Freo's View

HOW MANY PEOPLE TO CHANGE THE LIGHTS IN FREO?

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on March 23, 2017

It seemed out of proportion that light pollution at the Shacks car dealer in Queen Victoria Street had to go to full Fremantle council. I appreciate that it must be a nuisance for the residents of the apartments behind the alfresco showroom that the strong lights on high posts shine into their rooms, but why the issue could not be resolved by the administration is concerning.

This is a problem that has a very simple solution and is something camera lighting crews deal with daily when they make movies. One controls light spill by putting flaps around the lights and at Shacks those lights also need to be angled much further downward so that they only light up the cars on displays.

This should not have gone all the way to the Elected Members who have got enough and far more serious and important things on their plate.

Also on the agenda:

It looks like the former KULCHA space above the Dome cafe in the Evan Davies building at the Cappuccino Strip will finally be used again for a music and restaurant venue.

Councillor Jon Strachan expressed his deep frustration that this great space in the centre of the city had been vacant for three years, at yesterday’s Fremantle Council meeting.

Roel Loopers

PROPER PROCESS FOR ABORIGINAL CENTRE

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, local government by freoview on March 23, 2017

The lease of the DADAA building at Beach Street and the establishment of a new Aboriginal cultural centre was debated at length at full council of the City of Fremantle last night. I am happy that common sense prevailed and that an amendment by Deputy Mayor Dave Coggin was endorsed by his fellow Councillors.

Coggin said that it was important to resolve the process and then decide on the location of a new cultural centre for the Whadjuk Noongar people.

“I don’t believe we have enough information to understand the needs for a potential new indigenous cultural centre or any other type of indigenous community centre that might be positive in Fremantle. We should be taking a best practice approach to this issue by identifying and understanding the needs, engaging with the community, and identifying potential delivery models, with a focus on governance, funding and management.

Once we have been through this process, we will be in a position to make an informed decision about our support for such a facility, with the full knowledge of why it is needed, what it can achieve, and what is appropriate governance, funding and delivery model.

This report agreed at 1-3 will separate the issue of indigenous cultural centre from the availability of 21 Beach Street. It is likely that the process will take 12 months, and it is not appropriate for a valuable community asset at Beach Street to go unutilised during that time. Furthermore, the availability of Beach Street is currently driving the policy process, which is suboptimal.”

Councillors Hannah Fitzhardinge and Doug Thompson said it was putting the cart before the horse nominating Beach Street as the preferred location, before proper  communication had been done. Thompson also said he was not really sure what a cultural centre means was. “Get Beach Street out of the equation or we might end up with a sub-optimal solution.” But Councillor Rachel Pemberton feared that if the Beach Street property was leased to others ‘We might end up with no location” for the Aboriginal centre.”

Councillor David Hume said there is always another building and that it was a poor concept.

Councillor Jeff McDonald was worried about legal ramifications for the City as far as the equal opportunity and racial discrimination acts are concerned.

Here the full wording of the amendment:

Council endorses a process for officers to prepare a report that reviews and considers all issues in relation to the provision of an indigenous cultural centre in Fremantle.

That this process includes, but is not limited to, the following elements:

Identification and data-driven explanation of local and regional indigenous community needs in relation to indigenous cultural centre/s, community centre/s or other community-related facilities.
A comprehensive engagement plan that: identifies and engages with all indigenous community members in the Fremantle region; obtains advice from South West Land and Sea Council regarding the project and consultation; and, engages with other regional indigenous service providers.
Analysis of the performance of the current WACC since its opening. Identification of external funding opportunities.
Identification of options for potential models, including evaluation and description of potential governance, management and operational elements.

Council approves funding of up to $20,000 be provided through the budget review process to undertake this review.

That Council approve the request for proposal (RFP) process for 21 Beach Street, Fremantle outlined in the report to Finance Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee on February 8 2017, and based the following selection criteria:

Strategic alignment (20%): The use of the building must assist in achieving some or all parts of the following Strategic Community imperatives:

  1. People – Create places for people through innovative urban and suburban design
  2. Green – Develop environmentally sustainable solutions for the benefit of current and future generations.
  3. Health and Happiness – creating an environment where it is easy for people to lead safe, happy and healthy lives

Page 3

Additional Documents – Ordinary Meeting of Council 22 March 2017

d. Create – A dynamic innovative city with a strong knowledge economy and arts sector.

  1. Financial sustainability (15%): the building’s use will be supported by a self-sustaining funding model and/or evidence of sufficient seed funding to enable a sustainable model to be developed – allowing it to operate successfully for the entirety of the agreed lease term.
  2. Precinct integration (20%): The building’s use will integrate and/or compliment the surrounding community facilities and activation of the surrounding Reserve.
  3. Community Development Outcomes (30%): to what extent the proposed use of building delivers community development outcomes.
  4. Capacity (15%): Proposal promotes optimal use of the premises including land/building area utilisation and time frames of use throughout the week.

