Freo's View

SHOULD RATEPAYERS PAY FOR DREAMS?

 

Two articles in the Fremantle Herald this weekend should be a little eye-opener for Fremantle Council, and hopefully they have learned some lessons.

The front page is all about the City wanting to support the creative sector more with their interim economic development action plan, while inside the paper former Councillor Tim Grey-Smith is rightly annoyed that City Ward candidates use the demise of his business for political election reasons.

The lesson is that the City of Fremantle should of course support the creative sector, but should be very aware not to support unsustainable small businesses, because the unrecoverable debts the City writes off regularly are of great concern to the ratepayers.

Kulcha, Fly by Night, art studios at Captain’s Lane, the Soup cafe, etc. all cost the City much-needed income, because lack of market research and too much naivety and dreams are not really helpful to make a good business case for new small businesses, and when they flounder the ratepayers pay for the failures.

City properties should create income for the community, and while subsidised leases might well be helpful for start-ups, these cases need to be carefully considered. How many of us can recall the City investing $ 20,000 as part of the One Planet policy to get a business starting to grow mushrooms from coffee waste? It was successful for just over a year and has now disappeared.

We have successful creative businesses such at Greg James, Jenny Dawson and Jina Lee at J Shed, and Kidogo Arthouse, and the Glen Cowans photo gallery at Captain’s Lane who pay full commercial rates, but their future is uncertain because Fremantle Council has failed to appreciate how important these art businesses are for Fremantle, so any new ideas need to first deal with giving these artists the certainty of tenure they deserve, before heading of yet again into dreamworld.

Roel Loopers

NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR GENERAL WASTE

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, local government, recycling, rubbish, Uncategorized by freoview on October 18, 2019

 

I am all for recycling, looking after the environment and after our planet Earth, but already the Fremantle FOGO three bin system is not working for me and the home owner.

The too small general waste bin was totally full when we put the bin we share between two households out for collection, but it was not emptied because general waste only gets collected once a fortnight.

I am moving house next week and will probably have quite a few bits and pieces for the general waste bin, but won’t be able to use it because the bin is full. My neighbour and I will now have to take our general waste rubbish into the city and dump it into a City of Fremantle bin, and that is not good at all.

Roel Loopers

BATHERS BEACH MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR PHOTOGRAPHER MATTHEW DWYER

Posted in bathers beach, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on October 18, 2019

 

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A memorial service will be held at Bathers Beach at 9am this Sunday for Fremantle photographer Matthew Dwyer, who died at Bluff Knoll two weeks ago.

The award winning former Fremantle Herald shooters was a well-liked resident of our city, so the service should attract a lot of people.

Guests are asked to bring a plate of fingerfood and an annotated photo of Matthew.

Roel Loopers

THANK YOU TO DEPARTING FREMANTLE COUNCILLORS!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 17, 2019

 

Fremantle Council said goodbye to three Councillors last night, who did not nominate for the Local Government Election. Councillors Ingrid Waltham, Jeff McDonald and Dave Hume all attended their last council meeting as elected members and they admitted having mixed emotions about that.

Three other Councillors are fighting to retain their seat with Rachel Pemberton in City Ward, Jon Strachan in South Ward and Bryn Jones in North Ward waiting for the election results on October 19, which is this coming Saturday.

Voter participation in Fremantle has increased a bit and is now on average just over 30%, but that is still disappointingly low.

South Ward is leading with a 39.29% participation at close of business last night, and Hilton comes second with 35.97%, followed by City Ward with 33.31%.

All departing Councillors deserve a huge gratitude from the community because they were willing to step up. We might not always have agreed with the decisions they made but they made them with integrity and what is best for Fremantle at heart.

After Saturday there will be at least three new Councillors in Fremantle, but my gut feeling is that there will be at least four and probably five new ones. Time will tell and I’ll report the election results by about 8.30pm this Saturday here on Freo’s View.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE SUPPORT FOR CREATIVE SECTOR

Posted in art, city of fremantle, creative, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 17, 2019

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has published a discussion paper on the City’s Economic Development Interim Action Plan that I believe is worth sharing with Freo’s View readers in a slightly edited shorter version. I post it here:

The Economic Development Interim Action Plan 2020 – 2022 that has been developed in order to provide a temporary plan for the delivery of city led economic development activities while a new economic development strategy is developed for beyond 2020.

The creative sector is at the heart of what makes Freo special from the This is Fremantle brand to  what attracts people to Fremantle as an authentic and creative city.

Over the past two economic development strategies we have focussed on – and been successful in – attracting investment, jobs and people back into Fremantle. But these have primarily been centred on attracting mainstream industries and jobs such as state government jobs. In addition to this we have successfully enabled primary mainstream housing options – with the exception of projects like SHAC.

That has provided as strong basic economic foundation for Fremantle but what it doesn’t support, protect or enhance is the diversity of our creative industries, arts community and with this uniqueness of our brand and offering.

Now that we have got these economic fundamentals back on track there needs to be a focus over the next few years on supporting the kinds of economic activity that makes Fremantle unique and special – which is spaces and programs for our creative community to thrive and ways to expand and enhance this creative sector when the above economic resurgence will in all likelihood push up property process and rents.

Over the past two economic development strategies we have focussed on – and been successful in – attracting investment, jobs and people back into Fremantle. But these have primarily been centred on attracting mainstream industries and jobs such as state government jobs. In addition to this we have successfully enabled primary mainstream housing options – with the exception of projects like SHAC.

