There has been some confusion about the day of the Fremantle WA State Election Forum, so just to confirm that it is Tuesday February 28 at 6.30 pm.
It is as always at the Tannock Hall of the University of Notre Dame on the corner of Cliff and Croke streets.
All candidates have been invited, but it is a bit of a tradition for the Liberal candidate not to turn up, so let’s wait and see.
Fremantle resident Andrew Luobikis will be running for the WA State Election/Upper House in the South Metro Region for the new Julie Matheson for Western Australia Party.
Andrew is very committed to Freo and unsuccessfully stood for South and Beaconsfield Ward, and that gives us something in common as I was also unsuccessful standing for Beacy Ward.
While Andrew and I are probably miles apart politically I believe he deserves a plug on Freo’s View because of his passion for our city. Here is what Andrew Luobikis has to say about his candidacy:
Why am I running:
After several years of exposure to local government politics and seeing how the system is not only manipulated by the major political parties it is also very much broken. Reflecting on the lost economic opportunities for WA, especially during the mining boom it was clear that our wonderful state was not getting its fair share. Our state has been held to economic ransom by the political parties from the East. While WA digs up every mineral and harvests every inch of arable land, the rest of Australia lives on GST welfare generated and paid for by hard working Western Australians.
I could see that reform is necessary on many issues and the only way to enact real change is from the State level.
Having met Julie Matheson during the last Beaconsfield Council By-Election I was drawn to the fact the Julie Matheson For Western Australia Party is the only party that represents the interests of Western Australia and its people, not political parties from the Eastern States. The party’s policies stood out in that they reflected many of the issues I was standing for locally and knew it would be an easy transition for me to get behind and support.
It was obvious to me running as an independent at local government level that if I were to be successful in effecting any real change I would require the support of a team with values similar to that of mine. It is a team of real people standing up on the real issues for WA and especially the South Metropolitan Region.
I am a member of Western Australia’s only party that puts Western Australia’s interests FIRST. The other parties seeking your vote are controlled by politicians from the East. These politicians want to control WA’s parliament for their own political gain and continue the GST welfare system for the benefit of other states. It’s our GST, a ‘State tax’ and it belongs in WA.
I also decided to run to help elect our Party’s candidate for Fremantle Janetia Knapp. Janetia works tirelessly in the Fremantle community to include Aboriginal culture in mainstream day to day living. She promotes the loving and caring of people and the land on which we all live. Fremantle will be a better place to live with Janetia Knapp as our elected member of parliament.
We have a great candidate for Fremantle in the Lower House – Janitia Knapp. When we met, we just gelled and I could see that a great team was forming that could exert influence and make some fantastic systemic changes for the betterment of the local community.
The WA state election campaign is heating up with lots of promises, so time to get rid of the ‘fake facts’ and grill the candidates to see what they will be doing, or promise to do, for Fremantle.
The traditional election forum will be held on Tuesday February 28 from 6.pm at the Notre Dame University Tannock Hall on the corner of Cliff and Croke streets, so dot it down in your diary.
I have already received one comment claiming that my demand for respectful and on topic comments to this Freo’s View blog is censorship, so let me make a few points.
First of all as the publisher of this blog I am legally responsible, so if people write defamatory comments that I publish I could end up in court, and that is not going to happen. I am only asking for self-regulation and a bit of restraint so that I don’t have to block certain comments, that’s all. Newspapers don’t publish hundreds of letters to the editor each week, while I have published 99% of comments I received over the last seven years of this blog.
Local politics is complex and not as black&white and simple as some people want us to believe. For every 5000 people who disagree with Council decisions there are 5000 who agree with the Elected Members.
Politics is as one-eyed, as supporters of sports team. One cannot see the failures of one’s own team and only criticises the other team, so that makes it hard to get balanced debate and comments because some people want to believe that everything Fremantle Council does is wrong.
In the same comments we hear that Freo Council is socialist, but does deals behind closed doors with developers. The latter is not very socialist but capitalist, so the points made become quite ridiculous.
Those who strongly support whatever the State government is doing criticise Fremantle Council for wanting to implement infill and higher density, as demanded by State government, so why is Freo Council to blame for Liberal/National party decisions?
