Freo's View

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE AT THE BY-ELECTION

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, federal government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on June 16, 2018

 

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If you are not on the electoral roll you can not vote at the Fremantle federal by-election next month.

You have only till Friday to get yourself registered on the roll to be able to vote on Super Saturday on July 28.

My vote will go to former Fremantle Councillor and Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson who has served our community very well and who gave some excellent speeches during his time in Canberra.

Roel Loopers

WE ALL GOT RED BLOOD AND BROWN SHIT

 

There is plenty of time for contemplation and soul searching during the cold and wet winter days and nights, so when it was suggested to me that I should try to speak at one of the new TEDx Fremantle events about Perception and Reality, I wondered what it was I would like to speak about.

My thoughts don’t comply with the TEDx Fremantle categories of; only good science, no political agenda and no religious proselytizing, so I decided to just write down my contemplations and publish it here on Freo’s View instead. Here it is:

When we talk about reality and perception we should start with the elephant in the room first, and that is that Australia is not the best country in the world. Simply because no country is! There are many great countries in the world. I lived in three of them.

Our soldiers are not braver than those from other countries, and there is nothing specifically Australian about people helping each other in a crisis. When there are floods in Bangladesh, earthquakes in Mongolia, or wars and disasters in other parts of the world, the communities rally to give a helping hand.

Australia has lived on the urban myth of being the fair go country, but how can we claim that when the British settlers mostly ignored Aboriginal culture and language and treated our indigenous people as primitive idiots. How can a fair country take children away from their parents to bring them up as Christians and does not allow them to speak their native languages, and how can a fair country allow many of these children to be abused and raped?

How can we believe to be the fair country when we ban genuine refugees from coming to Australia, but lock them up instead in camps of neighbouring countries, but want priority immigration for supposedly ‘endangered’ white South African farmers?

How can we claim that we live in the best country on earth, when tonight, like every night, 115,000 homeless Australians sleep rough in the cold and wet?

The perception of greatness has always confused the Australian identity and that’s why we are still looking for one. We are not the Akubra hat-wearing cowboys, who live in the red dirt outback, but 90% of our population lives on the coastal plains and in big cities.

You might be surprised now when I say that I really love living in Australia, and even more that I live in Fremantle. But we need to start cutting the crap and let go off the hubris, because to be able to move forward together as a community and nation we need to acknowledge the harsh reality that Australia is far from perfect and that there is a lot of room for improvement.

We at the grassroots need to insist that political debate is about issues and has substance, and is not about point-scoring and name-calling, and we need to let all politicians know that we will no longer put up with their infantile behaviour in our parliaments.

We need to stop believing in the urban myth of our own greatness and start by showing real compassion for the less well off in our society.

It is not acceptable that we spend millions of dollars on non-essential things when our pensioners are barely making ends meet, when our hospitals are over-crowded and have long waiting lists, as does social housing, and when so many suffer from serious mental health issues.

Australia joined the so-called war on terrorism, but why haven’t we begun a war on poverty, and a war on unemployment and homelessness?

We are not all equal when multinational companies don’t pay tax, but low-income earners, pensioners and people on social benefits constantly get scrutinised to the point that is causes anxiety and depression for many.

It is good to have dreams, but it is not good to live in dreamworld and ignore the pragmatic reality of Australian life. Racism is a daily experience for those who are not white, and verbal abuse is also a daily worry for Muslim women, who have become the easy targets for ignorant fools. Western Australia has the highest rate of domestic violence in the nation!

Australia is a beautiful country, and I strongly believe that most people are good, caring and tolerant, and even more so here in Fremantle, but there are also many intolerant haters, who do not positively contribute to our community.

The Australia I love was summed up pretty well one evening in the Fitzroy Crossing pub in the stunning Kimberly when a drunk and huge Aboriginal man looked down on me in the toilet and said “Isn’t it amazing brother that we both have red blood and brown shit.” Yes indeed. We have a lot more in common than what divides us!

My wish for Australia is to wake up to reality and stop claiming that this is the best country on the planet. There is a huge different between being proud of one’s nation or becoming dangerously-and unrealistically- nationalistic. We can only find Australia’s real identity when we stop the tokenism and engage in real reconciliation with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters. To do that we need to use the word RESPECT more often.

