A couple of comments made at the Fremantle Election Forum at Notre Dame University this week made me contemplate the intricacies of voting for the right person or party. Is it more beneficial for Fremantle if we stayed a marginal seat all parties will try to win by spending money on infrastructure and services in our city? At present Freo tends to lean towards Labor and the Greens but with all the expected future development the demographics of the city might well change and Fremantle could become a Liberal seat in the next decade. Is that good or bad?
Independent Adele Carles claimed on the night that she has the ear of the Liberal government and that she knows how they work and that the Libs would not work with, and ignore, Labor’s Simone McGurk. That might have been true a year ago but is this still so? Could it not be that Premier Colin Barnett is fed up with the Carles v Buswell saga and court case and that Carles would only get the cold shoulder from him and the government should she be re-elected. If that was the case, and we followed down the lines of Carles’ argument, it might be better to vote for Greens’ candidate Andrew Sullivan.
It is fascinating and something we all have to think about carefully. Fremantle needs someone in parliament who will get the best for our city. Is that achievable from a minority party like the Greens, an Independent, or from the Labor opposition? I need to think long and hard about it.
I am always keen to encourage community debate through this blog, so when the Mayor of Fremantle published his vision for our city we should not let it be unnoticed.
Brad Pettitt refers to The tricky knack of a political narrative by Bernard Keane that claims that negative narratives are simple while positive narratives are complex and nuanced. That is a bit simplistic for me because negative narratives can be very detailed and complex while positive narratives can be full of spin and hyperbole, so let’s forget that bit.
Vision is good. Great detailed vision is better. Vision without spin is even better. It’s all about good communication, so I simply copy what Brad wrote while being bunkered down on Cocos Island because of cyclone Rusty, and let you make up your own mind. Here it is.
The Council’s vision for Freo is that it maintains its economic and cultural heritage by continuing to be Perth’s second city – a place of consequence not just another dormitory suburb where people go home to sleep and tourists visit on the weekend. Fremantle will be vibrant seven day a week economically rejuvenated city with more people living, working and playing in it each day.
We will of course need new development to accommodate these extra people. The new developments will be environmentally sustainable, of high architectural design quality and have a high component of affordable housing which will ensure Fremantle remains an inclusive and diverse community not just a place for the wealthy.
Fremantle will have great public transport (including light rail) and bike and pedestrian links in and around the city so cars are not the dominant form of transport.
Fremantle will preserve and maintain its unique built heritage just as it will build on its unique cultural heritage including being home to innovative arts, culture and festivals.
Finally we will show leadership and innovation through minimising our ecological footprint and share our leadership as a 21st century sustainable city.
Tannock Hall at the Fremantle Notre Dame University was absolutely packed on Tuesday evening for the Candidates Election Forum and what a great event it turned out to be. Questions from the floor and via email and Twitter were thrown at the six candidates about almost everything; high-rise, beggars, road or rail, fremantle ports, development, traffic, hospital, homeless, graffiti, art, retail, mining, global warming, same sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia, corruption, etc.
ABC reporter Peter Kennedy did a splendid job being the MC for the night. The outstanding performers for me were in no particular order Adele Carles, Simone McGurk and Andrew Sullivan.
I very much enjoyed the very Freo atmosphere in the hall. Well done UNDA, Fremantle Network, Fremantle Society, Chamber of Commerce and Oxfam for organising the evening. It was well worth it.
Fremantle Council is hosting a community consultation on Saturday March 2 from 3:30 – 5:30 pm
in the Fremantle Council Reception Room to discuss the current status of proposals to
upgrade the High Street/Stirling Highway intersection.
This matter affects Fremantle residents, students, workers and residents of adjacent areas.
The plan to widen the road reserve to six lanes not only affects the future of High St
and the Stirling Highway, but has implications for North Fremantle, Stock Road and
the Beeliar wetlands.
In the interests of sustainable freight transport and community health and safety,
it is important that people come along to speak and be heard at this event.
