Freo's View

COVID-19 POLITICAL HYPOCRISY

 

WA can thank the universe for the strong leadership of the Mark McGowan Labor government. It is common sense and it is saving lives!

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Roel Loopers

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IS PREFERENTIAL COUNCIL VOTING THE FUTURE?

 

Local Government Minister David Templeman has received 65 recommendations on how to improve local councils, from an expert panel, and some of the suggestions are very interesting.

One of them is that the entire councils will be up for re-election every four years, in between state elections. I think that is a pretty good idea. At present half of the councils get elected every two years, which is a waste of money when one considers the low voting participation.

The recommendation of changing local council elections from first past the post to preferential voting would change the political landscape in Fremantle and many other councils. Some of those on councils now would not have won the election under a preferential voting system, which I believe is the fairer  and more democratic option of the two.

The next council elections are in October next year, so if Minister Templeman agrees we could have a very different election campaign in 2020 and probably a drastically changed council.

Roel Loopers

MUA NOT HAPPY WITH SIMONE MCGURK

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, politics, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 6, 2020

 

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The MUA-Maritime Union of Australia WA, is jumping the gun a bit by claiming that 8,000 jobs will be lost and defacing the advertising for the Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk.

The sticker over the face of McGurk at the bench in Norfolk Street is making a big claim, because even if the state government should announce that they will be building a new port in Kwinana it is doubtful that will affect the job of 8,000 people.

As a strong supporter of Fremantle Port I am disappointed that the Westport Taskforce findings have not been made public and can only wonder if there is some editing going on that should not happen, before parts of it will be shared with the public.

For the record; Simone McGurk is the Minister for Child Prevention, Women’s Interest, Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence and Community Services and in my humble opinion is doing a splendid job in her portfolios.

Roel Loopers

GREENS WANT LIBERTY FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, politics, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on August 3, 2020

 

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Labor Member for Fremantle Minister Simone McGurk MLA will have to contest the state seat for Freo at the March election against the just announced Greens candidate. University educator Liberty Cramer of White Gum Valley has been endorsed by the party.

“I’m your Greens candidate for Fremantle because I don’t want to go ‘back to normal’, but because I believe that we can build a better normal while protecting the most vulnerable people in our society. If we can remake our society to protect us from a virus, then we can remake it to look after people and our environment. We need to tackle this economic crisis as well as the jobs, inequality and climate crises so we can set everyone up to live a good life.

“Now is the time to make the right decisions that will create hundreds of thousands of good jobs in WA and Fremantle, ensure everyone has an income they can live on, set young people up for the future and transition to a clean energy economy.

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COMMUNITY CABINET DEMOCRACY IN THE BURBS

 

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It was full house at the East Fremantle Football Club on Sunday afternoon for the state Community Cabinet meeting with Premier Mark McGowan and all but two cabinet ministers.

The Premier told the crowd that he had launched the WA Covid Recovery Plan earlier in the day, and it is available on line, and that WA is the first state to do so. McGowan said that Covid-19 had been the main concern for the last five months and that when it started the National Cabinet had been told that many thousands of Australians could die, so closing the WA borders had been very successful.

The premier said there was a more rapid recovery now in WA with the government trying to get the society and economy back up again and getting confidence back across all sections of the community.

The Covid Recovery Plan would put solar panels on social housing and schools, and schools would become solar plants that would put energy back in the grid during school holidays and on weekends.

But the whole idea of the Community Cabinet is that people can ask questions, so that was done by those attending and through a live Facebook streaming.

The first question came from a very nervous high school student, but anyone who has done their first public speaking knows how nerve wracking that can be. The young lady lamented that the gym at the Melville Senior High School gets full of puddles when it rains, because the roof leaks, and pointed out Melville is one of only two schools with a dedicated netball program, which has produced many talents and professional players.

Education Minister Sue Ellery did not commit to repairing the roof, but pointed out the investments already made and future school projects, so I suppose the students and netball players can only hope that the planned new solar panels will keep the rain out of the gym.

A question about an Aboriginal cultural centre also received a non-committal response from Minister David Templeman, who said that the new Perth Museum would be outstanding and would have a significant indigenous display that will be embedded there, but there were a number of ideas explored for WA to be a world centre for indigenous culture. That would be great. Can we have it in Fremantle please!

