Freo's View

TRAFFIC BRIDGE PROCESS CROSSING THE COMMUNITY OUT

 

In a sign that the community consultation about the new Fremantle Traffic Bridge is just going to be a token gesture the State Government has already started the tender process for the design, well before the Fremantle community has expressed its opinion.

It has already been made clear by Main Roads that the community will be presented with one single option only about the location of the new bridge and that the old heritage-listed bridge will be demolished, with only 19 metres of it left at Beach Street.

Below some of the media release by Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:

Proposals to develop, design and construct a new Swan River Crossing in Fremantle are officially being sought from industry.

 The $230 million, jointly funded project will replace the deteriorated Fremantle Traffic Bridge with two new crossings that will meet future needs for road, rail, walking, cycling and boating.

 Construction is expected to start by late 2021 and will support 1,400 jobs over the life of the project.

 Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the Morrison Government is providing $115 million towards the replacement of the existing Fremantle Traffic Bridge.

 “Fremantle continues to be a bustling hub and we brought forward funds so construction on this project could kick off sooner.”

 Western Australian Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the project was one of a number of major Western Australian transport projects to have procurement fast-tracked.

 “Procurement for the project has been brought forward six months earlier than initially scheduled, to support the WA economy and local jobs during the road out of COVID-19,” Ms Saffioti said.

 “Community consultation is now underway and will inform the project’s development and design to ensure we reach the best possible outcome for this significant infrastructure in Fremantle.

 “The project is being reviewed by the independent State Design Review Panel and heritage and architectural leads will form part of the alliance contract, which is anticipated to be awarded in early 2021.

 “This project will also include new and improved pedestrian and cyclist’s links boosting our Principal Shared Path network, linking Fremantle to the Perth CBD.”

State Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk said the new bridge is a great opportunity to replace the 80-year-old structure with something that appeals to the community.

 “We recognise the importance of this project to the Fremantle locals, so facilitating informed and meaningful community input on the new structure is essential.

 “A number of community sessions will be rolled out in coming weeks and I encourage all interested locals to attend and have their say.”

 Main Roads is seeking an alliance contract, which will include a focus on heritage and architectural feedback received through the ongoing community consultation process.

 The $230 million project is jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments, which have committed $115 million each.

Roel Loopers

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NEW POLICE STATION NEAR FREMANTLE OVAL

Posted in city of fremantle, crime, law&order, police, politics, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 13, 2020

 

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Western Australian Police Minister, in the company of the Member for Fremantle Minister Simone McGurk, this morning announced that the state government will be building a $ 52.6 million new purpose-built police station on the former Stan Reilly site, now Cappuccino Strip car park. Completion is expected to be at the end of 2022.

The Water Police will also get $ 4.2 million for a new wharf and jetty at North Fremantle.

Michelle Roberts said that the present High Street police station in the former bank building was totally unacceptable and that the new building will have all the modern facilities needed and secure parking for police vehicles on site.

Simone McGurk said this was another important investment the state government was making in Fremantle and that it will benefit the whole community.

Minister Roberts said the state of the art new building would create the opportunity for the police commissioner for more capacity in Fremantle and moving other services, such as the domestic violence unit to Fremantle, but that would be determined in the future. As a major regional centre Fremantle needs a major police centre, she said.

Roel Loopers

WHERE IS THE STATE SUPPORT FOR FREMANTLE?

 

Whilst I welcome the activation of Fremantle’s Victoria Quay with Gage Roads Brewery opening one of the largest hospitality venues in Perth at A Shed, I had to laugh a bit yesterday that the announcement was made by Premier Mark McGowan and three ministers, after all, this is a private investment that does not cost the state anything, so for me it appeared to be all about the upcoming election.

It made me wonder also why Fremantle keeps getting treated like the black sheep in the family, or the unwanted child, because we here in the port city only get the crumbs, but no substantial support from the state government. Instead of being rewarded by the Labor government for being a safe Labor seat, we are taken for granted and get token gestures, such as the insufficient $ 500,000 for Arthur’s Head, when a proper job needs $ 2 million.

