Freo's View

PUBLIC COUNCIL MEETINGS NOT BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, fremantle society, local government by freoview on March 31, 2017

The Fremantle Society continues sending misinformation to their members, now claiming that recent decisions by Fremantle Council were made behind closed doors, as was put in capital letters screaming it out in an email.

Fact is that the one-year delay of the Sirona Capital settlement for the Spicer site development and the Kings Square playground went through the proper democratic process at Council and from public Council committees to public full Council meeting, so nothing of that process was irregular or behind closed doors.

This is part of the rambling email to the Fremantle Society members:

Democracy Dead at Fremantle Council

Major decisions affecting ratepayer assets have been made BEHIND CLOSED DOORS at Fremantle Council.

Giving council’s developer mates Sirona Capital an extra year to decide on the Spicer site, the $550,000 playgound in King’s Square, and major decisions affecting the n ew administration building we dont need, were all made behind closed doors at a sub committee of council and then simple reported at council.

Insipid Media

The media seem disinterested in major Fremantle governance issues like decisions being made behind closed doors.

It is time the Fremantle Society stopped the nonsense of making non-factual claims about Fremantle Council and started to make a positive difference instead of silly political grandstanding.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with rigorously scrutinising Council and severely criticising them when they deserve it, as I myself regularly do here on Freo’s View, but it needs to be based on facts. The issues mentioned in the FS email were not behind closed doors but at public council committees and council meetings I attended as an observer, and they were not ‘confidential items’ on the agenda either, so open to public scrutiny.

Agendas and Minutes of Council and Council Committee meetings can be read on the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers

11 Responses

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  1. freoview said, on April 1, 2017 at 5:36 am

    Coffee is always good Robert!

    Roel

  2. freoview said, on April 1, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Council IS open and available Sue. I meet with elected members and staff, ask questions, receive information, attend most council and committee meetings and make sure I am well informed by also daily talking to local residents and business owners.
    Like him or not but the Mayor is one of the most accessible people I know who always finds time to meet people.

    I have no issues whatsoever with anyone fairly criticising Fremantle Council and you know that I do that quite a bit on my blog but I am not going to be silent when untrue accusations are made.

    Roel

  3. freoview said, on April 1, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Yes indeed Brad and thanks for making that clear again, as I tried to do with my comments.
    It is very tiring to constantly hear the behind closed doors accusations and it is insulting to the Elected Members.

    Roel

  4. Rob Fittock said, on March 31, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    don’t bother Roel….let’s catch up for a coffee next week and I’ll let you know what is happening in the Jewel in the Crown

  5. Suzanne said, on March 31, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Roel, somehow buildings have been sold off at bargain basement prices to makeway for Sirona (sorry) Kings Square.
    The monstrosity designed for Notre Dame, Cliff Street is far too high and ugly and would be a blot on the heritage streetscape, yet the Heritage Council , of which the Mayor is a member, amazingly didn’t veto it.
    J Shed has been given a 20 year lease at a peppercorn rent, originally for a booze barn for 1500 patrons. The Council was ok with this till the Mayor mentioned his partner worked for the associates and withdrew from the vote and the Councillor lemmings immediately followed suit, thank goodness.
    Sunset have years ahead to try it on, as they did again this week.
    There are so many other instances that keep appearing.
    Of course the Ratepayers and Residents are concerned if the Council
    has closed door meetings. Look what financial trouble and weird arrangements and developers delight they have managed to dump Fremantle in already. I am sure they work and try very hard to do their best but they keep mucking up. For their own sakes, and ours, Council needs to be open and available.

  6. Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog said, on March 31, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Facts are important so let me lay out a few that Roel’s reader can verify for themselves:
    1. The strategy and project development committee CANNOT make decisions. It can only recommend to the council. So despite John’s assertion NO decisions were made behind closed doors.
    2. The minutes and recommendations for the strategy and project development committee meeting are available and online: http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/council/agendas-and-minutes
    3. There should be a separate listing for the strategy and project development committee meeting on the 7th (and i have asked why it is not there) but all the info is accessible and duplicated in the Ordinary meeting of council agenda and minutes anyway. So nothing is hidden .
    3. I moved last month that all future strategy and project development committee meetings (despite having no decision making ability) be open to the public. This was supported by all council members.
    cheers, Brad

  7. freoview said, on March 31, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Don’t be so patronising Paul. I don’t like or respect John Dowson and he does not like and respect me.

