Freo's View

TRAFFIC CALMING NOT THAT SIMPLE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, TRAFFIC, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2017

 

I thought at the South Fremantle Precinct meeting at The Local last night how frustrating it sometimes must be to be a City of Fremantle officer and Councillor.

Three CoF officers were invited to talk about the process on the traffic calming of South Terrace and Councillor Andrew Sullivan also attended.

Questions were again raised that had already been addressed at previous community meetings and the process is about two third underway, but I don’t blame anyone for that, as it is often the case that those who attend the first meeting(s) don’t come again, while other do. It is great to see a crowd of around 60 people at a precinct meeting because community involvement is essential for the officers and elected members to make the right decisions.

Underground power is planned but who is going to pay for it. Normally it is around one third Western Power, one third City and one third paid by property owners, but the latter are very reluctant to hand over cash.

Five speed reduction platform nodes were suggested at Douro Road, South Street, Lefroy Road and Charles and Silver streets, but one resident suggested some should be put where there is already more activity such as near Abhi’s and Manna’s.

Widening footpaths to accommodate more street furniture, dedicated bicycle paths and trees all along are also on the cards.

There were concerns from residents of Marine Terrace that traffic calming along South Terrace would increase traffic in their street but as one officer said we can’t solve all problems at once and if there is a knock-on effect we have to deal with that if it happens.

Another resident pointed out that the two streets are very different with South Terrace having more cafes, restaurants, hotels and heritage buildings and hence traffic calming there made more sense than doing it along Marine Terrace.

Illegal parking makes it very difficult and dangerous for local residents to pull out of side streets onto South Terrace and parking officers should try to be more attentive to that problem.

From my own experience driving down South Terrace many times a week is that where there are activity notes motorists will slow down at Abhi’s, the Local Hotel, Lefroy Road and near the South Beach Hotel hospitality hub.

That is also happening in Wray Avenue were traffic slows down near Frank’s and Gallati’s because cars are pulling out, car doors are opened and pedestrians cross.

One of the basic facts of life is that one cannot please everyone and every change will have an impact on different areas, unless we all stop driving cars and hop on public transport or bikes.

Roel Loopers

 

RA WANTS STEWARTSHIP OF FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 24, 2017

As flagged here on Freo’s View a few weeks ago former President of the Chamber of Commerce Ra Stewart will nominate for the position of Mayor of Fremantle at the October local government election, opposing present Mayor Brad Pettitt.

Stewart told Business News that she wanted to bring responsible financial management and enthusiasm back to council.

The latter shows Stewart should have attended more Freo Council meetings as there is definitely no lack of enthusiasm at the present council, clearly indicated by their drive for economic recovery, strongly encouraging massive development, which Fremantle has not seen for 30 years.

It will no doubt be a very interesting and hard-fought election and I am expecting at least another two people to put their hand up to oust Brad Pettitt.

Roel Loopers

FINAL STREET ARTS FESTIVAL DAY

Posted in fremantle, street arts festival, Uncategorized by freoview on April 17, 2017

 

 

It’s the last day of the 2017 Fremantle International Street Arts Festival and it’s going till mid evening. It’s overcast and not too hot so get out there and enjoy all the international, national and local performers!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE YOUTH SWITCHED ON

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, youth by freoview on April 6, 2017

Fremantle’s new youth advisory group SWITCH, is aiming high for National Youth Week 2017 with the first ever Ferris Forum to be held on the Freo Skyview Wheel at Esplanade Park.

This Sunday 9 April groups of five people will enter the ferris wheel cabins for rapid fire, seven minute long discussions about the most pressing issues for young people today.

It’s hoped the short round trip participants will have in the wheel will produce genuine and candid responses other mediums fail to uncover.

Also on is Switch It Up the official closing event for National Youth Week 2017. Presented by the City of Fremantle, Propel Youth Arts WA and the Fremantle SWITCH, the event will build on the popularity of Freo’s Esplanade Youth Plaza and National Youth Week’s aim of celebrating young people of all backgrounds, to offer a range of engaging and fun activities.

The activities include a skateboarding competition run in association with Skateboarding WA, parkour run by Perth Parkour, Game Vault, a silent disco programmed by South Fremantle High School students and guest DJs, an open mic stage run by Catch Music, roving performers, chill out zones and Australia’s most innovative youth forum.