Roel Loopers

 

 

FREMANTLE SHOULD PENALISE DEVELOPMENT DELAYS

Posted in city of fremantle, development, local government by freoview on March 22, 2017

The continuing delay of the development of the Hilton Doubletree hotel on the Fremantle Point Street carpark site and the delay of settlement of the Spicer site at Henderson Street raises questions about the contracts the City of Fremantle signs with developers.

It is nice to have a clause in the Hilton sales contract that stipulates the City can buy back the site if development does not happen within a certain period, but it is totally useless as Fremantle is not in a financial position to buy back the Point Street property, and anyway, what to do with it then?

The delay of the Kings Square project meant that valuable revenue from the Queensgate carpark was lost to the COF and the delay of settlement with Sirona Capital of the Spicer property also means that Fremantle will have to wait till they get paid for it, when the City’s coffers are very empty.

Would it not be better to include penalties for delays, let’s say $ 10,000 per week, as that would be a clear message that Fremantle wants and needs development now and not sometime down the track when the Hilton developers have built three other hotels in Perth first.

Money is a great incentive to get things done fast and buy-back clauses are unrealistic when the City of Fremantle does not have the money for it.

Roel Loopers

SPICER SITE DEVELOPMENT DELAY

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, local government by freoview on March 20, 2017

 

Sirona Capital has requested that the settlement with the City of Fremantle of the sale of the Spicer site on the corner of William and Henderson streets will be delayed for 12 months to May 9, 2018.

The site was sold to Sirona for $ 6.65 million and according to expert advise the market value of the property has remained the same.

The Spicer site development is part of the Kings Square Project where Sirona develops the former Myer and Queensgate buildings, build a new Civic Centre and develop the Spicer site with a five-storey building.

It would probably be a big task for any developer to do all that development in the same area at the same time, so Council will probably approve the settlement delay at Wednesday’s full Council meeting.

Above another historic photo taken from the top of the Townhall that shows the Kings Square and Fremantle Oval Project development areas, and of course the Henderson Street Courthouse/Police precinct will also be developed by Silverleaf.

Roel Loopers

WHAT IS FAIR PAYMENT FOR MAYORS?

Posted in city of fremantle, councils, local government, western australia by freoview on March 19, 2017

The Sunday Times reports today that seven out of the twenty-eight metropolitan mayors are ‘moonlighting’ and have other jobs.

Local government is not intended to be a full-time job for Mayors and Councillors but the workload is significant as I know from observing the huge number of hours Mayor Brad Pettitt and most Councillors spend on looking after Fremantle.

For the Freo Mayor it is a full-time job with additional local government work at the Heritage Council for which he annually receives $ 9,000 in addition to the Mayor’s payment of around $ 140,000. Correct me if I am wrong as I can’t find the exact amount.

But the City of Swan Mayor does only two days full time at council there and received nearly $ 140,000 per year, while Jim O’Neill, the Mayor of East Fremantle gets $ 43,000 for 25 hours a week and works another 45 hours per week as deputy-principal of the Willeton Senior High School.

I believe elected members should get properly paid as many of them spend the equivalent of full-time job hours on serving the community.

Roel Lopers

IMPRESSIVE FREMANTLE TOWNHALL CONSERVATION

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, kings square, local government by freoview on March 18, 2017

Scaffolding will gradually come down from next week on the Fremantle Townhall.

I was given an exterior tour of the conservation works on Friday by City of Fremantle heritage coordinator architect Alan Kelsall and heritage project officer Gena Binet and Zac of the building contractors and was very impressed with the very detailed and substantial work involved in the $ 3.1 million project.

The Townhall project is the largest conservation work the city has ever undertaken and was necessary because of the deterioration of the building due to paint that did not allow the building to breath and suffocated the building, hence salt and moisture had badly damaged large areas.

Don’t expect a brightly-painted building as it has been brought back to its original stucco look of 1887.

About the town hall restoration

Before current restorative works were undertaken it had been almost thirty years since the last major capital expenditure on the Fremantle Town Hall.

Since mid-2016 a large team of skilled stonemasons, plasterers, lead workers and slate roofers with specialist traditional skills have transformed the exterior of the town hall building using traditional building methods.

Key elements such as the roof cladding and drainage systems needed to be replaced urgently to protect the building from ongoing deterioration prevent the loss of culturally significant features and address concerns about public safety.

Gutters and downpipes were too small to cope with current extreme weather events and have led to ongoing damage to the interior of the building. These elements have all been enlarged.

There were also ongoing issues caused by inappropriate surface treatments and repairs to masonry elements carried out in the1950s–60s. At this time there was little understanding of best practice conservation which had unfortunately led to the ongoing deterioration of masonry, embedded steel and timbers and decorative stucco work in the town hall.

During the works, it was discovered some inaccessible parts of the building were in worse condition than expected and extra works were required. To prevent further deterioration of the building and to make use of scaffolding already in place for the current restoration works, it was more efficient and cost effective to complete these additional works now.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Stunning views from the top of the Townhall so I will post some scenic photos of Fremantle next week and have requested a rooftop bar and a granny flat for me to be included in the renovations.

