Freo's View

LAST POSTAL VOTE DAY FOR COUNCIL ELECTION!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on October 15, 2019

 

If you have not voted for the Fremantle local government election yet, today Tuesday is the last day for your postal vote, but you can still drop off your ballot paper at Fremantle Council at Fremantle Oval until Friday 5pm and at the Fremantle Townhall on Saturday till 6pm.

Up until today only 28.82% of eligible voters have returned their vote for the Fremantle Council election and that is disappointing-as always.

South Ward is leading voters’ participation with 33.51% while East Ward is the lowest with only 24.20% of voters returner their vote.

VOTE NOW!

Roel Loopers

 

LOOPY’S FREO BLOG TEN YEARS BIRTHDAY

 

October is always a special month for me because it is my birthday month, but it is even more special this year because in October ten years ago I started the publication of this FREO’S VIEW blog, so happy birthday bloggy!

It has been a true labour of love for me to report about anything that happened in Fremantle over the last ten years. It required dedication and commitment and a lot of my time, but I love doing it, so I will continue with it indefinitely.

I have reported on Fremantle Council business, festivals and events, opening and closing of businesses, new development proposals and development issues, and many more things. Basically, if I know about something new or interesting happening in Fremantle I’ll publish a blog post or photo.

Over the last ten years I published around 10,350 posts and 22,500 comments and many hundreds of photos, so I have created my own kind of time capsule of Freo’s recent history.

I have tried very hard to be balanced in my reporting and not being biased, but I clearly express my own views on everything, and that makes me a very opinionated person who gets criticised often for just expressing those views. That is fine, because I was born in the Netherlands and that makes me perfect. ; >)

But my blog is all about Fremantle, a place I love dearly and want to support and help improve. I don’t care much if good ideas on how to make Fremantle a better place come from people to the right or the left of politics. Good ideas are not exclusive or unique to any political party or person!

Fremantle is a beautiful and unique city with a very special community of really good people. Fremantle is my home and my family and the place where I will die. It is a place I have a deep emotional attachment to, and the place that has given me the confidence to express myself without fear or favour.

Thank you to all the regular readers and people who sent me information and comments. Freo’s View is your blog, so the more info you send me the more I can share with the community.

Roel Loopers

DO VOTE AT THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION!

 

The news in the Sunday Times today that many council positions will not be contested at the October 19 Local Government Elections in WA,  because no one nominated, is a worry, because it is essential for good government to have balance. Different view points are desirable as long as it does not become fifty/fifty votes and a Mayor has the deciding vote on most issues. That would not be healthy either.

It is believed that community apathy about local government and the relentless attacks on social media are reasons for people not to nominate for local council, so that is disappointing. Local government is grassroots democracy where our vote and involvement really can make a difference, so don’t let the trolls frustrate anyone from participating!

Many people, mostly those who don’t like the council the community elected, say that councils should only worry about rates, roads and rubbish, but I believe that local government does have a role to play in other issues, such as climate change, racism, domestic violence, homelessness, etc. as they affect all of us in some way.

Every one of us at some point in life has believed we have an easy solution, but governance is never easy and always complex, and whatever the decision by our elected members it will leave some in the community disappointed and disgruntled, believing that they have not been listened to because the decision went the opposite way of what they wanted.

Politics is a bit like footy. One-eyed fans accusing others of wearing rose-coloured glasses, and neither side can see the positive things the other sides are doing, hence we have people who claim they do not have a political agenda, although all they want is to replace left-leaning politicians with right-leaning politicians, or vice versa. I don’t believe that is having the best interest of the city, the state, or the country at heart.

We need a strong opposition in our parliaments and in our councils, to keep those in power honest and on their toes. I would be worried if Councillors saw themselves as being part of Team Fremantle where sameness and mateship is embraced but opposing views ignored.

We will have at least three new Councillors in Fremantle after the election and there could well be a few surprises in our changing political climate, and that I believe is a good thing. It is up to us, to each and everyone of us, to create the councils we want and we can only achieve that by voting.

If you want the sitting member in your ward to stay, VOTE. If you want to kick out the sitting member in your ward and replace her/him with someone you believe will do a better job, VOTE! Not voting is not an option.

Roel Loopers

 

 

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CITY, CITY BUT LITTLE BANG BANG

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 26, 2019

 

The City Ward candidate forum in Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University was pretty good, although very little new came up, and fewer than 100 people attended.

John Dowson said that councillors needed to consider the annual community surveys more and act on them because the community is often angry about issues that do not receive enough attention.

