Freo's View

IS VICTORIA QUAY DEVELOPMENT GOOD FOR FREMANTLE?

 

Fremantle Council wants the working port to continue for as long as possible but it also wants development all along Victoria Quay, and those South Quay plans are now investigated by the WA government, but will development on Victoria Quay benefit Fremantle or compete with inner city development?

A working port means that the buffer zones around the port do not allow for residential development or a hotel, so all we would be getting at VQ is commercial development of office, retail and hospitality space, as the three suggestions by CODA showed, when this went through a lengthy community consultation process some years ago.

Will it really be good for Fremantle to have competing development at the port when it will be a challenge to fill the new commercial accommodation that will come on line soon in the CBD, and will the City of Fremantle receive council rates from any development within the Fremantle Ports boundaries, or will we have many more buildings that don’t contribute to the City’s coffers?

Any new development at VQ will no doubt have a substantial hospitality component where people can enjoy harbour views and sunsets while dining out or having a drink, and that will mean that the City’s safety rangers will have more work, or would the Port have their own security to police that?

I believe that any development at Victoria Quay should come under the jurisdiction of the City of Fremantle and building owners should pay council rates, as our city needs the extra income much more than Fremantle Ports do.

Roel Loopers

CHALLENGING FREMANTLE PORT FUTURE

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 19, 2019

 

The protest yesterday by the MUA-Maritime Union of Australia in front of Minister Simone McGurk’s office in Fremantle made me wonder why the union is not engaged in finding solutions.

It is by now well known that Fremantle Port can easily handle many more containers and could remain a working port for another 20-25 years, but that the issues are with how freight gets to and from the port, so has the MUA offered any ideas on how to solve that?

Why does MUA’s Chris Cain not sit down with Fremantle Ports, the trucking and stevedore companies and try to find solutions so that they get the people in North Fremantle and near Leach highway on their side?

I am always skeptical about a layperson offering quick solutions, so my suggestions are merely meant to be the start of a discussion among the experts.

Why not demand, or even enforce, 24/7 freight on road, more after business hours movement, so that there is less congestion during the day time?

Why not encourage or enforce that trucks can not arrive empty to pick up containers, but also have to deliver on the same trip? That might require more computerised collaboration between trucking companies, but it would make freight by road more efficient and hence more cost efficient. A win win for all.

Trucks that can only transport one single container should be banned as it is inefficient and clogs up roads. Coming back from the dentist yesterday I was at a North Fremantle traffic light where I saw nine trucks coming through and all of them just carrying one container. That is silly.

More freight on rail is also helpful but there is an issue with noise and vibration for people in the west end of Fremantle, and the current line cannot handle double stacking, so growth is limited even when a new bridge is built.

Fremantle Port is one of the most efficient ports in Australia so the MUA members clearly know what they are doing, so they should put their considerable experience toward trying to make the freight part of the operation more efficient and less of a burden on the local community.

And one more word to Chris Cain and his threat that the Member for Fremantle will be gone at the next election. Do you really believe that Lisa-I should think before I speak-Harvey and Bill-I must have been absent when God handed out brains-Marmion will be more supportive of the MUA than the current government?

Simone McGurk is a very hard working and excellent minister who has some very challenging portfolios, such as child protection and domestic violence. She does not deserve the MUA threat.

I love the working port and hope it will remain for a very long time, but consideration must also be given to the residents in North Fremantle and along the road and rail freight corridors, so it is a much bigger issue than just jobs for wharfies.  The MUA should be pro-active in investigation which kind of new jobs a new port might have to offer and assist in retraining some of their members.

But there is no need for panic as a new port if built at Kwinana will be a very slow and long process, and Chris Cain will long have retired by then and I will be long dead.

Roel Loopers

YET ANOTHER PLAN FOR FREMANTLE WOOLSTORES

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2019

 

I will probably never understand how developers tick, so the latest news in the Fremantle Herald this morning that Silverleaf Investments have submitted yet another plan for the Woolstores development should not really surprise me, but it does.

After previous development applications were knocked backed by Fremantle Council and the Joint Development Panel-JDAP a revised and lower plan was finally approved and development was expected to start late this year.