The state government talks about activation of Victoria Quay, so why not announcing the plans for a WA or Australian indigenous cultural centre on the water front, or a migrant museum, honouring al those who arrived here and contributed to make WA great? If we are going to lose the working port in a decade or so, we need to start preparing for the future of Fremantle without that attraction.

Where is the state’s investment in connectivity along Bathers Beach from the Fishing Boat Harbour to Victoria Quay and a historic Port to Port project from the former long jetty to VC? Where is any substantial state investment that supports the Fremantle community and Fremantle Council? Or does the McGowan government believe we should be grateful for the High Street/Stirling Highway roundabout upgrade and the new traffic bridge, which are all about getting freight to the port?

Fremantle deserves more and our state governments, be that Labor or Liberal, need to stop treating Fremantle as a third-rate city that does not deserve substantial investment!

Roel Loopers

FILM INDUSTRY NOT RIGHT FOR VICTORIA QUAY

 

Plans and ideas for the development of the waterfront at Victoria Quay have been around almost as long as I have been in Fremantle. We had the strongly rejected ING plans for some big ugly boxes and we went through a year of community consultation with CODA architect Kieran Wong about what kind of development the community would like, but alas not much happened at all.

Now old plans are rehashed or slightly changed, but one of them is quite ridiculous because the Fremantle community would never accept huge sheds to accommodate the film industry settling down at the port. The idea of trying to attract film makers to Freo is great, but the location at Victoria Quay is plain stupid, so I am very happy that the City of Fremantle has also been active on this.

Film industry stakeholders have inspected an industrial site in O’Connor to assess its suitability as a location for a WA screen production hub.

A variety of professional film makers including directors, producers and actors visited the site at Jones Street this afternoon.

John Fairhead, a passionate local screen freelancer and Vice President of the Professional Film Crew Association of WA, said the Jones Street site represented an exciting shovel ready opportunity to quickly establish a home for the local screen industry.

“Within about six to eight months we could have this site set up to host projects currently known to be in development that will need a production base,” Mr Fairhead said.

“It would allow WA to take advantage of our unique global position and establish national and international connections who are seeking a COVID-safe production environment over the next year or two.

“With the support offered by the City of Fremantle, a Jones Street production hub could be established with minimal investment by the state government and would build capacity in crew, equipment and expertise through a consistent and sustainable level of production activity by providing a home for the WA screen industry.”

“For the longer term industry is actively supportive of efforts to establish world class studio facilities for bigger national and international productions at another future proof site, and then Jones Street could be used as an overflow to the bigger production hub, an economical option for locally grown projects, also potentially as a creative screen hub or multi-purpose creative space.”

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said establishing a screen production hub at Jones Street would be a welcome development.

“When the council adopted our Film Friendly City Policy in August last year it was part of our vision to establish a thriving film and television industry here in Fremantle,” Mayor Pettitt said.

The support on offer through Fremantle’s Film Friendly Policy includes having a single point of contact at the City of Fremantle to assist film productions with approvals, advice and local information.

The City will also waive or reduce filming permit fees, provide parking for production vehicles and assist in identifying temporary office space for the production crew and write letters of support to potential funding bodies or other stakeholders.

The level of support offered is based on criteria such as to what extent a film production will promote Fremantle as a visitor destination, the size of the production crew and how long they’ll be based in Fremantle, the number of local jobs created and the production’s potential audience.

For more information visit the Film Friendly City page on the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE RESPONDS TO KWINANA PORT FUTURE

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has responded to today’s announcement by WA Premier Mark McGowan that a new port will be build at Kwinana and operating there from 2032. The Mayor said the council’s position on the future of Fremantle port was clear.

