Freo's View

MAKE MY ELECTION DAY FREO

Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 15, 2017

The Fremantle local government election campaign started early this year with Ra Stewart announcing she is standing for Mayor and Claudia Green contesting the City Ward position that will be vacated by Simon Naber.

Dave Coggin has already left so his seat is available, and four other seats plus the Mayor’s will be up, so it’s going to be a signifiant election.

Because of some critical observations I have made about Ra Stewart there are already people who assume I have something against her, with one West End resident claiming I am the publicist for Mayor Brad Pettitt.

So I want to make a few points that will hopefully stick. I am PRO Fremantle and whoever shows me that they have the vision, long-term plans and solutions, innovation and creativity to lead our beautiful city toward inevitable economic recovery and vibrancy will have my support.

All candidates, including all sitting members, will get a fair go on Freo’s View, but if they make accusations that are unfair or not based on facts I will call them up on that. If all you have is criticism of the present Council but no ideas on how to do it better than I will point that out.

Council bashing alone won’t do and I expect balance and fairness from those who put their hand up and want to be our next community representatives on Council.

I don’t care if my local members are to the right, centre or left of politics as long as they have the best for Fremantle in mind and I will judge them on that.

If you want to put me in a box or drawer and assume you know where I stand, just go ahead with name-calling. I have had heated arguments with Freo’s Mayor and have at times been extremely critical about certain aspects of Fremantle Council, to the point that the former CEO confronted me at a public meeting and told me he was sick and tired of me calling for his head. CoF staff en-masse complained when I finally was given a photographic assignment some years ago, because I was too critical of the City of Fremantle.

I have been called a lapdog of Fremantle Council on social media, and on a promise by the Mayor to get on council, as if a Mayor ever had the power to appoint Councillors.

I have been called an anti-development NIMBY, and the narrow-minded president of the Frraemantle Society called me Adolf and an apologist for bad development, when I have been more vocal against inappropriate development in the CBD than most people.

But I am very much for the modernisation and development of the ugly east part of the inner city because I strongly believe that with more people living and working in the city and tourists staying in new hotels our traders will significantly start to benefit from that in 2-4 years from now. It is the game changer Fremantle needs!

I believe in balance and fairness and expect people who make accusations against our Elected Members to at least give them the courtesy of informed criticism based on facts, not some of the ridiculous ignorant comments I read on social media and in letters to editors.

I am not anti Ra Stewart or anti Brad Pettitt and I am not anti Fremantle Council either. I want the best for Freo and will do my utmost to support those who will make a significant positive difference to the city I love. If you want to attack me for that just go ahead and make my day! ; >)

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE COMMUNITY GROUPS MERGER

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on May 4, 2017

 

The long-established Fremantle Society and the relatively new Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association have merged to combine forces for the Local Government election in October.

From what I gather FRRA will be swallowed up by FS and the groups will operate under the Fremantle Society name.

Many members would have been part of both groups, so it makes sense to reduce administration and duplications.

I hope a larger FS will make a more positive contribution to Fremantle and become part of the solution, instead of only being relentlessly negative and one-eyed about Fremantle Council.

It would be transparent if the larger Fremantle Society would now disclose how many paid members it does have, to substantiate its claims that it represents a large percentage of Fremantle residents.

Community groups are very important and can be hugely influential when they are willing to engage in respectful dialogue with Elected Members and Council staff, so I hope new Society members will push for that and stop the anti everything attitude of its president.

Roel Loopers

FREO FAIRNESS ELECTION CAMPAIGN

Posted in city of fremantle, community, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 1, 2017

 

The Fremantle Mayoral election campaign is under way very early with the launch of Ra Stewart’s campaign launch on Friday evening and the first election advertisement in the Fremantle Herald.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has yet to officially declare if he will be standing again but all signs are that he believes he still has a job to finish and will try to remain Mayor for another four years.

We are an opinionated lot in Freo, and Councillors and the Mayor have plenty of supporters but also plenty of haters who will criticise just about anything Council does.

I would love to see an election campaign of visions, ideas, innovation and the realisation of how strong local government grassroots is. Only at local government can we come to Council and address our Elected Members. We cannot do that in State or Federal government and we need to take advantage of the opportunity to let our Councillors know what we like and dislike.

It is probably too much to ask the community for fairness and balance and give Council credit where it is due, because we tend to focus on the negative aspects of Council decisions and tend to ignore the achievements.

I have always disliked what happens in politics when opposing parties just slam everything the other party proposes, instead of open-mindedly also acknowledging good ideas their opponents have. I found that childish and immature.

The Fremantle community is very engaged, but reading many of the comments on social media, letters to the newspapers and hearing them on talk-back radio, I am also stunned about the lack of knowledge, and people making complaints that are based on ignorance because they fail to inform themselves.

It is not fair to the Elected Members to assume one knows something and criticise them for decisions they have not made, when it is very easy to find out what has been happening at Council by reading agendas and minutes, or better even, as I do, attend Council and Committee meetings so one can hear what is being debated at Council and observe how good or bad we are represented by our Councillors.

Politics at all levels will find many people disappointed with what our politicians decide, while others will be delighted. That is just how it works and it will never change. Politicians will never ever please everyone and will either be considered too left or too right by the community, whatever our personal preferences are.

When Council approves a new family home it is likely that it upsets at least the two neighbours to the left and right, while the applicants will be over the moon, or if the proposal is rejected the neighbours will be happy but the proponent will hate Council. That is one of the many realities Councillors have to deal with every day and they do their utmost to make the right and fair decisions.

I was very much against Planning Scheme Amendment 49 because I believed it would open the doors for too excessive heights in the CBD, and I still believe those heights should have been restricted to 8-9 storeys only, but when I witness the massive development in the inner city that will see Fremantle’s economic prospects turn around dramatically in the next few years, I have to acknowledge that this is the result of PSA 49 being implemented by Council.

The Esplanade Youth Plaza was hugely controversial and I too believe that it should have been added to the reserve by building it on the Italian Club carpark site, but the enormous success of the skatepark cannot be ignored.

The Australia Day decision was very controversial but has now started an Australia-wide debate if we should change the date of it, and the doom and gloom predictions that it would be a disaster for Fremantle traders did not eventuate.

The Kings Square Project will probably be debated for another ten years but I have no doubt it will help to revitalise the inner city to the benefit of our traders. I find it futile to debate if or if not we need a new civic centre after the decision about it was made years ago, and if it should or should not be erected at our City Square.

What remains disappointing though is that the City of Fremantle still has not made public the full business plan they signed off on with Sirona Capital. We were told before the State Government signed a lease for the offices that it was commercial confidentiality that prevented the business plan being made public, but that excuse is no longer valid.

It is tactically very silly of Fremantle Council to not let us read the Kings Square contracts because it will just give more ammunition to the conspiracy theorists who believe there is something sinister about it all. Transparency and openness should not just be election buzzwords but a given at local government.

We’ll have the chance over the next five months to question and scrutinise the candidates who will step up to represent us and they should all get a fair go. That includes the sitting members because most of them have worked extremely hard over the last four years to do the right thing by the city they love. They too deserve fairness and not the utterly ridiculous and untrue assertions that they are all mere puppets to the Mayor and vote whatever he tells them to vote for. Nothing could be further from the truth, as I have observed personally for around ten years now.

Councillors are very very thorough and they take their responsibilities very serious. The challenge for us voters will be to see through the hot air and bulls… and decide if new contenders will do a better job than those who have the local council experience and knowledge. Be aware that it is easy to make empty promises when one does not understand the process of government.

I will endeavour to act as the Devil’s advocate and Freo’s conscience and report with fairness and balance during the election campaign, as I have done on Freo’s View for seven and a half years.

All Council candidates will get a fair go here and if they send me info about their campaign I will share that with the community, however I will insist on respectful dialogue no matter if you are far left or far right, somewhere in the middle, or just an undecided voter.

Roel Loopers

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RA WANTS STEWARTSHIP OF FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 24, 2017

As flagged here on Freo’s View a few weeks ago former President of the Chamber of Commerce Ra Stewart will nominate for the position of Mayor of Fremantle at the October local government election, opposing present Mayor Brad Pettitt.

Stewart told Business News that she wanted to bring responsible financial management and enthusiasm back to council.

The latter shows Stewart should have attended more Freo Council meetings as there is definitely no lack of enthusiasm at the present council, clearly indicated by their drive for economic recovery, strongly encouraging massive development, which Fremantle has not seen for 30 years.

It will no doubt be a very interesting and hard-fought election and I am expecting at least another two people to put their hand up to oust Brad Pettitt.

Roel Loopers

SILLY PROTEST TO CONTINUE WITH ROE 8

Posted in election, fremantle, perth freight link, roe 8 highway by freoview on March 31, 2017

It’s a day early for April Fools so it must be the real thing that there is a protest against the new WA Labor government stopping the Roe 8 highway.

I believe the very convincing election results have clearly shown the government has a strong mandate to stop Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link, so it is nonsense to now want to force the government to break this promise and have protests and petitions to continue with it when the voters clearly showed they do not want it.

Premier Mark McGowan made it very clear during the election campaign that he would not continue with the highway and tunnel, so it is a waste of time to try to convince the new government to change their mind when they are doing the sensible thing of now negotiating with the contractors to relocate their workforce to other government projects.

We should be more outraged about the wanton destruction of the Beeliar Wetlands by the Barnett government, and that they did go ahead although their own departments recommended not to start there but at Fiona Stanley instead. That should be investigated.

Anyway, if you are so inclined and have nothing better to do, go and waste your time at this useless protest that will achieve absolutely nothing.

It’s at 5 pm today at Bibra  Drive, north of Hope Road.

Roel Loopers

WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S NEW GOVERNMENT

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, western australia by freoview on March 17, 2017

 

If you are getting a bit tired of blaming Fremantle Council for everything that goes wrong, here is a new target.

This is the new Western Australian Mark McGowan Labor government for the next four years, so keep them on their toes and under scrutiny.

I wish the new Premier and Ministers all the best and don’t envy them their task of governing under extremely tight financial conditions.

May they make more good than bad decisions for our state. Good luck!

Roel Loopers

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MANDATE TO STOP ROE 8 QUESTIONED

Posted in election, federal government, fremantle, perth freight link, western australia by freoview on March 15, 2017

The rather delusional Federal Liberal member for Tangney Ben Morton claims the WA state election results show that there is a lot of support in the southern suburbs for the Perth Freight Link/Roe 8 project.

I am not sure how anyone can read into the election results anything else than a very clear mandate for the Mark  McGowan Labor government to stop the Roe 8 project as there are substantial increases in the Labor vote in Fremantle, Bicton, Tangney, etc.

The voting results should also send a clear message to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the federal government that WA does not want to build the Perth Freight Link and that federal funding should be allocated to projects such as the planning for an outer harbour and Metronet public transport.

 

Roel Loopers

LET’S HAVE A ROE 8 EXHIBITION!

Posted in community, democracy, election, fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on March 13, 2017

The Save Beeliar Wetlands and Roe 8-Perth Freight Link community protest has been so successful that I believe there should be an exhibition of photos and videos of what happened over the last years.

Thousands of photos were taken and hours of video recorded and that should not be lost but end up in the Fremantle history library, but first in a big exhibition at the Moores building.

People power had a big impact on the W.A. election on Saturday and there is no doubt in my mind that Labor’s Lisa O’Malley won the seat of Bicton because of the Roe 8 issues.

Saturday’s election was not so much about the Labor win but more about democracy and how we all can make a difference when we stand up for what we believe in. It takes guts to do that and I greatly admire those who never protested before but who took on leadership because they wanted to leave their children a better place.

Forget all the politics and parties and all the negativity and see the very positive message the Roe 8 community protest has delivered. It is about us the people! We are not numbers. We are passionate people who care about our environment and community and we know we are just the custodians for a short time. That brings with it a great responsibility to look after our planet for future generations.

Well done all and a great strong and deep message for all politicians in Australia.

Let’s have that exhibition!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE VOTES FOR COFFEE

Posted in cafe, coffee, election, fremantle by freoview on March 11, 2017

 

It’s quite clear what the people of Freo’s Chalkys cafe at the Roundhouse want you to vote for.

Roel Loopers

THE FUTURE OF W.A. IN OUR HANDS TODAY

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, western australia by freoview on March 11, 2017

 

It’s W.A. Election Day!

There is an overkill of signs at all the polling boots around Fremantle. Volunteers from all parties were out all through the night to put them up, so good on them for their commitment.

Long queues already at the Beacy Primary School at 8 am and it’s going to be a warm day so enjoy the sausage sizzles and cake stalls.

Vote wisely!

Roel Loopers

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