Freo's View

PUBLIC COUNCIL MEETINGS NOT BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, fremantle society, local government by freoview on March 31, 2017

The Fremantle Society continues sending misinformation to their members, now claiming that recent decisions by Fremantle Council were made behind closed doors, as was put in capital letters screaming it out in an email.

Fact is that the one-year delay of the Sirona Capital settlement for the Spicer site development and the Kings Square playground went through the proper democratic process at Council and from public Council committees to public full Council meeting, so nothing of that process was irregular or behind closed doors.

This is part of the rambling email to the Fremantle Society members:

Democracy Dead at Fremantle Council

Major decisions affecting ratepayer assets have been made BEHIND CLOSED DOORS at Fremantle Council.

Giving council’s developer mates Sirona Capital an extra year to decide on the Spicer site, the $550,000 playgound in King’s Square, and major decisions affecting the n ew administration building we dont need, were all made behind closed doors at a sub committee of council and then simple reported at council.

Insipid Media

The media seem disinterested in major Fremantle governance issues like decisions being made behind closed doors.

It is time the Fremantle Society stopped the nonsense of making non-factual claims about Fremantle Council and started to make a positive difference instead of silly political grandstanding.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with rigorously scrutinising Council and severely criticising them when they deserve it, as I myself regularly do here on Freo’s View, but it needs to be based on facts. The issues mentioned in the FS email were not behind closed doors but at public council committees and council meetings I attended as an observer, and they were not ‘confidential items’ on the agenda either, so open to public scrutiny.

Agendas and Minutes of Council and Council Committee meetings can be read on the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers

WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S NEW GOVERNMENT

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, western australia by freoview on March 17, 2017

 

If you are getting a bit tired of blaming Fremantle Council for everything that goes wrong, here is a new target.

This is the new Western Australian Mark McGowan Labor government for the next four years, so keep them on their toes and under scrutiny.

I wish the new Premier and Ministers all the best and don’t envy them their task of governing under extremely tight financial conditions.

May they make more good than bad decisions for our state. Good luck!

Roel Loopers

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LET’S HAVE A ROE 8 EXHIBITION!

Posted in community, democracy, election, fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on March 13, 2017

The Save Beeliar Wetlands and Roe 8-Perth Freight Link community protest has been so successful that I believe there should be an exhibition of photos and videos of what happened over the last years.

Thousands of photos were taken and hours of video recorded and that should not be lost but end up in the Fremantle history library, but first in a big exhibition at the Moores building.

People power had a big impact on the W.A. election on Saturday and there is no doubt in my mind that Labor’s Lisa O’Malley won the seat of Bicton because of the Roe 8 issues.

Saturday’s election was not so much about the Labor win but more about democracy and how we all can make a difference when we stand up for what we believe in. It takes guts to do that and I greatly admire those who never protested before but who took on leadership because they wanted to leave their children a better place.

Forget all the politics and parties and all the negativity and see the very positive message the Roe 8 community protest has delivered. It is about us the people! We are not numbers. We are passionate people who care about our environment and community and we know we are just the custodians for a short time. That brings with it a great responsibility to look after our planet for future generations.

Well done all and a great strong and deep message for all politicians in Australia.

Let’s have that exhibition!

Roel Loopers

THE FUTURE OF W.A. IN OUR HANDS TODAY

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, western australia by freoview on March 11, 2017

 

It’s W.A. Election Day!

There is an overkill of signs at all the polling boots around Fremantle. Volunteers from all parties were out all through the night to put them up, so good on them for their commitment.

Long queues already at the Beacy Primary School at 8 am and it’s going to be a warm day so enjoy the sausage sizzles and cake stalls.

Vote wisely!

Roel Loopers

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ADELE WINS FREMANTLE ELECTION FORUM

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, politics by freoview on February 28, 2017

There was a clear winner at Tuesday’s Fremantle Candidates Forum at Notre Dame University and that was Adele who was singing at Subiaco Oval and kept the Fremantle audience to one of the lowest I have seen in many years. Very disappointing!

But to be honest, those who stayed away did not miss out on much as it was a pretty dull event. It is basically a Q&A that does not encourage debate between the candidates, so everyone claps politely for the other candidates, no matter what they say. Boring!

Is it voter apathy or lethargy or was it just me being a bit tired of hearing the same stuff, but I left without feeling inspired by anyone, but for the lovely slogans by Chris Jenkins of the Socialist Alliance Party.”Vote for the idea that a better world is possible! And “If we lived in a community that nurtured each other more mental health cases would go down.”

Ceo Olwyn Williams of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce rightly questioned why we rarely see an image of Fremantle, WA’s second most visited destination, in tourism promotions for the state.

Janetia Knapp of the Julie Matheson for WA Party said they were the only party that would introduce legislation to keep WA’s GST in WA and not send it to Canberra. That probably would involve WA pulling out of the federation and secede, but who cares.

Knapp also said we need to create Aboriginal cultural tourism in Fremantle and show it to the world, and I absolutely agree with her.

Labor’s Simone McGurk and Greens’ Martin Spencer both want to develop South Quay for tourism and residential, so good luck with that with Fremantle Port remaining a working port for at least another 25 years, no matter if the outer harbour is built immediately or in ten years.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidate Warren Duffy said he likes the Perth Freight Link because he likes to drive cars and that although Hanson is against the PFL the West Australian party made up their own mind.

