Freo's View

COUNCIL CHANGES TO HILTON FENCING POLICY

 

Fremantle Council’s Strategic Planning and Transport Committee will this Wednesday consider changes to the fencing policy for the suburb of Hilton, so this is what the Officer’s Recommendation is:

Note the outcomes of the community consultation on the proposed changes to Local Planning Policy 3.7, as detailed in agenda Attachment 1.2.

Adopt the following amendments to clause 1.5 of Local Planning Policy 3.7: Hilton Garden Suburb Heritage Area, in accordance with Schedule 2, Clause 4 (3) of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015:1.5 Street Walls and Fences 1.5.1 Street walls and fencing forward of the building line shall be a maximum height of 1.2 metres and shall be a minimum of 30% visually permeable above 300 millimetres.

For properties located on the following streets, front fencing shall be visually permeable above 1.2 metres to a maximum height of 1.8 metres, with piers no higher than 2.0 metres:• South Street, between Stock Road and Lee Avenue.• Carrington Street, between South Street and Winterfold Road. • Winterfold Road, between Carrington Street and Collick Street.

Solid masonry (brick) rear fencing shall be permitted for those properties backing onto Stock Road to a maximum height of 2.0 metres.

Council may, at its discretion, vary the requirements of clause 1.5.1 where it is satisfied that the proposed street wall and/or fence: a. Is consistent with character of the prevailing streetscape (including, in relation to this clause only, the house directly across the street and the three houses on either side of that opposing house, where these are located within the Hilton Heritage Areas) AND maintains clear surveillance between the street and the dwelling; orb. is a maximum of 1.5m in height and a minimum of 50% visually permeable. Notwithstanding the above, visually impermeable fencing above 300 millimeters in height will not be supported.

Fencing with a high proportion of visual permeability and reflective of fencing styles and materials traditional to the area (primarily post and wire/mesh infill) is strongly encouraged.

Roel Loopers

 

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PORTRAIT EXHIBITION OF VICTIMS OF RAPE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, crime, exhibition, photography, ps art space, Uncategorized, women by freoview on August 9, 2019

 

 

There is a very powerful photo exhibition on at PS Art Space in Fremantle’s Pakenham Street that shows portraits of Indian women who have been sexually assaulted and some of them gang-raped.

Perth photographer Jessica Eva traveled to Lucknow to take photos for her exhibition and book Woman in Red.

The exhibition is on until August 30, so make sure to go and view it!

Roel Loopers

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NEW COMMUNITY SAFETY PLAN FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, crime, law&order, local government, police, Uncategorized, vandalism by freoview on August 7, 2019

 

The City of Fremantle is seeking public feedback on a new Community Safety Plan.

The draft Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan sets priorities for community safety and crime prevention for the next five years across the City of Fremantle.

It was developed by the City’s Community Safety Reference Group, which includes senior members of WA Police, City of Fremantle elected members and staff.

The plan is based on the input received from nearly 500 people who were engaged either online or face to face via workshops, school visits, forums or surveys during an extensive community engagement process.

The aim of the City is to create an environment in Fremantle where people feel safe, with public spaces designed to be actively used throughout the day and night that encourages people to linger and interact.

The City of Fremantle has made a big effort towards community safety by increasing the Community Safety Team and the CCTV network which will be expanded this year.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said “But community safety and crime prevention are complex issues and many aspects are not under the control of local government, so it needs a collaborative effort from all tiers of government, local businesses and the community.

“That’s why the Community Safety Plan includes direct actions for the City to implement, and also identifies other areas outside of our control where we can advocate on behalf of the community.”

Some of the recommendations in the plan include maintaining relationships with WA Police and support for crime prevention campaigns such as ‘Look, Lock, Leave’ and Neighbourhood Watch.

The plan also recommends the City continue to work with community service providers to increase the level of social support available in Fremantle, such as the recently announced 20 Lives 20 Homes program, and continue to share information with the business community.

Other actions include the installation of safe parking zones to deter bike theft, seeking opportunities and funding to expand the CCTV network and improved lighting.

The Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan is out for public comment until Friday 23 August.

For more information and to provide feedback visit the City of Fremantle’s My Say Freo website.

Roel Loopers

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CONTAMINATED SWEETS LEFT IN FREO MAIL BOXES

Posted in children, city of fremantle, community, crime, health, Uncategorized by freoview on August 4, 2019

Warning to all parents in the East Street and High Street area of Fremantle that contaminated sweets and mini chocolate bars have been left in residential letter boxes, so keep and eye out that your children not accidentally consume them!