The event also features prominently on Propel Youth Arts WA’s Kickstart Festival calendar.

The SWITCH is running a series of workshops with other Youth Advisory Council’s (YACs) from around the state in the lead up to the event to explore issues affecting young people. The themes developed in the workshops will be used to create the Ferris Forum.

After discussions in the wheel, the results will be collected and made available to state government, youth agencies and other local governments to inform programs policies.

Regional centres including the Shire of Broome, City of Karratha, Town of Port Hedland, City of Greater Geraldton and City of Albany, will take part in the youth forum as well, ensuring the voices of young people in the region are heard.

For those who have not heard about it yet, the Fremantle SWITCH is Fremantle’s take on a youth advisory council.

Since starting in June 2016, with support from the City of Fremantle, 40 passionate young people from 12-25 years old with strong links to Fremantle have been hard at work putting together a structure from scratch and organising activities in response to the needs of young people in Fremantle.

 

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LIV DEVELOPMENT GROWING FAST

Posted in architecture, development, fremantle by freoview on April 3, 2017

It is very lively and productive at the LIV residential development at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria and Quarry streets.

It is a very large development by Defence Housing straight opposite the beautiful Heirloom by Match development.

The east end of Fremantle is going through a well-overdue facelift that will improve the run down area dramatically.

Roel Loopers

 

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PUBLIC COUNCIL MEETINGS NOT BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, fremantle society, local government by freoview on March 31, 2017

The Fremantle Society continues sending misinformation to their members, now claiming that recent decisions by Fremantle Council were made behind closed doors, as was put in capital letters screaming it out in an email.

Fact is that the one-year delay of the Sirona Capital settlement for the Spicer site development and the Kings Square playground went through the proper democratic process at Council and from public Council committees to public full Council meeting, so nothing of that process was irregular or behind closed doors.

This is part of the rambling email to the Fremantle Society members:

Democracy Dead at Fremantle Council

Major decisions affecting ratepayer assets have been made BEHIND CLOSED DOORS at Fremantle Council.

Giving council’s developer mates Sirona Capital an extra year to decide on the Spicer site, the $550,000 playgound in King’s Square, and major decisions affecting the n ew administration building we dont need, were all made behind closed doors at a sub committee of council and then simple reported at council.

Insipid Media

The media seem disinterested in major Fremantle governance issues like decisions being made behind closed doors.

It is time the Fremantle Society stopped the nonsense of making non-factual claims about Fremantle Council and started to make a positive difference instead of silly political grandstanding.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with rigorously scrutinising Council and severely criticising them when they deserve it, as I myself regularly do here on Freo’s View, but it needs to be based on facts. The issues mentioned in the FS email were not behind closed doors but at public council committees and council meetings I attended as an observer, and they were not ‘confidential items’ on the agenda either, so open to public scrutiny.

Agendas and Minutes of Council and Council Committee meetings can be read on the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers

TWO HUGE NEW FREMANTLE DEVELOPMENTS

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, western australia by freoview on March 7, 2017

EXCLUSIVE!

Two big new developments in the Fremantle CBD are not far from reality. My ears are always on the ground and my eyes on the ball to pick up interesting news on the Freo grapevine and this news is huge!

It hear the derelict woolstores building opposite Clancy’s could be developed in the not too far distance. My informants tell me that Sirona Capital has shown interest in developing the heritage-listed building opposite Princess May Park that is owned by Marilyn New, the former owner of the Esplanade Hotel.

This eyesore has been an embarrassment for decades for Fremantle residents and businesses and a very ugly welcome sign for cruise ship passengers, so it would be great to see it developed and the building occupied again.

There will be a meeting about the plans at Hotel Australia next week, but I doubt it will be a public meeting.

In other news I hear that Freo developers Silverleaf have submitted their proposal to the City of Fremantle for a mixed development on the Woolstores shopping centre site at Cantonment Street.

The initial plans were not very good I have been told and the developers got frustrated having to change them several times while working with CoF planning officers and the Design Advisory Committee, but one elected member told me that the submitted plans “look surprisingly good.”

Planning Scheme Amendment 49 for that specific location allows for up to 11 storeys, if my memory is correct, so expect the proposal to be for a very large and high development.

My understanding is that the development will happen in two stages and that it involves a hotel, commercial and residential floor space and ground-level retail, so stay tuned.

