Freo's View

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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FREMANTLE SMALL BUSINESS FRIENDLY CITY

 

The City of Fremantle has committed to supporting local businesses by signing up to the Small Business Friendly Local Governments initiative.

The initiative run by the Small Business Development Corporation requires local governments to sign a charter which outlines what they will do to support small business in their area.

The charter includes standard activities required of all local governments as well as at least three additional activities specifically suited to the size and demographics of individual councils.

It also includes recognition that the small business community is an important stakeholder, a commitment to provide clear advice and guidance on regulations and compliance and an agreement to limit administrative burdens on small business.

WA Small Business Commissioner David Eaton said small businesses were an essential part of Fremantle’s local economy.

“It’s pleasing to see the significant small business city of Fremantle commit to the Small Business Friendly Local Government initiative,” Mr Eaton said.

“Fremantle is in many ways defined by its amazing range of small businesses and the vitality they bring to the community.

“Through the SBFLG initiative, I’m confident the City’s small businesses will be even better placed to develop and grow.”

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt it was an important step to formalise the City’s support for small business by signing up to the Small Business Friendly Local Governments charter.

“We recognise that one of the main reasons why Fremantle is such a popular place to visit is because of our fantastic mix of independent retailers, hospitality venues and other small businesses,” Mayor Pettitt said.

The standard activities the City has agreed to as a Small Business Friendly local government are to ensure small business suppliers are paid within 30 days, regular meetings and consultation with the business community and establishing a timely and cost effective dispute resolution process.

The additional activities the City is undertaking to support small businesses include the ‘This Is Fremantle’ destination marketing campaign, the Business Capacity Building program and access to the online grant portal Fremantle Funding Finder.

The City is required to provide a report on its business friendly initiatives every six months.

To find out more about how the City of Fremantle is supporting small business visit the Business page on the City’s website.

For more information about the Small Business Friendly Local Governments initiative please visit the SBDC website.

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UNDERCURRENT 19 FREMANTLE BIENNALE OF SITE SPECIFIC ART

WATERLICHT by Daan Roosegarde

 

A massive hundred people from arts, culture and business attended the very long launch of the Fremantle Biennale 2019 at the Maritime Museum on Thursday morning.

UNDERCURRENT 19 will be a fantastic experience for the Fremantle community and beyond and is an invitation to interact with Fremantle through artistic dialogues and site sensitive events. It will create new visual narratives which articulate the spirit of place, so make sure to check out the program here: http://www.fremantlebiennale.com.au/undercurrent/

The biennale runs from November 1-24 and is happening all over the Freo CBD with major events at Fremantle Port and Notre Dame University, the Shipwrecks Museum, etc.

Nicola Forrest of sponsor Minderoo Foundation was at the launch, as was the CEO of Fremantle Ports, former MP Melissa Parke, the Fremantle Mayor and several councillors, artists, curators, architects, art administrators, etc.

Here some titles of exciting events during Undercurrent 19: Pearls and Blackbirds about female divers, Behavioral Ecology, the cute South Mole Resort will be a must to visit, Desire Lines, the Somnus theatre of the sea, Midnight Blue Lagoon. the Standing Wave sound installation in the submarine, Ebb&Flow audience communication, the Billboard Project, etc.

There will also be a symposium at Notre Dame University about how artists make a living.

One of the highlights of Undercurrent 19 will be WATERLICHT by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde about our battle with water, rising sea levels and dwindling fresh water.

Roosegarde said about rising ocean levels in the typical pragmatic and laconic Dutch way “We innovate or we die”

I loved the 2017 inaugural Fremantle Biennale so can’t wait for it to start in three months from now.

Roel Loopers

FREO’S MAYOR’S SISTER WINS WA BOOK AWARD

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt must be very proud of his sister Renee Pettitt-Schipp who received the WA Premier’s Award for Emerging Writer for her book The sky runs through us, published by UWA Press.

Winner –  The Sky Runs Right Through Us by Renee Pettitt-Schipp​
Published by UWA Publishing (2018)

In this evocative, memorable collection of poems, Pettitt-Schipp writes of experiences that are both personal and political. Formally diverse, tough-minded but always accessible, the poetry addresses issues ranging from Australia’s contemporary treatment of asylum seekers to the poet’s coming to terms with her father’s decline and death, to her appreciation of the natural environments which in which the poetry is set.

Congratulations to Renee and to her proud brother and family!

Roel Loopers

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UNFAIR TO BLAME LOCAL COUNCILS FOR RETAIL DECLINE

 

Kings Square

 

It is rather hypocritical for Bill Marmion to berate Fremantle Council about economic development in his letter in the West Australian on Thursday. Has Mr Marmion forgotten that he was a minister in the Barnett government that created the biggest billions of dollars debt in the history of Western Australia?

Fremantle Council has in fact been proactive for ten years to start the economic recovery with encouraging developers to start building in the CBD, and that is happening with the LIV and Heirloom residential developments now occupied and with four hotels approved at the Woolstores shopping centre, the former Point Street carpark site, the Police&Justice complex and another one at the Warders Cottages next to Fremantle Markets. And the Kings Square Redevelopment Project is on track and will open in the first quarter of next year with a creative new retail concept called FOMO.

A new Destination Marketing campaign for Fremantle was launched two months ago, but retailers must adjust to the changing shopping trends instead of blaming local councils for the decline of retail. Some Freo traders still have boring window displays as if it’s the 1960s and refuse to modernise their shop fronts and customer service.

There is plenty of parking in Fremantle Bill Marmion with over 5,000 bays plus a new carpark coming on line next year in Parry Street.

