Freo's View

BACK TO THE FUTURE FOR FREO COUNCIL?

Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 30, 2017

 

It could be a case of deja vu all over again and back to the future with two former Fremantle councillors attempting to get back on at the October 2017 local government election.

Last week Katie Anketell announced she would be nominating, and I hear former Freo Mayor Jenny Archibald is also going to put her hat in the ring.

I wonder who else will be nominating and when/if Mayor Brad Pettitt will officially announce that he will be trying to get another term.

Roel Loopers

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CITY ADMITS SPEEDHUMP OVERKILL

Posted in city of fremantle, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on June 30, 2017

speed 1

 

Some of the 30 recently installed speedhumps along South Terrace in South Fremantle will be removed as the City of Fremantle fast recognised that it is overkill and has a negative impact on traffic, with some motorists doing slaloms around the humps, which makes it dangerous.

One speedhump in Wray Avenue will also be removed as the contractor created one more than they were instructed to do.

The negativity about it all is very annoying though.

As so often happens there are people in the community who claim they were not consulted on council issues in their neighbourhood. People against the speedhumps in South Fremantle now question the number of the residents who participated in the South Fremantle Precinct community meetings with City of Fremantle officers.

What they are suggesting is that because on average around 75 people per meeting attended the meetings at The Local hotel over a one year period they are not representative of the South Fremantle community.

If we take this further Fremantle Council also does not have a mandate because just under 30% of eligible people bother to vote at the local government elections.

What those who are now protesting loudly, after the horse has bolted, are saying is that the people who are willing to inform themselves and take the time to participate in the democratic process are less relevant than those who can’t be bothered to take an active interest in their community.

Do people really believe it is practical to door knock every resident before local governments make decisions, or that there should be on-line surveys rather than face to face communication between CoF officers and the affected communities?

One needs to question also if an on-line survey would reach 100% of affected people and how many of them would bother to participate, because community apathy is a curse for local government.

If people want to make a positive contribution to Fremantle they have to make an effort to inform themselves and not wait till it is served on a plate to them. Individuals have to combat their own ignorance about council matters and participate, rather than making uniformed comments from the sideline.

It is very important to share our ideas and concerns and find solutions together. Respectful dialogue between council officers, the community and elected members is a great way forward that we all can work on.

No one can be blamed for people not taking the time to inform themselves. They can only blame themselves.

Roel Loopers

EXCITING FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE PROJECT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on June 30, 2017

 

ks 4

 

The City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital held a Kings Square Local Traders Forum at the Federal Hotel on Thursday evening to update the businesses most affected by the Kings Square Project, which will start next month.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly presented the exciting project in detail and were assisted by Probuild managing director Sam Delmenico who will be responsible for the construction of the four buildings.

The Kings Square project is the biggest development ever in Fremantle and will take about 30 months to completion, with retailers expected to move in by mid 2019 and state government agencies by the start of 2020.

1,155  workers will be on the construction site full time for the 30 months, which will be a boost for the local cafes and traders. Most importantly they will also be there during the very quiet first half of the week, so local traders will no doubt benefit from it.

Probuild and the City should make sure that none of those building site coffee vans will drive to the construction site daily as that would negatively impact on Fremantle traders!

Matthew McNeilly told the audience that this is an extraordinary project for Fremantle that will significantly add to the Fremantle retail and hospitality experience. It will be a catalyst for future investment and development in our city.

There will also be an $ 8.5 million investment in the public realms with public art, nature playground, etc. which will make Kings Square an attractive place of lingering and relaxation in the city. It is meant to be a place for families to come to.

The new library in the Civic Centre will have 50% more space and badly-needed 11 community meeting spaces.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said it would be one of the most green buildings in Western Australia and that Fremantle could absolutely afford to build it. It is an investment into the City’s future!

Matthew McNeilly promised a whole new ‘deconstructed’ retail concept that is authentically Fremante, and a big exciting marketing campaign.

The precinct will be multi-layered with laneways running in different angles. It will be design-inspired retail and it will become a significant retail precinct for Freo.

Sirona Capital will also spend $ 8 million on the Queensgate carpark and activate Henderson and Queen streets with street level retail.

They will try to keep the carpark open for as long as possible but it will have to be temporarily closed at times, but 165 new parking bays will be provided at the Stan Reilley site and the vacant space on the corner of Point and Adelaide streets will also be made into a public carpark to add additional parking bays.

Probuild will try to minimise the impact of the construction site for local traders but it is important for them to receive feedback on any issues that might arise, so there is a new hotline to call: 1300 KSFREO.

While some concerns were raised by the traders present there was more of a sense of excited anticipation about the future of Fremantle and the much-needed economic recovery and making Freo a seven day a week shopping destination.

Fremantle Silverleaf director Gerard O’Brien was also at the forum and will have picked up some tips on how to proceed with the very important Woolstores shopping centre site development. Plans for that should be debated at Fremantle Council in the next month or so.