He was also not happy with council selling off assets cheaply, and we need a council that can negotiate on our behalf.

Julie Morgan said that City Ward does not embrace families and that new development also ignored families. Seniors are an unrepresented part of our community.

She was also not happy that council rates kept rising, and said she had been told the FOGO bins would not be rolled out in the CBD, which was new to Councillor Pemberton.

Rachel Pemberton said that Kings Square was a once in a generation development that will renew the inner city and attract families, workers, shoppers, etc.

She agreed that antisocial behaviour was a real problem, but the city had been working closely with WA police.

John Dowson said that Arthur’s Head was one of our most important assets but had been disgracefully neglected, But Julie Morgan said that council probably did not have any money to do anything.

Both Julie Morgan and John Dowson did not believe council was doing enough to combat antisocial behaviour in Fremantle, while Rachel Pemberton said it was a complex issue that needed different ways to resolve it. “We spent $ 2 million a year on it!”

Morgan and Dowson said they would look into rate reduction if elected, but Pemberton said that was unlikely to happen as it was in-line with inflation. Dowson said that because of the new three bin FOGO project rates went up by 2% and that would continue year after year. And Morgan asked why they had to pay for it when they would not receive the third bin in High Street.

John Dowson lamented again that Fremantle assets have been chopped and chopped and sold and sold.

Julie Morgan questioned the number of workers moving into Kings Square, as she had heard the Corrective Services department would no longer move into the Sirona Capital building.

Rachel Pemberton said the city was using its assets to renew the city and that the sale of the Leisure Centre carpark was no longer in the new ten-year plan that will be released for community consultation later this year.

John Dowson said the Fremantle Arts Centre was a stand out gem and that Fremantle did very well with festivals, but let’s bring back a few things that celebrate our heritage.

Rachel Pemberton said the city invested $ 4 million in the arts, including the upcoming Biennale.

John Dowson said growing the Freo tree canopy and putting power underground would make a huge difference, but removing the street lights from his street(Mouat) was not good.

Arthur’s Head and the J Shed artists also attracted attention with Dowson saying it was extremely distressing what was happening as we should be telling the history of place. “It has been seriously neglected and I want the J Shed artists to stay!”

Julie Morgan also said that J Shed had been tragic and she supported the artists and Rachel Pemberton said she understood the predicament as the Bathers Beach Art Precinct has not worked. She had contacted the Roundhouse volunteers group to see how the city can better support them.

Both Morgan and Pemberton said CBD family living and mixing seniors with young people would be a good idea.

The forum was excellently moderated by a gentleman whose name I did not catch, so thank you to him!

 

Roel Loopers

 

FREO CITY WARD LOCAL ELECTION FORUM

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 25, 2019

 

For reasons that do not make much sense Fremantle City Ward is considered the jewel at the local government elections, although Councillors from all wards vote on every item at the Ordinary Council meetings and all have the same influence and power.

Anyhow, there is a City Ward Candidates Forum this Thursday September 26 at 6.30pm in Tannock Hall in Cliff Street, with sitting member Rachel Pemberton, High Street resident Julie Morgan and Fremantle Society president John Dowson, so come and ask questions and listen to what they want to do to make Fremantle an even better place.

It is a shame the forum clashes with the South Ward one which is at The Local hotel in South Fremantle at the same time and date.

Roel Loopers

HOW TO IMPROVE FREMANTLE DISCUSSION

Posted in city of fremantle, community, election, fremantle network, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2019

 

A reminder that this Tuesday September 24 the Fremantle Network will be debating How to make Fremantle a better place, with Chamber of Commerce CEO Danicia Quinlan.

It is on at The Local hotel on South Terrace in South Fremantle from 6.30pm and several Fremantle local government election candidates will be present, so it will be good to hear what ideas for improvement they might have, or not have.

This is a free event, but do support The Local as the kitchen and bar will be open.

Roel Loopers

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LOCAL COUNCILS NEED TO LIFT THEIR GAME

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 21, 2019

 

Local government is clearly close to our heart because statistics in the annual report of the Local Government Standards Panel show that complaints about local councils and councillors have risen significantly.

The City of Melville and the shires of Capel and Toodyay are on the top of the list for complaints about elected members.

Compared to 82 complaints the previous year the 2018/19 annual report shows 126 complaints.

I feel a bit sorry for local councillors as it is humanely impossible to please everyone, but there is absolutely no doubt either that many complaints are relevant.