Roel Loopers

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VANDALS SET FIRE AT FREO’S J SHED

Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, crime, fire, j shed, Uncategorized, vandalism by freoview on July 18, 2019

 

J Shed fire

 

There was again serious vandalism at Fremantle’s Arthur’s Head last night with idiots setting fire to the northern wall of the J Shed art studios.

No major damage was done but the power had to be cut off for safety reasons. It is just lucky that the fire brigade arrived early as otherwise the entire shed and some very important artworks could have been destroyed.

Although vandalism is frequent in the area there are still no CCTV cameras in the historic precinct.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE CHAMBER REJECTS WEST AUSTRALIAN CLAIMS

 

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce has hit back at The West Australians article that casts doubt on Fremantle’s economic growth potential and position.

In a media release the FCOC wrote:

Unlike many urban centres in Australia, Fremantle is currently experiencing unprecedented investment and renewal underway, with the combined value of private and public investment in the pipeline totaling more than $1.3 billion.

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is actively connecting, uniting and assisting in the growth of a successful and vibrant business community that builds on Fremantle’s unique advantage, its heritage and its maritime focus.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Danicia Quinlan said: “Fremantle, like most urban centres, is affected by the current wave of societal change in the way people gather, shop, dine, interact commercially and manage environmental challenges. Learning from other Councils, or even other cities locally,mand internationally, is an important way to navigate our way through these changes. We need Fremantle Councillors and the Mayor to be an active part of trying to find ways to manage all of these complex challenges.”

And more feedback from Fremantle traders:

The damage The West Australian is doing to Fremantle and its businesses far surpasses any perceived damage by council. Fremantle Markets is running at full occupancy with over 56,000 visitors last weekend for the 3 days period. Feedback from traders was “sales were excellent”.

Councils everywhere are going through a difficult time, however, the City of Fremantle Economic Development team and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce regularly engage with businesses and continue to make many great improvements to the city” .

Natasha Atkinson – Chief Executive Officer Fremantle Markets and Winner Business News 2019 40 Under 40

Our focus is on Fremantle with our affordable and green residential developments. Our projects generally achieve an equity internal rate between 15-30% and we don’t see this slowing. Fremantle business has a great future as we focus on building on our competitive advantage of heritage, environmental consciousness and community spirit”.

Tao Bourton, Fremantle’s Yolk Property Group Director

It is exciting to see so many new businesses have decided to invest their potential in Fremantle not only for today, but for many years to come. We look forward to working together to build a unique and vibrant business community.”

Ivan Dezba, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce President and Managing Director, Benny’s

People more cynical than I am might well suggest the constant attacks on shopping in local councils are a PR exercise to promote urban shopping centres, from where more advertising dollars can be obtained than from the traditional High Street shopping destinations.

One week we read and see that all is wrong and violent in Cockburn, then it is Rockingham, Fremantle, Subiaco, Mount Lawley, Leederville, Perth, etc.

Is it PR, is it political to give less power to local councils, or is it just lazy journalism during slow news cycles?

A West End cafe owner told me that last Friday, Saturday and Sunday had been some of the busiest days they have experienced. Maybe it is time for the West and its sister TV and radio stations to be more balanced and allow Freo’s positive stories to come out in the open instead of always focusing on the negative aspects.

Roel Loopers

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POLICE LOOKING FOR NEW FREO STATION

Posted in city of fremantle, cruise, law&order, police, property, Uncategorized by freoview on July 14, 2019

 

WA Police are looking for a new and more suitable site for a new Fremantle police station in the east of Fremantle, so there are a few options available to them.

The St John’s ambulance site in Parry Street will be vacated in due course when the ambos move to O’Connor, and there are two vacant sites near that, one next to St Patrick’s in Queen Victoria Street and one in Beach Street next to the Australia Hotel. The Shacks Holden car dealership sites  at Queen Victoria Street on either side of Finnerty Street are also for sale

While so much police presence in the West End has been reassuring for the community traders and shoppers will no doubt welcome the return of the parking bays in High and Short streets that are now reserved for police vehicles.

I only hope the new police complex will actually be in Fremantle and will not move further away to Melville.

Roel Loopers

IRONIC DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL FOR WEST END

 

I have to admit that I had a smile on my face when I read the agenda for Wednesday’s City of Fremantle Planning Committee and noticed that architect Shane Braddock is applying for planning approval for a two-storey addition at 33-37 High Street in Freo’s West End.

Braddock is a very loud voice constantly complaining on social media how unsafe Fremantle’s CBD is and the anti social behaviour that is allegedly happening next door to his property at the backpackers and on the street below.

It is a bit ironic then that he now wants to extend the property for his family with a living and dining area, a kitchen and bedroom, and adding a bridge between the front and rear buildings and also add a water tower.

