Freo's View

MOST TREES RETAINED AT HIGH STREET UPGRADE

 

MAINROADS has issued a statement concerning the preservation of trees at the Fremantle High Street Upgrade project, which I post in part below.

There is still no word if the City of Fremantle will receive land at Clontarf Hill in exchange for the loss of CoF land for the High Street Upgrade.

Since Commonwealth and State funding was received in May 2017, we have been working in partnership with the City of Fremantle to develop a concept plan that meets the key objective of improving safety on High Street, while minimising impacts to the surrounding environment – particularly established trees. These measures include:

Overall clearing footprint: There are 245 large trees in the project area between Carrington Street and Stirling

Highway. While earlier versions of this project would have required significant clearing, our final concept design retains at least 178 (or 72%) of these trees. 67 (28%) will be cleared.

Nesting hollows: No current or potential nesting hollows for black cockatoos or other species are impacted by the project.

Future potential breeding trees: 64 (of 245) trees within the project area are considered to be future potential breeding trees (there is no current evidence of breeding).

The project will retain at least 48 (75%) of these trees. 16 (25%) will be cleared.

Tuart trees: 31 trees within the project area are tuarts. We’ve changed our design to save at least 13 of these tuarts. This includes specimens close to the Fremantle Netball Centre estimated to be between 40 and 50 years old.

Design changes: The project will provide a tree-lined median between the eastbound and westbound carriageways. While providing an attractive gateway into the city, this measure allows 28 trees to be preserved.

Landscaping and Urban Design: We have developed a Landscape and Urban Design Framework and specified a high standard of urban design for the project through consultation with local stakeholders including the City of Fremantle and the local community. The detailed development of the urban design will involve a coordinated team of urban designers, landscape architects, a public artist and public arts coordinator, and will include further consultation with local stakeholders. The detailed landscaping plan comprises soft landscaping, involving extensive planting and revegetation with species appropriate to the local area. The planting work will be done by a specialist contractor in the first winter following construction completion.

Roel Loopers

HIGH STREET UPGRADE TO FINALLY START IN SEPTEMBER

 

The Fremantle High Street Upgrade which was to start in March this year is delayed again and will now commence in September with the demolition of the residential properties which are occupied by squatters.

MAINROADS released the message below this morning:

High Street Upgrade a step closer following Environmental Approval

The upgrade of High Street will proceed following completion of the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) Public Environmental Review process.

In March 2019, the EPA found the proposal environmentally acceptable, provided the conditions to reduce noise levels, retain identified mature trees and minimise the impact on black cockatoos were met. A public appeals process followed and the project can now proceed subject to the above conditions, following approval from the Minister for Environment on 23 May 2019. Further information can be found on the EPA website.

The project’s concept design , developed in consultation with the City of Fremantle, reflects a commitment to retain as many mature native and non-native trees as possible through the introduction of a median strip, as well as the installation of noise walls to offer residents protection from traffic noise. Engagement with local residents regarding the final location, design and configuration of these noise walls is ongoing.

Procurement update

In March 2019, Main Roads asked three shortlisted proponents to provide costed proposals for the detailed design and construction of the project. We expect to receive these proposals in July with a view to awarding a contract for delivery of the project in October. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of this year.

Demolition of Main Roads properties on High Street

Main Roads owns several properties in the High Street Upgrade road reserve that will be demolished as the land is required for the project. The majority are not leased and are in poor and potentially dangerous condition.

We are aware these properties are being illegally used by people for accommodation. Consequently, we have been working with the Department of Communities to ensure the people residing in the properties have access to alternative housing.

Demolition of these properties is scheduled to occur in September following a 90-day notice period. Every effort will be made to minimise disruption to local residents and the road network during the demolition process.

Roel Loopers

WINTER SPRINKLER BAN STARTS SATURDAY!

Posted in city of fremantle, climate change, rain, state government, Uncategorized, water by freoview on May 29, 2019

 

Winter sprinklers off!

