Freo's View

FREMANTLE STAFF NOT WALKING THE COUNCIL TALK

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, local government, parking by freoview on February 28, 2017

Some Fremantle residents have suggested that the age of entitlement for Councillors should be over as far as free parking is concerned. Councillors receive one year free parking for every year they have been on Council, e.g Councillor Doug Thompson will get twenty years of free parking for his twenty-year service as Councillor should he decide to leave in October or not get re-elected.

The argument was that free parking was introduced when Councillor were volunteers but now that they get paid for doing the work they should no longer receive that perk. It was pointed out that the federal government has recently scrapped the life-long free travel pass for former MPs and Senators.

One can also question if a Council that strongly works toward increasing bicycle use and discourages cars in the CBD should give free parking to ex Councillors.

In that context one also has to wonder why on average 115 City of Fremantle staff park their car for free at the Queensgate carpark daily. That is one-quarter of CoF staff receiving free parking! Why does CoF encourage staff to come to work by car instead of walking the talk and promoting bicycle and public transport use?

One of the requirements for the Department of Housing to move to Kings Square was that the new offices had to be in walking distance to a train station and other public transport, and that is also one of the promoted attractions for inner city high-density infill.

CoF Manager of Economic Development and Marketing Tom Griffiths says that staff parking at Queensgate came at no cost to the City but once Sirona Capital takes possession of the carpark CoF will be looking for alternative free staff parking arrangements that will not take up parking bays that could be used by visitors, and that will have a minimum financial impact on the City.

However a recent CoF financial report stated the City had lost over $ 700,000 in parking revenue due to the sale of Queensgate, so did Sirona Capital provide free parking for the 115 City staff as part of the Kings Square Project contract last year?

There are plans for new public parking at Fremantle Park in Parry Street and the Stan Reilly Centre next to Fremantle Oval, as the inner city will be losing the Point Street carpark as part of the Hilton Doubletree development and also sold the carpark on the corner of Pakenham and Bannister streets for residential development.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE GIFT REGISTER UPDATED

Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, events, local government, western australia by freoview on July 24, 2016

The City of Fremantle has updated its on-line gift register where Elected Members and officers declare gifts they have received, after I asked two weeks ago on Freo’s View how many complimentary tickets for events were given to Fremantle Councillors.

You can see for yourself now which organisers offered free tickets to events to Councillors and which Councillors accepted the gifts, presumably to be able to see for themselves how these events are being conducted. Go to the COF website to view the register: http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au

Roel Loopers

SAY G’DAY TO THE COMMUNITY, COUNCILLORS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government by freoview on April 5, 2016

There has been quite a bit of argy bargy on social media sites and this blog about the lack of mutual respect between member of the public and Fremantle Councillors. I am sad to observe there is so much real anger in the community toward our elected members by people who feel ignored and taken for granted.

So I want to make a suggestion that is only tiny but I believe very relevant. While the public gallery at Full Council and Council Committee meetings is not often very full with people, it would still be a nice gesture by the Elected Members when they arrive at Chambers to say hello to those in the public gallery. Some Councillors always do, while others never do and ignore the public. It would help to get rid of the perception that some Councillors are arrogant. This is even more important when the gallery is jam packed on the odd occasion.

And when items are debated where the public have made oral submissions on the night it would be nice if those concerns were addressed by the Elected Members, as often they are met with silence as if no one has addressed the Councillors, and those who made the submissions feel ignored. It’s all about courtesy.

From little things big things grow, and that hopefully applies to more mutual respect.

Roel Loopers

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NO MORE FREE CONCERT TICKETS FOR COUNCILLORS

Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, events by freoview on March 31, 2016

I hope the City of Fremantle will follow the lead of the City of Perth, which will no longer make free tickets for Councillors and staff a requirement when approving events.

From social media feedback it appears the Mayor and some Councillors attend all the Sunset Events J Shed concerts and there is really no need for that as these concerts are not one off events. Instead concert noise levels should be checked by an officer of the City.

One Councillor often advertises on Facebook that he has got free tickets to events and if anyone wants to come along.

With all the mateship accusations levelled at Elected Members it would be in their own interest if they no longer accepted freebies from events organisers, no matter if these tickets are distributed by the Director or not.

If there is a need to monitor events it should primarily be done by officers and maybe there could be a roster system so that two Councillors also attend events on behalf of Council and report back to them, that way all the conspiracy crap can be eliminated.

On a similar note can I also observe that there must be a lot of patrons leaving J Shed events with bottles of alcohol as we find a lot of empties around the area afterwards. I doubt the organisers have a take away liquor license, so they should stop people from taking alcohol out of the compound.

Roel Loopers

CONCERT JUNKETS FOR COUNCILLORS A NO NO!

Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, council, local government by freoview on March 2, 2016

It appears that Fremantle Councillors were offered free tickets for the Missy Higgins concert at J Shed last Friday. I know that generally the City of Fremantle will make free tickets for one-off events part of the approval process and that those tickets are also offered to charities. All fine and good so far.

