Freo's View

FREO’S GREEN CHRISTMAS MARKET

Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 28, 2012

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KEEP FREO IN FREO?

Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 28, 2012

It is interesting that Chris Lewis, the KEEP FREO IN FREO candidate for the Fremantle Dockers Football Club board was not elected. One could believe fans don’t care too much about a possible move to Cockburn by the footy club. Members were shown the plans for Fremantle and Cockburn and the Dockers will make a decision of whether to stay in Freo or move out in the next months.

Roel Loopers

 

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REPORT WANTS FREMANTLE’S FINANCES INVESTIGATED

Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 28, 2012

Paul Murray‘s opinion piece in today’s West Australian newspaper about council mergers reveals a disturbing aspect about Fremantle. Murray writes that the Robson Review commissioned by the state government identified only two councils for deep concern; Kalamunda and Fremantle.

“The decline in the financial position of the City of Fremantle is difficult to explain as there has been a reasonably volatile operating result over the review period. Further investigation may be warranted to explain the position.” the report said.

Many people in Fremantle have been asking questions about the city selling off its assets, bad planning, and embarking on expensive projects. There are also serious concerns about public works done badly that then needs to be patched up again at more cost to the city. The extensive use of expensive interstate consultants also needs to be scrutinised, as does the performance of the CEO who seemed pretty relaxed last year to admit that the performance quality of the city has dropped. It does not appear he has taken action to rectify it.

City properties that will be sold off are Queensgate at Kings Square, the Point Street car park, the Spicers site at Henderson Street and the Youth Centre at Quarry Street. There might be more.

Too many things by the City of Fremantle are done just 70%. The good enough and she’ll be right attitude no doubt also costs the city money.

Council urgently needs to investigate the financial position of the city before the minister takes action on the Robson Report.

Roel Loopers

GEORGE STREET FESTIVAL ON SUNDAY

Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 28, 2012

The always homely feeling George Street Festival in East Fremantle is on again this Sunday December 2 from midday. The Fremantle Arts Centre annual Bazaar is also on all weekend, so these are good reasons to wander East and enjoy the lovely atmosphere of both events. The Bazaar is by gold coin donation and offers a wide variety of craft and art for Christmas presents. Check out the stunning pots and plates by Njalikwa Chongwe of Zinongo Gallery!

Roel Loopers

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BRING YOUR CHRISTMAS SPIRIT AND WALLET TO ARTHUR HEAD

Posted in fremantle, photography by freoview on November 27, 2012

On Friday the Fremantle Christmas lights will be switched on, so it is time to start shopping and support our local traders. Don’t worry about boring sterile shopping centres, come to the gorgeous historic port city and do your shopping here. If wandering down High Street, don’t stop at Cliff Street but climb the steps to the Round House to buy the exclusive and beautiful nature photos of Glen Cowans at his photo gallery next to our state’s oldest building. Here are some of his magic photos.

Roel Loopers

P.S. this is not a paid advertisement, just a service to a mate. ; >)

All photos copyright Gen Cowans

DOWSON OUTRAGED ABOUT FREMANTLE PROCESS

Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 27, 2012

I believe the below email by former Fremantle councillor John Dowson to the Elected Members of the City of Fremantle deserves a wider audience as this is pretty serious. Why do the City officers ignore an experts’ report and Heritage Council recommendation and only allow full council to deal with what they put out?

 

Complaint Concerning West End Working Group

 I wish to raise the issue of the item Council officers are putting to Council this week  concerning the West End Working Group.

The West End Working Group was set up to seek Heritage Council listing for the West End.

The West End is an internationally recognised area of great significance.

As part of that process a first step was to review the West End Conservation Plan and its boundaries.

As inaugural Chairman of that committee I saw a great deal of work go into achieving the conditions of appointment of the committee.

But it seems that the work of the committee, the findings of an expert report  costing $45,000, and the views of the Heritage Council have all been ignored. The report your officers are putting to Council does not put forward the work of the committee or of the expert as promised by the mayor to various people and in the Herald recently: “Dr Pettitt says a working group is due to report within the next month about defining the boundaries for a proposed state heritage listed west end.” (Herald 20 October 2012).

What is being put forward to Council this week is a direction to the Working Group to consider a greatly truncated West End area. There is no mention of the work of the committee over many meetings or of the expert consultant’s report.