We also learned, well, I did, that Exmouth is the first place in the world that runs totally on renewable energy, with a gas back up if it fails. “WA does renewable energy, not just talks about it.”

Minister Alannah MacTiernan said that hydrogen is the future and that significant innovative projects would start in the next five years.

Homelessness is a huge challenge, Minister Simone McGurk admitted but the new Common Ground project in Perth was a good start and a second one would be announced soon when the location was decided on. Social housing needs proper support for people to help them cope and outreach people were contacting people on the street to see what it is they need.

The Premier also mentioned that a lot of Lotterywest funding that would normally have gone to community groups and programs has to be diverted to the Covid Recovery Program.

It was an interesting and relaxed afternoon, with many familiar faces in the crowd. I quickly presented the Premier with the COVIDMAN T-shirt I had made for him by Freo T-Shirts and thanked him for keeping the WA borders closed and saving lives.

Roel Loopers

 

THE COVIDMAN KEEPS WA SAFE

Posted in city of fremantle, covid-19, health, politicians, politics, state government by freoview on July 17, 2020

 

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If all goes to plan and I’ll do get the opportunity I will present this T-shirt to WA Premier Mark McGowan at the Community Cabinet function at the East Fremantle Yacht Club on July 26.

I believe Mark McGowan and the Labor government have done an excellent job in keeping the people of WA safe from Covid-19 by keeping the state borders closed, against the relentless pressure of the Federal and WA Liberal parties, some business interests and that fat fool from Queensland.

My concept for the T-shirt was creatively realised by Stuart Endersby of Freo T-Shirts in the Fremantle Markets. Great job, Stuart!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE FACTS ARE BETTER THAN RANTS

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle society, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on July 4, 2020

 

Fremantle Society president John Dowson is desperate to get some traction for the group that sadly has become irrelevant due to Dowson’s narrow-minded negativity and anti progress stands.

Last week Mister President proudly announced in the Fremantle Herald that the Society had started an art collection. Oops, the Pres had bought one single painting from a high school student, for about half the price it could have received, and he also commissioned the girl to do another painting of the old traffic bridge. Did the FS committee have a vote on starting the so-called art collection? I doubt it.

Now Dowson attacks me and several Fremantle Councillors about a tongue-in-cheek remark I made 3-4 weeks ago on Facebook about the reopening of the Ada Rose brothel, where I questioned how they could adhere to the Covid-19 social distancing rules.

Here some ‘highlights’ of the President’s latest email to Fremantle Society members.

The potty mouthed comments from some councillors, and hangers on like blogger Roel Loopers, need to be called out.

When council acolyte Roel Loopers discussed his penis on Facebook recently, several councillors joined in, with Councillor Sullivan making a comment that drew the Labour member for Beaconsfield Cr Fitzhardinge into making a comment, joking about a “double entendre.”

Arrogance and a dismissive attitude are too often heard.

You are right indeed, John Dowson, that arrogance and dismissive attitude are too often heard in Fremantle-from YOU! You treat our elected members with absolute disdain and disrespect. You engage in name-calling whenever someone like me has a different opinion from yours.

You don’t like the fact that I am trying to be fair and balanced on this blog and that I criticise Councillors when I believe they deserve it, and show my appreciation when I believe they have made the right calls. I also like to stick to the facts instead of distorting them.

Unlike you, John Dowson, I do not believe that replacing the Labor and Greens Councillors in Fremantle with Liberal party members will necessarily make for a better council, because I believe in balance and would love to see party politics removed from local government all together.

I am not an acolyte of Fremantle Council, but unashamedly a very big supporter of Fremantle, and I’ll do anything to try to make this gorgeous city and ever better place to live in, do business in, work in and visit. That includes embracing modern development in Fremantle, instead of wanting to stop change and progress at all cost, as John Dowson does.

I respect Fremantle’s Elected Members, because they have been democratically elected. They are not my mates. I do not socialise with them. I am not a member of a political party either. What about JD’s membership of the Liberal party and the friendship with former Premier Colin Barnett he liked to mention often? Which one of us is actually the acolyte, JD?

