The Town of East Fremantle is trying to ban the use of plastic shopping bags, what the City of Fremantle unsuccessfully tried twice and was refused to implement by the WA government, so maybe a more achievable compromise would be to demand that retailers charge a fee for plastic bags, as they have done successfully in the United Kingdom according to The Guardian.
I quote a section of The Guardian’s recent article below:
# The number of single-use plastic bags used by shoppers in England has plummeted by more than 85% after the introduction of a 5p charge last October.
# More than 7 billion bags were handed out by seven main supermarkets in the year before the charge, but this figure plummeted to slightly more than 500 million in the first six months after the charge was introduced, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.
# The data is the government’s first official assessment of the impact of the charge, which was introduced to help reduce litter and protect wildlife.
# The charge has also triggered donations of more than £29m from retailers towards good causes including charities and community groups, according to Defra. England was the last part of the UK to adopt the 5p levy, after successful schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Good to see charging for the plastic bags did not become another profit making exercise but that the money was donated to good causes.
Unlike retailers such as IGA and Peaches in Fremantle the big supermarkets do not offer cardboard boxes as an alternative to plastic shopping bags, and that also needs to be encouraged as it is a good way to recycle the boxes the goods arrive in at the shops.
An article about young architects and city development in today’s Sunday Times magazine has me wondering about certain facts in the article.
Journalist Jade Jurewicz mentions successful architect Nic Brunsdon, who among many innovative things such as Spacemarket and MOANA also started the Many 6160 retail and design incubator in the former Myer building at Fremantle’s Kings Square.
The article claims that Many pumped $ 1.7 million into the Fremantle economy since it opened in 2013 and because of Many there has been a 25 per cent reduction in vandalism in the area.
Where do these figures come from? Many is only open for four days a week, so I doubt it has a severe impact on the reduction of vandalism at Kings Square and I doubt it is highly successful as a retail environment as one rarely sees shoppers in the building.
I like fresh new innovative ideas, but the fact is that many mini retailers tried Many and left because it was not financially successful for them. Many is more or less a slightly more upmarket weekend market where presumably many traders have more secure income on weekdays to support their Many shop income, so how it has pumped $ 1.7 million into Fremantle, as the reporter claims, I’d like to know.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt is also quoted in the article and rightly says that cities develop in layers. Archeologists will no doubt also agree with our Mayor, but while the layers of innovation, development and progress are good, the physical layer of boring and mediocre new buildings in our city will have a long-lasting negative affect on the character of Fremantle. At present it looks more as if we are trying to put layers of manure on top of fields of beautiful roses. That is not acceptable!
There are a lot of plastic pipes and a fifteen-metre wall of water at the Fremantle Arts Centre but there is no plumber anywhere to be seen for the intriguing Every Point of View show by Singaporean artist Matthew Ngui.
It is the Australian premiere for this large-scale installation that was commissioned by the Singapore Art Museum to mark the 50 years of state independence.
Ngui wrote ten statements about democracy on the pipes from a cross-section of Singaporeans, but I was unable to even construct a single word out of them, so is Ngui’s observation that democracy is a garbled message? Or maybe the plastic pipe material he uses means that democracy is a pipe dream.
As one person said democracy is the perception that the people are in power, but we all know that we often feel that is not the case.
There is also the Swimming; at least 8 points of view fifteen-metre-wide projection of Ngui doing laps in a swimming pool.
I really like the show and if you look carefully at the photos you’ll see I even did a selfie of me in the democracy projections.
There is the opportunity today, Saturday July 30 to have a lot of fun while supporting the Fremantle Foundation‘s IMPACT 100 project by going to FREO DE JANEIRO at Little Creatures in the Fishing Boat Harbour.
It’s on from 12 noon till late, so dress up for a good old Carnivale!
It is nice to see a bit of colour in the drab Paddy Troy Lane in Fremantle. The Newport Hotel did these murals that look stunning and there is other graffiti art on other buildings, while bollards and trees have been covered with colourful ropes.
The lane runs parallel to the Cappuccino Strip and William Street and the lovely Grumpy Sailor cafe is also there. Check it out!
The 25 under 25 Art Award is on show at the Fremantle Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery in Henry Street, so go and have a look at some young non-pretentious art.
There is $ 2,000 worth of prize money up for grabs and a four week artist residency at the Fremantle Arts Centre. The winners will be announced this evening from 6.30 pm.
There is a very well done 3D piece Toilets by Elizabeth Bills, a realist painting of the New Edition bookshop by Megan Bouwer, while Lizzy Joyce takes the piss out of Coles with her Down Down Bilbys are Down 3D work of a bilby pushing a shopping trolley.
