The WA State Government’s announcement of a $ 57,4 million investment into developing Scarborough shows yet again that Colin Barnett and his Cabinet don’t care one bit about Fremantle. When was the last time the government spend money on our city? Whilst Scarborough is getting an expensive facelift the promised and planned park for Leighton Beach is not anywhere near realisation. How much longer will we have to wait for it?
The renovation of the Warders Cottages next to Fremantle Markets also have not started after a big media spin about heritage conservation in October last year, and whilst Colin is spending big on lifesafer towers at Cottesloe, Freo misses out again of course because we are not a Liberal seat, unlike Scraborough which is the seat of Minister Liza Harvey and Cott is the Premier’s home turf.
Why, Premier, can’t you invest for example in public toilets and change rooms at Bathers Beach and help extend the boardwalk all the way to J Shed? Why don’t you invest in passenger rail down the coast to Coogee and Rockingham and why, Premier do you treat Fremantle as the Cinderella city in WA?
The remark by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott that he would “shirtfront” Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Brisbane made me think about how disappointing the Federal and Western Australian state parliaments are. The bullying and grandstanding, the pushing and shoving and daring, and politicians behaving like immature schoolboys, is embarrassing. Parliaments are like a board of directors, but the way our politicians behave would make shareholders call for their resignation and the Australian Stock Exchange would investigate them.
There must be a shortage of rocks in Australia as most rocks are in the heads of those who voted for the morons who are supposed to represent their electorates. Who on earth voted for the silly Clive Palmer and his moronic uninformed puppets? Jaqui Lambie is living proof that it does not require brains to be dangerous, with her insulting and ignorant ranting.
Political parties no longer have conviction and principles, the only principle that applies is to oppose the policies the opposing party is proposing. Just say no when it comes from the other side of parliament and the public think you are doing your job. It’s highly unproductive time wasting.
Where are the charismatic characters of the past, the great orators, the people who stood by what they believed in? Oh, the good old times.
What we have instead is boring bland bi-partisan Bill Shorten, so afraid of being seen as different from the Liberal leader that all he does is a bit of pretending by shouting in parliament. Bill is the beige suit no one notices, he blends in well with the surroundings. He is the wallflower of parliament, but comparing him to a flower is far too colourful for his persona, he is more like a wall weed really. Australia might see the world’s first ever bi-partisan election, where boring Bill will wait till the Liberal advertising slogans are out and he’ll just copy them so the voters won’t walk away from Labor. So we’ll see posters and billboards next to each other with one reading FOR A BETTER AUSTRALIA VOTE LIBERAL and next to it FOR A BETTER AUSTRALIA VOTE LABOR. We could even see Labor volunteers at polling booths with Abbott facemasks. To paraphrase a TV commercial, Bill will say I’ll do whatever they are doing.
In W.A. parliament things are not much different from Canberra. There is a lot of shouting, yelling and finger pointing but very little constructive dialogue. While Premier Colin Barnett might be a bit arrogant at times at least he has some charisma and that can’t be said about Labor leader Mark McGowan who always looks as if he just got out of bed and did not have the time for a shower and to put clean clothes on. Mark has a bad hair day every day and should accept he is balding and get the St George’s Terrace corporate look of a Number Two haircut and buy some nice good fitting suits. There is so much immaturity in insisting to oppose whatever the other parties want to do that it astounds me it keeps going on in our parliaments.
It is refreshing to see that local governments are not party-political in that sense. In Fremantle there is almost too much goodwill between the Elected Members and while there is good informed debate, it can hardly been called robust and no one ever raises their voice. While I’d hate to see local government copying the silly immaturity of state and federal parliaments I’d love to see a bit more controversy and heated debate and disagreement at local level. That said however, local government is the greatest form of democracy and I am always delighted when members of the community take advantage of the fact that they can address Councillors face to face at Council and Committee meetings. We need to safeguard that State Government will not erode that important aspect of our democracy and slowly invades local government like Vladimir Putin is doing in the Ukraine.
No wonder the Australian people are disillusioned with our politicians. I no longer feel represented by any party as I hate the gutlessness of Labor but am also not in favour of Liberal policies, while the Greens don’t do it for me either.
Thirty years ago in September 1984 my then partner Brigitte Braun and I established Profile Photography in Perth and today in Fremantle is the launch of the new brand ROEL.COM.AU. The company needed a bit of refreshing, a rebirth, a facelift, just something that invigorates me to keep going in an industry that has even become more challenging than it ever was.
My career in Western Australia has been fantastic from the moment we started all those years ago. We soon picked up the State Energy Commission account, many mining, design, PR and advertising companies followed. Architects, magazines, property developers and state departments and agencies followed suit.
Fremantle Port was loyal to me for 15 years, the Midland Redevelopment Authority for 11, JAZ Creative became my family, and Cape Mentelle my drinking companion.
WA State Government gave me assignments for years and so did Government House. I was the official photographer for the visit of Princess Ann and travelled throughout the north of WA with her and shared her table for dinner in Kunnunara.
Some of my clients ended up in jail, because WA inc was not their greatest moment, but my business kept blossoming until the big change to digital photography introduced a lot of mediocrity to the industry.
I love my profession and have not ever regretted I became a photographer. I met so many great people and did so many great jobs and I learned so much about life, people and photography.
Today there is a new start in my professional life that is not only corporate, commercial and private photography but also the Roel’s Fremantle Photo Tours.
My motto FINDING BEAUTY IN THE ORDINARY has become my lifestyle, trying to enjoy the small precious moments in life, even in the difficult times.
I have always given my best, because when one works unsupervised it is too easy to cut corners, and at the end of each assignment only I knew if I had given it all the time it deserved, if I should have tried more angles, different light, got up earlier, or keep shooting later. I learned to be brutally critical about my work, to make sure I would never take an assignment or a client for granted. No doubt I messed up a few times, but looking back I believe I overall succeeded.
Today is a proud day for me, because I start again at an age where most people think about retirement. I love photography far too much to start looking for a rocking chair.
Check out the new website: http://www.roel.com.au