I personally feel like a child that has to wait before it is allowed to open his Christmas presents. I can only see good and positive things coming out of all the development in Fremantle. More people living, working and visiting the inner city will be fantastic!

Roel Loopers

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HEAVENLY WINTER IN FREMANTLE PARADISE

Posted in fremantle, winter by freoview on June 29, 2017

 

winter

Jenkin winter

 

Two winter photos I took in Fremantle yesterday and today.

The farmers will hate it but I just loooooooove the nice sunny days and blue sky.

Roel Loopers

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FUTURISTIC TESLA IN FREO

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on June 29, 2017

Tesla

 

Steve Grant of Fremantle Herald fame was doing a photo shoot in front of Chalkys cafe in Freo’s West End this morning when I had my coffee there, so I had to take a photo of the new TESLA electric car that was being test driven by Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt, Councillor Jon Strachan and ABC TV garden guru Josh Byrne.

When the doors are opened it looks rather futuristic. I am worried though about all the stuff falling out of the side pockets every time one opens the doors. ; >)

Roel Loopers

COUNCIL HURRY UP FOR SUNSET EVENTS

Posted in arthur head, bathers beach, city of fremantle, sunset events, Uncategorized by freoview on June 29, 2017

 

Sunset Events received a hurry up notice from Fremantle Council last night when the elected members unanimously rejected the request to delay the start of their lease for the number one unit at J Shed, by one year to July 2018.

This means Sunset Events will now have to start paying rent for the Bathers Beach unit from July 1 this year.

Councillors expressed their disappointment that Sunset Events had not used their best endeavour to obtain planning and liquor licensing approval, and that they had sat on their hands for eight months since the initial proposal for a tavern and outdoor concert venue was rejected by the WA Planning Commission.

As Councillor Bryn Jones said Council should not reward Sunset Events for doing nothing for a long period but then to come at the midnight hour to want an extension of the lease.

Councillors Thompson, Waltham and Sullivan believed that the alternative proposal would give the City more leverage to cancel the lease if Sunset Events did not get a move on, but several public speakers had wanted a full rejection and the elected members voted the way the community wanted them to vote.

Good to see election candidates Ra Stewart and Claudia Green in the public gallery. Anyone who stands for Council and put their hand up to support their community has my respect!

Roel Loopers

P.S.

Members of the public have been questioning why Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillors Sam Wainwright and Rachel Pemberton declare a conflict of interest when Council debates the Sunset Events tavern at J Shed. They leave the Chamber and do not take part in the discussion and do not vote on the agenda item.

It is not clear at all, so I did some thorough investigation and found out the real reasons for it.

It turns out that Councillor Pemberton as a four-year-old once listened to the music of a certain band and she had heard rumours that Sunset Events guru David Chitty had bought an LP of that same band in 1987, hence she believes the community might have the impression that because she shares the same love for the same band as Chitty she could not be impartial.

Councillor Sam Wainwright’s seventh cousin of the sixth uncle of his grandfather was a union representative in Victoria, which looked after brewery workers. It is possible that beer from that brewery was once sold at a Sunset Events concert, hence the conflict of interest for this councillor.

Mayor Brad Pettitt had concerns that in 1975 French backpacker Bradouin Petit might have worked as a kitchenhand for a foodstall at a Sunset Events Concert and because of the similarity of names the community might question his impartiality, hence his declaration of conflict of interest.

This makes it all very clear, as mud, but one still has to wonder why the three elected members initially voted to grant a 21-year lease to Sunset Events and their conflict of interest did not exist then.

SNIPPETS FROM FREMANTLE ORDINARY COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 29, 2017

 

* Fremantle Council deferred the application for a five-storey tourist accommodation development for the Mills Records site at Adelaide Street on a motion by Mayor Brad Pettitt.

* The Mayor believed the lines of the new building should have a stronger vertical impression and be more complimentary to the old building in front, and that the pergolas should be removed.

* Council rejected an application for parking permits for the residents of the Warders Cottages in the Henderson Street Mall, with Councillor Sullivan saying the mall should be car and parking free.

* A two-storey addition and additional use of the site as a restaurant and health studio in South Fremantle was also rejecetd by Council because the area is zoned residential and it would create parking, noise and smell issues for local residents.

* Scheme Amendment 68 for a mixed use zone for Brockman Place and Hampton Road was also debated with Councillors expressing concerns about traffic and that there should be a clear integration with Hollis Park.

Councillor Andrew Sullivan said it needed to be genuinely beneficial for the community and residents, and that getting it wrong now could mean millions and millions of dollars of cost for the City in the future.

Councillor Sam Wainwright said that everyone will be a winner by preserving a road corridor that will be needed when the area is being developed.

* The packed full public gallery was not at all impressed with the self-indulgence of Councillor Jon Strachan, who presented a 20-minute slide show of his visit to the sister city of Molfetta at the start of the council meeting, when everyone wanted to get on with business at hand and far more important items to deal with than the Councillor’s last supper in Italy.