It is wrong to believe that community groups have a larger representation than the voters who elected the Councillors and that Council should do what those vocal minority groups want. Councillors are democratically elected by those few who bother to vote in our community and it is their duty to get advise from officers, consultants and experts and make decisions.
I have on many occasions not agreed with decisions by Fremantle Council. I believed and still do that Planning Scheme Amendment 39 went too far as far as height is concerned, but I do support the strong move by Freo Council for more residential, office and retail development in the inner city. I did not believe the Youth Plaza should be built on the Esplanade, but next to it, and I did not believe a tavern at J Shed was a good decision either, to name just a few.
One of the major problems I see is the lack of good detailed communication, transparency and accountability and that has to improve, as the City is unnecessarily creating divisiveness, anger and frustration in the community, because we only get selective information through the newspapers. For example an editorial in the West Australian claimed that the City of Fremantle was banning Australia Day celebrations, which is absolutely false.
I too get very frustrated when I see things not being done, or not done properly, and when I observe inconsistent decision-making at COF, but I am trying to keep it in balance and see all sides of the story. I have in the past blown steam with angry words, and while I try to be tolerant and open-minded I have no doubt that I will snap again sometime in the future, because I am very passionate about Fremantle.
The City of Fremantle is far from perfect and that’s why it is important we keep engaging with positive suggestions and trying to be part of the solution. Council will not always do what I like, but that will please others, and we need to keep that in mind when we criticise them. Just because I don’t like it does not necessarily mean it is wrong and just because I like other decisions does not necessarily mean they are the right decisions.
While some loath the Labor, Liberal or Greens parties, others love them. That is the simple reality of politics and the way we humans are. Love it or hate it.
Feel free to comment. ; >)
New Fremantle MP Josh Wilson held his first speech in Parliament House in Canberra yesterday and posted this photo and quote.
I have asked for a full transcript of the very good 25-minute speech, so I can write a bit more about it, so this is only the stop press version.
Nice to see Josh’s wife, his two daughters and his son in the public gallery, as well as Melissa Park and former Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri.
I am sure Josh Wilson will do Fremantle proud!
The candidates’ forum of the Beaconsfield Ward by-election at the Hilton Bowling Club on Tuesday evening did not rock the boat but was still interesting for other reasons. One not often sees members of the Fremantle Society, FICRA and the Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association at these suburban meetings and none of them were at the election forum in Beacy in October last year when I was a candidate.
That might have had to do with the fact that candidate Andrew Luobikis is a big supporter of these community groups, so they were clearly out there to support him and possibly are helping him with letterbox drops etc.
Candidate Hannah Fitzhardinge also had her Labor party supporters in the public, with even Simone McGurk turning up, as did Councillors Dave Hume, Dave Coggin and Rachel Pemberton.
The same issues always come up at these forums; crime, antisocial behaviour, maintenance, parking and shopping, communication, transparency and accountability, and rates.
It was a pretty positive forum though where Andrew Luobikis was the candidate who criticised Fremantle Council most, especially about Kings Square, poor decision-making and poor community consultation.
Fedele Camarda said Fremantle has the same problems other communities have and that he intended to consult and listen, if elected. He would be guided by people in his decision-making.
Fedele said there needed to be other forms of revenue raising for COF and it needed good budget management. He also said the ugly entry to the city for cruise ship passengers needed to be beautified.
Peter Cruickshank said the vibe and culture of Fremantle is attractive, but that the city needs to develop smart and well, and maintain its heritage. He wants better value for money for rates and tangible infrastructure. He would be asking a lot of questions and seek advise .
Peter also believes State Housing density in Fremantle needs to be reduced and spread out more. I want to do what is best for my family, Beacy and Fremantle, he said.
Andrew Luobikis said the City was giving away the family silver with the Kings Square Project and that it made poor planning decisions. The KS project will have a profound affect on the City’s finances, he claimed.
Andrew wants a fair share for Beaconsfield and rates capped at CPI. Council is accountable to its shareholders and community consultation is essential. He also said the police did little to stop crime in the area and that there was too much party politics at council level.
Hannah Fitzhardinge is the only female candidate for Beacy and she made the important point that 51% of the Fremantle popultation is female but that there are only two female Councillors. Only one in five leadership positions in Australia are taken up by women, she told us.