The Mayor’s comments on the front page of this week’s Herald as explanation are wrong. The mayor states: “Attempts at larger state listing have failed in the past ….the attempt to broaden the area’s boundaries probably contributed to its previous failures to get listed.” The mayor’s comments are totally inaccurate. The listing of the West End should have been done by the Heritage Council and Fremantle Council was busy for many years doing its very large Municipal Heritage Inventory. And, the new and amended West End area the committee and the heritage consultant discussed was also agreed to by the Heritage Council.

I consider what is happening to be highly improper, as Council itself is not being given the work of the committee to decide upon, let alone officers assessing the merits of the work done so far.

Whatever the merits of the Working Group and its work, the process has been corrupted because you as councillors are not being given the opportunity to assess the work of the committee. Any councillors interested in open and honest accountable governance should reject this item for the above reasons.

John

former Chairman West End Working Group
former Chairman Heritage and Special Places Committee
former Deputy Mayor City of Fremantle
former President The Fremantle Society

NEW PLANTER BOXES AT FREO’S CAPPUCCINO STRIP

Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 27, 2012

It must be Christmas at Fremantle council. After having resurfaced the road and put new light and banner posts along the Cappuccino Strip, they have just started installing new colourful square planter boxes on the medium strip. They are a lot more attractive than the ugly purple ones near the Fremantle Market, so I hope those will be replaced with the new ones.

Roel Loopers

New planter boxes on the Fremantle Cappuccino Strip

 

FREO’S NEW CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 27, 2012

These new Christmas decorations have been installed at Fremantle‘s Kings Square and will be put on lamp posts all along High Street to the Round House as well. They light up at night and will be first switched on with the stunning Moreton Bay Fig Christmas tree at Kings Square this Friday at 7 pm. Come along and bring the kids as it is a beautiful sight!

Roel Loopers

Fremantle’s new Christmas decoration

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FIND YOUR FREO SELF IN JOONDALUP

Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 27, 2012

Why does the City of Fremantle expect retailers to pay good money to participate in Find Yourself in Fremantle advertising campaigns when it does not do its own shopping here? This year’s CoF annual report photography has been assigned to a Joondalup company. Maybe we should be grateful it wasn’t one from Adelaide where we seem to get all our experts from.

Or am I missing the bigger picture? With our City’s CEO already residing in Joondalup we could be looking at plans for a huge amalgamation of the two cities. It would take a lot of commuting away from our overworked CEO. Find Yourself in Joondalup?

Roel Loopers

LITTLE SUBSTANCE IN FREMANTLE GAZETTE EDITORIAL

Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 27, 2012

Fremantle Gazette editor Rachel Watts likes to write an editorial each week. They are most of the time pretty bland and without much substance. This week Watts attacks the people who oppose Planning Scheme Amendment 49 and highrise in inner city Fremantle, saying it “has a sense of Little Chicken about it.”

Miss Watts writes “It hardly seems necessary to shriek that the sky is falling over a change in the City’s planning guidelines….” and that “city centres such as Fremantle would do well to resist the reflex opposition to greater density.”

This shows Rachel Watts does not seem to bother to read her own newspaper and the opinion of those opposed to PSA 49. The Fremantle Society and I have consistently expressed that we are not against development or greater density, but that we do not believe that higher density equals highrise. We are opposing highrise in the inner city not increased density, dear editor, and that should have been clear to you if you had bothered to read and hear our opinion.

Watts also writes that “protecting heritage means nothing if the city ends up a wasteland of vacant shopfronts.” She absolutely ignores that empty shopfronts are not unique to Fremantle and that retail all over Australia is suffering, as the closing of shops in posh Kings Street in Perth shows.

With all the massive development plans all around Fremantle and on Victoria Quay the city could well end up with a whole herd of white elephants empty buildings dwarfing our heritage ones. Is that Watts’ preferred new look for Fremantle?

According to Watts people are the most valuable heritage, what a shame then we die on average around 85 while heritage buildings around the world are still standing after hundreds of years.

Posh new inner city highrise buildings will not offer housing for low income people, students, artists and the older generations, they will only be pushed out further away from Fremantle thus creating a yuppie town for the well off and investors who do not a give a damn about the unique character and lifestyle of our city.

Watts would do well to inform herself and reflect on what she writes before she publishes her editorials. This latest one shows she’s really not up to it.

Roel Loopers

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