Freo's View

GREEN FREMANTLE A MYTH

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on November 25, 2014

The Fremantle Gazette today published an article on a report by VISION 202020 that analysed 139 local governments in Australia. The findings for Fremantle are disturbing and debunk the local myth that Fremantle Council is a Green one.

Vision 202020 found that Freo is the second most hard-surface council in our country. It also concluded that from the 29 local governments measured in Western Australia Fremantle is the second worse for green space.

Many people in Fremantle, including I, have been calling for years for the COF to implement long-term green space and public open space planning when initiating economic development through building high office and residential buildings in the inner city. The need for more green public space will increase with the increasing residential and office workers population and needs to be addressed with urgency.

The new Masterplan for the Esplanade will most likely include a concrete basketball court and bitumen pathways, thus reducing the badly-managed grassed area that looks horrendous. Dozens of mature trees were removed from the Kim Beazley site in White Gum Valley and there are even contemplations to build on Pioneer Park.

Fremantle Council needs to become serious about planning green space and stop the great spin of being eco-friendly, when in fact we are one of the worst cities in Australia for green space.

Roel Loopers

13 Responses

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  1. Kel said, on November 27, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    The Kim Beasley site.

    Folks If you had time out to check out the Mews Road Monster take another trip up Stevens street and stop opposite Boo Park and the Golf Club next to Sullivan Hall in WGV.

    Yep that devastation of hundred or more Tree Trunks some over a metre in diameter and a metre high sticking out of the ground is the old Kim Beasly Development Site that the Mayor and Green Councillors have supported.

    The site looks like some mad person has attacked the trees. No doubt they are left at that height so they could be soaked with Roundup to kill off the root system.Another contaminated site for the kids to run around in?

    Where are the protests by the “tree huggers” of Fremantle and the Green and Labour Members of Council and State and Federal Parliament Parliament who have allowed this to occur?

    Check out the site on Google Earth first (it shows the trees) then go there and be prepared for a disappointment.

    I was a participant at the Kim Beasley Site/Sullivan Hall site workshop at the WGV primary School last saturday.

    I was told that the reason the site was cleared of trees was that the large trees were Ficus with large root systems which hindered development. Really?

    Josh Burnes and Associates have produced a proposal for the site which is very much centred on “Sustainability”

    The newly organised Green Plan Working Group should have been activated years ago and not “after” the Developers of Fremantle have finished their rape of our green open spaces and concreted over.

    A scapegoat here will be Land Corp.

    Thank you.

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  2. Caroline said, on November 27, 2014 at 7:15 am

    I think a boulevard of trees ALL along South Terrace would make the already dark houses darker so would not be popular with the residents. There is also not much room. Maybe shrubs………Hard one…. We should definitely leave the parks alone though and improve them and that does not mean with concrete or bitumen………………..No one should be allowed to build on our parks. I am really afraid for Fremantle at the moment.

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  3. Mark. said, on November 25, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    The 4000 trees makes an interesting discussion.
    In my street just in 2 blocks, I report to council that 7 trees newly planted had been stolen or destroyed.
    This year they were replaced.
    The dead tree in front of my house dead removed after 8yrs of complaining. Finally a new one to replace it.
    So 8 trees in just 1 street over two blocks from tree canopy point of view we have a net canopy loss.
    That counts for 15 planting with a net canopy loss. Same number of trees we started with 2yrs ago.
    So the real question is what is our net increase in trees, as its surely not 1000 a year, then what is net loss or gain of tree canopy in freo.

    To replace the 100+ trees approved by council to be cut down on Kim Beazley.
    It will take decades not taking into account the natural attrition of new trees planted which I believe can be between 25 -30%
    Plus decades of growth, tonnes of water as new plantings require more attention that established trees.

    I have notice that dune stabilization seems to lacking and shows wear and tear.

    Cockburn has an airport, massive industrial areas , freeways ,etc, yet still come 8 point over us.

    While I agree it shows freo has plenty to do, though it brings into question some councils decisions.
    I hope this sort of report now brings an end to ideas of future destruction of parks and reserves in fremantle.

