Freo's View

LOCAL COUNCILS NEED TO REMAIN IN CHARGE OF DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, jdap, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 12, 2018

 

Samantha Reece is active in the Fremantle community, and an influencer as part of the new FREO NOW-former BID, so I am rather disappointed with her opinion piece in the property pages of the West Australian today, where she calls for the Joint Development Assessment Panels-JDAP- to do their job better and overrule NIMBY local councils, which refer to their own planning schemes to approve or reject development applications.

Ms Reece is not happy that JDAP did not approve the 16-storey Kintail development in Applecross, where council only want to allow a maximum of 10 storeys.

Reece then also mentions the proposed Fremantle Woolstores development, where additional discretionary height was rejected by Fremantle Council and JDAP because the design was not considered to be of exceptional architectural standards. JDAP has since approved a totally different design with lower height.

If Samantha Reece has her way we might soon see 8-storey buildings in our historic West End, and other totally inappropriate height all over the place.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE DENTAL CLINIC TO REMAIN IN FREO

 

 

The staff at the Member for Fremantle, Minister Simone McGurk‘s office were far too polite to point out to me that I need to see an optometrist as I clearly urgently need spectacles.

The always kind Mat at the electoral office in Freo made me aware that there is a big sign at Fremantle Hospital that announces the relocation of the Fremantle Dental Clinic to the hospital, which is very good news. I drive by the hospital many times a day but failed to notice the sign. So much for being a very observant photographer, hey.

The City of Fremantle has sold the current home of the FDC on the corner of Holdsworth and Parry streets, so there was concern in the community that people on health and social benefit cards would have nowhere to go in our port city for free dental treatment.

The new clinic will have nine dental rooms, public waiting, staff support and administration and will be on the fifth floor of B Block.

Thank you Simone McGurk for following that up for me and pointing out the relocation is in the 2017/18 State budget.

Roel Loopers

DON’T GAG LOCAL COUNCILLORS FROM BEING TRANSPARENT

 

The alleged attempts to silence local councillors and stop them from commenting on social media raise serious concerns about our democracy, although Fremantle councillors are very-almost too- restraint in their use of social media to publish facts to combat the often ridiculous and uninformed comments made by members of the public.

While I understand that Mayors should be the official spokespeople for local councils, it should not stop the other elected members from participating in social media. They are after all our local parliament, so gagging them is like denying a state or federal minister from commenting, because the PM and Premiers are the official spokespeople.

Our Fremantle councillors comment now and then on Facebook and Freo Massive but rarely here on Freo’s View, unless it is local government election time and they want another four years, so they us this platform to increase their public profile. It might well be Fremantle Council policy that only the Mayor can comment on this blog.

I believe the Fremantle community would welcome more engagement on social media with their councillors, as it helps transparency and to clarify issues people might not understand or are not well enough informed about. One should not just leave that to the Mayor and the City of Fremantle’s media people.

It is definitely not up to our State Government to dictate how the elected local members communicate with their community and sensor or gag our councillors. We elected them to govern our city and they are accountable to explain to us why and how.

Roel Loopers

 

 

Roel Loopers

ONE DOLLAR OFFER TO BUY VICTORIA HALL

Posted in Uncategorized, architecture, local government, city of fremantle, heritage by freoview on December 9, 2018

 

victoria-hall

 

There is no doubt that the people at the Anglican Parish of Fremantle believe in miracles and Father Christmas, or they have been listening too often to Janis Joplin’s oh Lord won’t you buy me a beautiful hall, or might it be that the collection boxes in church remain empty on Sundays?

Their offer to buy gorgeous, heritage-listed Victoria Hall from the City of Fremantle for just one dollar is either tongue in cheek, desperation, or hoping for divine intervention, because the old hall is worth around $ 2 million.

The tender process to try to sell Victoria Hall attracted 30 interests, but just the one, rather silly, offer, so now Fremantle City will put the hall out for sale on the open market.