WHAT A WHOLE LOT OF JOHNSENSE!

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, politics by freoview on March 7, 2017

The Pauline Hanson of Fremantle politics sent out another rant to the members of his community group.

He had such a great time in Subi where the driver of a red Ferrari told him his car was even more noticeable. Freo’s Pauline drives a late-model yellow Porsche.

Freo’s Pauline then rode around Subi on a $ 2,000 bicycle and got a bargain buying his exclusive French tea leaves.

He who looks down on us Freo commoners even observed how well-dressed people in Subiaco supposedly are when compared to Fremantle.

The rant continues that while Freo’s Pauline was living the high-life in Subiaco a mate went to Target in Fremantle and witnessed a case of shop-lifting. It’s the tale of two cities according to him.

No doubt shop-lifting only happens in Fremantle and not in Subiaco or anywhere else in W.A. and Council is to blame for it, as it is according to Freo’s Pauline for not doing more against anti-social behaviour in Fremantle.

Ooops, Freo’s Pauline totally forgot that crime and anti-social behaviour is the responsibility of WA Police and his mate Colin’s government. He also ignores the fact that the City of Fremantle recently employed more safety officers.

It appears we are just not classy enough here in Freo for the refined taste of Fremantle’s anti everything guru, but as it is the case with the real Pauline not many people take Freo’s Pauline’s rambling nonsense serious anymore.

Roel Loopers

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

FREO’S VIEW BLOGGER AN ARSEHOLE

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, local government by freoview on March 2, 2017

I am very disappointing that Brendan Moore the City of Fremantle manager of the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Arthur’s Head believes my criticism of the centre was directed at him.

I just bumped into him and he called me an arsehole and was extremely irate so it was not the right time to have a conversation with him about it.

But since my observations and criticsm of the centre were public on this blog I also want to stress again, as I have done previously, that my concerns are not with Brendan Moore but with the piecemeal handling and tokenism of Fremantle Council.

I have from the very beginning warned that the small pilot’s cottage was inappropriate for an Aboriginal centre and I questioned the lack of concept and focus of the centre.

Did the City want it to be an Aboriginal experience for overseas visitors or did they want it to be a community hub for our Noongar people? No one knows, so now they want to move the centre to the DADAA building at the East Street jetty without making it clear what they want to achieve. Brendan Moore is not to blame for that but Fremantle Councillors and Moore’s superiors are!

There is no doubt a huge challenge of getting local Aboriginal people working together because of the many family feuds and I can imagine Moore’s frustration about that as well.

Fremantle Council needs to stop feel-good tokenist gestures toward the Aboriginal people and put more substance into creating a true cultural centre, or even two. One for tourism and one a community meeting hub for Noongars.

None of my criticism was aimed at Brendan Moore and that is why I did not mention him by name before.

If Brendan feels I have personally attacked him I apologise for that as that was not at all my intention. I like Brendan. He is a good, professional and funny bloke. Kaya!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE STAFF NOT WALKING THE COUNCIL TALK

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, local government, parking by freoview on February 28, 2017

Some Fremantle residents have suggested that the age of entitlement for Councillors should be over as far as free parking is concerned. Councillors receive one year free parking for every year they have been on Council, e.g Councillor Doug Thompson will get twenty years of free parking for his twenty-year service as Councillor should he decide to leave in October or not get re-elected.

The argument was that free parking was introduced when Councillor were volunteers but now that they get paid for doing the work they should no longer receive that perk. It was pointed out that the federal government has recently scrapped the life-long free travel pass for former MPs and Senators.

One can also question if a Council that strongly works toward increasing bicycle use and discourages cars in the CBD should give free parking to ex Councillors.

In that context one also has to wonder why on average 115 City of Fremantle staff park their car for free at the Queensgate carpark daily. That is one-quarter of CoF staff receiving free parking! Why does CoF encourage staff to come to work by car instead of walking the talk and promoting bicycle and public transport use?

One of the requirements for the Department of Housing to move to Kings Square was that the new offices had to be in walking distance to a train station and other public transport, and that is also one of the promoted attractions for inner city high-density infill.

CoF Manager of Economic Development and Marketing Tom Griffiths says that staff parking at Queensgate came at no cost to the City but once Sirona Capital takes possession of the carpark CoF will be looking for alternative free staff parking arrangements that will not take up parking bays that could be used by visitors, and that will have a minimum financial impact on the City.

However a recent CoF financial report stated the City had lost over $ 700,000 in parking revenue due to the sale of Queensgate, so did Sirona Capital provide free parking for the 115 City staff as part of the Kings Square Project contract last year?

There are plans for new public parking at Fremantle Park in Parry Street and the Stan Reilly Centre next to Fremantle Oval, as the inner city will be losing the Point Street carpark as part of the Hilton Doubletree development and also sold the carpark on the corner of Pakenham and Bannister streets for residential development.

Roel Loopers

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