    Agenda of last weeks Ordinary Council Meeting:
    SPD1703-4 SPD1703-5 SPD1703-6
    KINGS SQUARE PROJECT – CIVIC BUILDING 7 KINGS SQUARE PROJECT – PROPOSED PLAYGROUND 15
    KINGS SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT- REQUEST TO EXTEND
    SPICER SUNSET DATE 18
    PERTH FREIGHT LINK REPORT – MARCH 2017 21 FUTURE OF FREMANTLE PORT REPORT – MARCH 2017 25
    KNUTSFORD ST DEPOT SITE REDEVELOPMENT – UPDATE
    MARCH 2017 27
    SPECIAL STRATEGY AND PROJECT DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE 14
    MARCH 2017 30
    SPD1703-7 KINGS SQUARE PROJECT CIVIC BUILDING SCHEMATIC
    DESIGN 30
    FINANCE POLICY OPERATIONS AND LEGISLATION COMMITTEE 8 MARCH 2017
    FPOL1703-3
    FPOL1703-5 FPOL1703-6
    FPOL1703-7 FPOL1703-8 FPOL1703-9
    34
    SUPPORT FOR A LOCAL GROUP OF ELDERS TO DEVELOP A PROPOSAL FOR LEASE OF 21 BEACH STREET, FREMANTLE 34
    LEASE – LEVEL 1, 13 SOUTH TCE, FREMANTLE 40
    TREE MAINTENANCE SERVICES TENDER EXTENSION
    FCC460/15 45
    COMMUNITY SPORT AND RECREATION FACILITY FUND
    (CSRFF) SMALL AND ANNUAL GRANTS 2017 48
    REVIEW OF THE STRATEGY AND PROJECT DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE TERMS OF REFERENCE 52
    1 MILLION WOMEN APP AND ROADSHOW 61
    1
    Roel

  8. freoishome said, on March 31, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Gentlemen. This isn’t the place for personal attacks.

    John has provided additional information about two meetings. Is this new to you Roel, was it included in the ‘rambling e-mail’ provided to the FS? If it was, then maybe you need to accept it relevance, if not then JD needs to make further comment.
    But let’s limit it to the facts – please.
    Paul

  9. Rob Fittock said, on March 31, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    never disagree with JD Roel because you will always find yourself on the outer but keep up ignoring and keep posting your thoughts

  10. freoview said, on March 31, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    If I am an apologist for the destruction of Fremantle what the hell are you John Dowson?
    You object to everything, are negative about everything and have absolutely nothing positive to offer, you sad sad person.

    Unlike you I do offer positive suggestions and solutions while also criticising developers and architects when they propose rubbish for Freo and criticise Council when they approve unacceptable and inappropriate buildings.

    Roel

  11. john Dowson said, on March 31, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Dear Adolf (Apologist for the Destruction of Lovely Fremantle),

    You need to get your facts straight. The important decisions we referred to were made behind closed doors at meetings of the Special Strategy and Project Development Committee on 7 and 14 March. As we said, the public were NOT allowed to attend those meetings (a change to the rules was made at the 22 March council meeting so that the public CAN attend such meetings in future).

    The minutes of one of those meetings did not appear on the website and are still missing from the website. The various designs, and comments about the new administration building from the Design Advisory Committee, still have not been made available for the public to see.

    It was notable that at one of those behind closed door meetings, neither City Ward councillor was in attendance.

    When the committee recommendations got to council, most went through en bloc without discussion. The Fremantle Society has been calling for an open and transparent process where the community can still have a meaningful say about the design of, and need for, a new administration building, and what King’s Square looks like in the future. It’s called democracy.


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