Roel Loopers

LIMITED PARKING ALONG MARINE TERRACE SOUTH

Posted in backpackers, beaches, cars, city of fremantle, local government, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on December 8, 2018

 

Fremantle Council will on Wednesday debate if they should start with time limited and/or paid parking along Marine Terrace in South Fremantle and at South Beach, due to the fact that the parking bays in the area during weekdays are occupied by the cars of commuters, who hop on the CAT bus to Fremantle Station, and by the vehicles of Notre Dame university students and backpackers.

This means that local residents, shoppers and those who want to go to the beach often can’t find short-term parking, so the officers are putting the following recommendation to the elected members:

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION Council: 1. Implements a two hour time restriction on the east side of Marine Terrace and the west side of Mews Road with the time restriction applying from Monday to Friday between 8am to 5pm and the parking being unrestricted after these hours and on weekends. 2. Implements a four hour time restriction in the portion of South Beach Car Park 58 north of South Beach Café which faces the beach. 3. Authorise the Chief Executive Officer enter into negotiations with the Department of Transport and Fremantle Sailing Club to implement a four hour time restriction in the Dog Beach Car Park and that these time restrictions apply from Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm with the parking being unrestricted after these hours and on weekends. 4. Authorise the Chief Executive Officer to extend the four hour time restriction to other portions of South Beach Car Park 58 and to South Beach Car Park 59 if the current time restrictions are not achieving the goal of ensuring that there is sufficient parking available to beach users. 5. Implements a $3.50 per day fee on the west side of Marine Terrace adjacent to the railway line and the east side of Mews Road south.

 

Roel Loopers

WILL FREMANTLE DENTAL CLINIC STAY IN FREO?

 

What will happen with the Fremantle Dental Clinic now that the City of Fremantle has sold the building on the corner of Holdsworth and Parry streets?

The clinic delivers a very essential social service for those on pension- and health cards, and unemployed people.

It is so busy that the waiting list for an appointment is six months, and the next free dental clinic is in Perth where one gets treated by students who study dentistry.

St Patrick’s also has a small dental weekly clinic for homeless people with the support of local dentists who generously volunteer their services.

When the item came before council a few months ago the CEO of the Fremantle Dental Clinic said it could cost up to $ 500,000 to relocate the clinic, so will the State Government invest in that and keep the essential service in Fremantle?

I am hoping it can be relocated to Fremantle Hospital.

Roel Loopers

 

MORE TWIGGY FORREST INVESTMENT IN FREMANTLE

 

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While the Fremantle knockers will always be there, Andrew-Twiggy-Forrest, one of Western Australia’s most prominent business man, is showing confidence in our port city.

The Forrest Family Investments Pty Ltd. intends to purchase the Spicer site on the corner of William Street and the Henderson Street mall from Sirona Capital, once this is agreed on by Fremantle Council on Wednesday.

Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation only a few months ago bought the Orient Hotel in the historic West End and I have been told also another property in Pakenham Street.

The Spicer site is stage three of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project, after the completion of the Myer and Queensgate construction and the City of Fremantle’s new civic centre.

Under the sale contract  the Forrest Family Investments agrees to assume all of Sirona Capital’s obligations in relation to the development of the site.

I believe this is very good news for Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

 

SILLY CLAIM THAT BARNETT WOULD PUT FREMANTLE IN ADMINISTRATION

 

Fremantle Society president John Dowson likes to make outrageous claims, as long as they are negative about Fremantle Council, so this alleged statement by former WA Premier Colin Barnett surely must be taken with a grain of salt.

In his latest email message to FS members JD claims that: “Recent controversial decisions of Fremantle Council, particularly relating to Australia Day, and being told that the council still refuses to fly the Australian flag from the Town Hall long after spending $3 million to fix it up, led the former Premier to tell the Fremantle Society this week that : “If I was still Premier, I would put Fremantle Council into Administration.”

