Freo's View

WEST AUSTRALIAN FAKE NEWS ABOUT FREO PUBS

Posted in alcohol, city of fremantle, hospitality, local council, Uncategorized, west australian by freoview on January 3, 2018

 

Although the City of Fremantle put out a media release yesterday correcting the non-factual report in the West Australian about Fremantle Council wanting to introduce non-alcohol sections in pubs, the newspaper continues today spreading the fake news.

Inside Cover states on page 2 that this needs to be monitored, while the letters to the editors page published a letter by a Leeming man who blames the lefty, greeny, loopy Freo council for the nonsense.

Fact is that Fremantle Council, at the initiative of Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, has asked officers to investigate how Freo City can ensure that there won’t be too many taverns in the CBD, after the applications for new taverns at the Warders Cottages hotel, the Police and Justice complex, both in Henderson Street, the Manning building and the Woolstores shopping centre development.

This is actually not all that new as Fremantle Council also looked at more diversity in shopping a few years ago and how it could control more cafes opening.

So to set the facts straight, there are no plans for restricted non-alcohol areas in pubs in Fremantle, but Council does not want the CBD to just be a boozers’ paradise that will impact on the family amenity and public safety.

It is time the West Australian corrected the nonsense they published!

 

Roel Loopers

 

HISTORIC LAST FREMANTLE COUNCIL MEETING

Posted in city of fremantle, historic, history, kings square, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 14, 2017

 

council 1

 

Normally photography in the Fremantle Council Chambers is not allowed, but I was granted special permission to take photos yesterday of the special historic occasion.

As photos they are nothing special, but as historic documentation these photos of the last Ordinary Council meeting of the City of Fremantle in the present chambers are.

The building will be demolished to make way for the new Civic Centre at Kings Square, and for the next two years council and committee meetings will be held in the North Fremantle community hall.

The big wish of everyone ever attending a council meeting is that the new council chambers will have a much improved public sound system as it has been very challenging at times to hear what the elected members are saying.

 

Roel Loopers

SOUTH FREO TRAFFIC CHANGES AT COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on December 9, 2017

 

Fremantle Council will this coming Wednesday discus the plans for traffic calming, pedestrian safety and streetscape improvements along South Terrace in South Fremantle, after lengthy community consultation.

The local community told the City of Fremantle that:
* 72.6% of people support the proposed changes, with 53.8% indicating they ‘strongly support’ the changes and a further 18.8% supportive of ‘most changes’.

* The proposal to improve the streetscape was the most supported change, with over 90% of respondents answering positively to the proposed new paving, street furniture, trees and planting.

* The proposal to reduce the carriageway to a trafficable width of 7 metres is the least supported change. While 58.2 % of people support narrowing the road to make it easier for people to cross the street safely, 22.2 % felt this would create more dangerous conditions for cyclists.

* The need for South Terrace to be calmed from South Street to Douro Road was mentioned by numerous people, along with the need to protect the interests of people living in the side streets.

* A plan for the area bounded by South Street, Douro Road, Marine Terrace and Hampton Road was suggested, following concerns that the proposed treatment at Little Lefroy and South Terrace will create traffic problems elsewhere.

* The need for a cycle lane on South Terrace between South Street and Douro Road was frequently mentioned, along with a desire to see similar treatments implemented at other nodes in this section.

If you did not have your say you can still address Council this Wednesday at 6pm!

Roel Loopers

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COUNCIL INCOMPETENCE IN J SHED FARCE

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 7, 2017

 

The highly farcical tavern proposal at J Shed on Bathers Beach saga continued last night when the Planning Committee of Fremantle Council refused again the proposal by Sunset Events for a 400-patron tavern at the number one studio on the A Class reserve.

In its utter incompetence in this matter Fremantle Council has managed to make victims of both the proponents and opponents of the development at historic Arthur Head. That is a remarkable feat!

Some four years ago Council supported the applicant driven proposal for a 1,500 patron outdoor music venue and 850-patron tavern and signed a 21 year lease with Sunset Events.

This was against strong opposition of West End residents, J Shed artists, FICRA, Aboriginal and  heritage groups and Fremantle Ports, but our Councillors had their rose-coloured ACTIVATION glasses on and suddenly wanted something much bigger than a cafe, restaurant or small bar, as was invited for in the Expressions of Interest document.

All public submissions were ignored and even the packed full Townhall special electors meeting was dismissed because our elected members knew best what is good for us.

In good faith and with the justifiable assumption that Council would approve the tavern and music venue Sunset Events signed a 21-year lease, but now their scaled-down proposals keep getting rejected and that is extremely unfair to them.

I agree with last night’s refusal and the refusals before that because a large tavern is not acceptable for one of our state’s most significant historic areas, but to leave the proponents in limbo with no room to move shows arrogance, naivety and incompetence by those Councillors who voted for the 21-year lease.

