Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government by freoview on July 10, 2015

This might come as a surprise to many people in Fremantle, but these are the official figures just released by the City of Fremantle:

Results of the City of Fremantle’s 2015 community perceptions survey are back and show improvements in a number of key areas since the last survey was conducted in 2012.

Some of the key areas of improvement (based on levels of community satisfaction) are:

· overall satisfaction with the City as a governing organisation – up 7%

· council’s leadership – up 9%

· youth services and facilities – up 21%

· openness and transparency – up 9%

· value for money (rates) – up 11%

· parks and other green spaces – up 9%

· family services and facilities – up 13%

· access for people with disabilities – up 10%

· conservation and environmental management – up 12%

· planning and building approvals – up 8%

· parking in the city centre – up 8%.

404 phone surveys were conducted with a random and representative sample of Fremantle residents.

Roel Loopers

20 Responses

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  1. freoishome said, on July 14, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    As with all relationship issues, it seldom the fault of one party. As mere observers, none of us here are anything more than that, increasingly over the last few years there have been as many black marks from the public to the Herald and the CoF. The Herald isn’t the local paper it once was, when every letterbox had a sticker on it saying ‘No Newspapers, except the Herald’. From this one thread there is clearly criticism of CoF here on a daily basis, some more deservedly than others.

  2. Diana Ryan said, on July 13, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Plus the owner is a former Mayor!

  3. Diana Ryan said, on July 13, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    The reality is that prodding and poking, kicking ass and throwing out worse case scenarios gets more results than asking nicely. It forces it, basically. Its the basis of most media reporting, parliament and pressure groups.

    If my blog, CanningAccountability, had not pounded away constantly at what was really going on at the City of Canning, we would still have a Commissioner who blasted our staff numbers and wages in to the stratosphere, and the staff themselves would have gotten away with a lot more than the much more they helped themselves to in the absence of a council.

    Roel’s blog has bashed away also, plus it has the numbers to be disconcerting to those in public office. Had Roel’s blog not been as challenging as it has on occasion it simply wouldn’t have been as popular. Someone has to be the one who doesn’t just sit there and believe everything that’s told to them. That’s how we keep people accountable.

  4. Mark said, on July 13, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Martin I think its a case of shoot the messenger.

  5. Martin said, on July 13, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    So perhaps the CoF may feel that the Herald is not objective in its reporting, and the Herald’s objectivity may be influenced by its need to “Get the Headline”. Quite an interesting concept in the light of the current topic?

  6. freoishome said, on July 13, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I’m not suggesting anything of the kind. I don’t know what the issues are. Often after years of bad feeling, it isn’t unusual for parties to have forgotten what it was really all about, and when they get together to talk about it, it often isn’t difficult to work out a longer lasting solution, including an avenue or process for plain speaking when future wrongs appear.
    As Roel has demonstrated here, he can be supportive of CoF, but also outspoken in opposition. The important thing being his heart is only wanting better for Freo. When he gets it wrong he is quick to say he stuffed up. Can be a tricky balance about being objective, but also needing to ‘Get the Headline’. Sometimes the media has to be controversial, to stimulate discussion.
    I suspect the latter is part of the issues, but it is only my supposition.
    In an earlier career, Facilitating Groups formed a small but important part of my role.

  7. Martin said, on July 13, 2015 at 9:27 am


    Are you suggesting that there is a link between the Herald editorial content and the CoF not spending advertising dollars at the Herald?


  8. freoishome said, on July 13, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Regarding the Herald issue. There has been issues between the Herald owner and hence its editorial staff and the CoF for several years. I offered to facilitate a meeting 2-3 years ago, for both parties to air their grievances and get back onto a rational footing. Brad was keen to do that, it was the Herald who declined!

  9. freoview said, on July 12, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    I agree with you, Martin, after reading the report, that the media release by the City of Fremantle is not an objective summary of the actual survey by Catalyse and that is disappointing.


  10. Martin said, on July 12, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks Roel,

    The Catalyse survey is quite a well laid out document, quick to download, quick and easy to scan for insights, and well worth a read:

    It would appear that the survey has carried out across 25 local Councils in WA, and that most of the questions have been put to ratepayers in a consistent manner in 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012 and now 2015. It is fair to assume that the survey was conducted in an impartial manner, and that the results have been correctly represented in the tables and graphs.

