Freo's View

THANK YOU TO DEPARTING FREMANTLE COUNCILLORS!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 17, 2019

 

Fremantle Council said goodbye to three Councillors last night, who did not nominate for the Local Government Election. Councillors Ingrid Waltham, Jeff McDonald and Dave Hume all attended their last council meeting as elected members and they admitted having mixed emotions about that.

Three other Councillors are fighting to retain their seat with Rachel Pemberton in City Ward, Jon Strachan in South Ward and Bryn Jones in North Ward waiting for the election results on October 19, which is this coming Saturday.

Voter participation in Fremantle has increased a bit and is now on average just over 30%, but that is still disappointingly low.

South Ward is leading with a 39.29% participation at close of business last night, and Hilton comes second with 35.97%, followed by City Ward with 33.31%.

All departing Councillors deserve a huge gratitude from the community because they were willing to step up. We might not always have agreed with the decisions they made but they made them with integrity and what is best for Fremantle at heart.

After Saturday there will be at least three new Councillors in Fremantle, but my gut feeling is that there will be at least four and probably five new ones. Time will tell and I’ll report the election results by about 8.30pm this Saturday here on Freo’s View.

Roel Loopers

NON VOTERS GET THE COUNCIL OTHERS ELECT

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

 

There is something hypocritical about people complaining about local councils, and demanding more and better community consultation, when seven out of ten people in Fremantle can’t even bother to vote at the Local Government Election, and most of them don’t come to precinct or community consultation events either.

One only has to look at what one of the two South Ward candidates is promising. She will get rid off the speedhumps along South Terrace, but they were installed after lengthy and thorough community consultation. The same candidate also promises that she will only do what the community wants, so how can she get rid of the speedhumps when traffic calming was demanded by the South Fremantle community she wants to represent?

Recent comments to this blog demand consultation about mural art on public and private buildings, but how could we even believe to get consensus on what is good and appropriate art for a building and a street when our tastes are so different? And how many people would in reality take part in that process? Probably just a handful, as history shows.

In City Ward a former Councillor wants parking fee reductions when he is well aware that this populist promise is nonsense because parking revenue is important for Fremantle. If we have less income from parking fees and fines council rates might have to be increased, and no one would want to pay higher rates so that people from out of town and Notre Dame students can park cheaper and longer.

I already mentioned the ignorant nonsense of an East Ward candidate who claims Fremantle Council has done nothing about the impact the High Street Upgrade project by Mainroads will have on the public golf course, when the fact is that the City has engaged a team of architects and golf course designers, and also will build a new clubhouse and cafe on the border with Booyeembara Park.

The disappointing fact is that the majority of people in our community are not well informed about what goes on at Fremantle Council, so they are gullible to believe just about anything, and that is why some wannabe councillors engage in negativity and make accusations not based on facts, and make promises they won’t be able to keep.

Democracy is a two-way road and if you decide not to participate in the process you really have no legs to stand on when you complain about the council you get. And don’t forget that a single candidate will not be able to change anything unless they get the support of other councillors.

Taking unrealistic promises and false accusations with a huge grain of salt is a sensible way of dealing with election campaigns.

Roel Loopers

PATHETIC FREMANTLE VOTERS

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 11, 2019

 

I am disappointed that the vast majority of the Fremantle community is not voting at the local government election. The numbers of the returned ballot papers is very low and the last chance to post your vote is next week Tuesday as the votes  have to be at the City by Friday October 18. Counting will start at 6pm on October 19.

So far only 19.04% have voted in East Ward, 24.21% in City Ward, 27.20% in South Ward, 20.82% in North Ward, 25.64% in Hilton and 22.33% in Beaconsfield.

So where are all those social media keyboard warriors who blast Fremantle Council so often and have quick fixes for everything? Where are all those ‘engaged’ community members who believe that Fremantle Council is called Brad, and where are all those ‘engaged’ eligible voters who too often fail to inform themselves when criticising what goes on in Fremantle?

If you want improvement you need to vote! If you want to kick out sitting members you have to vote! If you want sitting members to retain their seat on council you have to vote! Not voting is not an option.

It is not good enough to have strong opinions about your local councils in cafes and pubs and at the computer keyboard, when you can’t be bothered to fill out your ballot papers. It really is lazy and pathetic!

There will be at least three new Councillors after the election, in Hilton, Beaconsfield and East Ward, so if you want to shake up Freo Council this is a good year for it. If you are happy with the direction Fremantle Council has taken and you want to continue with a progressive council that is pro development this is also an opportunity to let them know you believe they are on the right track.

How many people around the world envy us for being allowed to vote. How many women on the planet still have no voting rights, and how privileged should we consider ourselves to live in a democracy where we have a say in the destination of our country and can vote for our local, state and federal governments.

The duty and privilege of voting should fill us with pride. Do it today!

Roel Loopers

DO VOTE AT THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION!

 

The news in the Sunday Times today that many council positions will not be contested at the October 19 Local Government Elections in WA,  because no one nominated, is a worry, because it is essential for good government to have balance. Different view points are desirable as long as it does not become fifty/fifty votes and a Mayor has the deciding vote on most issues. That would not be healthy either.