J Shed artists have had their nerves stretched to the limit as their livelihood is at stake, and Sunset Events rightly insists that the project has to be financially viable for them before they invest millions in sewerage, toilets, a commercial kitchen, etc.

The way Fremantle Council has handled the J Shed proposal is so absurd and incompetent that it might well have been an episode of the satirical TV series Utopia.

Sunset Events has every right to being frustrated and should take legal action against Fremantle Council for wasting their time and money, because reducing the scale of the tavern even more would not make financial sense for them.

One has to seriously wonder why it is that only after four years officers and Councillors now decide that a tavern is inappropriate for the A Class reserve, the heritage area and the Bathers Beach Art Precinct, although they signed a lease for it. That, as Planning Committee chair Jon Strachan pointed out, will make any size tavern un-approvable in the future and leaves Sunset Events in limbo.

It is an absolute disgrace and those Councillors who voted for the long-term lease should kick themselves in the backside really hard and get an injection of a dose of reality.

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

INGRID WALTHAM NEW FREO DEPT MAYOR

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 26, 2017

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East Ward Councillor Ingrid Waltham was elected by Fremantle Council as the new Deputy Mayor. She will replace Dave Coggin who has resigned from Council to take up a position as advisor to the Premier of Western Australia.

I am a big fan of Ingrid Waltham and find her a very thorough and deliberate Councillor who thinks deeply about all the issues at hand in Fremantle. One cannot question Waltham’s integrity and it is also good to have someone not connected to a political party in a major position at Council.

It was nice to see Josh Wilson MP attending tonight. Dave Coggin replaced him as Deputy Mayor when Wilson was elected as the Federal Member for Fremantle.

In his final speech at Council Dave Coggin said how proud he was to have served the City of Fremantle and with what this Council had achieved.

He was also very complimentary about the leadership of Mayor Brad Pettitt who allowed the other elected members to shine and have their own visions and ideas, contrary to what some community groups claim that Fremantle Council is just a bunch of greenies who all vote with the Mayor.

Mayor Pettitt said he had really appreciated Coggin’s directness and honesty and that he often had changed his mind about issues after having had a discussion with the Deputy Mayor about them.

Roel Loopers

 

WHERE TO HOUSE FREO STAFF DURING KINGS SQUARE PROJECT?

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, local government by freoview on November 30, 2016

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Relatively new City of Fremantle CEO Phil StJohn will have a few sleepless nights over the next months to come up with ideas and solutions to relocate all city staff during the demolition of the old and the construction of the new civic centre at Kings Square.

Where in Fremantle is there enough office space to accommodate some 450 staff and also the library, or will the library be closed during the development, which will take well over a year?

I doubt there is much vacant office space left in the new Atwell Arcade four-storey office building and no other buildings come to mind that would have enough floor space to accommodate all CoF staff.

There will also have to be a temporary Council Chamber with public access for Council and committees sittings. That could probably be done upstairs at the former Kulcha space, but it does not have disabled access.

The library could be relocated for a year to the Number 1 studio at J Shed but it is a bit out of the way of public transport and does not have sufficient parking.

Maybe the former Woolworth supermarket space in Adelaide Plaza can accommodate a lot of staff. The buildings is owned by Sirona Capital so they would be keen to assist the City.

It won’t be an easy task for the CEO to come up with solutions, so good luck Phil!

Roel Loopers

CARING FOR FREMANTLE A COMMITMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, community, fremantle, lifestyle, local government, western australia by freoview on August 17, 2016

I am going to have a bit of a rant, the kind of grumpy old man whinge someone who cares needs to have now and then to clear the air and let steam off, and I want to make some points to those who read this blog.

Freo’s View was not conceived as a council bashing forum where NIMBYS who don’t like any change in Fremantle can make uninformed accusations against elected members and the administration. It was not meant to be a platform for the ignorant who use social media to spew bile about those of us who care and try to make a positive difference to our community.

It was also not meant to give a voice to those who never attend council meetings but who are adamant that Fremantle councillors are just puppets on a string who do whatever Mayor Brad Pettitt tells them to do.

Freo’s View is meant to be a blog where I try to inform you in a fair, balanced and unbiased way on what goes on in the city I love; the good and the bad things. It is a blog that tries to make a positive difference, where I report on events, new businesses, council meetings, etc. If it happens in Fremantle I hope I will know about it and publish it here.

What I am not going to do however is a relentless broad swipe attack on anything Fremantle Council does, because unlike some I do not believe that this is the worst council we ever had. I am for example delighted to finally see a lot of development in the inner city, something not seen for over twenty years!

I have been accused of being too negative about Freo Council and I have been accused of being a Council lap dog who is on a promise by the Mayor to get on Council. Clearly the latter comes from someone who does not even understand that the Mayor only has one vote to elect a councillor in the ward he lives in.

