Freo's View

FREO CANDIDATE DEFAMES BLOGGER

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, Uncategorized by freoview on August 23, 2017

 

Fremantle mayoral candidate Ra Stewart does not want to engage with this blog, probably because she is too worried about getting informed criticism. Instead she copies blog posts on her FB page and then claims I create fake news, which is defamatory.

By doing it this way she ensures her supporters can write nasty rubbish about me, instead of she getting critical comments on Freo’s View.  It’s the coward’s way of communication.

This from her page:

Not only did Freo’s View announce Dr Brad Pettitt was running for Mayor before he did by a good 3 days, but they also seem to be a fan of creating and distributing fake news. Are they the Council’s bugle?

My position on Australia Day is that the current Council did not consult with the community as a whole.
” Ms Stewart said while she was happy to have the conversation, the council’s decision to move the celebrations had lacked consultation.”

Both the West Australian and Fremantle Herald have reported that Ra Stewart had said she would change Australia Day events back to the original date, so no fake news at all.

A comment by a South Freo uninformed fool claims that I am on a promise from the Mayor and Councillors. He made that claim some years ago as well stating that the Mayor had promised me a seat on Council. The ignoramus does not even understand the democratic process and that none of the Elected Mmbers have the power to put me on Council.

Ra Stewart, you are the one putting incorrect accusations on your Facebook page, and your ego can’t handle it when I correct you.  Get your facts right, do your homework, and I’ll have nothing to criticise you for.  That’s probably too much to ask.

I indeed announced Brad Pettitt’s campaign three days before he officially did, because it had been accidentally posted on Facebook, and I noticed it in my lead. The Mayor asked me to delete it, which I subsequently did, so what is the conspiracy bullshit about Ra?

I explained that in detail on this blog, but Ms Stewart ignores that because it does not suit her agenda.

 

Roel Loopers

ENROL TO VOTE!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, Uncategorized by freoview on August 21, 2017

 

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Only seven days left to enrol to vote for marriage equality, but also a good idea to do it for our Fremantle local council election, which is in October.

Don’t be lazy! We want everyone to have their say in Freo. Young and old, so please take part.

In other parts of the world they envy our democratic right to vote. It is a privilege and a civic duty. Do it!

 

Roel Loopers

EMPTY PROMISES NOT GOOD FREMANTLE ELECTION CAMPAIGN

Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, elections, Uncategorized by freoview on August 19, 2017

 

When will politicians finally stop making empty promises during election campaigns?

The West Australian article today on the start of Mayor Brad Pettitt’s campaign and the Fremantle local council election, reports that Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart has promised to restore the January 26 Australia Day events in the port city, should she get elected.

Neither Ra Stewart nor present Mayor Brad Pettitt have the power to make any changes on their own, as they will need at least half of the twelve elected members to vote with them to make any changes, or implement new policies.

The wannabe Mayor is just exhaling meaningless hot air, unless she wants to change Fremantle Council into a dictatorship where she on her own can decided what goes on in our city. I prefer democracy.

I wonder when she will start promising free steak knives to those who vote for her.

 

Roel Loopers

FACTS NOT IMPORTANT FOR FREO MAYORAL CANDIDATE

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 13, 2017

 

Fremantle Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart does not bother much about facts and is happy to continue criticising Fremantle Council with non-factual claims.

On her Facebook page she writes: …..Mayor Brad Pettitt has come out in the last couple of days and proposed changes to the current Council policy by offering free parking after 3:00 pm for Fremantle residences.

But if Stewart had bothered to take the time to inform herself, such as checking the City’s website, she would have known that free residents parking, with the appropriate permit, after 3 pm and before 11 am has been on for very many years. I have eight stickers on my car windscreen to prove it, and had them on previous cars as well, so it must have been implemented over ten years ago.

This is the person who wants to lead our Council and community, but who is not at all interested in facts. Stewart is either very lazy or too arrogant to check facts, and that is not the quality I would like to see in a Mayor.

The other day she claimed the Portuguese Club might be moving to Cockburn, when only two months ago the City and the club signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the club to relocate to the St John’s site in Parry Street.