Now Silverleaf have again submitted plans, which according to Mayor Brad Pettitt are the best yet.

It is a shame that this major hotel development is now also pushed back when the SKS Group has been procrastinating on the Hilton Doubletree hotel development on the Point Street carpark site. That delay is becoming more and more unacceptable but the City of Fremantle appear powerless to do something about it.

Fremantle needs more real and tangible development instead of development in the pipeline. Many of our traders are just hanging in there and won’t survive much longer unless real activation of Fremantle’s business centre is happening.

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S FANTASTIC FACELIFT

 

Facelift 1

 

It is really exciting for me that there is so much going on in Fremantle and that good old Freo is getting a well-deserved facelift all over town.

At Kailis in the Fishing Boat Harbour work has started on the new 80s cafe that will feature more affordable fish such as herring and mullet and will have a raw fish section. I love sashimi so I’d better win Lotto so that I can become a regular at the raw fish bar.

In gorgeous High Street another heritage facade is being restored while at ground level the Breaks cafe is being renovated.

And at Kings Square the raised tree beds are being removed so that the new pavement can be put down.

Fremantle’s rejuvenation has been a long time coming but I hope and believe that brilliant times are the future of our beautiful city.

Roel Loopers

TWO MORE BIG DEVELOPMENTS FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 5, 2019

 

Beazley Way (1)

Two major Fremantle developments were approved by the Planning Committee on Wednesday evening.

The construction of four, three and four storey multiple dwelling buildings at Beazley Way in the WGV Sustainable Project in White Gum Valley went through without debate.

The development is proposed by Baugruppen and will be a citizen developers cooperate and would create 17 multiple dwellings.

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Also approved was the application by the Yolk Property Group for a six storey timber office building on the corner of High and Josephson streets, but Fremantle Society president John Dowson argued that the building was too high and above the height allowed for the area, while a resident claimed that a legal challenge might be coming because the City bought the site 49 years ago to widen Josephson Street so a building would be inappropriate.

Some Councillors asked why the sixth storey was not set back, as the planning scheme demanded, but it was argued that it would be detrimental to the elegant and restraint design of the building.

At the end they all agreed that it was an important development for the CBD and voted unanimously to approve it.

Roel Loopers

PARKING DELAYS NEW NORTH FREO BAR

Posted in bar, city of fremantle, city planning, hospitality, local government, parking, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on September 5, 2019

 

The application for a small bar/cafe and fashion outlet in North Fremantle took 50 minutes of time at the Fremantle Planning Committee,  with residents and traders arguing that there was a shortage of parking in the area and hence a new bar would not be sustainable.

The application is not for a new development but for a change of use of the old church building that has been an antique shop, a surf shop and a cafe. The place would open 15 hours a day and seven days a week, so would attract more daytime visitors

Some Councillors agreed that parking was an issue for the new business but other elected members said parking was not provided by other traders in the street, such as Mojo and Propellor and that parking was not a planning issue but a strategic planning issue for the council.

The idea that parking could be provided at the bowling club was supported by some but not by others, and I for one don’t like the idea of asking inebriated people to cross very busy Stirling Highway to get there.

At the end the Planning Committee voted on a motion by Councillor Bryn Jones to defer the item to full council in three weeks. I doubt that the parking issues will be resolved by then.

Roel Loopers

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FREO NEW CIVIC CENTRE UPDATE

 

 

Another milestone at the Fremantle Kings Square Redevelopment project with the basement concrete floor of the library of the new Civic Centre being poured today and the scaffolding coming down on the core that has reached its height.

One can also get a nice few of the pointed roofs of the kiosks of the FOMO retail and hospitality concept by Sirona Capital.

Roel Loopers

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PETITION AGAINST FREMANTLE PUBLIC LAND SALE

 

I came across this petition on Change.org that was started by Arts Centre Precinct resident Paula Amaral. It has 126 signatures currently.

A petition calling for a moratorium on the sale of Fremantle publicly owned land to private developers.

Available land near our City centre is at a premium because it is accessible to public transport and walking distance to shops and other amenities.