 

The last week of autumn promises warm days in the mid twenties, but do not forget that the winter sprinkler ban will start this weekend, so adjust your timers to make sure that our precious water is not wasted.

Roel Loopers

 

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WHAT IS GOOD TASTE IN BUILDING DESIGN?

 

I think all of us who often complain about the mediocre new architecture we are getting in Fremantle should be delighted that the new DESIGN WA guidelines will apply from today on, but I am quite skeptical about the impact it will have, because good design is like good taste. It is very personal and hard to quantify.

Often when I have slammed the design of buildings others have commented they liked what I believed was atrocious architecture, so why would expert panels be any different in their different taste and preferences? Who dictates what good taste and good design is?

The new DESIGN WA guidelines are all about aesthetics and a review panel of 50 people will decide which planning proposal is in good taste and which one is not. The design review panel comprises of people from architecture, urban design, planning, and landscape architects plus more from heritage, public health, sustainability and engineering. It will be near impossible to reach consensus in such a big group I fear, so Chair Geoff Warn, who is the WA Government Architect, will have a big job ahead of him.

DESIGN WA has got rid of the controversial R-Code system applied up to now, so I wonder if Fremantle and other local councils will also do that. I’ll ask the Fremantle Planning Department if changes will be made in that regard.

I believe that our cities and communities deserve much better design than what we largely have been getting lately, especially for substantial apartment and office buildings. Retaining the tree canopy or providing significant numbers of trees and plants and creating much better streetscapes and public realm will be a very positive step forward. Let’s hope it can all be realised.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE SAILING CLUB RENT TWENTY TIMES INCREASE

 

The members of the Fremantle Sailing Club have got a huge challenge on their hands. The historic club has received notice from the Department of Transport that the rent they have to pay would increase from $ 34,700 last year to a whopping $ 760,000 this year.

An increase that is twenty times more than the previous rent sounds pretty outrageous to me and the Sailing Club is not happy about it either, so they are going to arbitration and will try to renegotiate the rent.

Good luck!

Roel Loopers

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FIVE WEEKS FOR WESTPORT TASKFORCE SHORT LIST

 

 

One can only agree with one of the public comments made that the Westport Taskforce is doing a fantastic job at community consultation and information and a very thorough job overall.

Another meeting was held this morning in the Fremantle Townhall and around 70 members of the community attended to listen to Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt and the Chair of Westport Nicole Lockwood.

The Mayor said that Fremantle Council had been pretty frustrated about the Perth Freight Link proposal and were very pleased that it had been abandoned.

Council believes that a working port is critical for Fremantle’s economic future and a survey showed that a massive70% of participants agreed with that. It was however important that a growing port would not have a greater negative impact on the community.

How can we be smart and have container freight on road not mainly during business hours, the Mayor asked. We need a dedicated freight rail line that does not conflict with the passenger trains.

Nicole Lockwood explained that the focus of the Westport Taskforce was on Fremantle, Bunbury and Kwinana and this has created many options which needed to be considered. It was about how to accommodate freight for the next fifty years and how we can get more out of the current network.

Social values and the environment are priorities, but we needed to be clear that the current infrastructure will not meet future needs. All options considered needed to be able to handle the long-term container trade projections, and must use the existing supply chain corridors.

The capacity of Fremantle Port is only at 37% Lockwood said, but the rail lines are very near capacity.

Westport is building an interactive digital spatial tool to create real-time modelling.

An small increase in growth of containers will have huge cumulative impacts over time.

Nicole Lockwood is very impressive. She is well across all the details and did not need notes to point out the pros and cons. She said the taskforce was about five weeks away from shortlisting the best options.

With so many container trucks arriving or leaving Fremantle Port empty I wonder if a system could be created where freight operators could swap trips so that a policy of no pick up without drop off and vice versa could be implemented. That would take a substantial number of trucks off our roads.

Very informative session that ended in a Q&A where most public speakers went over old ground complaining about train noise and vibration and traffic issues in North Fremantle. Short-term solutions for these issues are clearly not on the cards.