    While it is fair to say that the data has been collected and represented in the Catalyse document in an unbiased manner, the same cannot be said for the way the insights have been represented in the CoF press release.

    CoF is ranked 18th out of the 25 Councils surveyed, and those Councils ranked 17 – 23 have practically the same score at the bottom of the list. The CoF ranks well below Industry Average for practically every category. Where it is above Industry Average, it has been there consistently since 2005.

    In practically all questions asked in the survey, a pattern emerges… The CoF had quite a respectable score in 2005, but by the time 2008 came around the level of satisfaction had fallen off a cliff, and scores have bounced around the bottom of that cliff ever since.

    Brad Petite joined Council in 2005, when it enjoyed its highest satisfaction rating, and has been Mayor since 2009.

    The low point was hit in 2012 for most questions (not 2007 as stated by Brad Petite), so any increase in satisfaction in the 2015 survey is based a much more recent low point. There is daylight between where we are today and the good old days of pre-2005.

    [It interesting that most people choose to get their info about what’s going on in Freo from the Herald (by a country mile!), yet the CoF chooses to spend its advertising dollar at the Gazette instead – there must be a whole story in that by itself…?]

    The survey results are a pretty damning scorecard on the performance of our Council – not that you can pick this up from the CoF press release or from this blog. I am quite impressed that our Mayor can spin these survey results into a “good news” story. That takes some skill!


  11. freoview said, on July 11, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I got it in a media release from COF Martin. You can download the full report from the COF website. Just search for Catalyse survey and it will come up for you. It’s a big file!

    And as to your surprise about me publishing it the way I did, I do things my way and other people do things their way. Pretty simple really.


  12. Martin said, on July 11, 2015 at 10:54 am


    You have published a selection of the results to a survey to which we do not know the questions, we do not know the “base” on which the changes are relative to, and we have had all of the negative survey results omitted.

    Without the full questions and the proper survey answers, these survey results are worse than meaningless, and the exercise can at best be described as deliberately misleading. [eg. A 9% increase from 20% is still only 29%!!!]. It is not possible to conclude that we are on the right track from the results that you have published.

    Frankly, I am quite surprised you published these “official figures” from the CoF without getting the full picture from them. Perhaps you could ask your source to provide the full survey information – you never know, it could even help them further improve their “openness and transparency” score in the next survey.

    Sounds like a shameless waste of rate payers’ money by the CoF on a PR Spin exercise.


  13. Mark said, on July 11, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Up from where is the question?
    It would also be interesting to see what questions where asked and in context to what?
    You would need to see the whole survey and how it was run to before we where to critical of it?
    Thought i do find the value for rates a strange one, as rates have gone up and services are certainly less.
    Also what was the criteria for the people to be chosen at random?

  14. Robert said, on July 10, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I think I’m reasonably informed but a good number of those questions I would have no opinion on so +or – would have to be ‘no opinion’

  15. Jayne and Roel
    The survey was done independently by Catalyse who do most local government surveys of this kind. So I feel as confident as I could in its impartiality and accuracy.

    I would also add that while it was good to see improvements in most areas but we still have a long way to go in terms of where we want Fremantle to be as a vibrant, sustainable and liveable city.

    To be frank our improvement is off a low base from around 2007 so no gloating after this one – just a sense we are on the right track.


  16. Murray
    There were key areas of unhappiness which the survey said residents would like us to focus on more including anti-social behaviour in the CBD and economic development of the centre of Freo and, of course, parking!

    Perhaps no surprises there but it is useful for knowing we have support for a stronger focus on these things.

    cheers, Brad

  17. freoview said, on July 10, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    It was done independently by one of the universities I think.


  18. Jayne said, on July 10, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Never heard anything about it… Maybe only the Councillors, Council staff and their families were contacted. I mean, openness and transparency up after that whole Kings Square fiasco? Hahaha!

    Anyone with half a brain know surveys and statistics can be easily manipulated to gain any response desired, and funnily enough, the results are always in favour of whoever is paying the bill. Must be coming up to election time – all this good news about the Council…

  19. freoview said, on July 10, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Yes valid point, Murray!


  20. Murray Slavin said, on July 10, 2015 at 11:19 am

    … and the downs?

    Murray Slavin 马睿
    0438 004 038 +61 438 004 038


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