But good luck to Shane. I welcome anyone who wants to commit to Fremantle’s progress, so good to see the officer’s recommendation is for Council to approve the proposed development.

Can the property owner please also remove the yellow foil from the facade of the building while he is doing the additions.

Roel Loopers

 

FREO’S LAST TEN YEARS NOT A FAILURE

There is a Not Happy Brad! whinge letter in the Fremantle Herald today by a Keith Manton, who blames the Fremantle Mayor for just about everything that is wrong in our city.

Drug taking, street drinking, begging. Blame the Mayor when everyone by now should be aware that WA Police is responsible for taking care of these issues and crimes and anti social behaviour. They do that pretty well with assistance of the Fremantle community safety officers.

The one point I agree on with Mr Manton is that lack of good quality architecture we are getting, but most of the major projects are approved by the state’s JDAP and not the City.

According to the director responsible for the removal of the yellow foil at High Street comes in under the $ 220.000 budget, so not anywhere near the one million Mr Manton claims it will cost. Can we get an update on that please Director Graham Tattersall. Thanks!

Vacant shops and the cry out for more diversity is nothing new. Retail vacancies are unfortunately happening everywhere around Perth and Australia and Fremantle Council cannot enforce lower rents or dictate to property owners which tenants and businesses to take on, although the economic development team has been trying hard to get more diversity in Fremantle’s shopping.

It was on expert advise that Fremantle Council decided not to renovate the old Civic Center and go ahead with an all new one that will compliment the Sirona Capital commercial development at Kings Square. To say that replacing the ailing building was totally unnecessary is being ignorant of the facts.

Have the last ten years of Fremantle under the leadership of Mayor Brad Pettitt been a failure, as Keith Manton claims? I don’t believe so, as the Kings Square Redevelopment Project will make a significant difference to the economic revitalisation of our city. It will require a bit more of our patience, and no doubt that is very difficult for many of our struggling traders, so let’s support them!

Could Fremantle Council and the administration improve? Absolutely, and I have no doubt they are aware of that.

Roel Loopers

 

LET’S TALK FREO UP!

 

Those people who constantly hammer Fremantle Council with criticism about vacant shops, homeless people, anti social behaviour and crime would do well to pay attention to recent media reports.

Shops, cafes and restaurants in Mount Lawley along once extremely popular Beaufort Street are closing in large numbers and they blame high rents and a drop in foot traffic for that.

The decline in retail is happening all over metropolitan Perth, Australia and the world as the traditional high street shopping destinations have been replaced with huge suburban shopping centres on the outskirts.

Media reports about excessive shop lifting and anti social behaviour in Cockburn, Rockingham, Canning, etc have become common, and the West Australian dedicated two pages of their weekend edition on the issues of homelessness in the Perth CBD.

There are no easy solutions for any of these problems and the call from traders for councils to demand that property owners charge lower rents is as unrealistic as it would be unlawful. Governments can not dictate what rents property owners can charge and while high rents in the present retail climate appear almost indecent and selfish there is very little local or state governments can do about it.

Some owners are better and allow pop-up shops to fill vacant shops, but only for a very limited time, so that is only a short-term ‘solution’.

Crime and anti social  behaviour are State responsibility and while Fremantle and most councils do have their own very good security officers they are often powerless as they do not have the right to issue move-on notices or arrest people.

There is no doubt though that the perception of not feeling safe will keep people away. Foot traffic numbers in the Cappuccino Strip have dropped dramatically while they have increased quite a bit in High Street in the West End. The latter is probably mainly due to Notre Dame University students pounding the pavement.

It is always strange to notice on busy Freo weekends how many people are walking along South Terrace but when I turn into High Street the street is nearly void of pedestrians.  Visitors seem to prefer Collie and Essex streets for their East West movement and ignore the far more attractive historic High Street.  Why is that, I wonder?

A prominent Freo business owner urged me last week to promote that we collectively stop talking our city down and that we have to start telling ourselves and our visitors how special Fremantle is.

Only yesterday at the Roundhouse two German tourists told me how much they liked Freo and how friendly people here are, and the volunteer guides hear those kind of remarks very often. We receive so much positive feedback from overseas and interstate visitors that it is hard to believe that some Fremantle residents and traders here have such a negative opinion about our gorgeous little city.

Freo is a great place but like most other suburbs has similar problems and struggles with the retail economy,  anti social behaviour and crime. Attracting more visitors to Freo will partly help with that, and that can only be achieved by not talking our city down, but by talking it up. Let’s give it a try!

Roel Loopers

 

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