That has provided as strong basic economic foundation for Fremantle but what it doesn’t support, protect or enhance is the diversity of our creative industries, arts community and with this uniqueness of our brand and offering.

I strongly support assisting the creative sector, but Fremantle Council needs to be careful not to subsidise small creative businesses that are not viable in the long run and only last until the financial support finishes, as has often been the case with pop up shops and other ventures. There have been far too many ‘unrecoverable debts’ in the past in that regard.

Fremantle Council recently signed off on a film friendly city policy to encourage more film and TV crews to film in our city and one pro-active initiative they might want to consider is a location image library that is accessible on line and will save time for the often lengthy and expensive location scouting film teams engage in.

The library should especially include the hidden treasures of Fremantle; the cellars, bars, backyards, spaces such as PSAS, Fibonaci, the garden suburb of Hilton, semi industrial area around Wood Street, and also O’Connor, etc. Finding those special locations could be as simple as asking the community to report them to the location library.

Roel Loopers

HOW TO GET MORE COMMUNITY VALUE OUT OF PERCENTAGE FOR THE ARTS

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, culture, development, local government, property, Uncategorized by freoview on October 16, 2019

 

An interesting article by Kim Macdonald on the Property Pages of the West Australian reports that some developers do not believe that public art is value for money and that the percentage for the arts scheme some councils, such as Fremantle, have is arbitrary and does not give enough consideration to location.

Good public art, that provokes debate and public engagement enhances our streets, but sometimes public art is only decorative and not of very high creative standards, but that of course is about personal taste as well.

Some of the huge mural paintings in Perth are outstanding, and I regret that the stunning artwork on the Fremantle Myer building as Kings Square could not be saved because I really liked it.

Developers do not like the percentage for the arts scheme because it adds cost to the building, but in Fremantle’s case the Manning building development by Silverleaf Investments for example has been allowed to use the percentage for the arts contribution to reinstate the old veranda along William Street.

Flexibility is what is needed, and I believe it is a sensible idea from Richard Pappas of Celcius Properties, who told the West that the public art money should be put into a pool, and not necessarily be part of a new development. Money could be spent instead on public spaces, amenities, playgrounds, extending the tree canopy, etc.

There is quite a bit of sameness in public art, especially 3D art where big steel beams appear to be the favourite for local and state development. The one thing the percentage for the arts need to do is enhance the quality and lifestyle of the community, so if that is a new park a few kilometres away from a new development that is an alternative councils should consider.

Roel Loopers

 

DOGS CAN’T BOWL OR BAT

Posted in city of fremantle, cricket, dogs, Uncategorized by freoview on October 16, 2019

 

The Fremantle District Cricket Club has issued a plea to dog owners to keep their pets off the wickets at Stevens Reserve.

As well as being home to one of WA’s oldest cricket clubs, Stevens Reserve is also a popular dog exercise area.

Cricket Club President Dave Davenport said they were happy to share the reserve with dogs but needed their owners to keep them off the wickets.

“Our wickets rival the WACA ground as some of the best in WA and our curator puts hours of work into making sure they’re in perfect condition,” Mr Davenport said.

“A lot of people might not realise that to prepare a cricket pitch the clay is actually quite soft, so if a dog runs over the pitch it doesn’t take much to dig it up.

“There was an unfortunate incident at the start of the season where dogs had been running across the covers we put over the wickets to protect them from the rain.

“The dogs’ claws ripped small holes in the covers which let the water through onto the pitch and meant we had to call the game off until we could dry it out.

“We’ve also had situations during breaks on match days where we’ve had to keep someone out on the field to protect the wicket and stop dogs running onto it.

“We recognise people love their dogs and that Stevens Reserve is a great place for them to have a run around, but we’re just asking people to help us out by keeping their dogs off the wickets.”

As a designated dog exercise area dogs are allowed off leash at Stevens Reserve most of the time, however dogs are required to be on a leash whenever there is a game or training taking place.

Dogs are also prohibited from the two centre wickets and the practice nets at all times.

Roel Loopers

A SHED PORT DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY

 

 

Fremantle Ports is looking for Expressions of Interest to develop historic A Shed, which is next door to the very popular Maritime Museum on Victoria Quay.

A Shed offers a great location in Fremantle with stunning sunsets and harbour views and all the excitement that comes with an active working port.

If they want a retired photographer in residence I’ll put my hand up and volunteer to live there till I move to Fremantle cemetery  ; >)

Roel Loopers

STOLEN BELLA STATUE PERSON OF INTEREST

Posted in art, bathers beach, city of fremantle, crime, law&order, police, Uncategorized by freoview on October 15, 2019

 

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Fremantle POLICE wants to question this man as a person of interest about the stolen Bella sculpture from Bathers Beach, so if you recognise this person please do call Police!

At about 3.30am on Wednesday 9th October 2019, offender/s stole the ‘Bella’ statue valued at $50,000 from Mews Road, Bathers Beach, Fremantle.
The male depicted below is wanted for questioning in relation to the stealing. He was last sighted travelling in an Easterly direction along the cycle lane, parallel to the Fremantle Station rail line with the distinctive bicycle trailer.
If you have any information please contact Fremantle Detectives on 9431 1228.
Incident Report 091019 1315 89131 refers.

Roel Loopers

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