Freo's View

WATERWISE EAST FREMANTLE COUNCIL

Posted in east fremantle, environment, local government, Uncategorized, water by freoview on November 18, 2019

 

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The Town of East Fremantle has commenced the process of becoming endorsed as a Waterwise Council by the end of 2019. This involves the Town committing to various projects, policies or procedures that will improve the efficiency of the Town’s water use.

For more information on this initiative and to learn how you can become more waterwise, visit www.eastfremantle.wa.gov.au/community/programs/waterwise-council.aspx

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GLYPHOSATE SPRAYING TO CONTINUE IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, health, local government, pollution, Uncategorized by freoview on November 10, 2019

 

It does not look as if the City of Fremantle will abandon spraying parks and reserves with glyphosate, which is reportedly dangerous for the health of humans and animals.

This below from the agenda of the FPLO Committee of Fremantle Council which wel meet this Wednesday:

SUMMARY:

The purpose of this report is for Council to consider the petition on the use of glyphosate and the City’s current integrated weed management program. The City is responsible for managing land inclusive of parks, gardens, foreshore reserves, bushland reserves, road reserves, drainage sumps and City owned or managed land. The majority of City managed land requires vegetation and weed management and glyphosate is currently used in the weed management program.

This report recommends that the Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation committee acting under delegation 1.1:

  1. Note the petition received from Mr De Villiers requesting Council:
    1. Ban the spraying of glyphosate in the City of Fremantle parklands and

      public spaces.

    2. Develop and research less toxic and environmentally friendly

      alternatives to the use of glyphosate in parklands and public spaces in

      the City of Fremantle.

    3. Increase the steam weeding to reduce the City of Fremantle’s chemical

      use.

  2. Request officers continue with the City’s current integrated weed management program, noting the management controls to mitigate the risk to staff, contractors and the public for the use of herbicide, including Glyphosate, and within existing operational resources and budgets.
  3. Request officers continue with the trials of alternative weed control practices and management and implement the effective trials within existing operational resources and budgets where possible.
  4. Request officers submit details of the proposed herbicide reduction program and management practices and/or service level amendments through the annual budget cycle for consideration.

For the entire agenda item and Officer’s Recommendation click on Agendas and Minutes on the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers

NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR GENERAL WASTE

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, local government, recycling, rubbish, Uncategorized by freoview on October 18, 2019

 

I am all for recycling, looking after the environment and after our planet Earth, but already the Fremantle FOGO three bin system is not working for me and the home owner.

The too small general waste bin was totally full when we put the bin we share between two households out for collection, but it was not emptied because general waste only gets collected once a fortnight.

I am moving house next week and will probably have quite a few bits and pieces for the general waste bin, but won’t be able to use it because the bin is full. My neighbour and I will now have to take our general waste rubbish into the city and dump it into a City of Fremantle bin, and that is not good at all.

Roel Loopers

FOR THE GRETA GOOD AT COOGEE BEACH

Posted in city of cockburn, city of fremantle, climate change, environment, Uncategorized by freoview on September 30, 2019

 

For the Greta Good

 

Great idea, or should that be Greta idea, to put these challenging words in the sand at Coogee Beach.

It is a real shame, and a clear indication that there is a lack of maturity in the debate  about global warming, that it has become political ping pong, and that is very disappointing.

I picked this photo up from Facebook, so no idea who took it, so please let me know and I’ll credit the photographer and the people who put the words in the sand!

Roel Loopers

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SEA SHEPHERD VOLUNTEERS CLEAN UP BATHERS BEACH

Posted in bathers beach, beaches, city of fremantle, environment, indian ocean, Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2019

 

beach 7

beach 1

 

Dozens of people turned up this Sunday morning for the Sea Shepherd clean up of Fremantle’s Bathers Beach.

Great to see so many people volunteering their time to get rid of the mess other people make. Well done!

Roel Loopers

 

IS WESTPORT SHORTLIST PREMATURE?

 

It is predictable that Garreth Parker in today’s column in the pro Liberal Sunday Times claims that the Westport Taskforce is flawed because it did not consider Roe8/9 as a potential solution, but that is for two reasons. There is no potential Roe 8/9 offered that had a solution for the North Fremantle traffic congestions, as the Barnett government experts could not find a way of connecting the last part of the highway extension into the port, and the second reason is that the McGowan government was elected with a landslide on the promise not to build Roe 8/9.