Open/Closed of grass growing out of bed sheets by Sophie Nixon is very tranquil, while cricketer Adam Gilchrist was painted in a huge colourful acrylic by Jaidip Singh.
And there is a very impressive oil painting on a metal lid by Lara Sawyer.
It is important to show support for young, fresh emerging artists, so go and say hello tonight!
It is interesting to read in the Fremantle Herald this morning that Subiaco Councillor Julie Matheson has told them she will stand as an independent in Fremantle for next year’s state election.
Matheson stood for the senate in the recent federal election and she founded the Scrap the DAP movement that is calling for the abolition of the highly controversial WA Development Assessment Panels.
I am disappointed though to read the platform Matheson will try to get into parliament on as it is quite naive.
Matheson told the Herald that all that is needed is to put a new passenger terminal at Fremantle Port to boost tourism and there will be no need for container and sheep transport at Fremantle as that all can be moved to Kwinana.
According to state government, Fremantle Ports, and experts though a new Kwinana Port would be an overflow port only and Fremantle Port would be needed for container freight for at least another 25 years.
While I agree a new passenger terminal closer to the railway station would be good, it also has to be acknowledged that the vast majority of passengers hop on buses to the Pinnacles and Swan Valley and don’t spend a lot of time and money in Fremantle.
After extensive community consultation plans have been drawn up by Fremantle Ports for the development of Victoria Quay and they don’t involve moving the terminal, so that too is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.
While the DAP is controversial in the Perth metro area the Labor and Liberal parties support it, so whatever the outcome of the state election it is unlikely the DAP system will be scrapped.
I admire Julie Matheson for being very active in the Subiaco community and beyond, but hope she will make more informed statements about Fremantle Port if she stands as an independent for Fremantle in March next year. Just shifting Freo port to Kwinana is not going to happen in my life time, but as I have expressed many times before a Kwinana port needs to be a priority for the WA government as it will take a very long time for it to become a reality.
A couple of photos I took at sunset today south of Fremantle’s historic Bathers Bay.
I have been to a few Pecha Kucha events and they are always very interesting. They are fast and diverse as presenters only have 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to talk about their subject.
It’s on at the lovely Local Hotel in South Fremantle this Friday from 6pm and tickets are just $ 6.00.
The speed of it all attracts a lot of young and creative people and it is very enjoyable for a couple of hours while having a drink and a meal.
Everyone who regularly reads this Freo’s View blog knows that I have been vigorously scrutinising what is happening at Fremantle Council for many years and that I have been outraged at times with my criticism when things are not done properly or not done at all, but I sometimes shake my head when I read the ridiculous negativity on social media about our Council and Elected Members.
According to some comments Freo Council is following a Greens doctrine and according to those critics the Greens are socialists. However, Fremantle Council is strongly supportive of the capitalist idea of investment and development in our city, so that is not very socialist. How can that specific criticism of Council make sense to anyone?
Those same critics also say Fremantle should be more supportive of its retailers. It is doing that by encouraging residential, office and tourist development, but those who say Council is not doing enough to support our retailers are also against higher density and infill. To be financially successful and sustainable retail needs high footfall and that means many more people living and working in the CBD and visiting it.
No new retailers, especially major ones, will open shop in Fremantle unless they know that the numbers will add up and that means many more people walking the streets of the CBD seven days a week and not just on weekends.
People complain about Freo City not doing enough and demand better and more services and want to get more free parking and reduced parking fees, without supporting a substantial increase in residents and offices. They also do not want to pay higher rates or for the city to sell off assets, so how is the City going to pay for services that are more expensive every year when it does not create more income?
I believe the community should be part of the solutions and work closer with council, and I do realise it takes two to tango. We need more respectful communication from both sides and Elected Members not ignoring community input. We need better transparency and accountability, but we also need a community that stops the often silly conspiracy attacks on Council. It is all about respect and to stop the political point scoring that too often happens. Fremantle is a very good city that can become a whole lot better when we work together on improving it.
Development is essential to make Freo grow and prosper but it needs to be very good development that reflects on the character of our city. It can be done, as I have been shown at the Elders building in Cliff Street where the Mediterranean Shipping Company will move into later this year.
North Fremantle architect Murray Slavin took me around this morning and it is a stunning new building full of natural light, while the former Elders building has been restored to its old glory. It is a tranquil environment to work in and looks great from street level as well.
It will also bring 160 new office workers to the West End and that will no doubt be good for local cafes and retailers.
For Fremantle to move forward it will need to grow. The status quo is not sustainable and that’s why I believe the ‘socialist’ building boom will be good for Freo in the long run.