Freo's View

ONLY TWO MORE DAYS TO NOMINATE FOR FREMANTLE COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 10, 2019

 

Nominations for the Fremantle local government election close this Thursday September 12 at close of business, so if you have the desire to become one of Freo’s new Councillors don’t miss the deadline.

The postal election is on October 19 and East Ward and Hilton Ward will have new elected members as Ingrid Waltham and Jeff McDonald have announced they will not nominate.

We know that Rachel Pemberton in City Ward and Bryn Jones in North Fremantle will try to get another four years and South Ward Councillor Jon Strachan told me last Wednesday that he will nominate as well, while Beaconsfield Ward Dave Hume had not made up his mind a week ago.

Local councils are very important and give the community a chance to particip[ate, so please don’t waste your vote!

If you have nominated, or intend to do so, let me know please so I can let the Fremantle community know who the candidates are.

Roel Loopers

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LOCAL COUNCILLOR A THANKLESS TASK

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, election, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 1, 2019

 

The Local Government Election is a mere seven weeks away and we already know that in Fremantle at least two Councillors, Waltham and McDonald, will not nominate to get re-elected, so a chance for some new faces on Council.

I believe that local council is the closest we get to grassroots democracy and that is probably why many people are often critical of the Elected Members and feel disenfranchised and not represented by their Council. That is not a unique issue for Fremantle as community newspapers all over the Perth region are full with letters to editors complaining about their councils.

Fact is though that the community, well, those of us who bother to vote at local government elections, elected the Council we are having and that many of our Councillors have been re-elected, which presumably is a vote of confidence for what they have been doing.

North Ward Councillor Doug Thompson is one of the longest sitting members on Fremantle Council, Mayor Brad Pettitt was elected three times, South Ward Councillors Andrew Sullivan and Jon Strachan were re-elected and so were City Ward Councillor Rachel Pemberton and Beaconsfield Ward’s Dave Hume, so it is wrong to say that our Councillors do not represent the community.

It is impossible for any government to please everyone. I often don’t agree with the Federal Liberal government, but have to accept that they were elected by the people. Those on the left of politics feel misrepresented by those on the right of politics and vice versa, that is a simple reality we all have to accept in our democracy.

I disagree with some of the decisions made at Fremantle Council and agree with others, that is the nature of us humans that we have different opinions, tastes and preferences. One only has to sit through Planning Committee meetings to realise Councillors cannot please everyone. While neighbours of a proposed development will argue about losing privacy, overshadowing, etc. the proponents will say that their plans have little impact on the neighbours, so who is right? At the end Councillors will have to abide by the rules and regulations and advise from the expert planning staff and design advisory panel. Whatever decision they make will please some and upset others, that is government for you.

Being a Councillor is a thankless task, although the community should be grateful that people stand up and are willing to do the hard yards on council. Councillors are members of our community, they are like you and me and live in Fremantle, and they also have to live like all of us with the democratic decisions made.

When I read about the shambles at the City of Perth I feel even more comfortable with the Elected Members we have in Fremantle, because all of them are there to do their very best for our community and city. They might not always get it right but they make decisions with integrity and without fear or favour, and that is what we elected them to do.

PLEASE do vote on October 19 and if you really want to make a positive contribution to our city nominate and try to become a local Councillor!

Roel Loopers

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READY TO VOTE AT THE FREMANTLE COUNCIL ELECTION?

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, elections, local government, Uncategorized, voting by freoview on August 19, 2019

 

Local government is the closest we get to grassroots democracy, so it is extremely important to vote at local council elections. The people we vote on Council will represent us for four years, so don’t be complacent and help get the Council you believe will best represent the Fremantle community. This is especially important for young people who have just reached voting age!

Are you enrolled to vote for Fremantle’s next local government election on October 19?

You can check your enrollment status by visiting https://check.aec.gov.au/ or by contacting 13 63 06. Enrollments close Friday August 30.

Roel Loopers

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NEW HILTON FACE FOR FREMANTLE COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, hilton, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 11, 2019

 

Fremantle Hilton Ward Councillor Jeff McDonald has announced on Facebook that he won’t try to retain his seat on Council at the October local government election, as it is very hard to balance family and work commitments with council duties for him.

Jeff is very busy as a health professional at Fremantle and Fiona Stanley hospitals, so the Fremantle community owes him a lot of gratitude for his commitment.

I have been impressed with Jeff’s dedication and commitment, his willingness to listen and learn and to always put his community first.

Thanks Jeff!

 

Roel Loopers

SILLY MEDIA PUSH FOR REJECTED PERTH FREIGHT LINK

 

I find it quite astonishing that the West Australian and its related West Media outlets keep pushing for the Roe 8 highway to be built when the McGowan Labor government received a clear mandate for scrapping the Perth Freight Link when it won the last WA election by a huge landslide.

While the West never forgets to remind us that the Federal Liberal government have a mandate because they won the recent election that does not appear to apply for Western Australian politics.

