Freo's View

LOOPY ON YET ANOTHER FREO ELECTION FLYER

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, Uncategorized by freoview on February 15, 2018

 

27972658_2069422363084968_3826271529013589239_n

Look who made it onto the flyer of Andrew Sullivan for the Fremantle South Ward by-election.

It’s a young(er) looking Roel-Loopy-Loopers when he received the Australia Day Fremantle Citizen of the Year Award in 2013..

Vote for Andrew. He is the best candidate for the job by many country miles!

 

Roel Loopers

SULLIVAN FOR SOUTH WARD

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 13, 2018

 

 

Ballot papers will be arriving in Fremantle South Ward homes early next week for the local government by-election.

The October 2017 election was declared invalid in South Ward because of a blunder by the Electoral Commission, so we need to vote again.

Andrew Sullivan, who is my preferred candidate, posted his flyer on line, so here it is.

Roel Loopers

BY-ELECTION FOR SOUTH FREMANTLE

Posted in Uncategorized, local government, city of fremantle, election, democracy by freoview on December 21, 2017

 

The Court of Disputed Returns ruled this morning that the City of Fremantle South Ward Election held on 21 October 2017 was invalid.

This decision was due to one of the unsuccessful ward candidates being declared ineligible to stand in the election.

As a result of the election being declared invalid, Andrew Sullivan is no longer a councillor and the position has been declared vacant.

A new election for the vacant South Ward position will be held on 16 March 2018. It will be funded by the Western Australian Electoral Commission.

The election will again be conducted as a postal election with polling closing at 6.00pm on Friday 16 March 2018.

The roll close date for this election is 5.00pm, Thursday 25 January 2018. Nominations will open on Wednesday 31 January and close at 4.00pm Wednesday 7 February 2018.

Any further enquiries can be made to the Western Australian Electoral Commission.

This is a disgrace and total incompetence of WA Electoral Commission staff, who should have checked the eligibility of all candidates. Sadly Andrew Sullivan has to pay for it now. Humbug!

Roel Loopers

SOUTH FREMANTLE BY-ELECTION?

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, Uncategorized by freoview on October 27, 2017

 

Will the people of South Fremantle have to endure a by-election and will Andrew Sullivan’s win be contested?

According to the Fremantle Herald today unsuccessful candidate Marija Vujicic is contemplating a protest because of the supposed in-illegibility of candidate Ben Moodie.

Andrew Sullivan won the South Ward seat with just 57 vote more than Liam Carter, and Vujicic was 138 behind Sullivan, while Moodie received 268 votes.

Moodie’s eligibility had been a major discussion on social media during the election campaign, but he Electoral Commission had allowed his nomination, so one has to question why there are no better check ups to see if candidates are eligible.

In an hour we will know the outcome of the High Court decision about Federal politicians with dual citizenships, so there needs to be an inquest into the Electoral Commission and how it is they do not properly check if candidates can legally become politicians in Australia.

A  by-election in South Fremantle would be pretty unfair to the candidates as it demands more door knocking and printing material, and it is likely that many voters would not bother to send in new ballot papers.

 

Roel Loopers

FREO COUNCIL ELECTS DEPUTY MAYOR TONIGHT

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 26, 2015

Special Fremantle Council and Council Committee meetings are on this evening after the local government election to elect a Deputy Mayor and chairpersons for the committees.

Present Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson will be challenged by Councillor Andrew Sullivan and that will be a close vote I feel. Both members are popular and very active and outspoken in the Chamber, so it could be decided by just a couple of votes. Not sure if the Mayor has a casting vote when it comes to selecting the Deputy.

The meetings start at 6 pm this evening, so go along and check out how local government ticks.

Roel Loopers

DAMNED IF YOU DO, COUNCILLORS

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on March 3, 2015

It is a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation for Fremantle’s Elected Members who engage on social media. Councillor Andrew Sullivan gets attacked quite a bit on this blog while people accuse Mayor Brad Pettitt of not publishing or deleting comments he does not like from his blog and Facebook. I know that the Mayor comments less on this blog because he believes it attracts a minority group of people who like to engage in council bashing.

Elected Members like Pettitt and Sullivan at least take the time, and are brave enough, to engage with the public, and the risk of being criticised, unlike other Councillors who fly under the radar through their absence from engaging with the community on social media and blogs like this Freo’s View.