It is believed that community apathy about local government and the relentless attacks on social media are reasons for people not to nominate for local council, so that is disappointing. Local government is grassroots democracy where our vote and involvement really can make a difference, so don’t let the trolls frustrate anyone from participating!

Many people, mostly those who don’t like the council the community elected, say that councils should only worry about rates, roads and rubbish, but I believe that local government does have a role to play in other issues, such as climate change, racism, domestic violence, homelessness, etc. as they affect all of us in some way.

Every one of us at some point in life has believed we have an easy solution, but governance is never easy and always complex, and whatever the decision by our elected members it will leave some in the community disappointed and disgruntled, believing that they have not been listened to because the decision went the opposite way of what they wanted.

Politics is a bit like footy. One-eyed fans accusing others of wearing rose-coloured glasses, and neither side can see the positive things the other sides are doing, hence we have people who claim they do not have a political agenda, although all they want is to replace left-leaning politicians with right-leaning politicians, or vice versa. I don’t believe that is having the best interest of the city, the state, or the country at heart.

We need a strong opposition in our parliaments and in our councils, to keep those in power honest and on their toes. I would be worried if Councillors saw themselves as being part of Team Fremantle where sameness and mateship is embraced but opposing views ignored.

We will have at least three new Councillors in Fremantle after the election and there could well be a few surprises in our changing political climate, and that I believe is a good thing. It is up to us, to each and everyone of us, to create the councils we want and we can only achieve that by voting.

If you want the sitting member in your ward to stay, VOTE. If you want to kick out the sitting member in your ward and replace her/him with someone you believe will do a better job, VOTE! Not voting is not an option.

Roel Loopers

 

 

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FREO CITY WARD LOCAL ELECTION FORUM

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 25, 2019

 

For reasons that do not make much sense Fremantle City Ward is considered the jewel at the local government elections, although Councillors from all wards vote on every item at the Ordinary Council meetings and all have the same influence and power.

Anyhow, there is a City Ward Candidates Forum this Thursday September 26 at 6.30pm in Tannock Hall in Cliff Street, with sitting member Rachel Pemberton, High Street resident Julie Morgan and Fremantle Society president John Dowson, so come and ask questions and listen to what they want to do to make Fremantle an even better place.

It is a shame the forum clashes with the South Ward one which is at The Local hotel in South Fremantle at the same time and date.

Roel Loopers

WHO WANTS TO BE A FREO COUNCILLOR?

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, elections, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on August 27, 2019

 

While Fremantle Councillors and community members are not normally shy in coming forward, it is still a mystery who will nominate for the Local Government election that will be held on October 19.

So far we know that City Ward Councillor Rachel Pemberton and North Ward Councillor Bryn Jones will try to get re-elected while Hilton Ward Councillor Jeff McDonald has declared he won’t contest the election.

Chris Jenkins of the Socialist Alliance has declared he will nominate for Beaconsfield Ward, but we have yet to hear from other members of the community who might like to step up and join our council.

Local Government is grassroots democracy where one can make a real difference, so show your dedication for our great city and community and nominate!

Roel Loopers

UPDATE!  I hear Frank Mofflin will nominate for Hilton Ward!

READY TO VOTE AT THE FREMANTLE COUNCIL ELECTION?

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, elections, local government, Uncategorized, voting by freoview on August 19, 2019

 

Local government is the closest we get to grassroots democracy, so it is extremely important to vote at local council elections. The people we vote on Council will represent us for four years, so don’t be complacent and help get the Council you believe will best represent the Fremantle community. This is especially important for young people who have just reached voting age!

Are you enrolled to vote for Fremantle’s next local government election on October 19?

You can check your enrollment status by visiting https://check.aec.gov.au/ or by contacting 13 63 06. Enrollments close Friday August 30.

Roel Loopers

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WILL AUSTRALIA EVER HAVE A BLACK PM?

Posted in abc, aboriginal, city of fremantle, democracy, elections, indigenous, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on April 25, 2019

 

Black PM?

 

The ABC screening this Sunday at 7.40 pm of Will Australia Ever Have a Black PM? is very timely three weeks before the Federal Election.

I remember the joy of a first female PM, when Obama was elected President of the USA, and marriage equality, so I hope that a black PM, or president, of Australia will still happen in my lifetime, but I think that might be a bit too optimistic.

It is special for me that my friend young Fremantle Aboriginal woman Shari Hutchison was the Attachment Producer of the documentary. She traveled all over Australia with the team to film the interviews, so I am looking forward to viewing the result of all the hard work.

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

 

DOROTHY TANGNEY 75 YEARS AGO FIRST WOMAN IN AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, politicians, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 24, 2018

 

Dorothy Tangney

 

Seventy-five years ago Dorothy Tangney became the first woman to be elected in federal parliament, but we are still debating gender equality in our parliaments and political parties.

This artwork is in Fremantle’s Norfolk Street on the side of the Norfolk Hotel, so contemplate when you walk or drive by why it is taking so unacceptably long until we have real gender balance in our country.

It’s not just about equal pay but even more so about equal respect!

Roel Loopers

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