Linley Lutton and his City Gatekeepers team are holding the OCCUPY COTTESLOE camp against Premier Colin Barnett at Cottesloe Beach on Saturday March 2 from 4 pm. Bring your tent or swag to have great night on the beach with people who are not impressed with the state government’s Elizabeth Quay and other developments. I am sure many Fremantle people would love to see the back of the Barnett government, so show your colours on March 2.
A new artwork has been installed in Fremantle High Street mall as part of the Arcadia Public Art Programme. The City has not been able to give me the name of the artist who created the work, so I can’t tell you who it is. If you know, let me know!
STOP PRESS! I have just been informed by the City of Fremantle that the work is by local artist Alessandra Rossi and is titled Pixelated Clouds.
I wished Rachel Watts, the editor of the Fremantle Gazette, would go out more and listen to Fremantle people. Rachel writes short editorials that are often not very good and the one in today’s newspaper misses the point all together. Watts writes that “the resistance to putting youth culture in the centre of the City speaks to long-held biases about young people.” Her comments relate to people who oppose a skate park/youth plaza on the Esplanade Park. She writes that “….tout such facts of life as reasons for social exclusion or sideline young people is eye-rolling facile.”
What is facile is Rachel Watts’ editorial, as the debate has not been about youth versus aged or the exclusion of younger people from the inner city. The debate only has been about a better, more suitable location for the skate park to the north or south of the Esplanade, not about not wanting a skate park in the city centre. It is unfair to those who want to preserve the Esplanade as a green oasis in Fremantle to claim that they have a bias against young people and want to exclude them.
I watched some of the presidential style state election commercials on TV today and am less than impressed. Both leaders have similar lighting, with back light lighting up their cheeks, and Premier Colin Barnett has a drop shadow behind him, probably to make his one-dimensional performance look three-dimensional. It doesn’t work though as his expression is that of an undertaker ready to go to the next funeral. It’s an election about the future of our state Colin, so a bit of optimism and a smile would have been nice to give us confidence you can lead us.
Labor leader Mark McGowan is underwhelming most of the time with his expressionless looks. He seems to have a bad hair day every day as his thinning hair looks unwashed. Maybe a Number One haircut would give him the more corporate look of a real leader and create a better impression. Where are the highly-paid media advisers for both leaders when they need them most?
More substance in the political debate seems to much to ask for, so now hoping Fremantle people will do a third degree on our candidates at the Fremantle Candidates Forum at Notre Dame Uni on Tuesday.
Dee and Ruth Shelley are two Fremantle people I very much respect and like, so when they sent me their opinion about the proposed South Beach ramp I want to assist in the debate about it by publishing their letter. Here it is:
BOAT RAMP AT SOUTH BEACH
This business about the pros and cons of a proposed small Groyne and Ramp is causing great concern to a good few Dog Beach users.
I and a few of my friends, are probably the silent majority who want the ramp. Lets wait to see the outcome of the questionnaire. We are all for it as a good amenity for us locals.
Who said there is a vast majority against? I think this is one eyed reporting favouring the small number of knockers.
As an elderly gopher driver I long to be able to get close enough to the water to be able to get in and swim without the crutches sinking into the sand at every step while walking to deeper water.
In my earlier days in Victoria I made two small sailing dinghies in our back yard and taught the four children to sail while I stood in shallow water. The boats were on the roof rack of our parked cars and could be rigged and launched by hand off the beach or a ramp. Now where can you do this anywhere south of Fremantle? Without carrying them for a long way over grass and sand dunes, over a wall and rocks before getting to the water. The proposed ramp would obviate this effort. There are very many Wind Surfers; Kayaks; Canoes; whose owners also will be really pleased to be spared the effort of this overland hike.
The knockers will say there is plenty of launching area at the Yacht Club (of which I am a member). BUT who can afford to make your self a member just for the simple chance of teaching the kids to sail – and to an average young parent membership is a heavy expence.
For some reason the Knockers seem to believe that the Club has some ulterior motive and have a hate on it. Why? Just because they see expensive boats around and are jealous. An additional 500 pens somewhere is not an excuse to give us this great amenity.
Anyway, I for one of many, really hope that I will live long enough to enjoy watching young parents teaching their kids to sail on water which belongs to all of us.
Signed, on behalf of the silent majority. Dee Shelley. Jenkin Street.