freo tiny fashion empire VELVET SUSHI had to move shop because of the Kings Square development and you can now find the boutique in Bannister Street just off the Fremantle Cappuccino Strip.
New shop location 5 BANNISTER Street. FREMANTLE.
The Attic Cafe, Stable Hands Restaurant and Hougoumont Hotel are neighbours, so go and check out the new shop.
Open for business from this Thursday 27th April
Tues- check in before you pop in
A decent crowd turned out for the Fremantle Anzac Day parade this morning and I heard there was a big crowd for the dawn service at Monument Hill, which I missed due to bad health.
The ANZA derby between the South and East Fremantle football clubs is on at Fremantle Oval at 4 pm today and the weather is perfect for it, so support the day.
As flagged here on Freo’s View a few weeks ago former President of the Chamber of Commerce Ra Stewart will nominate for the position of Mayor of Fremantle at the October local government election, opposing present Mayor Brad Pettitt.
Stewart told Business News that she wanted to bring responsible financial management and enthusiasm back to council.
The latter shows Stewart should have attended more Freo Council meetings as there is definitely no lack of enthusiasm at the present council, clearly indicated by their drive for economic recovery, strongly encouraging massive development, which Fremantle has not seen for 30 years.
It will no doubt be a very interesting and hard-fought election and I am expecting at least another two people to put their hand up to oust Brad Pettitt.