I would however disagree if free tickets are given for all concerts at J Shed, as they will have 12 events a year at that venue and there is no reason Councillors need to check out every time how it is run. The first one was fine, but from now on elected members will just have to pay, like the rest of us, and not accept VIP treatment either.

I doubt they get free tickets to all Spareparts Puppet Theatre events or for other venues where regular concerts are being held.

The perception is bad, so get rid off it. I can’t afford buying concert tickets so I miss out on great music, but that is just the reality. Junkets for elected members are basically a bad look, so stop the practice!

Roel Loopers

ARTHUR HEAD A SENSE OF PLACE

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 15, 2015

sense of place 1 sense of place 2

Sense of place is extremely important and that is why I am so frustrated, disappointed and angry about the insensitive decision by Fremantle Council to approve the Sunset Events proposal for live music concerts on the A Class reserve at Arthur Head.

Ask displaced people what they miss most about having to live somewhere else and they will tell you it is the loss of the homeland, history and culture, the things that create a sense of place.

Sense of place can also be taken away by changing the character of a place to an extend where it no longer gives one that feeling of being at home, a feeling of being embraced, of belonging, and in a way a feeling of understanding one’s roots, one’s past and one’s history. Arthur Head will lose that with the music venue, and the ten Elected Members who voted for it have shown little understanding of what sense of place means.

Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillor Sullivan want to put is all down to deja vu and the same crap all over again as the Esplanade Youth Plaza, but that is plain rubbish.

No one is against a small bar/cafe and function centre at the Number One studio of J Shed. No one is against having music events inside the hospitality venue, but the vast majority of people and organisations who wrote submissions are against the live open air concerts for 1,000 patrons. That is not at all the same as the protest against the skatepark where the majority of people only wanted the Youth Plaza to be moved off the grass and 100 metres south on the carpark next to the Italian Club.

For Elected Members to lie and claim these are just all old NIMBYs who don’t want change and activity in the city centre is blatantly untrue and extremely unbecoming of people who are supposed to represent the community.

So how will Council now manage weddings on the grass next to the Roundhouse and on the boardwalk at Kidogo Arthouse when they coincide with the days of the live and loud J Shed concerts? Is it just tuff titties and bad luck for the wedding parties when the celebrant has to yell over the music noise and the wedding guests will hope the bride and groom said Yes, because they will not be able to hear them.

Today we had a wedding at 12.30 next to the Roundhouse, tomorrow there will be one at 3 pm and we often get up to three weddings on Saturdays. But Sunset Events will spoil it for all of them because ten Elected Members preferred stubbornness over compromise and  refused to show any sensitivity and being sensible. Fremantle Council has lots the plot under the narrow-focus attitude ‘leadership’ of its Mayor and it’s urgent time that was changed!

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162

FREO COMMUNITY OPINION FLUSHED DOWN LIKE TOILET PAPER

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 7, 2015

shit

 

There were a lot of Curtin University students at this evening’s Fremantle Council Planning Services Committee meeting. Their teacher told the Councillors and packed public gallery the students have to write 1,500 words about their observations, so let me help them out and suggest they start with the word farce.

Farce is probably a too nice word to describe the shambles Fremantle Council has become under Mayor Brad Pettitt’s it’s my way or the highway leadership.

And didn’t our Bradman, he who was sent from space to rescue Fremantle from boredom, make it very clear that he did not give a damn about community submissions and the people who had just addressed Councillors. Oh no, Bradman was sick and tired of that boring place called Arthur Head, a place where nothing happens, the White Gum Valley resident told the people who actually live a stone’s throw away. Braddy knows it so much better than those who have lived there for years, and than the Roundhouse heritage guides who welcome more than 110,000 people a year into the old goal.

Naw, we need activation the Mayor lectured us all, because basically that heritage stuff is boring like bat shit. Might I remind you that under his leadership Arthur Head was made into a ghost town when his Council signed off on the Bathers Beach Art Precinct that has attracted many undesirable people and anti-social behaviour to the heritage area.

Councillors tried to pacify the residents by proposing little motions and passing them, and it felt a bit like they were trying to smooth small ripples in a tsunami, because the community had already expressed they did not want a music venue and alcohol outlet at J Shed.

Forget the new alcohol policy and anti-social behaviour, drunks, etc. It’s insignificant in the big picture. His Worship told us it is just a two-year trial and might not turn out all that bad. That was very reassuring especially since advertising of alcohol would be restricted maybe somehow, or whatever, but not the consumption off it.

His eminent Worship told us there are no complaints when the Fremantle Arts Centre have concerts for 3,400 people in that heritage area, so why would that be different in a venue whose core business it is to sell alcohol. Yes sorry Brad, we are not as intelligent as you are and did not make that connection.

The Mayor was leading the way to get approval for the Sunset Events proposal one way or the other. Brad, like a spoiled single child, gets what he wants or he bang his fists on the table and tells officers off, as he did tonight but without the banging of the fists because that is not a good look in public. It appeared he intimidated and influenced the decisions of some Councillors anyway.