We are getting a lot of hyperbole and hot air from Stewart but not a lot of substance, and that is extremely disappointing and a serious worry.

 

Roel Loopers

ELECTION TIME IS EMPTY PROMISES TIME

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 2, 2017

 

Politicians promise us the world before elections, but often disappoint us when they get elected when they don’t honour all those promises.

The Fremantle Council elections are only a couple of months away and already we have candidates who tell us they will change this and change that and do so and so, if elected. But the basic fact is that individual candidates cannot dictatorially change anything, because every elected member has just one vote on council. That includes the Mayor, who also has the casting vote if the other 12 elected members have a hung vote.

Council process is a democratic one, so to achieve changes one needs to convince the majority of fellow councillors, and that is a pretty robust debate and often lengthy process with changes and motions made to fine tune the outcome.

It is easy to slag off on the present council, because they can rightly or wrongly be judged on past performance, while new candidates have no record. All the wannabe councillors have to do is make-often empty-promises and criticise the present members. That is a bit too simplistic for me.

I want candidates with new innovative ideas, long-term strategic planning, not just whingers who blame everything they don’t like on their local council.

Candidates blame things on Fremantle Council that are the responsibility of State Government. The moving of TAFE from Beaconsfield, the downgrading of Fremantle Hospital, crime and anti-social behaviour, the global retail downturn, etc.

The reality is that a local council can do very little about these things as law&order are police responsibility for example. The City of Fremantle has put more security rangers on the street but they don’t have the power of arrest or even giving move-on notices.

I have been scrutinising Fremantle Council and its administration for over ten years and go to 75 per cent of council and committee meetings to witness myself what goes on there. While there have been many occasions I don’t agree with the outcome I have always been impressed with the thoroughness and high standard of the debate during the process.

There is absolutely no doubt that there are many levels the City of Fremantle can improve at, and most of that is up to the administration.

Politically there will always be polarisation. Those who do or don’t agree with the Australia Day change, that was badly handled in my opinion, or if we should have higher density in the inner city, should environmental issues be a priority for a local government, is banning plastic bags tokenism, etc.etc.

As a community we often lament the perceived lack of community consultation, but the sad reality is that most people can’t be bothered to attend meetings, as the recent South Fremantle speedhump saga showed.

Far too many people to my liking base their opinion about Fremantle Council on ignorance. They are badly informed, or not at all.

Some of the stuff I hear election candidates say indicates to me that not all of them know what they are talking about either, and that is disappointing.

If we want a better council we need to do better at informing ourselves and participate in community consultation. That takes commitment and time.

If we are serious about wanting to be part of the solution and drawing up the future of Fremantle, we need to get off the couch and experience first hand how local government works.

There is a lot of unfair criticism out there that is not based on facts. Sometimes the devils we know, those with actual local government experience, are better than the devils we don’t know, but who make lots and lots of unrealistic promises. Voters beware!

 

Roel Loopers

 

ENROL TO VOTE. IT IS YOUR RIGHT AND PRIVILEGE!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 10, 2017

 

I have been made aware that many business owners in Fremantle do not realise they can vote at the local government election in October.

The participation in local council elections is extremely disappointing so I urge anyone to enrol to vote!

We need small business owners, young people, and the old to have a say, so please vote!

Here is the link to the enrol to vote page: http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/council/your-council/local-government-elections/how-vote-election

The form for people/businesses with a lease for more than 3 months is: enrolment eligibility claim form for sole or one of two owners or occupiers.

The form for body corporates/multiple owner representatives is: enrolment eligibility claim form to register a nominee.

Roel Loopers

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LOCAL COUNCIL VOTE IMPORTANT!

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 22, 2017

 

While the Fremantle local government election in October is still months away I urge everyone to make sure they are registered on the Electoral Roll. This is especially important for young people who have just turned 18 as YOUR vote is so very important.

Councils make decisions for YOUR future and you have the power to vote for the people who YOU believe will best represent you and youth issues in general.