Roel Loopers

LOCAL COUNCILS NEED TO IMPROVE GREATLY

 

The findings of the investigation into the City of Perth council are disturbing and raise questions about how good Western Australia’s other councils are.

Already we have had retiring Liberal politician Mike Nahan calling for an investigation into Fremantle council, and of course relentless council critic and Liberal party supported John Dowson has jumped onto that bandwagon.

But councils should not be about party political issues. In my perfect, utopian and totally unrealistic world local government should be A-political, neither far to the left, nor far too the right. Fremantle Council is not going to be better by just replacing all the left leaning Councillors with right leaning Councillors. Good government is about balance.

It is a fallacy of course to believe that Liberal governments, be that at local, state or federal level, are better at financial management, as the biggest debt in WA’s history left by the Colin Barnett government shows, but Fremantle’s financial management has not exactly been something to write home about either.

Councillors are human beings, who have likes and dislikes, political, economic,  environmental and personal preferences and interests, and like all of us they are not perfect, and neither are the administrations of our local governments, so who is keeping an eye on it all?

The yearly audit of local councils appears to just be a financial one, CEO’s get judged on their performance by Councillors they work with, and often the relationship between the administration and elected members is just a bit too comfortable, and that could create problems when assessing the CEO and administration.

It is too costly to believe the WA state government could or should investigate every council to check if they could perform better and more efficiently and professionally, but the standards somehow need to be raised and there need to be more checks in place to make sure that everything is above board.

As someone who has observed and scrutinised Fremantle Council for well over a decade  I have no fear that anything untoward has happened here, but there are many things that could be improved.

For some planting 50,000 trees is more important than preserving historic and neglected Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse, for others creating more bike paths is a priority over repairing grumbling footpaths and doing essential maintenance.

The solution lies somewhere in the middle, but that means leaving ideological blinkers at home and be a good elected administrator of council business, instead of a party pushed politician.

Unfortunately it is well known that all political parties want to push for more political power at local governments, so things will get worse, until we wake up and call the whole lot of them out at the ballot box and vote more and more for independents.

What happened at the City of Perth needs to be a wake up call for all local governments and there should be a real desire to improve greatly.

Roel Loopers

 

 

ANGELA MERKEL ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Posted in city of fremantle, community, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on June 2, 2020

 

I just viewed a short speech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and since it should apply to every country and all of us I decided to publish it here:

We have freedom of speech in this country. For all those who say they can no longer express their opinion, I say.

If you express a profound opinion, you must live with the fact that you will be contradicted. Expressing an opinion does not come at zero cost.

But freedom of expression has its limits. Those limits begin where hatred is spread. They begin where the dignity of others is violated.

This house must and will oppose extreme speech, otherwise our society will no longer be the free society it was.

Merkel has been a great leader for her country. How lucky is Germany!

Roel Loopers

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SAYING SORRY IS NOT A BIG DEAL PREMIER!

 

I have never understood why it is so difficult for politicians to admit they were wrong and simply apologise.

Such is the case with WA Premier Mark McGowan yesterday accusing the Federal Government of not sending WA the relevant information about the Al Kuwait live sheep vessel that arrived in Fremantle Port with crew members who have the Covid-19 virus.

It turned out that the WA Health Department received information but decided to not take action because, according to the officer who spoke at the media conference with the Premier, they receive a lot of emails, and that of course is not good enough.

But McGowan today should just have admitted the stuff up was here in WA and he was not given all the facts, and apologise to the Federal Government. He looked very uncomfortable instead.

But WA Liberal opposition leader Liza Harvey is well out of her depth, accusing the Premier of a “stunt” that brought anxiety to the most vulnerable, when it was an unacceptable blunder of communication and lack of action by the Health Department.

Let’s not forget for one moment that only days ago Liza Harvey wanted Western Australian borders to be re-opened and the state government no longer be able to control who comes to WA. That is hypocrisy!

I have been in WA since September 1985, and we have had quite a few dud Premiers and leaders of the opposition, both Labor and Liberal, but Liza Harvey is one of the worst. The Libs should dump here as soon as possible.

And as for you, Mark McGowan, just say sorry. That is a sign of great leadership and personality. And kick arse at the Health Department, because these kind of failures could end up like the Ruby Princess disaster in NSW!

 

Roel Loopers

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