Freo's View

INFILL OR GREAT AUSTRALIAN DREAM?

Posted in city of fremantle, development, western australia by freoview on October 30, 2015

It is interesting to read Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt’s call in the media today for the State Government to introduce cut off boundaries for development to stop urban sprawl, which Brad Pettitt says is unsustainable. The WA government already has an infill policy but that is contested at almost every local council.

The Cambridge Mayor who supported infill was defeated at the recent local government election by someone strongly opposing it, while the City of Nedlands also believes it should be exempt from infill to preserve it’s character and identity.

The Property Council claims that infill development is more expensive and that stops it from building affordable housing in established suburbs. That contradicts what the Fremantle Mayor is claiming about Freo’s inner city development and that  “It is about offering real good housing choice.” There is no proof though that Fremantle is doing any better at providing more affordable and social housing than other councils.

I agree that urban sprawl is not sustainable, but the Great Australian Dream of a house with garden is still very much alive and part of our culture, so who is going to force people into inner city apartments when most of them are not suitable for families, or for couples who want to have children, and most apartments don’t allow pets either.

New development on the periphery should also include medium and high density and not just blocks with single or two-storey homes, as that would start helping reduce the urban sprawl. At the end of the day we are all paying for the infrastructure to the outer suburbs, so maybe people willing to live in inner city apartments should get cheaper housing or rates, or those who want the Great Aussie Dream need to pay a premium to live the dream.

I am expecting the Fremantle Mayor  to give us a detailed, and hopefully factual, account on how well Freo is doing with affordable housing soon, as he promised to do it by the weekend in response to a previous blog post here earlier this week.

Roel Loopers

7 Responses

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  1. Mark said, on October 31, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Quite simply the majority of People don’t want to live this way.
    It may be great while your younger or single or just a couple, of course there a some who don’t want a garden and are happy to live in an hi rise with people living on both sides of the them under them above them.
    While block has decrease for sure over the years and in some locations will drastic drop in size.
    One thing we have seen if you want prices to go up restrict the land releases and watch the prices take off.
    There is already an over supply of apartments predicted for next year.
    Other developers are slowing or stopping more of these big developments
    We have seen in Freo match struggle to enough sales to kick of their project when they approached the city to buy 5 of them to get the funding model off the ground.
    Will this be freo’s example of affordable land.
    If land prices are high or its in heritage buildings or areas its not the place to put affordable housing, You think that would be self explanatory?

    Good to see Brads Driving for people to live in high denser space while lives in a house, across from a massive park (golf course) guess there’s not to much concrete, booze barns or loss of tree canopy moving across from his house.

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  2. Jenny Volpaia said, on October 31, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I guess this is the mayor that lives in a house with more bedrooms than used
    A front yard a typical Australian dream house so to speak. ok for him to live that but promotes living in med to high density, sounds hypocritical to me
    This is our fossil fuel burning mayor with his 2 cars both with fossil fuel burning engines but spouts divestment. While taking trips rate payer funded trips overseas for needless reasons. While increasing his carbon foot print with his jet fuel use
    Does Perth or WA really need to listen to such a person with such clear double standards.
    Could it be the more he pushes for smaller blocks and houses the more he will increase the value of his own properties?

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  3. dianaryan1 said, on October 30, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    I’m not sure I understand your response, Brad. We have already talked about the O’Farrell Govt’s idea to get those, like yourself, who did not have to pay the price of having civic structures extend to your house (at any point in the process, from build to all points of re-sale), pay a levy that retrospectively addresses that today, to go towards alleviating the costs of extending civic structure further out (you know, like what we are having to do because we built a railway line to Mandurah, and now one to Yanchep).

    Or should I say I brought the subject up, you just avoided it.

    I’ll see what I can do about getting someone different on the Property Council’s event speaker lists. Change is good.

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  4. Jayne said, on October 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Why go on about the urban sprawl, declining resources, water shortages, land clearing, food security and pollution without addressing the cause? The elephant in the room. Australia’s population is expected to double in 20-30 years and double again 20 years after that, like a virus. We can all reduce our consumption and improve technology but in the longer term, it’s a token effort if we allow the population to increase exponentially. The fact we still encourage immigration, including the ironically named Greens Party who want an open door policy for millions of refugees, shows we are still living as though the elephant will magically take care of itself. Now I better go hide from the PC Police.

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  5. Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog said, on October 30, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    I a not sure I understand your question Diana. It has been estimated that a block on the urban fringe already has $70k of subsides by the taxpayer attached to it. A denser city will be of better value to all in the long run. CHeers

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  6. dianaryan1 said, on October 30, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    The sprawl is following the railway lines as well. Mandurah is over 70kms away from Perth – Prof Peter Newman has often joyously pointed out that development is occurring around it, in what seems a pretty narrow development corridor anyway, but its flippin’ miles of land to cover with civic structure like roads, parks, water, electricity, gas and the northern rail will be extended to Yanchep…. as the northern corridor develops upwards at a rate of knots.

    Melbourne “closed” its boundaries, but Delphin Lend Lease (know here as Lend Lease, and developing land up the northern corridor as we speak), convinced the govt to “break through it” to develop a 13,000 strong housing development, which it promised to provide rail and bus infrastructure for.

    Rail/land development is hand in hand in the sprawl along our coast.

    As for Property Council, it is time they moved on to acknowledge that other Mayors exist, and that unless they start to include the reps of other areas of Perth in their exploration of issues, they’re probably not doing to get anywhere. However, I do think that those who benefit from so many facilities such as not having had to pay for civic structure to be extended to their homes, and from excellent access to facilities and the most highly subsidised end of public transport, should have this reflected in their rates, etc.

    No reason why existing, highly advantaged development can’t contribute to the cost of new build, which will be less advantageous and cost more.

    What do you think, Brad Pettitt? I’ve asked before, it was floated by the O’Farrell Govt. You never answer.

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  7. Lionel said, on October 30, 2015 at 11:56 am

    What I found to be the strangest parts of his comments were when he said (and I am paraphrasing here) ‘by creating boundaries where you can’t develop beyond you will increase the price of land and therefore make infill more viable’. This seems to fly in the face of trying to create more affordable housing – it instead would reward landowners and do nothing to reduce the price of infill.

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