Freo's View

TRAFFIC CALMING NOT THAT SIMPLE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, TRAFFIC, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2017

 

I thought at the South Fremantle Precinct meeting at The Local last night how frustrating it sometimes must be to be a City of Fremantle officer and Councillor.

Three CoF officers were invited to talk about the process on the traffic calming of South Terrace and Councillor Andrew Sullivan also attended.

Questions were again raised that had already been addressed at previous community meetings and the process is about two third underway, but I don’t blame anyone for that, as it is often the case that those who attend the first meeting(s) don’t come again, while other do. It is great to see a crowd of around 60 people at a precinct meeting because community involvement is essential for the officers and elected members to make the right decisions.

Underground power is planned but who is going to pay for it. Normally it is around one third Western Power, one third City and one third paid by property owners, but the latter are very reluctant to hand over cash.

Five speed reduction platform nodes were suggested at Douro Road, South Street, Lefroy Road and Charles and Silver streets, but one resident suggested some should be put where there is already more activity such as near Abhi’s and Manna’s.

Widening footpaths to accommodate more street furniture, dedicated bicycle paths and trees all along are also on the cards.

There were concerns from residents of Marine Terrace that traffic calming along South Terrace would increase traffic in their street but as one officer said we can’t solve all problems at once and if there is a knock-on effect we have to deal with that if it happens.

Another resident pointed out that the two streets are very different with South Terrace having more cafes, restaurants, hotels and heritage buildings and hence traffic calming there made more sense than doing it along Marine Terrace.

Illegal parking makes it very difficult and dangerous for local residents to pull out of side streets onto South Terrace and parking officers should try to be more attentive to that problem.

From my own experience driving down South Terrace many times a week is that where there are activity notes motorists will slow down at Abhi’s, the Local Hotel, Lefroy Road and near the South Beach Hotel hospitality hub.

That is also happening in Wray Avenue were traffic slows down near Frank’s and Gallati’s because cars are pulling out, car doors are opened and pedestrians cross.

One of the basic facts of life is that one cannot please everyone and every change will have an impact on different areas, unless we all stop driving cars and hop on public transport or bikes.

Roel Loopers

 

GO FOR A FREO ARTWALK!

Posted in art, community, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2017

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Fremantle ARTWALK is such a great idea and has been well supported by the community in the past, so get your walking shoes on, or ride your (cargo)bike to the Blinco Street area this weekend.

Some of our outstanding local artists are opening their studios and homes for the public so you can meet them and have a chat, and no one will deter you from buying a work of art, so support them!

Michael Knight, Trevor Richards, Penny Bovell, Ian de Souza, Annette Seeman, John Teschendorff, Jo Darbyshire, and Eveline Kotai will all open their doors to the public between 10am and 4 pm on Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28.

The Artwalk is about 4 km long, so very easy to do for young and old. Should you feel the need to drive your car please be considerate of the neighbours and don’t block driveways.

Roel Loopers

FICRA LACKING VISION

Posted in city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2017

 

Mary Rose Baker, the convenor of the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association also spoke at the Fremantle Network event on Monday evening and said her talk had forced the members to focus on what FICRA’s visions and priorities are:

Preservation of significant heritage, support for compatible development, heritage preservation and restoration, preservation of green and public open space, support for Notre Dame University, support unique and distinct Fremantle enterprises and businesses, support for commercial development with good design, no mono-culture of cafes in the West End, security and public order, the City of Fremantle Design Advisory Panel should protect the heritage more.

FICRA is also against the planned tavern at J Shed on Arthur Head and prefers activation through arts and craft. It also supports an ocean pool at Bathers Beach.

I would have liked to hear a few more specific ideas on how to revitalise the West End, especially on weekends and evenings, as it is very much a ghost town during those periods, even when the Cappuccino Strip is full with people.

One thing mentioned on the night is a sign on the corner of Market and High streets to point out Bathers Beach and the diversity of specialty shops along High Street.

I personally am still hoping that one day there will be a small growers market straight under the Roundhouse at Little High Street on Saturday mornings, or an arts&craft market in front of the Pilot’s Cottages.

I would also like to see those cottages lit at night to make them a heritage feature and to deter anti-social behaviour at Arthur Head.

Other small events could be organised there and the Street Arts Festival should have a stage/pitch in that perfect location at Little High Street next to Chalkys cafe that looks like a roundabout

I was surprised to hear that FICRA does not want to attract the high numbers of visitors the Fishing Boat Harbour has to High Street, because families wandering around there window shopping and taking in the history of our city would create vibrancy.

As ANJEL MS fashion shop owner Gaelle Beech said during the event, we need to find a better word than the ACTIVATION buzzword and Fremantle Council and the community should specify what that actually means. E,g. 500 drunks leaving the new J Shed tavern might be considered activation by some, but a bloody nuisance by others.

Roel Loopers

HAVE A GOOD FREO HAIR DAY!

