Freo's View

CURTIN CHALLENGE FOR FORMER FREO MP MELISSA PARKE

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, federal government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 8, 2019

 

The election for the Federal seat of Curtin is taking on a distinct Fremantle flavour with the Labor Party yesterday endorsing Melissa Parke as their candidate to try to win the seat of Julie Bishop who retired.

Melissa Park was the Federal Member for Fremantle from 2007-2016 and Minister for International Development. She will take the fight to Celia Hammond who recently retired as Vice Chancellor of Freo’s Notre Dame University.

Julie Bishop won with an over 20 per cent margin at the last election, so it is highly unlikely Melissa Park will succeed to gain that many votes, but Parke and Hammond are both highly intelligent and very likeable women, so good luck to them.

Roel Loopers

 

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IS NEW FREMANTLE TRAFFIC BRIDGE A CORE ELECTION PROMISE?

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, freight, fremantle port, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on March 30, 2019

 

 

traffic bridge

 

Elections are like Christmas where the anticipation of what voters and communities will get out of it is high, but when we are all quite cynical if the promises all parties make will ever be realised, and if Father Christmas in the form of ScoMo or Shorto will actually deliver.

Is the promise by the Labor and Liberal parties of a new traffic bridge in Fremantle one of their core promises set in stone or is it just yet another sweetener to soften us up and vote for a particular party?

Should a new traffic bridge even be contemplated before we see the recommendations and outcome of the Westport Taskforce investigations into Western Australian ports and how freight should be handled? Is a new traffic bridge needed should a new port be built at Kwinana or would it be a waste of money?

The Libs and Labs have both promised $ 115 million for a new train traffic bridge, with the Libs throwing in a new pedestrian bridge as well for that money.

I noticed though that the pedestrian bridge is indicated as being to the east of the traffic bridge and that is a bit of a shame as uninterrupted views to the port would be magnificent and a tourist attraction if not obscured by the traffic bridge, so either put the pedestrian bridge to the west of the traffic bridge or make the traffic bridge lower or higher than the pedestrian bridge.

Anyway, it is unlikely to happen in my lifetime unfortunately, so my Christmas present this year will be the opening of FOMO at Kings Square. At least that is tangible and does not rely on promises from unreliable politicians.

Roel Loopers

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TRAINING FOR LOCAL COUNCILLORS

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on March 15, 2019

 

Local Government Minister David Templeman has announced that he wants to introduce online inductions for local council candidates before the October election this year.

Newly Elected Members would also be required to attend further training within a year of being elected.

I think this is a very good idea, because very many of local council candidates have little or no knowledge about local government process.

The one question I will be asking council candidates in Fremantle during the October election forums this year is how many Council and Council Committee meetings they attended this year.

Those who are not prepared to do that basic home work won’t be getting my vote and should not receive any from the community either. Just criticising the present Council is not a good election platform, especially if one does not understand how local government works.

Roel Loopers

 

FREO VICE CHANCELLOR TO REPLACE JULIE BISHOP

 

Huge news for Fremantle’s Notre Dame University with their Vice-Chancellor Celia Hammond resigning immediately to try to win the seat of Curtin for the Liberal party in the Federal election in a few month and replace Julie Bishop. It will have to be seen if the Curtin branch will elect Mrs Hammond as their preferred candidate.

Celia Hammond was going to finish in October this year at NDA anyway as she wanted a change, but her immediate resignation from the very popular university will come as a shock to them.

Over the years that I have had contact with Celia Hammond I have found her a delightful and down to earth person who is very much liked by staff and students, so she would be a formidable candidate for the Liberal party in the safe seat of Curtin.

Mrs Hammond is a lawyer and daughter of WA Chief District Court Judge Kevin Hammond and will leave very big shoes to fill at Notre Dame. She was 21 years at Notre Dame, and 11 of those years as Vice-Chancellor.

While I am not a fan of Liberal party politics and even less of many of its leaders I am a big fan of Celia Hammond and wish her all the best. She will make a great politician.

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE GENERAL ELECTORS MEETING TONIGHT!

 

The Annual General Electors Meeting of the City of Fremantle is on this evening at the Townhall from 6pm, so come along if you have any issues with the Elected Members or administration, or if you just want to thank them for doing a difficult job pretty well.

Residents and property owners of Fremantle can put motions forward and vote on them so make sure to have an ID on you.

On that note, Fremantle President John Dowson has emailed the members of the group more fake news. This time under the headline Are Your Highly Paid Councillors Doing Their Job?

Dowson writes “Are you getting value from your councillor? Besides getting $500 a week for attending meetings etc, councillors pay themselves to run those meetings, from a little pot of honey worth $60,000 a year.”

But Dowson’s assertions are wrong! I double checked with the City of Fremantle Director of City Business Glen Dougal and he tells me that the Mayor receives $ 88.000 annually plus $ 47.000 meeting allowance and Councillors get just over $ 30,000 a year plus approximately $ 3,000 for IT and communication allowance.

The payment Councillors receive is for much more than just attending Council meetings. They work very hard and are out and about all the time and meeting members of the community. It is a thankless task that does not get paid anywhere well enough in my opinion. And of course Councillors don’t pay themselves. That is done by the administration as it would be highly inappropriate for Elected Members to make payments.

I’ll see you at the AGEM this eve!

Roel Loopers

HELP GIVE FREMANTLE YOUTH A VOICE

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, local government, Uncategorized, youth by freoview on February 18, 2019

 

Applications are closing soon for the City of Fremantle’s new Fremantle Youth Network.

Local young people aged between 12 to 24 years who have a connection to Fremantle and are interested in having a say on youth issues, representing their neighbourhood and volunteering are encouraged to apply before Friday 22 February.