Roel Loopers

 

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NO FREMANTLE MONEY FOR PIPE DREAM

 

After the WA State Government’s announcement of the redevelopment of the former East Perth Power Station and Premier Mark McGowan hinting that it could be a good location for a National Aboriginal Centre it would be prudent for Fremantle Council to reconsider spending $ 50,000 of ratepayers money on a feasibility study to have the centre built at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

No matter how much we would love that centre to be established in Fremantle it is no use throwing money at a pipe dream that will never happen. The proper way is to have a meeting with the State Government first and find out if they would consider Fremantle at all, before we are spending so much money on researching the feasibility of it.

The City of Cockburn also want an Aboriginal Centre, so let’s not get too carried about a Fremantle one.

A shame though that the State Government allows the former South Fremantle Power Station to rot away and not develop it into a major attraction for Fremantle and Cockburn.

Roel Loopers

GOVERNMENT FUNDING ESSENTIAL FOR HISTORIC ARTHUR’S HEAD

 

Arthur's Head

 

Good to see the Fremantle Herald dedicating the front page to the stabilisation issues at Arthur’s Head and preservation works required at the Roundhouse.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the State Government has taken one of our state’s most significant historic precincts and WA’s oldest public building for granted for far too long. Sure, the City has on occasions received a grant to do work there, but there really should be annual funding for the upkeep of the Roundhouse and surrounding cliff face and buildings.

It was uplifting how many visitors to the Roundhouse yesterday had seen the Today Tonight program on Channel Seven with none of them aware that there is no funding for the tourist destination, and that just 30 volunteers keep the building open 363 days a year on the smell of an oily rag, from the few visitors gold coin donations received.

In an ideal world the Roundhouse would have enough volunteers to do two three and a half hour shifts, so that the building can remain open two hours longer each day from 10am to 5pm, in line with the Shipwrecks and Maritime museums.

Annual funding and marketing support from the City of Fremantle is needed to support the popular building, and State and Federal funding is required to maintain Arthur’s Head as the significant historic site it is!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE TO GET NEW TRAFFIC BRIDGE

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 22, 2019

 

The WA State Government today announced they will be spending $ 230 million on replacing the ailing Fremantle Traffic Bridge. Work is planned to start within three years.

This comes timely after Westport Taskforce chair Nicole Lockwood recently stated that it looks like the best location for a new port will be at Kwinana, once Fremantle Ports reaches capacity, and that is still 15-20 years away according to experts.

There has been a strong reduction in freight on road and an increase of freight on rail since the latter was subsidised by the State Government, but there are still many days where the port is near empty.

Nicole Lockwood said that environmental concerns for a Kwinana Port could be dealt with by modern construction of a wharf on pylons, rather than a full concrete development that would do more damage to Cockburn Sound.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE BEST LOCATION FOR ABORIGINAL CENTRE

 

“It is well beyond our capacity of funding” said Councillor Andrew Sullivan about the Council agenda item to do a $ 50.000 feasibility study for a Fremantle Aboriginal Cultural Centre at the preferred J Shed location at Bathers Beach.

And that is unfortunately the huge problem, because indications from the WA State Government are that they want to built the Aboriginal centre in Perth, ideally in Burswood, the electorate of Ben Wyatt, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and the Treasurer.

While I would absolutely love to have an Aboriginal Centre in Fremantle, and have been calling for it for many years, I believe it is unrealistic for the City of Fremantle to do a feasibility study before getting funding commitment from the State. Should we spend $ 50,000 of ratepayers money on what might only be a pipe dream that will never be realised because the State Government is so bloody Perth-centric?

If I were wealthy I would be very happy to donate my own money for an Aboriginal Centre in Freo because the story of our indigenous people needs to be told, and international tourists need to and want to have an Aboriginal experience.

Now how can we convince the Premier and Cabinet that Fremantle deserves another tourist attraction?

Roel Loopers

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