Roel Loopers

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TRAFFIC CALMING IS COMMUNITY WISH

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on June 28, 2017

 

speedhumps

 

Social media is an interesting indication on how well informed or ill-informed the community is, what they believe in, what they are passionate about, and how some people just want to use social media to release anger and negativity.

The recently installed speedhumps in Fremantle are getting a lot of feedback on Facebook, with some people saying they don’t slow down traffic, while others claim they create traffic jams.

People ask why speedhumps instead of lowering the speed limit, but local government can only do that if Mainroads agree to do so, and they did not in these instances.

My own observation, and that is not an opinion, is that vehicles are considerably slowing down in Ord and Ellen streets and Wray Avenue and South Terrace, from doing around 50kph to only 30kph.

I know that my old car will complain and the shockies cry out when I go over a speedhump too fast.

There are also those who believe speedhumps are a unique Fremantle thing and show that Freo Council are lunatics, but speedhumps are used all over Australia and the world to calm traffic and they need to be approved by the WA Mainroads Department.

Traffic calming is mostly implemented after complaints about traffic from local residents and businesses, so Fremantle Council is accommodating those who are affected most by it.

Roel Loopers

NEW FREO CIVIC CENTRE GOOD FOR HERITAGE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on June 28, 2017

 

kings square_lr_1498613599015

 

An independent report by heritage experts Griffiths Architects has concluded that the new City of Fremantle civic building at Kings Square has a ‘favourable effect on heritage’ by providing strong interactions between the historic Fremantle Town Hall and the civic and community functions of the new building.

The soon-to-be-built $50m administration and library building will enhance the important heritage aspects of Fremantle’s Kings Square according to the recently received heritage impact statement.

The report advises the new building will help return the town hall to prominence by reintegrating the town hall back into the centre of civic life:

The overall presentation of the town hall, civic functions and administration will be visually enhanced by a more integrated 21st century building that relates well to the town hall, Kings Square and William Street and Newman Court.

The changes will reintegrate the town hall back into day-to-day city life, provide proper connections to services and lift areas and ensure that contemporary requirements that can be so damaging to historic buildings are located in the new building.

Fremantle Council wanted a long-term approach in determining the design for the new building and that it must stand the test of time to last 100 years or more to become Fremantle’s future heritage.

Council weighed up all the information and decided a full redevelopment rather than a refurbishment of the existing building would be best to meet the long-term needs of the Fremantle community.

The Griffiths Architects report was critical of the current building, saying it had failed to make a positive contribution to the urban setting of Kings Square, was intrusive, dislocated the town hall from its administrative functions and was past its useful life.

The current building is inefficient from an environmental and operating cost perspective, suffers from concrete cancer, has significant asbestos contamination issues and does not meet legal disability access requirements.

I don’t believe Fremantle Council has decided yet if it will add a third floor to the new Civic Centre, but I think it would be remiss, and Council would fail in their duty, if they did not plan for the future of a larger Fremantle, when there is little doubt that Fremantle is growing and local government reform through amalgamations will happen in the not too distant future.

The Kings Square Project will be a huge game-changer for Fremantle and change our fortunes for the better. I can’t wait for it to start!!

Roel Loopers

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THAT FREO WEST END COMMUNITY FEELING

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on June 28, 2017

 

art 4

 

Aboriginal artist Peter Farmer has completed his artwork on the PTA switchboard along the railway line at Little High Street in Fremantle’s West End.

It is nice to see the local residents of the townhouses take so much pride and create their own community garden with furniture and plants along their properties.

It is a real shame the City of Fremantle killed off the delightful Arthur Head community, just opposite the railway line, when they  created the flawed Bathers Beach Arts Precinct and evicted the residents of the Pilot’s Cottages at Captain’s Lane.

Sunshine and Remedy of the Crookes family used to bring their friends from Lance Holt School home and play outside. They connected with tourists and sometimes had a small stall where they sold drinks and sweets from. Their gorgeous grey cat Hunter must have been one of the most photographed cats in the world as every tourist stopped to take his photo.

The Crookes held BBQs and family celebrations with friends, while next door the Fremantle Society held events, used their cottage for meetings and helped activate the area. We held bowls evenings on the grass where local could connect. I lived in the cottage as the caretaker for FS until we were told to move out.

The two cottages plus the one occupied by the Port Pilots were occupied 24/7 and that meant no homeless people invading the cottages at night.

Now we have a dark ghost town up at Arthur Head and people shooting up, defecating and using the verandahs and backyards as bedrooms.

Even during day time the cottages are rarely occupied and the artists studios and the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre have not done anything to activate the area. Only the very professional Glen Cowans Underwater Photography Gallery has made a positive impact at Captain’s Lane

It is a shame Fremantle Council does not admit it was a mistake and failure to change the  heritage precinct into an arts precinct, as it was much more activated when the Pilot’s Cottages were occupied 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Roel Loopers

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