Freo's View


Posted in committee for perth, employment, fremantle, western australia by freoview on May 16, 2016

The latest FACTBase 48 Bulletin by the Committee for Perth, called The Impacts of Employment Decentralisation on Commuting, examines the impacts of employment decentralisation and types of spatial organisation on commuting distances, patterns and travel times.

Some interesting points about Perth are that “The proportion of employees that have access to the CBD within a 45 minute drive commute is highest in Perth (93%) and Brisbane (54%), followed by Melbourne (45%) and Sydney (23%).

Access to the CBD within a 60 minute public transport commute is also highest in Perth (58%), followed by Brisbane (42%), Sydney (37%) and Melbourne (34%).

However in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, accessibility to employment by public transport and car is lowest for residents in outer suburbs where, in some locations, the share of jobs that can be accessed within 60 minutes by public transport falls below 1%.

The report found that decentralising metropolitan jobs from CBD and inner locations to middle and outer locations is promoted by planning and transport policy, with the primary aim of decreasing the distance between where people live and work.

In some decentralised regions, employment decentralisation appears to increase average commute distances. This is thought to be because dispersing jobs over a large spatial area can increase the total possible distance between where people live and work, thereby increasing the potential for excess commuting.






Posted in city of fremantle, committee for perth by freoview on September 10, 2015

There was an interesting Future Freo public forum by the Committee for Perth at Notre Dame University today with speakers UWA Professor Matthew Tonts, city development expert and author of Urbanism without Effort Chuck Wolfe of Seattle, COP chair Marion Fulker and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

It is about the “diversity of thought” Fulker said and that is a good base to start from I believe.

Chuck Wolfe is an international speaker but I thought in some ways quite David Engwicht-like, although he did not use the words place making once in his presentation.

City building is acupuncture with lots of little pricks, small achievable projects and goals and the rediscovery of simplicity we were told, and that we need to create places of comfort and scale. That is very much what the Freo community would like to see happen. Even more Freo was Wolfe’s suggestion that we need to recall the historic patterns of our cities and that the fundamental relationships between humans and cities need to be addressed in our planning.

Brad Pettitt presented his thought on the Liveable Cities tour he did a few months ago and observed that they were about density done well, cities of short distances, and that cities should not be designed around cars. In the German city of Freiburg for example car use is only 35 cars per 100 inhabitants while in Perth it is 60/100 so substantially more.

Brad said that higher density is best done when accompanied by green spaces and that the new European suburbs had a diverse range of affordable housing for all ages. It was important to “Building on your uniqueness.”

Marion Fulker compared facts and perceptions and said that crime in Fremantle was about the same as everywhere else in the metro area. The problem with parking was not insufficient parking bays but the accessibility to them, she said. There was also no clear evidence that Fremantle’s environmental role was any more significant than that of other regions.

The education sector is a major employer in Fremantle she told us, and that young people and renters were more satisfied to live in Fremantle than people over 40 and property owners, but that 86% of residents are satisfied to live here.

UWA Professor Matthew Tonts told us there is a steady population growth in Fremantle but it is well below that of the Perth metro. We have a slowly ageing population, are a critical hub for import and export, and have a higher rising unemployment rate than Perth. Freo people are stayers Professor Tonts said with half of the population staying in the same location between 2006-11.

I came out of the forum wondering if over-planning cities harms the natural organic growth of them because we are in such a rush for change, and if we should not let progress evolve and let it simply happen because of inevitable change.

Fremantle is only 187 years old while European cities have often grown organically for centuries, and most have a real connection to the past and past culture. Freo’s latest building have little reference to our heritage and don’t connect with the past. They fill up spaces with density but not with culture and don’t look at all like “density done well’ the Freo Mayor talked about.

Roel Loopers

Facebook: ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Authorised and written by Roel Loopers. 5 Maxwell Street. Beaconsfield 6162.


Posted in city of fremantle, committee for perth, local government by freoview on August 3, 2015

A recent examination of Fremantle’s perceived strengths and weaknesses by the Committee for Perth have come to following conclusion that make interesting reading:

The analysis confirms that Freo is unique.  Fremantle’s strengths and weaknesses differ substantially to those of the wider metropolitan region and provide the capacity for genuine, high quality place-making, as well as opportunities for innovation.

It also indicates that, while perceptions are primarily accurate, regional population, infrastructure, commercial and economic growth over the past decade has altered Fremantle’s role in the wider metropolitan region – meaning that the regional influence of some of Fremantle’s strengths has changed and, in some cases, diminished.

Fremantle’s major strengths include the area’s unique heritage and cultural infrastructure and the Fremantle Port – which provide substantial opportunities for economic development and place activation.  Other strengths such as tourism and hospitality are facing increased regional competition, yet have substantial capacity for growth; while the role of the city in the education and health sectors and its relatively high levels of human capital in key sectors could form the basis of a creative and knowledge economy.   

Evidence suggests that Fremantle’s two major weaknesses are its recent low levels of economic growth and relatively stagnant population growth over the past decade.  These weaknesses are linked to local and regional policy as well as changing patterns of regional investment and development – as a result, strategies to address them need to be regionally strategic, innovative and multi-pronged.

The final Future Freo report will be published on December 1, so stay tuned.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, committee for perth, local government by freoview on August 3, 2015

The FUTURE FREO project was launched in 2014 by the Committee for Perth and this is from their latest FactBase Bulletin 3- Where’s the Boom? Unpacking Fremantle’s Socioeconomic Structure:

Despite strong growth in median incomes between the period from 2004-05 to 2011-12, Inner and Outer Fremantle residents had median incomes that were $3,714 and $2,116 lower than the Perth/Peel average. Additionally, house prices in these areas were 1.7 to 2.2 times higher than the median Perth price of $490,000 and the area has seen an increase in the number of renters, who outnumber residents with a mortgage or homeownership. 

Even when faced with these disadvantages, overall the Greater Fremantle region has a lower proportion of its population claiming both the Newstart Allowance and the Single Parenting Payment than in Perth and Peel. 

Roel Loopers

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