Local councils need to lift their game and listen to the community, rather than paying lip service through so-called community consultation, which is often ignored when councillors make decisions, hence many of us often feel ignored and taken for granted by those we elected to represent us.

Roel Loopers

LOCAL COUNCILLOR A THANKLESS TASK

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, election, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 1, 2019

 

The Local Government Election is a mere seven weeks away and we already know that in Fremantle at least two Councillors, Waltham and McDonald, will not nominate to get re-elected, so a chance for some new faces on Council.

I believe that local council is the closest we get to grassroots democracy and that is probably why many people are often critical of the Elected Members and feel disenfranchised and not represented by their Council. That is not a unique issue for Fremantle as community newspapers all over the Perth region are full with letters to editors complaining about their councils.

Fact is though that the community, well, those of us who bother to vote at local government elections, elected the Council we are having and that many of our Councillors have been re-elected, which presumably is a vote of confidence for what they have been doing.

North Ward Councillor Doug Thompson is one of the longest sitting members on Fremantle Council, Mayor Brad Pettitt was elected three times, South Ward Councillors Andrew Sullivan and Jon Strachan were re-elected and so were City Ward Councillor Rachel Pemberton and Beaconsfield Ward’s Dave Hume, so it is wrong to say that our Councillors do not represent the community.

It is impossible for any government to please everyone. I often don’t agree with the Federal Liberal government, but have to accept that they were elected by the people. Those on the left of politics feel misrepresented by those on the right of politics and vice versa, that is a simple reality we all have to accept in our democracy.

I disagree with some of the decisions made at Fremantle Council and agree with others, that is the nature of us humans that we have different opinions, tastes and preferences. One only has to sit through Planning Committee meetings to realise Councillors cannot please everyone. While neighbours of a proposed development will argue about losing privacy, overshadowing, etc. the proponents will say that their plans have little impact on the neighbours, so who is right? At the end Councillors will have to abide by the rules and regulations and advise from the expert planning staff and design advisory panel. Whatever decision they make will please some and upset others, that is government for you.

Being a Councillor is a thankless task, although the community should be grateful that people stand up and are willing to do the hard yards on council. Councillors are members of our community, they are like you and me and live in Fremantle, and they also have to live like all of us with the democratic decisions made.

When I read about the shambles at the City of Perth I feel even more comfortable with the Elected Members we have in Fremantle, because all of them are there to do their very best for our community and city. They might not always get it right but they make decisions with integrity and without fear or favour, and that is what we elected them to do.

PLEASE do vote on October 19 and if you really want to make a positive contribution to our city nominate and try to become a local Councillor!

Roel Loopers

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NO SECOND TERM FOR FREO DEPUTY MAYOR

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on August 29, 2019

 

Fremantle Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham announced at the Ordinary Council meeting yesterday that she will not be nominating as a candidate for the October 19 Local Government election and will be retiring her role as East Ward Councillor and Deputy Mayor.

Waltham told her colleagues that it had been one of the toughest decisions she ever had to make, but said it had been good to be part of the council during one of Fremantle’s most exciting times and to make decisions that will ensure the city is headed in the right direction.

In my opinion it will be a loss for Fremantle that Waltham is leaving as she has been an excellent councillor who deeply thought about the issues at hand and never made a quick decision.

The softly spoken Councillor often explained her reasons for voting a certain way and expressed the challenges that came with it.

Ingrid Waltham has been a Councillor with real integrity who was not swayed by party politics or ego. She always voted for what she thought is best for Fremantle, and while I did not always agree with all her decisions I have the greatest respect for her.

The Fremantle community owes Ingrid a lot of gratitude for her commitment and honesty.

And Su Groome just announced she will be nominating for East Ward

Roel Loopers

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WHO WANTS TO BE A FREO COUNCILLOR?

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, elections, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on August 27, 2019

 

While Fremantle Councillors and community members are not normally shy in coming forward, it is still a mystery who will nominate for the Local Government election that will be held on October 19.

So far we know that City Ward Councillor Rachel Pemberton and North Ward Councillor Bryn Jones will try to get re-elected while Hilton Ward Councillor Jeff McDonald has declared he won’t contest the election.

Chris Jenkins of the Socialist Alliance has declared he will nominate for Beaconsfield Ward, but we have yet to hear from other members of the community who might like to step up and join our council.

Local Government is grassroots democracy where one can make a real difference, so show your dedication for our great city and community and nominate!

Roel Loopers

UPDATE!  I hear Frank Mofflin will nominate for Hilton Ward!

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