I was going to write a bitchy story on the Fremantle Notre Dame University titled the Memorandum Of Under Commitment, because like many people I talk to, I am not impressed with the new MOU between UNDA and the City of Fremantle. There is not enough in it to convince me anything will be implemented at all.
Instead of being negative I decided to open my arms instead and try to embrace our inner city university by offering them my support to become better corporate citizens of Fremantle. It’s not the first time I am doing this, as I have contacted two UNDA staff to ask them to keep me in the loop about what is happening so I can promote and support it on this blog. I am still waiting for a reply from the first lady and the other gentleman has not sent me any info either. Disappointing!
The people of Fremantle would like to know what Notre Dame does. I would like to know for example when the High Street race is on, because the last two years I have stumbled upon it by chance. No wonder hardly anyone but a few students watched the fun races, because the community is not informed it’s happening.
So here my challenge for the Chancellor and PR people of UNDA. Please do send me information of what UNDA does, what spaces are available for public use, etc.etc. It only takes and email to: email@example.com
Make part of the MOU an MOC, Memorandum of Communication!
Very interesting to read in today’s West Australian newspaper two totally opposing views on the City of Fremantle council’s decision to make Fremantle plastic bag free.
While Alannah MacTiernan, the Mayor of Vincent supports Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt, and hopes her council will also introduce plastic bag free shopping, former Liberal senator and power broker Noel Crichton-Browne slams the idea and ridicules it, saying there is no proof to the claim that plastic bags kill thousands of marine animals each year.
MacTiernan has always been a forward looking on the ball politician, while Crichton-Browne’s right wing conservative views are also well known. It’s good to have the debate though as the least it will do is create awareness of the issue.
Beautiful Phillimore Street in Fremantle is pretty photogenic as this photo of a reflection in a Notre Dame University building shows. The historic West End of the city is one of the major drawcards for tourists who often express their delight that Fremantle is looking so well after its heritage.
Beautiful old buildings should be an inspiration for architects and developers to create stunning new modern buildings that will also become iconic and a delight to look at. This is a challenge for the Myer and Queensgate buildings at Kings Square and the Woolstores shopping centre site, the Point Street carpark site and others. Functional tall buildings alone won’t do for the inner city. What Fremantle needs is stunning architectural art.
FASHION TALKS 2012 starts at the Fremantle Arts Centre this Friday August 3 with a talk by Charlotte Smith, who is the custodian of the Darnell Collection of International Vintage Couture. This is the largest private fashion collection in Australia with over 4,000 pieces, from Dior, Balenciaga, Westwood, etc.
Charlotte Smith regards social history as integral to understanding fashion. A selection of the Darnell Collection will be on display.
Other upcoming events in this series: Dr Gene Sherman on August 7 and Karen Quinlan on August 14.
Check out the Fremantle Arts Centre website for more details.
I thought to start the working week with a colourful reflection taking in Fremantle‘s Phillimore Street yesterday.
I am off with J Shed photographer Peter Zuvela soon to judge the photography component of the annual City of Belmont Art Award, so I am hoping for some reflections in that show as well. I love discovering and photographing them.
There is a change in the air with nature starting the spring cleaning already and people getting out and about more often.
Here a photo I took on Saturday at Fremantle‘s Bathers Bay around sunset.
The Fremantle Herald published a ‘Thinking Allowed’ article by Road2Rail campaigner Barry Healy last week and I decided to publish an edited (for length) version of it to create more community awareness of the problem container transport by road poses. Here it is:
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organisation, confirmed that diesel engine exhaust is a Category 1 carcinogen – in the same hazard category as asbestos and cigarette smoke. This is relevant to Fremantle as it poses the question of how the Fremantle Ports freight task is to be achieved: by truck or by train? What is more, with elections coming in 2013 we have the right to demand of all political parties and responsible authorities a direct answer to the question: what are you going to do to reduce the particulate burden on Fremantle?
The Fremantle Ports forecasts a doubling of its throughput of containers to 1.2 million by 2020 – and a tripling by 2030.
There are welcome plans to make some minor upgrades to rail infrastructure, and the absolute number of containers carried by rail will increase. There is no plan to dramatically shift the overall share to rail. There is no target.
Fremantle is on track to becoming a highly polluted city if the current state and federal government preference for truck transport continues. Rail freight is hundreds of times less polluting than trucks, which makes rail the most important part of the solution to the Fremantle Port freight task problem.
Trains going to Fremantle port at the moment use out-dated, noisy rolling stock, which makes rail transport unattractive to some residents. However, there are in WA thousands of modern rail wagons that limit noise emissions to European standards and there are dozens of newly imported locomotives that are engineered to the same exacting standards. We could significantly reduce the noise problem of trains traveling through the West End simply by phasing out the outmoded rolling stock and locomotives.
In the longer term the replacement of the Fremantle Traffic Bridge is an opportunity to prioritise rail transport to the port. There is $26 billion in the Infrastructure Australia coffers that can be accessed for rail freight projects.
There are also other obstacles to shifting the majority of containers from road to rail. We will need a whole series of distribution hubs connected to the port by rail; from which containers are then delivered by road to their final destination. This will require serious new investment, but it would be less that the billions of dollars being spent on freeway construction to the detriment of public transport and rail freight.
The failure of our authorities to seriously plan for increasing the usage of rail transport to the Port will take Fremantle in exactly the wrong direction regarding diesel particulate pollution. Fremantle will be swamped with what is now known to be a carcinogen. It is time to say: Turn back! Wrong way!
Let me add to this that I would see it as a seriously sad day if the port in Fremantle would ever close. I love the working port. It makes Fremantle what it is. However better solutions need to be found fast to deal with container trucks driving through our more and more populated city.
Truck traffic to and from the port through Hampton Road has dramatically increased over the last six months and residents along that route are getting pretty frustrated, joining in with those along the Leach Highway, Stirling Highway intersection.
Noise issues in the West End have been partially addresses with water spray on the rails reducing the wheel squeal considerably. Now time also to tell the loco drivers it is unnecessary to blast the horn five times on a short stretch in the middle of the night when not even the Arthur Head rabbits are awake.