Posted in charity, community, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on May 16, 2017

THIS DESERVES SUPPORT FREO, SO GET A HAIRCUT FOR A GOOD CAUSE!
On Sunday 21st of May, 10am-4pm us girls at Salon Express in Fremantle will be offering $10.00 haircuts for ladies and gentlemen.

The proceeds of the day will be going to a dear friend Tara, she was involved in a horrible accident and is currently stuck in a Thailand hospital.

So come down get a hair cut or even just pop a donation in towards her. Every little bit counts and is much appreciated by us and her family.

If you could please just share this post that would also be great, Thankyou xx

SALON EXPRESS is at 128 High Street just east of Kings Square at the roundabout with Queen Street.

Roel Loopers

MAY DAY AND SEA SHEPHERD

Posted in fremantle, environment, community, unions by freoview on May 7, 2017

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The MAY DAY event is being held by the unions on the Fremantle Esplanade today from 10 am to 2 pm with stalls and music and of course the noisy parade through town at midday.

Not far from there in the Fishing Boat Harbour there will be free tours of the new Sea Shepherd vessel Ocean Warrior, so take the kids there and show them how important it is to be engaged and that people power makes a huge difference.

It’s no good to whinge that THEY should be doing something about things when WE can make all the difference!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE COMMUNITY GROUPS MERGER

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on May 4, 2017

 

The long-established Fremantle Society and the relatively new Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association have merged to combine forces for the Local Government election in October.

From what I gather FRRA will be swallowed up by FS and the groups will operate under the Fremantle Society name.

Many members would have been part of both groups, so it makes sense to reduce administration and duplications.

I hope a larger FS will make a more positive contribution to Fremantle and become part of the solution, instead of only being relentlessly negative and one-eyed about Fremantle Council.

It would be transparent if the larger Fremantle Society would now disclose how many paid members it does have, to substantiate its claims that it represents a large percentage of Fremantle residents.

Community groups are very important and can be hugely influential when they are willing to engage in respectful dialogue with Elected Members and Council staff, so I hope new Society members will push for that and stop the anti everything attitude of its president.

Roel Loopers

FREO FAIRNESS ELECTION CAMPAIGN

Posted in city of fremantle, community, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 1, 2017

 

The Fremantle Mayoral election campaign is under way very early with the launch of Ra Stewart’s campaign launch on Friday evening and the first election advertisement in the Fremantle Herald.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has yet to officially declare if he will be standing again but all signs are that he believes he still has a job to finish and will try to remain Mayor for another four years.

We are an opinionated lot in Freo, and Councillors and the Mayor have plenty of supporters but also plenty of haters who will criticise just about anything Council does.

I would love to see an election campaign of visions, ideas, innovation and the realisation of how strong local government grassroots is. Only at local government can we come to Council and address our Elected Members. We cannot do that in State or Federal government and we need to take advantage of the opportunity to let our Councillors know what we like and dislike.

It is probably too much to ask the community for fairness and balance and give Council credit where it is due, because we tend to focus on the negative aspects of Council decisions and tend to ignore the achievements.

I have always disliked what happens in politics when opposing parties just slam everything the other party proposes, instead of open-mindedly also acknowledging good ideas their opponents have. I found that childish and immature.

The Fremantle community is very engaged, but reading many of the comments on social media, letters to the newspapers and hearing them on talk-back radio, I am also stunned about the lack of knowledge, and people making complaints that are based on ignorance because they fail to inform themselves.

It is not fair to the Elected Members to assume one knows something and criticise them for decisions they have not made, when it is very easy to find out what has been happening at Council by reading agendas and minutes, or better even, as I do, attend Council and Committee meetings so one can hear what is being debated at Council and observe how good or bad we are represented by our Councillors.

Politics at all levels will find many people disappointed with what our politicians decide, while others will be delighted. That is just how it works and it will never change. Politicians will never ever please everyone and will either be considered too left or too right by the community, whatever our personal preferences are.

When Council approves a new family home it is likely that it upsets at least the two neighbours to the left and right, while the applicants will be over the moon, or if the proposal is rejected the neighbours will be happy but the proponent will hate Council. That is one of the many realities Councillors have to deal with every day and they do their utmost to make the right and fair decisions.

I was very much against Planning Scheme Amendment 49 because I believed it would open the doors for too excessive heights in the CBD, and I still believe those heights should have been restricted to 8-9 storeys only, but when I witness the massive development in the inner city that will see Fremantle’s economic prospects turn around dramatically in the next few years, I have to acknowledge that this is the result of PSA 49 being implemented by Council.

The Esplanade Youth Plaza was hugely controversial and I too believe that it should have been added to the reserve by building it on the Italian Club carpark site, but the enormous success of the skatepark cannot be ignored.

The Australia Day decision was very controversial but has now started an Australia-wide debate if we should change the date of it, and the doom and gloom predictions that it would be a disaster for Fremantle traders did not eventuate.

The Kings Square Project will probably be debated for another ten years but I have no doubt it will help to revitalise the inner city to the benefit of our traders. I find it futile to debate if or if not we need a new civic centre after the decision about it was made years ago, and if it should or should not be erected at our City Square.