The Perth Freight Link was a failed concept that did not have a solution for the bottleneck in North Fremantle.  Recent articles and letters failed to acknowledge that according to Mainroads 90 per cent of vehicles using the PFL would be private vehicles, so it is wrong to suggest this was just going to be some kind of fast toll road for trucks to and from Fremantle Port.

Now that the new state government has established the Westport Taskforce to see what the best location for a new port might be it is highly premature for the West and state and federal Liberal politicians to keep pushing for Roe 8, 9, 10 and whatever. Let’s just wait and see what the recommendations of the task force are before spending billions of dollars on a highway extension that might not be needed.

The people voted against Roe 8 so the McGowan government has a mandate to not build it.

Roel Loopers

FREO MP JOSH WILSON IN SHADOW CABINET

Posted in city of fremantle, election, environment, federal government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on June 3, 2019

 

Congratulations to Fremantle Federal MP Josh Wilson who was appointed Assistant Shadow Minister for the Environment by new Labor leader Anthony Albanese.

I was impressed with Josh Wilson when he was on Fremantle Council and always knew he would step up pretty fast in Canberra.

Well done and good luck Josh!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ELECTION CANDIDATES DEBATE

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, federal government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 28, 2019

 

debate

 

Early notice that the traditional Federal Election Candidates Forum will be held in Fremantle on Wednesday May 8 from 6.30-10pm.

The debate will be in the ABC TV Q&A style with former political reporter and now Notre Dame University lecturer Peter Holland as moderator, assisted by Steve Grant the Chief of Staff of the Fremantle Herald.

It will be held at Tannock Hall of NDA at Cliff Street, just opposite the Herald building.

All candidates have been invited but it is too early to say which ones have confirmed attendance.

Will Fremantle get more than just a new traffic bridge should Labor win the election Josh Wilson?

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S YELLOW BATTLE CONTINUES

 

high 5

 

Fremantle is an intriguing place with a fascinating community. Many of us mainly see the beauty and the special unique character of our city, but when one reads Freo Massive one could believe we live in a war zone where everything is wrong, especially ‘those bloody hopeless Councillors and administration of the City of Fremantle’.

With that in mind, I was stunned to see the painting contractors for the City removing the yellow foil on the High Street building owned by former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri, since he has issued a writ against the City of Fremantle, and that legal battle is still ongoing.

The City tells me “The City in still in legal action with the property owner, however he has agreed to allow the City to undertake the removal work.” That  sounds to me as if the owner is having a bob each way.

It will always remain hypothetical if Tagliaferri would also have taken legal action if his preferred Mayoral candidate Ra Stewart had won the last election, but for now he alleges that the City allowed the yellow Felice Varini Arcs D’Ellipse  artwork to be applied to his building without his approval. The court will in due course rule on that and we’ll all know more.

Freo, great one day, a total bloody mess the next one, hey! 😩 😍 😆

High Street is looking better than ever though, and there are still quite a few buildings where the yellow foil needs to be removed before it becomes a total picture paradise.

Roel Loopers

 

TRAINING FOR LOCAL COUNCILLORS

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on March 15, 2019

 

Local Government Minister David Templeman has announced that he wants to introduce online inductions for local council candidates before the October election this year.

Newly Elected Members would also be required to attend further training within a year of being elected.

I think this is a very good idea, because very many of local council candidates have little or no knowledge about local government process.

The one question I will be asking council candidates in Fremantle during the October election forums this year is how many Council and Council Committee meetings they attended this year.

Those who are not prepared to do that basic home work won’t be getting my vote and should not receive any from the community either. Just criticising the present Council is not a good election platform, especially if one does not understand how local government works.

Roel Loopers

 

COMPULSORY COUNCIL VOTING ON THE CARDS

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2018

 

The team of Local Government Minister David Templeman has been busy with ideas for reforming the local government act, as I published also earlier this week.

Other ideas have been released that would implement compulsory voting at local council elections, which I believe is a great idea, and also scrapping the first pas the post voting system, which has been manipulated a bit too much for my liking. Election donations for candidates by developers would also no longer be allowed.

Here some more of the proposals, which include that charities would have to start paying council rates, but no mention of religious and educational institutions, which are currently also exempt from paying council rates.

The discussion paper includes these proposals:

  • Introduction of compulsory voting in local government elections, scrapping first-past-the-post voting and replacing it with optional preferential.
  • Spending limits on the campaigns for council candidates, and also banning donations from property developers, the tobacco, liquor, and gambling industries
  •  Removing investment regulations preventing councils sinking ratepayers money into financial instruments not guaranteed by the Commonwealth or state government
  • Councils to secure debt against property rather then only future rates, Permit local governments to guarantee finance for building upgrades for developers and non-residential property owners.
  • Councils to charge higher rates for properties using more services.
  • Abolishing rates exemptions for charities and aged care facilities run by charities,

There is no doubt for me that local government reform is needed and it looks like there are some very good proposals in the discussion paper.

Roel Loopers

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