McGurk said if Labor wins they’ll stop work on Roe 8 straight away and they would get on with the outer harbour during their first term in government.

An inquiry, maybe a Royal Commission should look into the Perth Freight Link contracts some candidates said.

All candidates agreed that more resources need to be directed toward mental health care.

We heard a few times that Fremantle is unique, but we knew that already.

Maybe I should have robbed a bank and go to Adele in Subi after all, because the forum left me very flat and with little hope for real change.

Roel Loopers

FREO ELECTION FORUM TONIGHT!

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, politics by freoview on February 28, 2017

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Don’t forget to come to the Fremantle Candidates Election Forum tonight hosted by former ABC political reporter Peter Kennedy.

It is on from 6.30-8.30 pm at Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University on the corner of Cliff and Croke streets in the West End.

All candidates have been invited so it could be a very lively debate in regard to the Perth Freight Link and sale of Fremantle Port.

Fremantle has long been considered a safe seat for the Labor party but the demographics have been changing in recent years due to increased residential development, so Simone McGurk has a fight on her hands to retain her seat.

I’ll report on the debate at around 9.30 this evening!

Roel Loopers

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GIVE FREO COUNCIL CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, local government, politics by freoview on February 26, 2017

I have once again had an exchange on Freo’s View with one of the readers about the accusation that most Fremantle Councillors just vote with Mayor Brad Pettitt. It is an urban myth that insults and defames our Elected Members and it is not based on facts.

Anyone who has been reading this blog for the last seven years knows that I am not an apologist for Fremantle Council or its Mayor and that I strongly criticise them whenever I believe it is warranted, but it is wrong that those who never or very rarely attend council meetings make these accusations against the very hard and diligent working Freo Councillors.

To claim that Fremantle Councillors most of the time vote en-bloc with the Mayor is absolute bullshit. I specifically use this strong word because this crap has been going on for far too long!

Those who make these accusations should get off their lazy bums and attend Council and committee meetings so that they can actually witness how our Councillors perform and how well they are informed. Listen to the statements they make, the questions they ask and the amendments they put forward.

Having an opinion based on utter ignorance is nothing else than malicious political point-scoring. It’s the kind of stuff Pauline Hanson does and Donald Trump calls ‘Alternative Facts’.

There is no doubt that Freo Councillors not always get it right and that some residents believe they are not listened to. It is a worry to me sometimes that there seems to be a priority on One Planet issues when money could be spent better elsewhere, but after decades of stagnation we finally see significant development happening in the CBD that will make a huge positive long-term economic difference to our city and help our traders.

I too get frustrated and annoyed when Council is inconsistent and when the administration is slack, but the one thing I know absolutely for sure is that all the thirteen Elected Members make up their own mind on how they are going to vote and that the vast majority of them are very well-informed and do their home work. They deserve credit for that, instead of the nasty innuendo that they are mere puppets of the Mayor.

Roel Loopers

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WA POLITICIANS IGNORING THE WHITE RELEPHANT

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on February 22, 2017

election

 

Only eighteen days to go till the WA election on March 11 and I am sure I am not the only one already tired of the promises, promises, promises campaigns and the one-sided negativity in the West Australian.

Is it a wonder voters are cynical and don’t believe much of what politicians promise us when Colin Barnett and Mark McGowan take not much notice of the spiralling debt of our state.

Those of us with common sense know that most promises can’t be fulfilled because there simply won’t be money for it, but who cares, here is another railway line, another billion dollar project and whatever.

The white elephant in the room is very relevant and very real, and that is the fact that we are closing in on a state debt of $ 41 million, but that does not seem to bother the Liberal and Labor leaders one bit.

One-sided spin from all sides about Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link also drives me mad with those opposing Roe 8 ignoring huge environmental issues with building an outer harbour, while those for it totally ignore the fact that there is no final link into the port and that traffic in North Freo is projected to increase by one-third.

One-eyed opinions that ignore facts are not going to help anyone to make informed decisions about the future of Western Australia and who to vote for, so is Paul Murray right in today’s West Australia or was Professor Peter Newman’s letter in that same paper correct? Who knows!

And because of all that people who are blissfully ignorant about these things will vote for One Nation to the detriment of good governance in WA.

There is a Fremantle ELECTION FORUM next Tuesday at Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University from 6.30-8.30 pm, so come along and ask our pollies how many banks they are going to rob to be able to keep their promises.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ELECTION FORUM ON TUESDAY

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, western australia by freoview on February 17, 2017

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There has been some confusion about the day of the Fremantle WA State Election Forum, so just to confirm that it is Tuesday February 28 at 6.30 pm.

It is as always at the Tannock Hall of the University of Notre Dame on the corner of Cliff and Croke streets.

All candidates have been invited, but it is a bit of a tradition for the Liberal candidate not to turn up, so let’s wait and see.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE ELECTION FORUM ON 28TH

Posted in community, democracy, election, fremantle, western australia by freoview on February 7, 2017

The WA state election campaign is heating up with lots of promises, so time to get rid of the ‘fake facts’ and grill the candidates to see what they will be doing, or promise to do, for Fremantle.

The traditional election forum will be held on Tuesday February 28 from 6.pm at the Notre Dame University Tannock Hall on the corner of Cliff and Croke streets, so dot it down in your diary.

Roel Loopers

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