Driven by the City of Fremantle’s commitment to listening and reflecting on the feedback of its younger constituents, last year the City decided to launch a new model for youth engagement.

The Fremantle Youth Network is important for encouraging a direct mechanism for youth consultation between Council and young people.

The City hopes to foster leadership development opportunities, promote exposure to youth peer-led training available through the Youth Affairs Council of WA and engage them in local Freo issues that are important to include a youth perspective.

Fremantle Youth Network will kick off with a smaller collective of representatives comprising the successful nominees from the selection process, and focus on connecting young people, youth agencies and schools so they can share what is happening with the broader community at a grass roots level.

Nominations for the Fremantle Youth Network close at 5pm, Friday 22 February 2019. For more information, visit the Fremantle Youth Network page and read the Information Sheet available to download on the City of Fremantle’s website.

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STOP WHINGEING AND LET’S GET ON WITH CREATING AN EVEN BETTER FREMANTLE!

 

Kings Square Redevelopment Project seen from Monument Hill

 

There was a nonsensical letter in the West Australian yesterday calling for Local Government Minister David Templeman to get rid of Fremantle Council because they are building a new civic centre and selling off council property.

The claim that this is just an exercise in creating a palace for Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillors is absolutely ridiculous and just cheap political point scoring by those who  do not want to accept the democratic process.

I emailed my response to the letter to the West late yesterday, but they receive many letters daily so mine might not get published. Here it is:

It is quite wrong to suggest that the new Fremantle Civic Centre is some kind of extravagant palace for the Mayor, Councillors and staff. The name says it all! It is the Civic Centre for the entire community with a new great library, community meeting rooms and the public council chambers where we can observe grassroots politics at work.

Our democratically elected members decided to sign off on the Kings Square Redevelopment Project in collaboration with Sirona Capital many years ago, to help revive the ailing economy of Fremantle and get more people working, living and visiting Fremantle.

Tourist hotels are being built, and so is the State Government required urban infill through medium density residential development.

To suggest now that we should just stop the project, disregard legal contracts with Sirona, and build the new civic centre somewhere else is ridiculous.

The whole idea was to get more people into the CBD, not to let hundreds of staff and civic centre visitors go to the suburbs.

And I bet all those who now suddenly say that the City of Fremantle should simply transform the site into an open public space will no doubt be the first ones yelling and screaming when vagrants and beggars make the Kings Square park their new home, just opposite the new FOMO retail concept.

The Kings Square Redevelopment Project was decided on over six years ago, so what is all the whingeing about now suddenly? It’s pathetic.

Roel Loopers

GREENS SELECT FEDERAL CANDIDATE FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, federal government, greens, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on January 4, 2019

 

canddec15_0011

 

High school teacher Jesse Hutchison has announced that he will be the Greens candidate for the Federal seat of Fremantle at this year’s election in May.

Hutchinson grew up in Fremantle and is the father of two young girls.

I am sure we’ll hear more about Hutchinson’s ideas at the candidates forums in five months time.

Roel Loopers

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IT HAS BEEN A VERY BIG YEAR FOR FREO’S FUTURE

 

I have been contemplating what the memorable moments in Fremantle were for me this year, so let’s make a start.

  • The Kings Square Redevelopment Project is no doubt the most significant one in decades for our city, so I walk by daily to have a look.
  • The Heart of Beacy project could positively change and modernise the suburb and provide much-needed urban infill.
  •  Andrew-Twiggy- Forrest showing faith in Freo’s future by investing in property here is significant.
  •  The Woolstores hotel development finally approved and two other hotels in Henderson Street as well.
  • If it is environmentally safe the South Fremantle solar farm will be a good development.
  • No more single-use plastic bags.
  • The tavern proposal by Sunset Events for J Shed was finally given the boot by the WAPC.
  • The removal of the stunning Felice Varini yellow art work is a major headache for the city and property owners in High Street.
  • Traffic calming in South Fremantle looks great and so does the Hilton Town centre.
  • Destination Marketing planning for Freo is under way, so let’s wait and see.
  • By-election for South Fremantle won by Andrew Sullivan-again.
  • The Long Table Dinner is huge, great and very Freo.
  •  Age Friendly City working group established.
  • Highrise proposal for Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle stopped.

It has been a big year for Fremantle and next year is going to be similar when many of the approved developments will start and the FOMO retail concept opens at Kings Square before Christmas 2019.

And at the risk of some people accusing me of sucking up, I want to express my thanks to Freo’s very diligent councillors. I do not always like their decisions, but they make them with care and after long deliberations, as I witnessed myself by going to about 80 per cent of council and council committee meetings this year, to see first hand how our grassroots democracy works.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

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FREMANTLE COUNCIL NEEDS MICROPHONE ETIQUETTE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, health, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 13, 2018

 

There is nothing more annoying for me than sitting in the public gallery at Fremantle Council and Council Committee meetings and not being able to hear everything the Councillors are saying.

I admit that I am an old fella whose hearing is no longer as good as it was when I tried to pretend I had not heard my parents, and later on when I grew up, my gorgeous partners, when they told me off, but I just wished the elected members would take my less than 20/20 hearing into account and actually speak INTO the microphones supplied to them.

Councillors Ingrid Waltham and  Jenny Archibald have the softest voices of all elected members, but they keep the microphone somewhere left or right of a shoulder so I find it very difficult to hear their valuable contributions to the debates.

Other Councillors do have the microphone in front of them but then turn their head away to address the Mayor and that makes the mike rather useless, and it makes my life pretty frustrating when I do my very best to get a proper and fair account of the debate, so I can report it on Freo’s View.

Thank you so much for your consideration Councillors! Should I wish for hearing aids for Christmas?

Roel Loopers

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