So are we really to believe that a state government would put a local government, which has been pro-active in encouraging extensive development and urban infill, into administration just because they don’t fly the Australian flag and don’t celebrate Australia Day on January 26? I doubt that very much!

Dowson also suggested in a recent email to FS members that Fremantle’s new destination marketing should be about telling stories, such as that Prince Phillip was in Fremantle Port for one day during WW II. Yep, that would get thousands of Chinese, Indonesian and Malaysian tourists rushing to Fremantle for sure. OMG!

And have the FS members noticed that their president talks about himself like the Queen? The Fremantle Society met the former premier, the Fremantle Society met David Attenborough, etc. when it was only JD meeting these people?

The AGM of the society was held last night and I fear we’ll be getting another year of unbalanced narrow-minded negativity and anti-change, anti-development and anti-progress messages from its president.

Roel Loopers

 

CALOGERO’S ALFRESCO DECISION DEFERRED

Posted in cafe, city of fremantle, city planning, coffee, food, local government, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on December 6, 2018

 

Calo 1

 

The future of the alfresco area of  Calogero’s is still uncertain after Fremantle’s Planning Committee last night decided to defer it and give the owners the opportunity of sourcing for a location in the vicinity for two parking bays.

Personally I don’t see what the fuss is all about as that area from Little Lefroy Road to Jenkin Street along South Terrace has become a really lovely community hub, and even more so since the City of Fremantle improved the streetscape.

Parking in the area is always at a premium, but that applies to Pakenham Street in the inner city as well, and I doubt that Bread in Common and others there had to provide parking for their patrons.

Councillor Adin Lang was all for retrospective approval of the restaurant, while Councillor Dave Hume said that Council needed to become more flexible about parking if it wanted more activation and higher density in Fremantle.

This evening from 5.30-7.30pm there will be a community placemaking event with games, music, etc. at the little hub so come along and meet your fellow South Freo community members! See you there.

Roel Loopers

DON’T FENCE ME IN

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, crime, democracy, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 6, 2018

 

The only thing missing last night at Councillor Jeff McDonald’s slide show about fences in Hilton was the Don’t Fence Me In soundtrack by Bing Crosby.

McDonald had done a photographic survey of compliant and non-compliant fences in the garden suburb because there were three items about fences on the Fremantle Planning Committee agenda. It was all about height and permeability of the fences that needed retrospective approval, or refusal, from our elected members.

Like McDonald, a member of the public had also surveyed the Hilton fences and stated that at least half of them were non-compliant, but Councillor Ingrid Waltham rightly pointed out that the fact that there are many non-compliant fences did not mean council should approve another one. Too true! Just because most motorists ignore road rules does not mean we should all ignore them.

Mayor Brad Pettitt is a big picture thinker and was probably influenced by the French riots and fearing a Fence Revolution in Fremantle when he said that it would undermine good process to approve non-compliant fences. Where would it leave us if we don’t have any rules?

It was all about some of the fences being too high or not permeable, and public speakers rambled on far too long to show they had done their home work until the early hours and googled everything about planning rules, legislations and loopholes, of which Councillors and staff are obviously aware, so making a few succinct points only would have been much better, much faster, and less boring.

A permeable fence is basically the negligee, or see-through, of fences, and legislators believe they allow passive surveillance by home owners of what happens on the street. It appears the planning gurus believe that these fences are like one-way mirrors and that burglars can’t look into the properties through these fences, especially at night when the house lights are on and the streets dark.

The tedium of council process was evident last night and while at a previous committee meeting I had at least the stunning new zebra shoes of Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge to look at to relieve the boredom, but I had nothing last night. So note to self. Bring a tablet for the next meeting so you can play chess on the computer.

And after all that I even forgot to note if all three fences were retrospectively approved or not, but I think one of them was deferred for improvement.

By the way, the Ordinary Council meeting next Wednesday night will be held at the Fremantle Townhall, so don’t go to North Freo!

Roel Loopers

 

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