While I believe the Westport Taskforce process has been very good I am surprised they announced the preferred shortlist of options before environmental assessments have been made about the impact a potential new port in Kwinana might have on Cockburn Sound and what impact the mainly land-based transport options would have on local communities away from Leach Highway and North Fremantle.

What if the EPA and other agencies rule that marine life would be far too much threatened in Cockburn Sound and that a new port is not acceptable? Do we start from scratch again and repeat the whole expensive progress without a new Kwinana port as an option?

Public information and transparency are very important, but maybe it was just premature to announce a shortlist of options with a new Kwinana port as the first option before we understand the impact it might have on the very important Cockburn Sound.

Roel Loopers

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MORE SUSTAINABILITY FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, environment, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 14, 2019

 

Fremantle has updated its Sustainable Building Policy to ensure Fremantle continues to be a leader in sustainable development.

The Sustainable Building Policy was adopted in 2011 and requires new residential and commercial buildings with a floor area of greater than 1000m2 to achieve a minimum 4-star ‘Green Star’ rating.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said as a result of the policy Fremantle had become a showcase for sustainable development.

“The award winning Liv apartments in Queen Victoria Street and the Evermore development in White Gum Valley have both been designed and built to be more energy efficient, saving residents money on power bills, and both have achieved One Planet accreditation thanks to their water and energy saving appliances, solar PV, double-glazing, organic waste and recycling facilities.

The Kings Square Renewal project component by Sirona Capital will feature 5-star Green Star commercial spaces, while the City’s new civic centre will be one of the most energy efficient buildings of its size in Australia.

The refinements made to the City’s Sustainable Building Policy include allowing the use of other equivalent assessment tools, such as One Planet certification, and streamlining implementation measures to clarify how compliance will be achieved before and after construction.

In reviewing the Sustainable Building Policy, the council also voted to rescind its Energy Efficient Building Design Policy, adopted in 2000, because the Building Code, national guidelines and other state planning policies have overtaken it.

The Freo Mayor said  “It’s another example of where local governments can explore new and innovative ideas at a local level, and if they prove successful they can be adopted more broadly.”

In addition to the Sustainable Building Policy the City of Fremantle also has planning policies that allow higher density if the development meets certain sustainability requirements, such as achieving a higher energy rating, the installation of solar panels and a rainwater tank or greywater system.

The Knutsford East Local Structure Plan also offers bonuses in height and density for design and sustainability excellence.

The Knutsford precinct includes Landcorp’s ground-breaking East Village development, in which 36 homes will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy using roof top solar panels and a shared community battery.

In an Australian first, a village micro-grid will allow residents to generate and share energy with their neighbours using an innovative energy trading platform.

Roel Loopers

FREO MAYOR REPLIES TO SOLAR FARM CRITICISM

Posted in city of fremantle, community, environment, local government, solar, Uncategorized by freoview on August 12, 2019

 

I believe it is fair and reasonable to give Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt a right to reply to the attacks in the West Australian and the concerns raised by members of the Fremantle community  in regard to the proposed Solar Farm in South Fremantle.

I have published all comments I received about this issue, so here the media release by the City in Fremantle in full:

The West Australian has published another misleading and inaccurate diatribe by Paul Murray (Tipping point for solar plan, 10 August 2019), this time attacking the City of Fremantle’s efforts to establish a solar farm on the former South Fremantle tip site.

Before addressing the main issue of the solar farm, Mr Murray couldn’t resist having another dig at the City’s sustainability credentials. 

Mr Murray claims the City of Fremantle’s carbon emissions have increased 49 per cent since 2009. This is incorrect.

Where Mr Murray has got it wrong is that he has confused carbon offsets purchased by the City with our emissions.

Previously the City purchased ‘green’ energy from Synergy at a premium price, as well as carbon offsets to offset other emissions like fleet vehicles. The Council made the very rational decision in 2013 to stop buying expensive green energy and instead buy cheaper ‘black’ energy along with additional carbon offsets. We used the money we saved to invest in our own renewable energy.

The purchase of these additional offsets has not only resulted in more than 150,000 trees being planted in degraded areas of the Wheatbelt to offset the City’s carbon emissions, but it has also been more cost effective for our ratepayers – something I would have thought The West Australian would applaud.

And while the amount of offsets purchased by the City now compared with 2009 has gone up, the City’s emissions have actually gone down. This could have been simply explained but Mr Murray didn’t bother to ask.