The world changes, and while Fremantle Council is far from perfect and often frustrates me they are well ahead of other local councils in the economic rebirth game.

Roel Loopers

ROUNDHOUSE COMMITTEE REFUSES MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

Posted in city of fremantle, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized, volunteers, western australia by freoview on July 9, 2019

 

In a stampede of dented egos the committee of the Fremantle Roundhouse volunteers have rejected the renewal of my membership, after I have been a member and volunteer tourist guide for nine years.

The letter I received today states that ‘In the interest of the FVHGA committee and its members we reject your application for renewal of membership.’

This is of course only sour grapes from a committee that did not like it that I reported here on Freo’s View the recent ad hoc and unacceptable closures-4 in 11 days!- of the Roundhouse.

Committee also did not like my suggestions for improvements and changes, but in a previous email last week, when they erroneously thought I had resigned as a member they said:

‘The FVHGA Committee and volunteer guides would like to thank you for the work you have done for the FVHGA and the Round House for many years.

You have been the instigator of many ideas and have achieved a lot.

We will treasure all your outstanding photography of the Round House and the committee work you have successfully undertaken.  Your work will be part of the long term history of the Round House.’

Because of my pro-active dedication to the volunteer organisation we received many thousands of dollars of sponsorship from Fremantle Ports for the firing of the 1pm cannon, and volunteers from the City of Fremantle Visitor Centre have now also started to try out at the Roundhouse after I suggested that when I addressed the Ordinary Council. I also made sure Fremantle Council pledged $ 20,000 for the new interpretive displays project, that is now finally going ahead after I started a sub-committee last year.

In the nine years I have volunteered at the Roundhouse I have been an excellent visitor guide for people from all over the world and primary and high school students.  I have also enabled private functions, festival events etc. as early as 7am in the morning and have been at the Roundhouse till late in the evening many times to accommodate concerts, theatre plays, festival events, smoking ceremonies, fundraisers, art exhibitions, fashion shows, film productions, etc.

I have also saved the FVHGA many hundreds of dollars by doing the photography they needed for promotional material.

It is irresponsible from the FVHGA committee to not renew my membership in a time where they are short of volunteers, especially those who have the permit to fire the cannon.

The WA Association Advisor advised that associations can not arbitrarily refuse to renew memberships, so the decision by the committee is illegal.

What a shame that egos are prioritised over what is best for the volunteer organisation. That shows a clear lack of professionalism.

Roel Loopers

WHARFIES STRIKE AT FREMANTLE PORT

 

port cranes at sunset

 

Wharfies at DP World stevedores in Fremantle Port will go on a 48-hour strike this Thursday. This is part of a national strike for a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

Roel Loopers

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MORE PROTECTION IN NEW HERITAGE ACT

 

It is important for Fremantle that stronger protections for Western Australia’s heritage places will come into effect on July 1, 2019, with the gazettal of the new Heritage Act 2018 and Heritage Regulations 2019 taking place today (June 27).

The new legislation replaces the outdated Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990, aligning WA with other States by ensuring better protections for important heritage places, particularly those left to ‘demolition by neglect’.

Key changes include:

  • A streamlined process for entering a place in the State Register of Heritage Places;
  • Clarity for owners wishing to develop their heritage places;
  • Better protection for heritage places at risk from ‘demolition by neglect’;
  • Increased transparency by publishing the Heritage Council’s advice to the Minister for Heritage on the inclusion of a place in the State Register; and
  • Time limits on certain decisions to provide certainty for decision-makers, industry and the community. 

The Heritage Council provides technical and professional assistance, and promotes public awareness and knowledge in relation to the State’s cultural heritage.

For a copy of the new Act and regulations, visit http://www.dplh.wa.gov.au

 

Roel Loopers

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ROUNDHOUSE CLOSED AGAIN ON SUNDAY

 

Roundhouse

 

It is an outrage that one of Fremantle’s most significant tourist destinations, the historic Roundhouse, is closed again today on Sunday, which is one of the busiest days of the week.

The weather is perfectly alright with some very dark clouds around but it is pleasantly warm and there are a lot of people wandering the streets.

The oldest public building in Western Australia was also closed last week on Friday, Saturday and Monday and that is not acceptable at all.

The Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides who manage the Roundhouse sent a statement to the Fremantle Herald that before every winter an assessment is made, but that is nonsense of Trumpian proportions.

Fact is that traditionally the Roundhouse was only closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day and open to the public every other day of the year. If the weather is too inclement the team on the day might decide to close an hour or so early, but never have volunteer guides turned up and decided not to open this historic jail at all.

It is not good enough and it is reassuring to know that the City of Fremantle  is finally showing some interest to manage the tourist destination more professionally.

The unscheduled closures could well jeopardise the grant application with Lotterywest for new interpretive displays in the Roundhouse, which is a superb project just waiting for funding.

When is the State Government going to show interest in historically significant Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse?

Roel Loopers

 

RELOCATION OF PORT BEACH BUILDINGS CONSIDERED

 

 

z

 

An ABC News report by Rhiannon Shine this morning  reveals that the State Government and City of Fremantle are considering relocating some of the buildings at Port Beach, such as the change rooms and the COAST restaurant bar.

An expert report compiled for the WA Government has relocation of infrastructure as one of the many options, which also include a seawall and groynes.

The report looked at the coastal erosion at hotspots along the WA coastline and Port Beach in Fremantle is clearly one of those.

Relocating an existing business such as Coast would be a very expensive exercise, so let’s wait and see what the government will conclude and what actions it will undertake, because this is no doubt too big a project for the City of Fremantle to attack.

Roel Loopers

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