To show real respect we need to acknowledge Aboriginal people in our constitution, we need to build a substantial Aboriginal cultural centre in Fremantle, so that overseas visitors can engage and learn about our indigenous history and culture, and we need a memorial on Rottnest Island telling the awful story of the inhumane Quod Aboriginal prison, where nearly 400 boys and men from all over Western Australia died.

Only with real mutual respect, and only with real, deep and soul searching honesty can we make Australia the best country in the world. Dismissing and patronising others is only holding us back.

Roel Loopers

ENJOY PERFECT FREO WA DAY WEEKEND

 

WA DAY June 3-4

 

The WA DAY long weekend is on with lots of activities today and tomorrow in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour. See details below.

Sunday 3 June 2018

Noon, Mews Park Smoking Ceremony, Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country presented by Neville Collard & Festival opening “We are Australian” James Webb and Monique Fitzgerald

12.00- 4.00pm, Piazza Suitcase Art Markets

12.00-2.00pm, Little Creatures Mermaid & Pirate Sandpit Storytelling

12.00-5.00pm, Shipwreck Gallery Museum Grounds, Pirate Craft activities

12.30pm-1pm, Mews Park Wadumbah Dance Group

1.00-1.15pm, Mews Park Children’s Fashion Parade featuring Australian made clothing

1.30-1.45pm , Mews Park Children’s Fashion Parade featuring Australian made clothing

1.00- 3.00pm, Mews Park Little Italy by the Sea Italian and Greek Dance Ensemble

3.00pm – 4.00pm, Roving Entertainment Chung Wah Lion Dance Troupe

4.00pm – 7.00pm, Mews Park Cuba de Son Latin Band

4.30- 7.30pm, Creatures NextDoor Live Jazz with Jazzco

5.00pm – 7.00pm, Roving Magnifico Mariachis Trio

6.00pm FIREWORKS over Fishing Boat Harbour

Firewoks Fishing Boat Harbour

 

Monday 4 June 2018

11.00- 3.00pm, Mews Park Cicerello’s Bouncy Castle

12.00- 4.00pm, Piazza Suitcase Art Markets

12.00-2.00pm, Little Creatures Fairy Facepainting (Free)

4.30- 7.30pm, Creatures NextDoor Live Music with ‘Basskong’

5.00- 8.00pm, Mews Park Live Music with ‘The Good Things’

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FREMANTLE BY-ELECTION ON JULY 28

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, federal government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2018

 

Wilson family

 

The Federal by-election for the seat of Fremantle is still two months away with the Electoral Commission announcing it will be held on July 28.

It looks like the Liberal/National government quite likes a depleted opposition, so we should be glad the five by-elections around the nation will be held this year. The by-elections are necessary because of dual citizenship issues.

I will back Josh Wilson, whom I like and respect as a person and as a politician. He was an excellent councillor and Deputy Mayor of Fremantle, so Josh4Freo will get my vote.

The photo above is of Josh Wilson with his wife and three children in their Fremantle home.

Roel Loopers

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BEACY COMMUNITY MEETING WITH MAYOR

Posted in city of fremantle, community, council, democracy, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 1, 2018

 

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Fremantle Council quite often, and often unfairly, gets accused of not communicating and consulting with the community, so tomorrow morning Beaconsfield residents and business owners can chat with Mayor Brad Pettitt and some Councillors at Davis Park from 11.30am.

The Mayor in the Square has been taken to the suburbs for a while now, so that community members do not have to come to Kings Square on Wednesdays to meet the Mayor.

Your local councillors and City staff are always available to answer queries, so don’t hesitate to contact them. They are there to work for us!

Roel Loopers

BUSY EVENING AT FREMANTLE COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2018

 

It was a busy night at the full Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle last night.

The Destination Marketing Fremantle was on the agenda, that will probably mean the demise of BID, and it sailed through with just a few mentions that BID had done a good job connecting small businesses and that the Economic Development and Marketing Department had a gap to close with the retailers in that regard.