Hannah believes the City of Fremantle should become a more responsive organisation with real community engagement and that she would be asking the right questions at the right time. She said it was very important to find the common ground by bringing in the community early in the conversation, and I absolutely agree with her on this!
She said there needed to be a masterplan for Beaconsfield that included the so-called Bronx but also the former quarry site. Fremantle has a history of inclusiveness we need to continue.
Hannah believes that Fremantle deserves much more support and investment from State Government as it is more than just a local council because of our historic importance and tourist town. The burden for that should not be on the ratepayers alone and the State should pay its fair share.
Local government is about local people and should not be by political parties, Hannah stated.
And while all that was going on there were dancing classes and silver shoes next door. It was a very Freo and mainly positive evening where I was especially impressed with the level headedness and positive attitude of Hannah Fitzhardinge.
There are two important meetings on next Tuesday evening, August 30, and it is disappointing that they could not be coordinated better as we will have to make a choice to go to one of them as they both start at the same time of 7 pm.
The meeting at the Local Hotel in South Fremantle at 7 pm will see a city manager showing the plans for the upgrade of South Terrace from Douro Road to South Street. This is very important as the area is becoming more and more popular with new cafes and restaurants opening and new development in the pipeline.
Peak hour traffic also has become and issue along South Terrace, Douro Road and Marine Parade and needs to be addressed.
The second meeting is at the Hilton Bowling Club where the four candidates for the vacant Beaconsfield Ward will be scrutinised by the local community. It is very important to consider that whoever gets elected will be voting on all Fremantle issues, not just the ones in the Beacy Ward, so asking more general questions about the future of Fremantle, urban infill, density, protection of heritage, supporting local businesses, traffic and parking, etc. are all important.
The monthly speaker session of the Fremantle Network upstairs at the National Hotel presented Liam Carter on Tuesday evening. It was interesting to listen to the very articulate young man who proposed to the City of Fremantle to start a Youth Advisory Council(YAC).
Liam told us he came up with the YAC idea because of the scarcity of young people involved in local community and council work and was thinking of how he could get more young people involved, because every issue dealt with at local councils affects young people. Other councils already have YACs.
70 youth have signed up to be part of YAC and 40 of them are now in a pool to be part of decision-making meetings, citizen juries, etc. This makes Fremantle’s YAC the biggest one, overtaking Subiaco. YAC members are as young as 12 year-old he said.
Liam Carter told the small audience that the opportunities are absolutely huge and that youth through YAC can have an influence on council policy and add more nuances to the community conversation.
Running events would be a simple way of engaging with a broad section of the community. He also mentioned youth juries, the Robin Hood project where young people decide who gets funding and the Upskill Project where young people run courses for young people. “It is important to get young voices heard”
Issues that concern and affect youth are mental health, disability access and affordable housing and he believes citizen juries, participatory budgeting and strengthening community consultation would be a good way forward. “I want young people to be heard!”
Youth could help create positive change and the next idea might be the big change maker for Fremantle.
Liam believes there needs to be more and better collaboration between community groups and said he would be interested to have speakers from groups like FRRA and the Fremantle Society come to YAC and vice versa.
Liam Carter is a very bright and likeable young man who has practical ideas. It was a shame that not more people turned up for his talk, especially older people as working together respectfully is in my opinion the best way forward for Fremantle. We should never lose sight that we are building Freo’s future for our youth.
The next Fremantle Network event ill be on the first Tuesday in September.
There are a lot of plastic pipes and a fifteen-metre wall of water at the Fremantle Arts Centre but there is no plumber anywhere to be seen for the intriguing Every Point of View show by Singaporean artist Matthew Ngui.
It is the Australian premiere for this large-scale installation that was commissioned by the Singapore Art Museum to mark the 50 years of state independence.
Ngui wrote ten statements about democracy on the pipes from a cross-section of Singaporeans, but I was unable to even construct a single word out of them, so is Ngui’s observation that democracy is a garbled message? Or maybe the plastic pipe material he uses means that democracy is a pipe dream.
As one person said democracy is the perception that the people are in power, but we all know that we often feel that is not the case.
There is also the Swimming; at least 8 points of view fifteen-metre-wide projection of Ngui doing laps in a swimming pool.
I really like the show and if you look carefully at the photos you’ll see I even did a selfie of me in the democracy projections.