The development of these two major sites in the East CBD is huge, especially in context of the planned and approved Hilton Doubletree, Spotlight and former Energy Museum sites developments.

The modernisation of that part of the inner city that is known as ‘Little Beirut’ will greatly enhance Fremantle’s tourism and retail potential and is another significant step forward to a prosperous future for our city.

Roel Loopers

KNIVES OUT FOR FREMANTLE MAYORAL ELECTION

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, western australia by freoview on March 6, 2017

While WA is having a state election in five days here in Fremantle the knives are already out for the October Council election that includes electing a new Mayor.

Although Mayor Brad Pettitt has yet to announce if he will be standing and try to get another four years, former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri launched a major attack on Petitt in the Fremantle Herald, that was strongly criticised by Councillor Jon Strachan on his blog.

Strachan told ‘Tags’ that he had served under him and Pettitt and that the leadership of the two Mayors was poles apart. Strachan claims there was “deep division” in the Tagliaferri Council while the Pettitt Council professionally works together.

Strachan writes that during the greatest economic boom in W.A. Mayor Tagliaferri had failed to attract investment into Fremantle.

It is evident from all the building sites around the Fremantle CBD that the present Council headed by Mayor Brad Pettitt has opened the doors of Freo wide and very substantial development is happening in the port city and much more in the pipeline.

Jon Strachan asked Peter Tagliaferri who his candidate for Mayor will be in October. I wonder if it could be someone from the Labor party?

There are rumours abound that former state politician Adele Carles might put her hand up, but time will tell and we’ll need to wait and see if Pettitt wants to continue with the very-demanding and highly-criticised job.

On a personal note; although I have been asked by many Freo residents to stand for Council I will not contest the October election!

Roel Loopers

ABORIGINAL CENTRE FOR FREO DADAA BUILDING?

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, culture, nyoongar by freoview on March 4, 2017

The future of the DADAA building at Beach Street opposite the East Street Jetty will not be known for at least half a year if the FPOL Committee of the City of Fremantle decides this Wednesday to allow an ‘Eldership’ of Noongar people to explore options for an Aboriginal  cultural centre there that would replace the unsuccessful Walyalup centre at Arthur’s Head.

The agenda item seeks Council’s consideration to support a process by a local group of Noongar Elders to develop a proposal to enable them to be in a position to seek access via a lease to the 21 Beach Street, Fremantle site for their purposes.

It is proposed that the ‘Eldership’ be given adequate time by delaying an Expression of Interest process for the lease of the building for a period of up to six months and that the local group be empowered to undertake any necessary community engagement and work to develop a proposal for consideration.

City officers recommend that up to $20,000 be made available to the group to support that process, including for the use of consultants or resources that may be required.

FREO’S VIEW BLOGGER AN ARSEHOLE

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, local government by freoview on March 2, 2017

I am very disappointing that Brendan Moore the City of Fremantle manager of the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Arthur’s Head believes my criticism of the centre was directed at him.

I just bumped into him and he called me an arsehole and was extremely irate so it was not the right time to have a conversation with him about it.

But since my observations and criticsm of the centre were public on this blog I also want to stress again, as I have done previously, that my concerns are not with Brendan Moore but with the piecemeal handling and tokenism of Fremantle Council.

I have from the very beginning warned that the small pilot’s cottage was inappropriate for an Aboriginal centre and I questioned the lack of concept and focus of the centre.

Did the City want it to be an Aboriginal experience for overseas visitors or did they want it to be a community hub for our Noongar people? No one knows, so now they want to move the centre to the DADAA building at the East Street jetty without making it clear what they want to achieve. Brendan Moore is not to blame for that but Fremantle Councillors and Moore’s superiors are!

There is no doubt a huge challenge of getting local Aboriginal people working together because of the many family feuds and I can imagine Moore’s frustration about that as well.

Fremantle Council needs to stop feel-good tokenist gestures toward the Aboriginal people and put more substance into creating a true cultural centre, or even two. One for tourism and one a community meeting hub for Noongars.

None of my criticism was aimed at Brendan Moore and that is why I did not mention him by name before.

If Brendan feels I have personally attacked him I apologise for that as that was not at all my intention. I like Brendan. He is a good, professional and funny bloke. Kaya!

Roel Loopers

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