“For more than 120 years the inner harbour has been central to Fremantle’s identity as a port city, and the employment and activity associated with the operations of the inner harbour are a critical component of the Fremantle region’s economy,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“While we recognise the need for an expanded role for the outer harbour at Kwinana, the council has been very firm in its view that the inner harbour should be retained as a working port.

“We will need to take some time to sit down and properly review today’s announcement and consider where to from here, but obviously any move to end container handling at North Quay will have massive implications for Fremantle.

“I’m looking forward to hearing from the state government what they have in mind to compensate Fremantle for the loss of such an important asset and how they plan to support the Fremantle economy during the transition to the outer harbour.”

In August 2018 Fremantle Council reaffirmed a position that container handling should be maintained at North Quay, provided the associated land side transport arrangements had no greater impact on the local community than current port operations.

The council also called for Victoria Quay to be progressively developed for community, tourism and commercial uses, with a focus on improved facilities for cruise ship passengers, and that car imports and other freight shipments coming through Victoria Quay should be transferred to another location as soon as possible.

As I suggested about a week ago the announcement by the Premier today appears to be one to make it palatable for Kwinana and Fremantle, with so many unknown factors still that might change the direction of the government in the future. No jobs are at risk for at least a decade, with promises of thousands of jobs when the new port and roads get built.

 

Roel Loopers

 

NEW KWINANA PORT BY 2032

 

I have not seen any details yet, but here a quick report on the Westport Taskforce, as announced today.

Premier Mark McGowan has said that the state government will now start design and investigations and do an environmental report about a new port at Kwinana, which would open in 2032 either as a self-standing port, or sharing freight tasks with Fremantle Ports for around 15 years.

  • Independent Westport Taskforce recommends a future container port at Kwinana
  • Delivering on election commitment to plan for a new port at Kwinana, with safer and more efficient freight transport links, as part of a long-term integrated solution
  • Two options recommended to transition from Fremantle Inner Harbour, with any new port to remain publicly owned and operated
  • Strong focus on Cockburn Sound environmental assessment
  • $97.2 million to progress environmental works, detailed design and final business case  

At least Fremantle will have a working port for another 11 years and after that we’ll see what will change.

 

Roel Loopers

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BAD START FOR SHOP LOCAL LIBERAL CAMPAIGN

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 10, 2020

 

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Let’s start the week with a bit of fun and the flyers Liberal hopeful for the state seat of Fremantle, Miquela Riley has been distributing.

It is laudable that Riley  supports local jobs and local shopping, although that would have been a better campaign when standing for local government, but anyway, our local traders deserve all the support they can get.

But is Miquela Riley walking the walk and talking the talk when she urges everyone to shop local? As always it is important to read the fine print and we find out the flyers were printed at………….

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There are printers in Fremantle who could have done the job, but let’s give the wannabee politician the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Ms Riley is not aware of the electoral boundaries?

Roel Loopers

FUND ARTHUR’S HEAD REPAIRS PROPERLY!

 

 

I am all in favour of the WA Covid Recovery Plan and the many good things it will do for our state’s economy, but it also made me aware, yet again, that Fremantle has been taken for granted for decades by our state government, be that Labor or Liberal.

In the Sunday Times today it is reported that the WA government will be spending $ 10 million on a new cafe and function centre in Kings Park, but Fremantle is only getting $ 500,000 for the urgent repairs of historic Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse. That is to match the $ 500,000 Fremantle Council has pledged for the project.

However nearly $ 2 million are required to get the repairs of one of WA’s most significant historic areas and oldest remaining public building done, so only half the necessary money is forthcoming for one of our top tourist attractions, while Kings Park get 20 times more for a visual upgrade.

It’s pathetic really how little respect our state governments have shown for the history of WA in Fremantle, because our politicians are so Perth centric and anyway, Freo is a safe Labor seat.

Ooops, I forgot, we are also getting a new traffic bridge that does not involve proper community consultation.

 

Roel Loopers

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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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

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