I personally think it is immature to have the us and them hatred toward Elected Members or the entire Council, as they are all trying very hard to serve our community. Some are inconsistent and could do better, others do o.k. but the reality is that it is impossible to please everyone and that Councillors were elected to make the hard calls and decisions. As long as they do that with impartiality we will have to accept that decision-makers are always going to upset large parts of the population.

I for one would love to see more Councillors taking part in the community engagement on this blog, but maybe they just can’t be bothered and believe they are wasting their time or would be in for unfair attacks. We might not agree with Andrew Sullivan but at least he has the courage of taking the flack, that is often addressed at the entire Council.

Roel Loopers

BASKETBALL COURT FOR SOUTH BEACH OR ALFRESCO GYM?

Posted in community, fremantle by freoview on January 20, 2015

The City of Fremantle is considering putting a basketball court back at South Beach and is asking for public submission until February 9. The court that used to be there made way for more parking bays but at the moment Councillor Andrew Sullivan is looking at the possibility of putting the new court on the grass between the dunes and the toilets at the kiosk part. I am not sure if a (half)basketball court is still in the pipeline as well to be added to the Esplanade Youth Plaza(EYP).

Residents on Marine Parade complain about skateboard noise from the EYP, and the sound of bouncing balls can be very irritating, so any basketball court should have sound protection around it and maybe even a non-concrete, softer-less noisy-surface to pacify nearby residents and business owners.

Unlike East Fremantle, Fremantle has very little in regard to “alfresco gym” work-out equipment near beaches and the river, so COF should consider that as well for South Beach and instead add a half court to the EYP.

Sent your submissions to the Parks&Gardens Department at the City of Fremantle and have your say.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Nice to hear that one of my suggestions to make a percentage of public open space a requirement to receive discretionary additional height for buildings is now being proposed for the Matilda Bay Brewery site in North Fremantle. It is basic common sense to make sure there is sufficient public amenity and community space near high-density residential development.

THE PROS AND CONS OF FREMANTLE COUNCIL WARDS

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on November 27, 2014

Among a long list of agenda items Fremantle Council last night debated the pros and cons of having a Wards system in place for the first election of the new supersize-withoutf fries- City of Fremantle after the amalgamation with the Town of East Fremantle.

Councillor Andrew Sullivan held a passionate speech in support of the Wards and how important they are for real local government democracy and input from the community in Council’s decision-making process.

Councillor Doug Thompson however warned against waiting for Wards to be implemented as that would mean extending the time a Commissioner will be in charge, saying Commissioners could do a lot of harm and might undo what Council has been trying to achieve for years. He cited Canning and Cockburn as examples.

I am a strong supporter of local government as that it where real grassroots democracy can work if Councillors listen to and respect the opinion of the community, but at the same time I wonder if for example the City Ward electors, especially business owners, feel well represented by Councillors Pemberton and Naber.

It was interesting to hear from CEO Graeme McKenzie that State Government has indicated they might prefer to make the Mayors of the amalgamating councils Commissioners with support from a third party. The many strong opponents of Brad Pettitt could well be up in arms if he was given almost free reign for nine months or so.

Interesting times ahead for Freo!

Roel Loopers

THE GREEN THUMB COUNCILLOR

Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on November 6, 2014

Fremantle Councillor Andrew Sullivan took a bit of a swipe at me and some people who comment on this blog about his ‘green credentials’ and good on him for standing up for himself and boast about his record of preserving many green spaces and planting hundreds of trees. When we criticise Councillors we often do so out of context of what they have done in the past and only concentrate on the issues at hand, so it is good to be able to get balance.

It came up at the Planning Services Committee and the proposed development for Knutsford Street adjoining Stevens Reserve, where the highest building of Fremantle is proposed by Landcorp, and I support it in that location as long as it is a really well designed modern and beautiful building.

Andrew pointed out that previously Landcorp had proposed a horrendous boring McMansion type of development more appropriate for the fringes than for the Stevens site, but he made Landcorp aware of the Green Plan that was the vision of the community some 15 years ago that would allow to retain more green public space while also increase the density, and Landcorp was happy to embrace those ideas.

Councillor Sulllivan also boasted rightly about the hundreds of trees he has personally planted. I know he also spent many weeks snorkling and replacing seagrass in Cockburn Sound, so he deserves credit for that.

