Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 5, 2017


I am disappointed about the negative election campaign Fremantle Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart is running.

Stewart is a communication professional, so she knows all about the impact of running a negative campaign. That’s what all major political parties do, so why care about facts and fairness.

The latests Rabbish is on the front page of this week’s Fremantle Herald, where Liberal party supporter Stewart blames Fremantle Council for decisions made by businesses and the Liberal State Government. One can hardly call that fair or factual.

The departure of TAFE, downgrading of Fremantle Hospital, departure of Myer and the Dockers, yes it’s all Freo Council’s fault, according to Stewart.

Fremantle Council fought hard to keep Myer and the Dockers in town, with a City delegation travelling over east to talk to the Myer CEO, and Councillor Andrew Sullivan traveled with the Dockers’s board to look at the best AFL club facilities, but unfortunately it was to no avail. Freo City bend over backward to try to accommodate the Dockers, but they wanted to move on, and even get CoF to pay for their clubhouse or they would not give up the long-term lease of Fremantle Oval. Pretty disgraceful really!

Businesses don’t care about communities, they care about the triple bottom line, and the Dockers received financial support from the Liberal State Government to move to Cockburn.

Mayor Brad Pettitt even suggested I start a community campaign, so I set up the Keep Freo in Freo Facebook page when I was president of the Fremantle Society, as the Mayor believed a community push might help Council to convince the Dockers management to remain in town, but it did not succeed.

It is fair game to criticise Fremantle Council for decisions they made and one does not approve off, but blaming them for state or federal government decisions is ridiculous.

According to the Herald, Stewart also promised at her fundraising lunch at Bathers Beach House that she would reinstate Fremantle’s Australia Day celebrations to January 26. That is an empty promise she can’t realise, because should she be elected, she will have no power to implement that.  She should instead have promised that she would try to convince her colleagues on Council that Freo should go back to the traditional Australia Day date, and hope she’ll get a majority of elected members to vote with her.

I am disappointed in Stewart’s campaign to become the next Mayor of Fremantle, as it is all about attacking Fremantle Council, but not offering new, innovative ideas and long-term strategies for our city. Changing half hour free parking to one hour might me popular, but would it be practical?

Her slogan Freo For All is naive, as no politician will ever please everyone in the community or be inclusive of all the groups. Go to any planning meetings and see the disappointment of those whose propsals are rejected, or by neighbours whose opposition to proposals are ignored, and one realises that when one pleases one part of the community one upsets other parts of the community.

Local government is about being a team player and trying to achieve the best outcomes with a majority of votes. Stewart seems to believe however that as the Mayor she would have the power to dictatorially change policies all by herself, and that is total nonsense.

Promises by individual candidates that they will change things are unrealistic and ignorant of local government process, and voters should be aware of that and not get sucked in.

During political election campaigns it is important for voters to have a bullshit detector, because the hot air candidates expel might zap our brains.

Roel Loopers

10 Responses

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  1. freoview said, on August 7, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    I am not of you opinion Sam.


  2. Sam said, on August 7, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Roel, while I hope you’re right about the proposed developments, I’m thinking more about the damage done rather than what they currently promise, e.g. Australia Day decision, support for Rethink the Link, token environmentalism, ratepayer funded pet projects for a coterie of privileged coterie of hipster postgraduates
    – all damaging to the local economy and driven by politics/political correctness.Add to this the financial/commercial ineptitude leading to sell off of Council assets and Hilton Doubletree-type disappointments and it is plain to see why many ratepayers/residents are wondering if there’s a better option.

  3. freoview said, on August 6, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Sam I don’t think the long-term strategies of Fremantle Council are ideological, just common sense to get the conomy back on track through massive development. It will see many hundres of new CBD residents, thousands of new office workers and tourists being able to sat in new hotels. That is good for hospitality, retail, tourism, etc.


  4. Sam said, on August 6, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Roel while I agree it’s a stretch to accuse Council of losing TAFE, downgrading of Fremantle Hospital, departure of Myer etc, the ‘Freo For All’ slogan seems to be resonating with many of the voters I have spoken to – those who would like to see a council less preoccupied with an ideological agenda that sounds great in a university seminar but is not practical or helpful to them in their daily lives.

  5. freoview said, on August 6, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Fremantle council and then Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk fought very hard against the downgrading of the Fremantle Hospital and closing of the emergency ward, but the state government did not want to listen.

    The speedhumps decision in South Fremantle went through community consultatio of over a year. I attended at least three meetings, and the community there wanted traffic calming to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Why the officers, not the council!,insta;;ed 30 speedhumps and after two days removed ten of them is anyone’s guess.

    The same applies to Ord Street where Council and Mainroads want to minimise freight trucks to the port. Again the officers were over zealous and installed too many humps and they were too high.


  6. STG said, on August 5, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Didn’t the previous Mayor inform the current Mayor about the need to address Freo Hospital as you mention. I did see a recent whinge about the hospital from the current mayor, a couple of years too late. Oh yeah you forgot to mention the councils complete fuck up over the speed humps. Yeah I’m whinging but I’m a rate payer so I don’t give a fuck.

  7. freoview said, on August 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    I agree, Clayton, but it is hard for the moderator to refuse questions from the public because people would say that only selective questions were allowed to accommodate one of the candidates.

    I would also love to hear more about new plans, strategic long-term planning, and not negativity dwelling on the past and what might have gone wrong, because there is no way knowing what an new candidate might have done. Hindsight is great but not level playing field.



  8. Clayton Gunning said, on August 5, 2017 at 1:24 pm


    We have candidate debates but they have been wishy washy affairs with off topic questions that don’t see the Candidates really go head to head. Considering the campaigns of both candidates the debate needs to provide Brad and Ra with the opportunity to win over voters. I’m yet to see a local debate that changed the mind of one voter because of the way they have been run.

  9. freoview said, on August 5, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    There is always a candidate debate before the election, so no doubt that will happen again in two months or so.


  10. Clayton Gunning said, on August 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Maybe the best solution is a series of three really strong debates where Brad and Ra go head to head on issues?

    The questions would have to be fair to both parties and on topic; none of the wishy washy stuff we saw at the Federal Election Debate. If questions are off topic the Chair simply moves the debate on……

    We could even have a team of “fact checkers” so if incorrect answers are provided to questions the audience is alerted to the fact.

    AND then the local media could give an honest and unbiased report.

    Won’t happen but it should.

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