Here is the City of Fremantle 2014/2015 budget, approved by Council on Wednesday:
$97.3m expenditure budget with $100k surplus.
- ~$27m in capital expenditure for key strategic projects:
$8.5m for new community facilities / upgrade of existing buildings (including heritage building restoration)
$2.8m to upgrade community amenities at parks and reserves
$4.5 million on infrastructure projects including $1m for bike infrastructure
$7.8 million purchase of new council operations centre (depot) in O’Connor.
- Increase of 5.9% inclusive of rates and waste costs.
- Operating efficiencies improved by 3% (on top of 3% improvement in 2013/14).
- $1m local government reform contingency to ensure smooth transition through the reform process.
Key infrastructure projects (2014/15)
Parks and reserves
– $100k for Gold Street park and playground upgrades,
– $130k for a playspace program at Fremantle Primary School
– $100k for the development of a playground area at Davis Park
– $350k for infield irrigation and playground upgrade works at Bruce Lee Reserve
– $150k for stage one of the Cantonment Hill upgrade
– $100k for Monument Hill Anzac Centenary Celebration
– $1.2m for a new Leighton Beach kiosk and changerooms
– $1.1m to re-align the Fremantle Public Golf Course and for a new community integrated facility and clubhouse
– $400k for Fremantle Arts Centre sustainability work
– $340k for new facility for Mens Shed in Hilton
– $200k to upgrade Port Beach changerooms
– $165k for a full basketball court at South Beach
– $55k for a basketball half court at the Esplanade Youth Plaza
Arts and culture
– An additional $100k for community arts program to provide for suburban art projects (total budget for community art projects of $140,000)
– Ongoing financial support for a dedicated Arts and Culture Project Officer to develop Fremantle’s art sector
– $1m allocated to upgrading Fremantle bicycle infrastructure
– $1.4m road improvement program
– $560k for restoration works of the Town Hall
– Stage 1 of the upgrade of the Old Fremantle Boys School for $850,000
– $500k for further conservation works at Fremantle Markets
– 490k for maintenance work at Victoria Pavilion (Fremantle Oval)
– 480k for upgrade works on the Evan Davies building in South Terrace
– $200k for Old Fire Station upgrades
Land and buildings
– $8m to develop the new council depot
– $500k for design work and development application for the new $45m City administration centre in Kings Square
– $350k to improve lighting in the Fremantle CBD
– $65k for additional CCTV cameras
– 1% of rates to renewable energy reserve
– $582k for Leighton beach landscaping
– $100k to implement permanent street recycling bins in Fremantle CBD
– $50k for greening the West End
It is always good to see Fremantle in the limelight for positive reasons, so the Today Tonight report on Channel 7 this week about the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings was a great promotion for the city, showing Bread in Common, the National Hotel, the Hougoumont Hotel, and the Heirloom by Match project of the Fort Knox woolstores.
I also noticed Fremantle based Nicholas Takacs, owner of ABEAUTIFULCITY, on the front page of the Western Suburbs newspaper. Nicholas offers people counting services to local councils, shopping centres, etc. and the article was about what kind of technology local councils use to collect data about the number of people that visit, and their movement around town.
Fremantle BID(Business Improvement District) has four people counters installed by abeautifulcity that count the numbers of people passing underneath them. They are in Market, High and Adelaide streets and South Terrace. The City of Fremantle is also in the early stages of a people counter trial with mobile phone technology, using the WiFi signals of mobiles, which enables the tracking of the movement of people from one area to another, e.g. where do people go before and after they visit an event on the Esplanade.
Both technologies are not perfect because people counters count the same person passing underneath them more than once as multiple people, while the mobile phone technology has its shortcomings that it does not count children and people without a mobile, and those who have not enabled WiFi on their phone.
There have been privacy concerns raised in Australia and overseas about using the WiFi tracking people method, but the “IINSIGHTS” technology tried by the City of Fremantle does not take mobile phone data of individuals. Of course CCTV cameras can also be used for people counting and are now often used with face recognition technology to assist Police in solving crimes.
It’s funny to think that I was blown away by the incredible technology of fax machines not that long ago. Technology in my lifetime has changed dramatically and a lot of it has been very good and positive. I could not do without my mobile or email any more, but privacy concerns will remain an issue and governments and the community need to be prudent and stay alert that Big Brother does not record all our movement and communication.
But for all the technology it is Fremantle’s lifestyle and character that attract people to our city, so I’d like to quote Luis Puig, the City’s Economic and Marketing coordinator: I always like to think of Freo as playing a good old classic vinyl record, instead of downloading a mp3 song from iTunes – do you know what I mean? Playing that vinyl record is an experience many people like, it has that character, charm and history that we like here in Fremantle.
A brain dead hoon moron has left his signature on the paving in front of Fremantlec‘s Round House. The fool did his first tyre burning wheelies on Friday night and came back for seconds last night, I assume to admire his handy work. You’re an idiot mate and lucky there is no CCTV in the area.
It’s time for the City to install one and not do a sour grapes and leave the West End of High Street without a camera because we did not like the one you were going to put in front of the Round House.
The ugly CCTV mast in front of the Round House has been removed. If the City of Fremantle now also finally could send someone to severely trim the bushes up there, so the steps can be used on both sides and the views down town become visible again, that would be nice.
And what is happening at the Whalers Tunnel, COF? It is still being locked at 3.30 pm although it was announced it would stay open till 8 pm.
I am almost tempted to start this post with an apology, as here yet again is a negative post about the City of Fremantle. I wished so much they would get it right more often, so I would be able to write words of thanks and gratitude, alas it is not to be.
After the debacle of the huge CCTV camera post in front of the Round House, I discovered this morning the city has now put a post smack bang in front of the beautiful Dome/Kulcha building on the Cappuccino Strip. It is probably one of the most photographed sites in Fremantle, so why does the CCTV camera has to be there? There is a perfect location for it on the other site of the street, in front of the ugly Timezone building, in fact there is a huge lamp post there to which one could attach a camera.
Does anyone care about aesthetics at the city, and how badly placed posts, signs and cameras spoil the photos tourists take?
The City of Fremantle has instructed the contractor to stop all work on the CCTV camera installation at the Round House until a better solution has been found.
Complaints from me on this blog, and by the Fremantle Society and FICRA, have resulted in the COF becoming aware the pole is in the wrong location and on a heritage site.
It is good to see the city reacting so fast and in a positive way.
People power still works now and then, even in Freo.
There are quite a few unhappy people in Fremantle‘s West End who question why the city has put a huge post in front of the Round House to install a CCTV camera there. Residents say the camera could be zoomed into their bedrooms and fear invasion of privacy, while others wonder about the aesthetics of putting the ten metre pole on the heritage site. The camera could have been installed below the Round House on the other side of the railway line at Little High Street, where it would not have interfered with views to the Round House when looking up from High Street.
Has heritage architect Agnieshka Kiera and her staff been consulted at all about erecting the big pole in front of the historic Round House? I doubt it.
This is yet another half done job by the severly lacking City of Fremantle, where a good enough attitude seems to prevail and not many appear to care about excellence and professionalism. Can someone please take the sleeping pills away from the CEO.