What remains disappointing though is that the City of Fremantle still has not made public the full business plan they signed off on with Sirona Capital. We were told before the State Government signed a lease for the offices that it was commercial confidentiality that prevented the business plan being made public, but that excuse is no longer valid.

It is tactically very silly of Fremantle Council to not let us read the Kings Square contracts because it will just give more ammunition to the conspiracy theorists who believe there is something sinister about it all. Transparency and openness should not just be election buzzwords but a given at local government.

We’ll have the chance over the next five months to question and scrutinise the candidates who will step up to represent us and they should all get a fair go. That includes the sitting members because most of them have worked extremely hard over the last four years to do the right thing by the city they love. They too deserve fairness and not the utterly ridiculous and untrue assertions that they are all mere puppets to the Mayor and vote whatever he tells them to vote for. Nothing could be further from the truth, as I have observed personally for around ten years now.

Councillors are very very thorough and they take their responsibilities very serious. The challenge for us voters will be to see through the hot air and bulls… and decide if new contenders will do a better job than those who have the local council experience and knowledge. Be aware that it is easy to make empty promises when one does not understand the process of government.

I will endeavour to act as the Devil’s advocate and Freo’s conscience and report with fairness and balance during the election campaign, as I have done on Freo’s View for seven and a half years.

All Council candidates will get a fair go here and if they send me info about their campaign I will share that with the community, however I will insist on respectful dialogue no matter if you are far left or far right, somewhere in the middle, or just an undecided voter.

Roel Loopers

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NIGHTINGALE PROJECT AT FREMANTLE NETWORK

Posted in community, development, fremantle, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on April 23, 2017

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I like the monthly Fremantle Network events a lot as they are always very informative and it’s good to stay up to date with what is happening in fab Freo.

Tomorrow Monday April 24 at 6 pm will be the next event upstairs at the National Hotel so come along. It’s free and drinks and food are available from the bar.

Dimitri Kapetas, from EHDO architecture will talk about the Nightingale Project at Wood Street.

Nightingale Housing is a non-profit organisation formed by a group of leading Australian architects. It aims to create affordable housing models that are specifically designed to achieve environmental and social benefits for cities. In other words, Nightingale promotes the building of communities, not just market commodities.
https://www.ehdo.com.au/nightingale-freo/

Also speaking will be the very impressive Michael McPhail, the Deputy Mayor of the Town of East Fremantle (and Western Australia’s youngest!)

His passion for cities and making them better places for the people who live in them infuses everything he does.

The focus of his talk will be the future of the Leeuwin Barracks, and the impact this will have on the future of Greater Fremantle.

Take part in the Fremantle Network events, meet new people, network, be informed and have your say about the future of Freo!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE NETWORK PRESENTS YOUNG AND NEW

Posted in architecture, community, fremantle, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2017

Next Monday the Fremantle Network presents Dimitri Kapetas of EHDO architecture, who are in the process of designing the first Nightingale Housing project in Fremantle at 29 Wood Street.

Nightingale Housing is a non-profit organisation formed by a group of leading Australian architects. It aims to create affordable housing models that are specifically designed to achieve environmental and social benefits for cities. It promotes the building of communities, not just market commodities.

Check out: https://www.ehdo.com.au/nightingale-freo/

The second speaker will be Michael McPhail, the the youngest Deputy Mayor of WA and the Town of East Fremantle.

Michael has a deep passion for cities and making them better places for the people who live in them.

The focus of his talk will be the future of the Leeuwin Barracks, and the impact this will have on the future of Greater Fremantle.

Originally educated as an urban planner, Michael now works for global real estate firm CBRE to market Perth’a next generation of apartment living.

As a Councillor, Michael’s key focus include ensuring meaningful community engagement in the redevelopment of Leeuwin Barracks and reimagining of East Fremantle Oval, leading East Fremantle’s push to ban single use plastic bags and championing the upgrading of East Fremantle’s exceptional foreshore.

The monthly Fremantle Network event is on at 6pm, Monday 24 April upstairs at the National Hotel.

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FREO STREET ART SUNDAY

Posted in art, city of fremantle, community, street arts festival, Uncategorized by freoview on April 15, 2017

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I love Fremantle sooo much! What a stunning weekend again in our little historic city and how nice to see that so many people appreciate it much better than some of the nay-saying negative locals.

Living here is like being permanently on holiday when I walk around town and the atmosphere on Sunday at the Fremantle International Street Arts Festival was just perfect.

Music stages at some of the hotels that came out onto the streets, as did the retailers to show their wares.

An easter market in High Street, a children’s play and relaxation area and at the bar Benny’s they even had solar benches to sit on where one could just put one’s mobile phone down on so it got charged.

There are really great vibes in inner city Freo so don’t miss it! It’s in my opinion the best event and festival around and it goes into the evenings and is on all Sunday and Monday from midday!

I was very time-challenged today looking after a little dog and my own dodgy health, hence not a very comprehensive photo report, but I’ll do better the next two days. I promise.

Roel Loopers (Apologist for having Freo fun)

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