Freo's View


Posted in fremantle, housing, planning by freoview on October 8, 2015

A new report by the Australian Council of Learned Academies-ACOLA tells us a lot what we already know but is important to remind us all about it time and time again.

The ACOLA reports says that by the middle of next century the population will be double in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne and that the cost of urban congestion will increase four-fold in the next 20 years to $ 53 billion by 2031.

We all know and understand that urban sprawl is the major factor in this, so ACOLA recommends to reduce and avoid the need to travel through creating economic hubs so people live close near where they work, and to shift to environmentally friendly transport; public, bikes, walking, and improve energy efficiency; electric cars.

The recommendation I like best, and wonder why it is not happening already, is to get all three levels of government, Federal, State and Local to actually coordinate planning.

ACOLA also suggest to establish a planning philosophy where the need for mobility is reduced and the aim of good health and sustainability advanced.

It all makes sense but how do we get the Great Australian Dream of a big house and garden out of the Australian culture?

The W.A. State Government is not exactly rushing to create so called satellite cities around the Perth metro area and move large departments to places like Fremantle, and neither are big businesses keen to move away from their highrise palaces in Perth and West Perth.

One option would be for Landcorp to release less land for single housing and insist on higher density new suburbs, and urban infill needs to increase faster than at the present rate and that is a challenge for local governments as residents are reluctant to embrace it.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.

2 Responses

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  1. freoishome said, on October 8, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Where will WA’s next Metro city be located?

    Perth is, maybe was, the lovely city that was different to other Australian Metro cities because it was around 1M. The thought of it being 4M is awful.

    WA is 1/3rd of the Australia and only has one Metro sized city. It doesn’t make sense now, and certainly not in the future.

    Perth Freight Link is only being considered because we still have this mentality that Perth MUST be ALL THINGS, TO ALL, IN PERPITUITY.

    Perth is about 1000 sq kms, a pin head, within the scale of the whole of WA. Unlike many other nations we can basically just say lets put a new Metro sized city, just about anywhere, ie, just allocate another 2 blocks of 500sq kms, and the land availability issue disappears, land price would be cheap, the new city would be designed to avoid these Perth Freight Link issues ever occurring. They would be designed with the density you outline right from the start.

    If a 3rd world country like China and Indian can do this why is it so hard for WA to do it?

    This would take the pressure off Perth, so that the required changes could occur at a pace that was evolutionary, instead of the conflict ridden revolutionary pace we have today.



  2. Diana Ryan said, on October 8, 2015 at 7:58 am

    One of the best and most telling papers I have ever read was one that looked at how East Perth became a very expensive housing area, when it was originally planned to be the opposite. Feds, and both flavours of WA state govts were involved in this dismal failure, and it dragged on for years.

    I recall the former State govt had to wrestle with subsequent residents being annoyed at the constant stop/start of a CAT bus moving through the area, and not so long ago Lisa Scaffidi said it was ridiculous how many houses there (where she lives) have 3+ cars. Some are also not happy at having the rail depot there – which the houses were built up around. Wheel squeal, etc.

    Calls like the above have been around for so long, including from every level of govt, including that they should all be consulted, all work in conjunction.

    So why doesn’t it happen? It wasn’t apparent from the East Perth paper that the project failed in original purpose because of successive state govt “short termism”.

    I don’t think the Landcorp projects coming out are either that amazing or that affordable. So perhaps all we ever do is make these calls, not co-operate particularly well in achieving it, talk projects that do come out up ridiculously highly, but ultimately never really achieve hoped-for “calls”.

    This comment didn’t say very much – that’s why I made it. Calls for this and that is kinda how we get in to Heaven, but it is highly debatable that this “amazing” project, particularly to do with housing, ever really was.

    I asked Rachel Pemberton to move forward in time, for instance, with her plan to [kinda, maybe and certainly in aspiration] produce a more affordable, less environmentally impactive housing model that took up less space.

    What will it sell and re-sell for (can you do long term modelling with the Property Council)?
    Who will it ultimately show could afford to either buy or rent there?
    What is the likelihood those within the development will keep to high principles of efficiencies?

    (I seem to recall also there is a PhD candidate at Curtin studying why 10 houses in Freo, with all their efficiencies, aren’t apparently producing the hoped-for results. Josh’s House, for example, isn’t that good an example as a lot is staked on that publicly, so it has to ensure it keeps to projections).

    Ultimately, what is there to suggest that a hoped-for model would ever turn out to be the case? Bit like affordable housing brought about by govt intervention – gone in flash once the once-grateful recipient gets to flog it on the private market.

    Anyway, that was my suggestion to Rachel – a kind of plan-it-forward, see what will actually occur, work back from that. Its a new call. Rachel didn’t think she could accommodate it….

    Which is really my point.


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