Councillors expressed they hoped BID would survive in a kind of precinct form so that traders would stay connected and helped as volunteers at events.

It was unanimously decided to go ahead with the new marketing concept but $ 50,000 will be allocated from the budget for the Winter Festival and the Long Table Dinner.

Also-yes still!-on the agenda was the Sunset Venues lease for the No 1 unit at J Shed.

Councillors disagreed with speakers that the operators would not get the go ahead from the Western Australian Planning Committee for a smaller tavern, as there were examples on Rottnest Island and elsewhere where hospitality venues had been allowed on A Class Reserves and in heritage precincts.

It was mentioned that it would be hard to find another business that would be willing to spend a lot of money to put all the required infrastructure in and that Fremantle would get an improved asset.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said they had taken it back to where we originally wanted it to be as a small bar/cafe and restaurant that would activate the area.

The proponents will only have 12 months to start substantial development or the lease will be terminated. Only Councillors McDonald and Jones voted against the item.

Only Councillor Strachan did not support the License Agreement with the South Fremantle Football Club for Fremantle Oval. He questioned why the city was giving the club so much financial support in difficult fiscal times for the City.

The adoption of the new Precincts Policy was also approved with Councillor Sullivan expressing that he would like a more organic precincts system where groups would be less formal.

And the Dog Exercise and Prohibited Area Policy also got the tick of approval from our elected members.

Roel Loopers

DELAY FOR SPICER SITE SETTLEMENT

 

The monthly Fremantle Ordinary Council meeting will be held this coming Wednesday at 6pm and there are some interesting and controversial items listed on the agenda, so why not observe grassroots governance first hand and attend the meeting at the North Fremantle Community Hall.

On the agenda are Destination Marketing, the tavern lease for J Shed, the South Freo Solar Farm, the license with the South Fremantle Football Club for the use of Fremantle Oval, the Strategic Planning Framework, the new Precinct Policy,  and the Dog exercise areas policy.

Surprisingly listed as a confidential item is the request by Sirona Capital for the extension of the settlement for the former Spicer site, which now is the public car park on the corner of William Street and the Henderson Street mall.

The Spicer site development is part of the Kings Square Project the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital signed off on, and an important inner city development. Why does the Council debating the settlement extension request have to be confidential and not open to the public?

By the way, the new convenor for the South Fremantle Precinct is Sean Hefferon.

 

Roel Loopers

 

SULLIVAN WINS SOUTH FREMANTLE AGAIN

Posted in Uncategorized, local government, city of fremantle, election, democracy by freoview on March 16, 2018

 

South Ward voting

 

Andrew Sullivan won the Fremantle South Ward local government by-election and will return to his seat at Fremantle Council.

Sullivan received 50% of the votes and got 856 votes, while the two other candidates also got 50% of the vote; Marija Vujcic 608 and Chris Williams 248. Nine votes were invalid.

Voter participation was around 44 % so that is fairly good.

Roel Loopers

LAST CHANCE TO VOTE SOUTH FREO!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 16, 2018

 

The Fremantle South Ward by-election will be decided today after the unforgivable blunder by the WA Electoral Commission.

It is the last day today for voters in the ward to cast their vote at the Fremantle Townhall till 6pm. Votes will be counted straight after that, so we will know by 7pm if Andrew Sullivan retained his seat or if one of the two other candidates comes over the line first.

It was interesting to hear on SBS this week that voters in the Netherlands are turning  away from mainstream political parties, with more and more people voting for candidates representing local parties for their local governments, while in WA there appears to be the trend of the big political parties becoming more interested in local government politics.

VOTE! It’s a privilege and duty!

Roel Loopers

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SOUTH WARD BY-ELECTION FORUM

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 27, 2018

 

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There will be a candidate forum for the Fremantle South Ward local government by-election this Thursday March 1 at 7.30pm at The Local hotel on South Terrace.

I won’t be attending though as I have already voted, and so have most people who bother to take part in the council election.

Ballot papers were delivered 10 days ago and according to the WA Electoral Commission the vast majority of people vote during the first five days of receiving their ballot paper, so Thursday’s exercise seems a bit futile.

Roel Loopers

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