But the next item on the agenda  showed the real farce of it all when Bradman told us that the facade of the former Workers Club in Henry Street “tell an important story of how we evolved in Fremantle.” That apparently does not apply however to the extremely historic significance of Arthur Head, that just needs to be activated according to the Mayor, who even offered the locals to come and show them nothing is going on there, apart from some 110,000 people visiting the heritage site every year. Bradman is also happy to replace the successful family fun Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets, that attracted up to 5.000 people each Saturday in summer, with herding 1,000 people into a small fenced off area for ticketed events.

There is little use boring you with all the things people said when they addressed the Council Committee this eve, because most of it was ignored by our Elected Members and barely mentioned in the debate. In the City of Fremantle community consultation is like toilet paper. One flushes it down ideally without looking at it.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent. 

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162.

LOCAL COUNCIL JUST A WASTE OF TIME

Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government by freoview on September 30, 2015

Election time is so serious and often very negative, so I need to have a bit of fun today.

Now that Local Government Election are due I thought it wise to re-acquaint myself with that 1920s bestseller Men are from here, Women from there, and Councillors are dickheads (even when they are female) by author Ghandi Freud.

It is important for me and my fellow Council candidates to know what we’ll let ourselves into, and this great book has many serious warning points we should be aware off if elected on Fremantle Council on October 17.

I picked up a few important observations about Councils and surprisingly even in a book written in the 1920s in Europe and India most of it applies to Fremantle Council in 2015.

 * Council never gets it right.

* Council always supports the neighbour who wants something or does not want something, but never supports you or others.

* Council ignores the street you live in, even when a Councillor lives in your street.

* Council ignores the suburb you live in, even when a Councillor lives in your suburb.

* New Councillors get an injection at the first meeting that makes them fraudulent like all the others on Council.

* Never look at the Mayor during meetings because he has a pendulum swinging that will hypnotise you so you’ll do what he wants.

* Councillors’ main reason for being on Council is to destroy the lifestyle they and their family also live in.

* Councillors deliberately get everything wrong to piss off the community that voted them in.

* Councillors are unintelligent up themself morons who should never have been elected.

There are many more warning signs but I can’t just copy the entire book here that is thicker than the Bible and Koran combined.

The author warns in the appendix of the bulky book that the above also applies for other forms of government such as State and Federal.

Having carefully studied the book I believe I am superbly qualified to become a Councillor, so vote for me. ; > )

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162

IS CITY OF FREMANTLE SUPPORTING SITTING COUNCILLORS?

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government by freoview on September 15, 2015

pulse

I received the very first City of Fremantle PULSE magazine in the letterbox this morning and am wondering about the timing of it. Only two weeks ago we saw a huge wrap around in the Fremantle Herald spruiking all the great development Fremantle is getting.

Call me a cynic anytime, but is it really coincidental that the City is heavily promoting its achievements and virtues so short before the Local Government Elections, or is this an underhand way of supporting the sitting members by letting the community know how much they have achieved? Maybe the Electoral Commision should have a good look at it.

A recent personal experience where I was talked into not opening a public forum by an Elected Member who lied me straight in the face does not give me much confidence that there is no manipulation going on behind the scenes to keep and support the sitting members, and that would be unacceptable manipulation of the democratic process in Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO!. Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Authorised and written by Roel Loopers. 5 Maxwell Street. Beaconsfield 6162.

NO PARTY POLICIES ON FREO COUNCIL PLEASE!

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, politics by freoview on August 7, 2015

Interesting to hear another active Greens party member will be standing for the North Fremantle Ward at the October Local Government elections, where long-serving Councillor Robert Fittock’s seat is up for grabs and we don’t know yet if Robert is standing again.

Down Hilton way we also have not heard if Bill Massie will put his hand up again, but already two candidates have announced they will be in the contest. Jeff McDonald and Franc Acocella are both running in that Ward.

I am very much against political party policies and ideologies entering local councils and would hate to see the day when Councillors would vote on party preferences and against proposals put up by Councillors who are members of opposing parties.

Many in the Freo community believe the present Council has too much of a Green ideology and often lacks reality, and it is a worry indeed when sometimes Council acts as Team Freo with Councillor Jon Strachan once applauding the fact that every decision made on the night had been unanimous. Fremantle Council does not have many passionate debates where Councillors attack each other, unlike Melville, Subiaco, Vincent, etc. where there can be a lot of aggression between elected members.

Local Government Elected Members should not bring party policies to local council. I don’t want my Council to be Labor, Liberal, Green or National, but individuals who represent their voters.

To hear North Freo candidate Roslyn Drayton say she will be closely aligned with Brad Pettitt and Rachel Pemberton, worries me, when Simon Naber already votes with those two, and so do David Cougan and Andrew Sulivan. It would only take one more Green member on Freo Council for them to have the majority and should Jon Strachan remain on Council that would be the case.

My concerns are not against the Greens, but in general about any political preference having a majority on Council. I believe to have true community representation and democracy we need truly independent people on Freo Council, who are not aligned with political parties of any colour. Most of all we need people who will deeply listen to community opinion and concerns and who do not treat community consultation as tokenism.

Roel Loopers

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