Freo's View


Posted in carbon, city of fremantle, community, environment, local government, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on July 17, 2019


Dual and strong attacks on Fremantle and Mayor Brad Pettitt in today’s West Australian.

In his column Paul Murray writes that the City of Fremantle has claimed carbon neutral status when that can’t be substantiated, because they did not follow the rules and did not have an independent audit every three years.

This comes, according to Paul Murray, after a Murdoch University student who is doing a masters in renewable and sustainable energy, started asking questions about Fremantle’s claim of carbon neutrality.

Student Martin Lee is quite well known in Freo because he also was very critical about the Kings Square business plan many years ago. Lee was told by the City of Fremantle that it will finally engage a consultant to do their first carbon neutral audit this financial year. That is pretty damaging for the reputation of our council!

The second article is an attack by local Freo traders on Mayor Brad Pettitt, claiming the Mayor is more interested in a moral crusade about social issues and the environment than looking after the City’s economic welfare and declining retail.

While I am often very skeptical about the One Planet priorities at Fremantle Council I believe the elected members have been pro-actively trying to turn Freo’s economy around with the Kings Square redevelopment project, Planning Scheme Amendment 49 that encouraged developers to build residential and commercial medium rise buildings in the CBD, and the new destination marketing launch that is now promoting Fremantle more substantially.

Retailers all over the Perth metro area from Mount Lawley to Leederville, Subiaco, Perth, etc. complain about similar things; parking too expensive or not enough parking bays, antisocial behaviour and homeless people. There is very little local councils can do about homeless people and antisocial behaviour but Fremantle has improved its safety officers program and they are out on the streets every day from early to late.

While I would like to see Fremantle Council focus more on the day to day practical issues our city faces and change some of its priorities I do not believe that traders should be blaming Fremantle Council and its Mayor for the huge issues retailer face all over Australia and the world. There is no doubt that there is a retail and a homelessness crisis, but the power of local governments to tangibly do something about that is very limited.

In that context it is interesting to read that the $ 750 million Garden City extension work has been stopped by the builder.

Roel Loopers


8 Responses

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  1. spencertive said, on July 18, 2019 at 10:14 am

    The ‘high street’ model of consumer shopping has long been in global decline for a decade, this is hardly a surprise and not unique to Fremantle. Businesses that complain about lack of support don’t seem to offer legitimate solutions or strategies that will successfully pull more people into their stores other than abolish paid parking. Which would mean less revenue, likely higher residential rates and less money to put on regular attractions and events to get people in. The only real long term answer is to get more people living and working in Fremantle, which is what council is trying to do. And with a council that’s engaged with actively adopting real climate change and social policies makes it all the more appealing to potential buyers. All this Freo and Brad bashing is a narrow-minded and unfair.


  2. Suzanne said, on July 18, 2019 at 6:23 am

    Three pages in the West is what you call a mighty big answer to the Mayors little letter criticizing the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Mayor Pettit started it, Paul Murray and Co. finished it with a sledgehammer of articles mocking the Freo Councils apparent big fib.


  3. freoview said, on July 17, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    I do believe that Sean. There are a few people in our community and traders in Fremantle who constantly talk our city down and that is only to the detriment of the traders because once the negative perception takes hold it is hard to get rid off it.



  4. Sean said, on July 17, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Gotta accentuate the positive….eliminate the negative….😀


  5. freoview said, on July 17, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    The problem is that the Mayor is the spokes person for Fremantle Council, hence his large public profile. I think Brad Pettitt is probably more interested moving back to academia in two years than moving up in politics, but time will tell.

    Who has aspirations to become Freo’s next Mayor in October 2021?



  6. Glenn said, on July 17, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    I agree there is nothing the mayor can do to address homelessness, and he is doing his very best and a good job in difficult circumstances on economic activation of the city. I don’t think that criticism of him is fair at all.
    There is also little he can do to, for example, change the date of Australia Day but it doesn’t stop him self-aggrandising on the issue and using ratepayer money on a divisive day that has already lost its novelty value and become progressively less popular in just three years. It seems probable he has higher political ambitions but I am not sure the City of Fremantle gets any great value out of being a vehicle to raise the profile of Senator-in-Waiting Pettitt. I suggest that is what might make the traders that are doing it tough upset.


  7. Murray Slavin said, on July 17, 2019 at 11:34 am

    I think that at a time when the world’s going to hell in a basket a mayor and his city taking up a moral crusade about social issues and the environment rather than simply looking myoptically after the City’s economic welfare and declining retail is commendable … especially when the latter is a universal phenomenon.


  8. Clayton GUNNING said, on July 17, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Not that I give a second thought to the Municipality of Melville but one has to feel for anyone who bought off the plans in the new residential unit development next to Garden City. These unsuspecting or are they naive buyers property values will be significantly reduced before they even move in now the Garden City redevelopment which was the centrepiece of the marketing plan for the units has been put on hold.

    A very informed friend advised me not that long ago don’t buy anything off the plans and don’t buy in any development more than six stories tall that wasn’t built before 1999 due to inadequate building regulation.


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