As I said in my comments yesterday, it’s not all black&white and as simplistic as some like to portray it.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE IS NOT FOR SALE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on February 1, 2014

The public statement by highly-regarded urban planner Linley Lutton as to why he resigned from the City of Fremantle Design Advisory Committee, and the subsequent media release by City CEO Graeme Mackenzie, denying undue interference by Elected Members, leaves the Fremantle community with not much at all. We either believe what Lutton told us, or we can believe Mackenzie’s response.

From my observations I believe there is probably a case for the City to put stricter rules in place here. Mayor Brad Pettitt has not attended a DAC meeting he tells us, but Councillor Andrew Sullivan represents the Mayor and Elected Members on the DAC. Sullivan does not leave a stone unturned to convince others that his views are important, and he often gets what he wants as far as planning and development in Fremantle goes. Sullivan’s foot and handprints, his whole DNA, are all over Planning Scheme Amendment 49. He wanted to allow developers more height and he got it. I remember well at one of the Planning Committees that Mayor Brad Pettitt said he could not support double-digit storey buildings in the CBD, but Sullivan kept pushing for it, and a week or so later the Mayor voted with the rest of council to allow buildings to go up to the equivalent of 13 storeys, at the Woolstores shopping centre site. Sullivan likes to control planning approval and is one of the few councillors who even attends committees he is not a member of, so he can have his say and push his viewpoints across. He has made himself the planning and building expert other Councillors can’t ignore, and that is not necessarily a good thing.

It is remarkable that the City’s Planning Department is now looking into changing the guidelines and rules for the DAC and how they report back to Council. It is another indication that things are done ad hoc and in a rush in Fremantle.

The community asked for strict guidelines for the DAC and for transparency and we still do, because there is no openness about the process and we do not find out the fine details of the advise the DAC gives to Council. That is not acceptable because it means Council could ignore DAC advise without the community knowing it. There is absolutely no reason for secrecy here. We pay an expert panel a lot of money to give us expert advise, so we can push for the very best outcomes and highest design standards. There should be nothing confidential about that, and there is nothing the community should not be allowed to know.

It is my belief that, in all their right intentions, Fremantle Councillers are madly rushing development to try to revitalise the city, and because of the rush there is little concern for the fine details and for precedents council might set that could damage Fremantle in the long run. There is a danger in that, as observed in other councils.

In Subiaco developers of building proposals, which council rejected in the past, are coming back and re-issue the plans, stating precedents regarding height and bulk have been set with the approval of other buildings, and they now also want approval for their over-sized buildings. If for example Fremantle Council allowed a five-storey building in the heritage West End, nothing can stop developers to want the same and maybe even another one or two storeys above the allowable height. That is a precedent that should not be allowed to happen, because it would be the start of the destruction of the historic West End Conservation Area.

Fremantle Council is on a stampede to allow as many big buildings in the CBD as possible, conveniently ignoring they promised the community excellent buildings that would be the heritage of the future. At present if you are willing to spend big money in Fremantle, about anything goes and the Elected Members will support it, no matter how ugly, high or noisy the proposals might be.

Council is having a very long panic attack, where they bend over backward to accommodate anything that even remotely smells of progress. The glare of big money makes them blind from seeing the frustration on the faces of the community. Come to Freo with a lot of money and we kiss your bum, welcome you with open arms, do your dirty laundry, bypass the community, and if we can put a stamp of sustainability or Green Star rating on it all, we even smell of roses. And while that is happening the community gets more and more frustrated and cynical because they feel not listened to.

Councillors need to take a very deep breath, do some meditation, and reflect on where they are going wrong, because when the entire community supports change and progress, council should not allow mediocrity and blandness for change’s sake only. The DAC was put there as our safeguard and should not be ignored or manipulated. While I have no doubt all Elected Members mean well and want the best for our City, they are going about it the wrong way.

Fremantle deserves excellence, and the community demands that from its Councillors and from developers. Our city is not for sale to the highest bidders!

Roel Loopers

I received a comment from Mayor Brad Pettitt that Councillor Andrew Sullivan is not a member of the DAC. No Councillor is. This does not change the sentiment of my article, but my mistake needs to be corrected.

%d bloggers like this: