Freo's View

FREO’S ONE PLANET GREEN BUDGET

Posted in budget, city of fremantle, economy, environment, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 25, 2018

 

This will start the tongues wagging of those who are not happy with the ‘Greenies’ running the City of Fremantle. ; >)

This from the city on the budget:

The City of FremantIe is delivering on the One Planet Fremantle strategy through initiatives funded in its 2018-19 annual budget.

The centrepiece of the budget is the allocation of $46.3 million towards the construction of the City’s new administration building and library, as part of the broader Kings Square Renewal project.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the aim was to make the new administration centre one of the most energy efficient buildings of its size in Western Australia.

“Our target is for the new building to be zero carbon, so it will have a sophisticated automated opening façade system designed to capture Fremantle’s famous sea breezes and enable natural ventilation for most of the year.

“It will have high-performance, well shaded windows to minimise heat loss during cooler periods and minimise heat gain in summer.

Other sustainability features will include a 240kw solar PV system, energy-efficient LED lighting and water saving appliances.

Another key sustainability measure in the 2018-19 budget is the allocation of $920,000 to implement the new three bin Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) waste management system.

The new FOGO system is a key step towards achieving the City’s One Planet target of a 70 per cent community recycling rate by 2020, and will also protect ratepayers from long-term increases landfill costs.

The budget also includes:

$50,000 to purchase carbon offsets to maintain carbon neutral status
$40,000 to implement the verge garden scheme
$32,784 for a new cardboard and aluminium bailer for the Fremantle Recycling Centre
$14,000 to provide Living Smart sustainability workshops
$10,000 to introduce a local container deposit scheme at three Fremantle Primary Schools
$12,000 to install solar panels on community buildings
$10,000 to implement a car share scheme
$30,000 for works and maintenance in the City of Fremantle Bike Plan
$65,000 to revise the Sir Frederick Samson Park management plan
$102,000 for coastal monitoring and assessment at Port, Leighton and Mosman beaches

For more information on the City’s One Planet strategy visit the One Planet page on our website.

 

Roel Loopers

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN ON FREO’S FUTURE

 

The West Australian newspaper published a feature article by Ken Acott today about Fremantle’s future with the headline Freo ripe for new investment to retain its edge.

The article is based on analysis by PCW City Pulse and features the opinion of Nadia van Dommelen, who is a partner in that firm, and also Freo Mayor Brad Pettit.

A lot of what van Dommelen says is not new and she puts a lot of hope in a new waterfront development along Victoria Quay and the move of the container port to Kwinana, so that is still far too far away to be realised.

But Nadia van Dommelen rightly states that Fremantle needs to stop comparing itself with other cities and be proud of the special character and gritty uniqueness of the old port city.

While van Dommelen is excited about eventual waterfront development she believes that the working port, sheds and railway are all part of Fremantle’s charm, and any future development needs to be authentic. She says there is now major opportunity for transformative investment in Fremantle, and that is already happening

I believe Fremantle’s immediate future needs intensive city planning that deals with all the current and imminent development, and that the City’s Council and planners need to have a strategic plan for creating better and more public realm that connects the new developments in the CBD.

The Heirloom and LIV apartments at Queen Victoria Street will be joined in the next few years by the Little Lane apartments in Adelaide Street, the Hilton Doubletree hotel development and apartments at Point Street and the Adani Hotel on the Woolstores site.

Add to that the development of the Manning building, the huge Kings Square development, plans for a new Fremantle Oval Precinct, a small boutique hotel next to the Fremantle Markets plus a four-storey hotel at the former Court and Police site at Henderson Street, and one can envisage a huge change in the inner city that will require more detailed planning for people movement, parking, safety, and enjoyment.

It is imperative that Fremantle Council is very realistic and very pragmatic about what it needs to do and what can be achieved. This is not the time for pie in the sky ideas but for the elected members to have their feet firmly on the ground.

I hope it’s not a bad omen that the West Australian on-line article about Fremantle’s future features a photo of the Botega cafe that recently closed. ; >)

Roel Loopers

 

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AGEING POPULATION IMPACTS ON ECONOMY

Posted in aged, city of fremantle, economy, health, hospitality, retail, seniors, Uncategorized by freoview on July 23, 2018

 

The media reports that the Western Australian economy has bounced back is positive, but the reasons for the closure of many hospitality outlets and the downturn in retail sales is always only ever explained with internet shopping and the mining bust. Not one expert opinion I have read considers that the fast ageing population is also a reason for people spending less money on non essential items.

Just in Fremantle I know several people whose life has changed since they went on the government pension, because they simply no longer have the money to socialise with friends in pubs and restaurants. Some tell me they can’t even afford to entertain at home, because cooking a meal for friends might cost 50% of the money of their weekly food expenditure.

Many of the pensioners I talk to say they mis no longer going to live theatre plays, concerts and events, because there is not enough money in the kitty, and even going to the hairdresser, especially for women, requires to save it from something else.

A ‘cheap’ $ 20 breakfast or $ 35 dinner in a nice cafe or restaurant are beyond their reach, so they feel on the scrap heap of society, where no one really cares how they are surviving and what their quality of life is.

The government pension does not keep up with the constantly increasing costs of just about everything, but that does not appear to be an issue for our political parties. Once one pays rent, telephone, internet and for the car, there is very little left for food, and hardly ever enough for a meal and glass of wine somewhere nice. Even doctors’ visits need to be kept to a minimum because most GPs don’t bulk bill any more, hence far too many old people use the free service at the emergency departments at our public hospitals.

It is an outrage that many old people live in cold homes in winter because they don’t have enough money to pay for gas and power, and it is an even greater outrage that thousands of people sleep on the streets of our cities.

The very fast ageing of the Australian population is very real, and it does affect the economy, so it is time for our politicians to start preparing for a future where over fifty per cent of the population will be over 60 years old. It is even more tangible and imminent than global warming, so it is time to change the priorities a bit and start looking after our older people a whole lot better.

Roel Loopers

 

Henty's

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE FREO DUST

Posted in city of fremantle, food, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on July 15, 2018

 

Lone Star rib house

 

Although I never visited it it is disappointing to see that the Lone Star rib house in Fremantle’s Essex Street has closed its doors.

Many hospitality outlets, including some of high repute, have closed all over Perth recently, so times are clearly tough and not only for retail.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE BUDGET AN INVESTMENT IN THE FUTURE

Posted in budget, city of fremantle, development, economy, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 29, 2018

 

Fremantle Council has adopted an annual budget it claims to be the single largest local government investment in the city’s history.

The 2018-19 budget, adopted by the council on Wednesday night, included $46.3 million as the City’s contribution towards the broader Kings Square Renewal project, which includes the development of a new library, civic and community centre, upgrade of public spaces by the City and the redevelopment of the former Myer building, Queensgate building and Queensgate carpark by project partner Sirona Capital.

The 2018-19 budget also includes $920,000 for the roll-out of the new FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) waste management system, and $2.8 million to construct the new Fremantle Park Sport and Community Centre.

Residential rates will rise by a modest average of 2.9 per cent, which includes a 2 per cent increase to partly fund the costs of implementing the FOGO system, including the purchase of new FOGO bins.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said  that “It’s a significant achievement that the City has been able to deliver this unprecedented level of investment and keep rate increases low, despite the substantial increases in costs through state government charges like power and water.”

The 2.9 per cent average rate increase is the second lowest since 2000. The lowest was last year’s increase of 1.5 per cent.

Total budget expenditure is $150.1 million, comprised of $57.7 million in capital expenditure, $90.7 million in operating expenditure and $1.7m in loan repayments.

Other budget highlights include:
• $2.5 million road improvement and maintenance program
• $743,000 for more CCTV
• $506,000 to refurbish Cantonment Hill Naval Store
• $250,000 for internal restoration works at the Town Hall
• $110,000 to upgrade the Esplanade Youth Plaza
• $100,000 for further upgrades to South Terrace
• $115,000 on new play equipment
• $25,000 to prepare concept plans for Fremantle Station city square and Queen Street upgrades.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S HEALTHY FINANCIAL RATING

Posted in budget, city of fremantle, economy, finances, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 22, 2018

 

The financial management of the City of Fremantle was strongly criticised by some in our community when it was rated only 42 by the My Council state government website for 2015/16, so for what it is worth, Fremantle has climbed substantially and was rated 87 for the 2016/17 financial year. It was at 79 in 2014/15.

Roel Loopers

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GIVE ME FREO OVER PERTH ANY TIME!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, perth, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on May 22, 2018

 

ca 6

 

 

I lasted just over an hour in Perth this morning as I find the CBD there rather boring.

I was surprised how quiet it was and how many vagrants were lurking around, and there were ample retail vacancies and for lease signs all over the place. Buskers played amplified music way too loud and so did some of the cafes.

Most of the new buildings under construction are average or worse, and the inappropriateness in context to heritage buildings is staggering.

The saving grace was the gorgeous tranquil architecture of the Cadogan Singing School at St George’s cathedral, and the stunning new Perth Library where window cleaners were doing a high trapeze act.

So happy to be back in Fremantle. It’s far from perfect, but so much more beautiful than the Perth CBD.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE DESTINATION MARKETING COMMITTEE

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, shopping, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on May 21, 2018

 

I had the exclusive on Friday to announce that Linda Wayman had been appointed chair of the new Fremantle Destination Marketing advisory group, and today the City of Fremantle disclosed all the expert members, so here they are:

# Karl Bullers-owner of the National Hotel and chair of Fremantle BID.

# Olwyn Williams-CEO of Fremantle Chamber of Commerce.

# Abby McDowell-Marketing Manager of the Esplanade Hotel.

# Chris Lewis-Director of Fremantle Press.

# Paula Nelson-Director of Fremantle Prison.

# Kate Hullet- Director of MANY 2.0

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

SIGNIFICANT KINGS SQUARE MODERNISATION

 

DSC_9656

 

Once the London Plane Trees have been relocated the demolition of the City of Fremantle civic hall can start. This will take much longer than the demolition of the Queensgate building as there is asbestos removal involved, so it is estimated to take up to six months for the relatively small building.

The former Queensgate site is now nearly ready for three weeks of ground work and than the prefabricated elements will arrive and pop up fast, so that will be really exciting to watch.

The modernisation of Kings Square with a port themed children’s playground is very significant for Fremantle. It will change the way locals and visitors view and use our city square and will hopefully attract people here seven days a week, day and night.

Roel Loopers

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CAN RETAIL DECLINE BE STOPPED?

 

Anyone blaming Fremantle Council for the decline in retail and the many vacant shops in our port city should take note of an article in The Guardian newspaper that reports that UK shoppers are deserting the ‘high street’ in greater numbers than during the 2009 recession.

The Guardian reports that several big brand retailers in the UK are in receivership with a massive number of shops closing.

High street visits declined 3.3% in April, according to the BRC-Springboard monthly tracker, which also highlighted nearly one in 10 town centre shops are lying empty. The drop in footfall came on the back of a disastrous performance in March, when shopper numbers declined by 6%. Taken together there has been an unprecedented 4.8% drop over the two months – a bigger decline than was recorded in the same months of 2009 when the UK was mired in recession.

The question developers in Fremantle need to ask if this trend can be turned around and if new city centre based shopping centres like the FOMO retail concept at Kings Square by Sirona Capital will attract more shoppers away from the urban sterile shopping centres, that are now also changing direction and want to recreate the town square in shopping centres to make them more appealing to the community.

Roel Loopers

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