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  4. Paul said, on November 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Why not make South Tce from Freo to south beach a boulevarde of trees ….at the moment it is an adhhoc approach with a few sections with trees and most without….try being a tourist or local wanting to walk from freo to the beach during summer- its a concrete barren heatwave in most places…..Perth city and many other councils have flooded their high streets with trees….much more needs to be done in and around Freo.

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  5. Lionel said, on November 25, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Freo is green like a cruelty-free, soy-frappa-mocha-chino, not green like a tree.

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  6. freoishome said, on November 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    But the Vic Quay development is not in the Port Ops areas, by definition they are excluded. The rest is concrete covered soil!

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  7. Mark said, on November 25, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I know its everyone favourite comparison
    But Vancouver has a place called Skymeadows, top 10 biggest roof gardens in the world.
    Build over 50% out into the Harbour in a working port.

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  8. Mark said, on November 25, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Lucky the dates don’t take in Concrete on the Esplanade
    100+ plus trees cut down at Kim Beazley
    The plan for Jshed.
    The plan for more hard surfaces on the esplanade
    The plan to build on Princess Park.
    Adding all of that in I’m sure will not improve our rating.
    We have the second worst rating in WA and only beat by Belmont by 0.5 of a point.

    Kwinana has a port, yet miles ahead of Fremantle
    Cockburn has an airport, yet miles ahead of Fremantle
    Every area will have something that has a significant impact.

    What we seem to have the most of is excuses, spin, slide of hand, smoke and,,,,,,, well u get the idea.
    Check out figure 10 pg. 21 or map 11 on page 22 on the link. It show Freo is just a whisker off joining Belmont.

    http://202020vision.com.au/media/7141/final-report_140930.pdf

    The community needs to be vigilant with the council’s current drive to change master plans, Transport strategies, etc. many of these issues could led to further loss of Green space.

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  9. Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog said, on November 25, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    The port and Vic Quay is an integral part of Freo but hard to put trees on a working port!

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  10. freoview said, on November 25, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Yes Wilson Park has become and overflow carpark for South Beach and it looks terrible with all the cars on it. No indication whatsoever for green space on Victoria Quay and Princess May Park needs an urgent upgrade.

    Roel

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  11. freoishome said, on November 25, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    But Brad in the Victoria Quay proposal you are claiming that Vic Quay is an integral part of the City of Fremantle (not a view I share). Make up your mind, I think you are running with the fox and the hounds!
    Paul

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  12. freoishome said, on November 25, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    There certainly is more to do, ie, starting with protecting what we already have from developers and concrete layers. Does any part of the Vic Quay commercial development ie, north of the railway line, include adding to our green space? I’m not referring to occasional tree, I mean something soft and natural to walk on, some bush to meander through, or sit in some green summer space?
    Last week Melissa Parke had a community meet your MP day in Valley Park in WGV, a lovely little park, that felt like communities should, kids on swings, dogs on their leashes, neighbours saying Hi, these feel like they are all under constant threat, these gems. Esplanade park Fremantle park, Princess May Park; Wilson Park is becoming a car park, because workers now take up all the car parking on the Cat bus routes, and then bus into Town.
    Paul

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  13. Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog said, on November 25, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    For the record, it is not correct to say that the Freo is the second most hard-surface council in our country. The City of Belmont, City of Maribyrnong, City of Wyndham, City of Melton, City of Hume, City of Brimbank, City of Greater Dandenong, City of Hobsons Bay, and City of Casey were all worse than Freo.
    The report’s methodology means that all the Fremantle Port’s hard surface (with few trees) is shifted the results.
    The report says “Vincent, Fremantle, East Fremantle and Subiaco all have hard surface proportions of over 50% and grass-bare ground areas under 20%. These areas are more densely populated, and border the coast.”
    That said it is a great report which I think this actually reinforces the Fremantle Council ‘s push around more tree planting, greening etc. The City of Fremantle has planted around 4000 tress in the last 4 years around Fremantle and the Fremantle community plenty more on top of that. There is plenty more to be done and the new Green Plan Working Group I am sure will come up with some great ideas.
    cheers, Brad

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