While we have a vast-ageing population the future is with younger generations, so governments need to make decisions that are progressive and look at the long-term implications.

I was told a few years ago by university students that they are not interested in local government and that is a real shame because local government is the closest we can get to grassroots representation.

In Fremantle we have easy access to our Councillors and Mayor, so we can influence their decisions. But it means we need to participate and we need to understand how local government works.

Council and council committee meetings are not boring. They give a real insight into how the democratic process works and how complex it can be.

Councils need to do far more than putting the motions in place for street cleaning and maintenance, they are responsible for long-term strategies and policies.

We are witnessing how long-term Council planning is slowly making a very significant impact in Fremantle, with unprecedented investment through massive development in Fremantle, and a whole lot more is in the pipeline.  That was very deliberate action by a Council which realised it needed to be pro-active on trying to turn the economic downturn around and revitalise and activate the city.

But we need to have plans that will make sure that we have affordable student accommodation and for young people to live in the inner city and only when young people care to vote will they be represented by Councillors.

Fremantle does have a Youth Council, but it works in the dark and I have no idea what they are doing and how they influence the elected members. I also don’t know if many young Freo residents know about the Youth Council and how to contact them, and I don’t understand why that council is not more in the public domain.

VOTE! Get yourselves enrolled and take part in the very important democratic privilege!

Roel Loopers

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FREO MAYOR NEEDS MORE THAN RA RA RA

Posted in elections, fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 8, 2017

It is very disappointing that Fremantle Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart is engaging in cheap political point scoring.

This from her Facebook page: Why does Fremantle Council insist on focusing on issues beyond local government’s remit instead of those that truly impact on Fremantle like the loss of workers from Freo Hospital, the cleanliness of the city, decline in retail and the loss of cruise ships to Freo Port…?

I was expecting a lot more class, substance and fairness from Ra who was the Chair of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce for many years and who should know how local government works.

Ra is no doubt well aware that there is a (inter)national decline in retail and that shops are vacant all over the Perth metro area and around Australia.

Ra is no doubt also aware that Fremantle Council has no power whatsoever to direct WA government agency Fremantle Port or can influence the state government to do something about the ports of Broome, Geraldton and Exmouth. They are the main reasons P&O cruiseliners will no longer call Fremantle Port home!

Fremantle Council lobbied State Government for years to keep Fremantle Hospital and the emergency department going, but Ra could not be bothered to attend Councils meetings until she had her overnight calling to stand for Mayor.

Cleanliness can be an issue in Fremantle on weekends and festival days, but many overseas tourists at the Roundhouse tell me how impressed they are about how clean Freo is. Subjective. I know.

Very disappointing Ra and you are losing me fast!

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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KNIVES OUT FOR FREMANTLE MAYORAL ELECTION

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, western australia by freoview on March 6, 2017

While WA is having a state election in five days here in Fremantle the knives are already out for the October Council election that includes electing a new Mayor.

Although Mayor Brad Pettitt has yet to announce if he will be standing and try to get another four years, former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri launched a major attack on Petitt in the Fremantle Herald, that was strongly criticised by Councillor Jon Strachan on his blog.

Strachan told ‘Tags’ that he had served under him and Pettitt and that the leadership of the two Mayors was poles apart. Strachan claims there was “deep division” in the Tagliaferri Council while the Pettitt Council professionally works together.

Strachan writes that during the greatest economic boom in W.A. Mayor Tagliaferri had failed to attract investment into Fremantle.

It is evident from all the building sites around the Fremantle CBD that the present Council headed by Mayor Brad Pettitt has opened the doors of Freo wide and very substantial development is happening in the port city and much more in the pipeline.

Jon Strachan asked Peter Tagliaferri who his candidate for Mayor will be in October. I wonder if it could be someone from the Labor party?

There are rumours abound that former state politician Adele Carles might put her hand up, but time will tell and we’ll need to wait and see if Pettitt wants to continue with the very-demanding and highly-criticised job.

On a personal note; although I have been asked by many Freo residents to stand for Council I will not contest the October election!

Roel Loopers

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