At present our City has a few vacant sites of publicly owned land, destined to be sold to private developers. Some of this land is owned by the State government, and some by the City of Fremantle. It used to have mostly social value, but now seems to have only financial value.

Once the land is sold to private developers, it will be lost to the community forever.

These are our assets and we should have a say in whether selling them to private developers purely to retire civic debt is really in the best interests of the community.

We are all aware of the rise of homelessness in our streets and the increase in poverty, which leads to terrible costs to our society. Research is showing a great need for affordable housing and facilities, not only for the visible homeless but all those at risk of homelessness.

For the last 30 years the policy of selling publicly owned land to private developers has significantly contributed to the lack of affordable housing in our City.

We are petitioning for a moratorium on the sale of our publicly owned land before it is too late. Let’s stop this practice which has contributed so much to social disadvantage and inequality.

 

Roel Loopers

IS WESTPORT SHORTLIST PREMATURE?

 

It is predictable that Garreth Parker in today’s column in the pro Liberal Sunday Times claims that the Westport Taskforce is flawed because it did not consider Roe8/9 as a potential solution, but that is for two reasons. There is no potential Roe 8/9 offered that had a solution for the North Fremantle traffic congestions, as the Barnett government experts could not find a way of connecting the last part of the highway extension into the port, and the second reason is that the McGowan government was elected with a landslide on the promise not to build Roe 8/9.

While I believe the Westport Taskforce process has been very good I am surprised they announced the preferred shortlist of options before environmental assessments have been made about the impact a potential new port in Kwinana might have on Cockburn Sound and what impact the mainly land-based transport options would have on local communities away from Leach Highway and North Fremantle.

What if the EPA and other agencies rule that marine life would be far too much threatened in Cockburn Sound and that a new port is not acceptable? Do we start from scratch again and repeat the whole expensive progress without a new Kwinana port as an option?

Public information and transparency are very important, but maybe it was just premature to announce a shortlist of options with a new Kwinana port as the first option before we understand the impact it might have on the very important Cockburn Sound.

Roel Loopers

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MORE SUSTAINABILITY FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, environment, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 14, 2019

 

Fremantle has updated its Sustainable Building Policy to ensure Fremantle continues to be a leader in sustainable development.

The Sustainable Building Policy was adopted in 2011 and requires new residential and commercial buildings with a floor area of greater than 1000m2 to achieve a minimum 4-star ‘Green Star’ rating.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said as a result of the policy Fremantle had become a showcase for sustainable development.

“The award winning Liv apartments in Queen Victoria Street and the Evermore development in White Gum Valley have both been designed and built to be more energy efficient, saving residents money on power bills, and both have achieved One Planet accreditation thanks to their water and energy saving appliances, solar PV, double-glazing, organic waste and recycling facilities.

The Kings Square Renewal project component by Sirona Capital will feature 5-star Green Star commercial spaces, while the City’s new civic centre will be one of the most energy efficient buildings of its size in Australia.

The refinements made to the City’s Sustainable Building Policy include allowing the use of other equivalent assessment tools, such as One Planet certification, and streamlining implementation measures to clarify how compliance will be achieved before and after construction.

In reviewing the Sustainable Building Policy, the council also voted to rescind its Energy Efficient Building Design Policy, adopted in 2000, because the Building Code, national guidelines and other state planning policies have overtaken it.

The Freo Mayor said  “It’s another example of where local governments can explore new and innovative ideas at a local level, and if they prove successful they can be adopted more broadly.”

In addition to the Sustainable Building Policy the City of Fremantle also has planning policies that allow higher density if the development meets certain sustainability requirements, such as achieving a higher energy rating, the installation of solar panels and a rainwater tank or greywater system.

The Knutsford East Local Structure Plan also offers bonuses in height and density for design and sustainability excellence.

The Knutsford precinct includes Landcorp’s ground-breaking East Village development, in which 36 homes will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy using roof top solar panels and a shared community battery.

In an Australian first, a village micro-grid will allow residents to generate and share energy with their neighbours using an innovative energy trading platform.

Roel Loopers

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