As for the solar farm itself, the main concern seems to be that the former South Fremantle tip is a contaminated site.

This is not news. We know it’s a contaminated site. It has been for decades.

If it wasn’t a contaminated site it would have had houses built on it, or it would have been turned into a sporting field.

The whole point of the solar farm project is to make productive use of a site that would otherwise remain a wasteland.

The management plans for the solar farm have been approved by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, the Department of Health and an independent contaminated sites auditor.

The City made getting approval from these agencies a condition of the project in order to safeguard the community. We have always said this project would only proceed if it could be done safely, and the expert advice says that it can.

A solar farm would be a light touch, with the panels specially designed to sit on the surface of the soil. There would be minimal disturbance of the soil and no disturbance of the contamination buried underneath.

Far from being a bombshell, the presence of quarantine waste at the tip site is well known. Previous site investigation reports commissioned by the City refer to the use of the site by AQIS for the deep burial of quarantine waste and these reports were considered in preparing the Site Management Plan for the solar farm.

Nevertheless, the City is checking with state government health and environmental agencies if they require more information about the safe management of quarantine waste, and will ensure that any further advice is complied with.

The issue of ‘glint and glare’ was considered by the City as part of the development approval. The simple response is that photovoltaic cells are designed to absorb light, not reflect it. 

Mr Murray also referenced the public information session which had been ‘strangely cancelled’.

This session was postponed, not cancelled, because most of the questions the City and solar farm developer Epuron were being asked were about technical aspects of the construction of the project. It made sense to delay the meeting until a construction contractor was appointed by Epuron so they could be available to answer those questions. Nothing strange, just common sense.

The West Australian has now published three opinion pieces by Paul Murray attacking me and the City of Fremantle, and yet not once has he asked me any questions or sought my comments. Worse still, when I sent my own response to The West Australian after the first attack piece they refused to publish it.

I have no problem being asked legitimate questions or with the City’s operations being scrutinised, but I expect a fair right of reply. Considering Paul Murray is the former editor of this once esteemed publication I would have expected higher journalistic standards.

It’s sad to see that Perth’s one and only daily newspaper has sunk to such depths.

and to make it abundantly clear. I would welcome a solar farm but only if it does not impact on the health of anyone in our community, and those nearby in Cockburn. There cannot be any compsomises on this.

Roel Loopers

MORE SOLAR FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, health, local government, solar, Uncategorized by freoview on August 10, 2019

 

Solar panels being installed at sporting facilities around Fremantle are set to save local sporting clubs thousands of dollars on their power bills.

The panels are being installed at Gilbert Fraser Reserve in North Fremantle, Ken Allen Field in Beaconsfield and Stevens Reserve and Frank Gibson Reserve in Fremantle.

The project is being funded through a $20,500 federal government grant from Sport Australia and $12,000 from the City of Fremantle.

The clubhouse at Gilbert Fraser Reserve, which is home to the North Fremantle Amateur Football Club, Fremantle Mosman Park Cricket Club and Fremantle Masters Football Club, has had a 20 kilowatt solar system installed which will provide annual savings of almost $6000.

Ken Allen Field, home to the Fremantle City Football Club and Fremantle Roosters Rugby League Club, will get a 13 kilowatt system with annual savings of $4500.

A new 13 kilowatt system at Frank Gibson Park will deliver $4800 in savings to the Fremantle Netball Association, while the Fremantle District Cricket Club and Fremantle Hockey Club will save $3600 thanks to the 10 kilowatt system installed at Stevens Reserve.

 

This is positive news but in today’s West Australian columnist Paul Murray writes that former Greens member of Fremantle Adele Carles claims that the environmental impact of the proposed South Fremantle solar farm has not been properly investigated.

Fremantle Council and Mayor Brad Pettitt promised the community from the very start that the solar farm would only be approved if all environmental impacts on the community and health had been assessed, so if Adele Carles is correct more tests and checks need to be done before the solar farm can go ahead.

Roel Loopers

RETROFITTING SUBURBIA AT ECOBURBIA

Posted in city of fremantle, ecoburbia, environment, Uncategorized by freoview on July 30, 2019

 

ecoburbia

 

There are a few tickets left for this Saturday’s ECOBURBIA conference with David Holgrem and Sue Dennett, so make sure to contact Shani and Tim.

It is on from 9am to 4pm on Saturday August 3.

I have no further details about the event so check Ecoburbia on Facebook and website for bookings, etc.

 

Roel Loopers

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