I have been attacked by the former CEO who told me he was tired of me calling for his head, while members of the community attacked me for being too lenient and Council friendly. I have been called, left, green, a do-gooder, a bleeding heart. I have also been accused of getting paid by Sirona Capital to write positively about Kings Square, while that company’s managing director probably hates my guts because I have often questioned why it has taken so long for the development to get started.

Those who believe they have a god given right to see no changes in the suburbs they live in because their family has a long tradition there will probably be disappointment with my support for change and good infill. Those who don’t like festivals and events in the inner city but also complain Council does not do enough to support our traders, will find I don’t agree with them often, and those who want Council to do more for less will just need to get a sense of reality, because when everything gets more expensive governments will somehow have to accommodate that by increasing rates, parking fees, etc. That is the simple reality of life some people do not want to accept.

Everyone can have a say on Freo’s View as long as it is not defamatory or racist, but I encourage you all to make informed comments and make the effort to actually know what goes on at Council and come to meetings, so that you get inside knowledge of local council democracy.

I endeavour to keep this blog fair and balanced. If I believe Council deserves criticism because of decisions they make or for being inconsistent I will do so with passion, but I will also give credit when credit is due and when I agree with decisions our Councillors make. Fremantle Council is not the enemy of the community and I am most certainly not the enemy of Mayor Brad Pettitt and the City of Fremantle administration.

If you don’t like fairness and balance than this blog might not be for you, and that is perfectly fine by me. I do things my way and for one reason only, and that is to try to make a tiny positive difference and make Fremantle an even better place than it already is.

Fremantle is not the dump some of you claim it to be and if you prefer the soulless lifestyle of Cockburn I recommend you make a move, because Freo will always be different, special, quirky and controversial, and it will change, no matter how hard many in the community try to stop progress.

Have a great day!

Roel Loopers

GIFT DISCLOSURE NEEDS TO BE BETTER IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, council, events, fremantle, local government, western australia by freoview on July 18, 2016

I don’t engage in conspiracy accusations about Fremantle Council, but since the declaration of gifts to Elected Members and COF staff is on the F-POL committee meeting this Wednesday I decided to check out the Register on the COF website.

The gift declarations I could view were for the period of July 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 and in that period not a single Councillor has declared they received tickets to concerts. That is even more remarkable since two Councillors; Pemberton and McDonald declared a conflict of interest on the recent Sunset Events/J Shed item because they had received free tickets.

The Mayor and former CEO declared they had received tickets to AFL matches. The Mayor also declared travel and accommodation gifts to seminars.

So who at COF actually monitors the Gift and Travel Register? Is the CEO responsible for it and why are Councillors not reminded about their duty to declare gifts?

This is just another lack of transparency and accountability the community gets so irate about and hence the perception remains that something is not right. Surely this can be improved with an email from the CEO to all Elected Members and staff and someone being made responsible to check that the declarations are made and entered on the Register immediately.

My question to the CEO: How many complimentary free tickets to events were given to Fremantle Councillors in the last 12 months? Who were the Elected Members concerned and why are these gifts not on the Register?

Let’s put a stop to gifts. If Elected Members and staff are required to attend events to monitor and report on them the City of Fremantle should pay for it. That way no one can ever accuse anyone at COF of repaying favours to event organisers.

Roel Loopers

 

WHAT IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST AT FREMANTLE COUNCIL?

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, fremantle, local government, western australia by freoview on July 4, 2016

I was curious to find out who the two new City of Fremantle Design Advisory Panel members were, who were selected in a confidential Council sitting of item PC 1606-1 on June 22 this year, so I checked the Minutes of the meeting.

Joining Chair Geoffrey London, Dominic Snellgrove and Melinda Payne are Kieran Wong and Patrick Kosky. The latter moved up from one of the two deputy positions and Marion Frederickson was appointed as a new deputy to join Phillip Gresley.

So far so good, but why on earth did Mayor Brad Pettitt not declare a conflict of interest for this item, while he declared a conflict of interest for the Sunset Events J Shed item that same council sitting because his partner works at CODA Architects. Kieran Wong is the principal director of CODA, so surely the Fremantle Mayor should have excused himself from the council debate about Wong’s appointment.

It looks as if a conflict of interest only is declared under public scrutiny and not when items are confidential. That is a great worry for transparency and accountability at Fremantle Council, as Council decides which items are considered confidential. Why did the CEO not point out to the Mayor that he was being inconsistent by not declaring a conflict of interest for the item that appointed his partner’s boss to the DAP?

It might just be a minor item, but if it is considered to be important enough to be declared confidential and away from the public gallery, the Freo Mayor should have been more transparent and stay out of it as it simply does not look good.

Roel loopers

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