Freo's View

COULD PM CLOSE STATE BORDERS TO FIGHT COVID-19?

 

Just thinking aloud. What if Clive Palmers’ challenge in the High Court is successful and the closure of WA borders unlawful?

From Victoria we hear that fighting Covid-19 is actually federal responsibility, so would it be legal then for PM Scott Morrison to order the closure of state borders to protect the lives of many Australians?

But it would remain forever a mystery to me what use state borders and state governments are if the High Court orders the WA borders to be re-opened.

Roel Loopers

SIX COVID-19 CASES ON AL KUWAIT AT FREMANTLE PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, covid-19, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on May 26, 2020

 

It is quite outrageous that the Federal Government gave permission for the live sheep vessel Al Kuwait to berth in Fremantle Port, with now six of its 48 crew members diagnosed with Covid-19. They were taken off the ship and transported by bus to a Perth hotel for isolation.

Fremantle and Western Australia have had to deal with coronavirus passengers from cruise ships and now one of the regular live trade ships to Fremantle Port is allowed to come here, although they reported that some crew members were unwell.

Premier Mark McGowan is rightly very upset about this and so should the Fremantle community and people of Western Australia!

Roel Loopers

NO, IT IS NOT ESSUNTIAL!

Posted in beaches, city of fremantle, community, covid-19, health, Uncategorized by freoview on April 13, 2020

 

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For those who believe the directives of the government are ambiguous and that sun baking on the beach is fine, here the very clear message from the Federal Government as printed in the Sunday Times yesterday.

So far we have been extremely lucky in Australia, thanks to good federal and states governance, with only 61 people recorded dying from the Covid-19 virus.

In the USA it is a staggering 20,600 deaths, and rising and in the UK 10,000 with a lot more deaths expected.

This is not the time for us to become complacent, or for our governments to start talking about relaxing the rules, because of constant pressure that we need to worry about the economy.

We all need to live for quite a bit longer with the social distancing and staying at home directives, and we all realise that it will become much harder to do so over a longer period and the winter months, but it needs to be done to not endanger the lives of other people and ourselves.

Stay safe and well, Freo!

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE MP CALLS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

Posted in city of fremantle, covid-19, federal government, health, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 10, 2020

 

Fremantle Federal MP Josh Wilson has called for the Morrison government to change its rules and support local governments, as many of our councils are in financial difficulties because of the Covid-19 crisis, and some might have to let staff go.

Fremantle is losing a lot of revenue because of lack of parking fees and fines, no income from concerts at the arts centre, no income from the Leisure Centre and no income from commercial property leases, etc.

Josh Wilson says:

“Local governments are working to reduce fees, rents, and parking charges to assist households and businesses through this difficult time, and they are delivering new support services for those struggling to deal with self-isolation, especially the elderly. But these changes affect the bottom line for local government, and the mandated closure of many public facilities means both a loss of revenue and the need to stand-down thousands of employees.
 
It makes no sense whatsoever for local government to be excluded from the JobKeeper package. Labor led the push for a wage subsidy in response to the crisis and we support the introduction of the $130 billion package, but it could and should have been broader in its scope. In parliament the government blocked Labor’s amendments, but the parliament has already given the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, the ability to make adjustments and so the exclusion of local government can be repaired at the stroke of his pen.

As it stands there will be millions of Australian workers who will not be provided with decent wage-replacing support, and who will unnecessarily be disconnected from their employing business or organisation. That puts a sharp burden on displaced workers and it means we will not be in the best position to recover when the crisis has past.

Local government is a foundation stone of community services and attractions in the form of libraries, recreation facilities, and broad arts and cultural activities. On the other side of this crisis we will need local government to lead the way in re-opening and rebuilding. The phase we are in now is survival. In the recovery phase local government will be a key partner in delivering projects, services, and events that will create work, attract visitors, support business, and encourage the broader community to get back to an active and engaged life together. But this will be seriously hampered if local government has been unnecessarily smashed and shrunken in the meantime.

 In Cockburn, each month of closure will see Cockburn ARC forgo $1 million in revenue that’s ordinarily used to cover staffing costs. For now, the City of Cockburn is retaining the ARC’s 38 full and part-time staff and 200 casual workers, but that is an almost $1 million commitment that will be shouldered by ratepayers.

In Fremantle, the city will lose almost $700,000 per month in revenue with the closure of the Fremantle Leisure Centre, Fremantle Arts Centre, and loss of lease income where businesses have closed. The jobs of more than 200 Fremantle local government workers are at risk.”

Fremantle senior staff and elected members have agreed on a voluntary 20 per cent pay cut for six months, and while that is appreciated it will make little difference in compensating for the severely decreased revenue of the City.

Roel Loopers

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DIFFERENT RULES FOR CRUISE SHIPS

 

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I do not understand why the Federal Government has different rules for cruise ships in New South Wales  than it has for cruise liners in Western Australia.

While we have been told that the MS Artania will remain in Fremantle Port for another fortnight to self quarantine, Border Force was literary out in real force off Sydney yesterday, and threats were made to the captains of the cruise ships that hefty fines and/or a five year jail sentence would apply if they did not leave Australian waters.

That of course comes after the absolutely unacceptable debacle of the Ruby Princess, where most states are still affected by the stupidity of allowing Covid-19 infected passengers to disembark in Sydney. Through them the virus has spread nation wide. Up to today 612 passengers and crew have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

I am not arguing to let people rot and die, but I want to know why different rules apply in the Eastern States, and I want to know also if state and federal governments are going to invoice the cruise companies for cleaning up their mess.

I for one really like it that many of the Ruby Princess passengers are taking out a class action against the company, because what happened should never have happened, and someone in the NSW government should also get the boot. Incompetence can not be left unpunished.

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And from me a big thumbs up to the WA McGowan government for doing a splendid job under extremely trying circumstances!

Roel Loopers

COVID CRISIS NO TIME FOR PLAY

Posted in children, city of fremantle, community, covid-19, family, local government, skating, Uncategorized by freoview on March 31, 2020

 

 

It is sad to see the Fremantle Esplanade children’s playground closed because of the coronavirus, that comes out of the necessity for social distancing. It will be hard for parents, who have to restrict going out with their kids, to not be able to go to the playgrounds, but we all have to do as much as we can to try to stop the spread of this horrible virus.

I did not see any signs at the Esplanade Youth Plaza skate park to make users aware they can no longer use the facility, but the place was empty anyway mid afternoon today.

Stay safe, Freo and look after each other!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE CRUISE SHIP UPDATE

Posted in city of fremantle, covid-19, cruises, cruiseship, fremantle ports, health, Uncategorized by freoview on March 29, 2020

 

Latest from the cruise ship debacle in Fremantle is that the MSC Magnifica, after restocking, will finally leave our shores, so although there are no reported cases of coronavirus on board that vessel, she will finally leave, as WA Premier Mark McGowan insisted on.

The MS Artania has now 47 infected people, so fewer than the 70 cases reported. They will be cared for at two western suburbs private hospitals.

The Western Australian passengers on the Vasco da Gama will be transferred to Rottnest Island on Monday for two weeks of isolation, while the interstate and overseas passengers will be driven to the Perth airport to fly straight back home.

While there is a lot of criticism of all our governments we need to acknowledge that the Covid-19 is an unprecedented crisis and policy is made on the run, as the issues change and problems increase.

There are no easy solutions, no quick fixes, and this is not a government problem but a problem that all of us as a community, and as the global village need to attack. Stay as home as much as you can. Do physically connect with people as little as possible, and ideally not at all. Go for a healthy walk to get some fresh air, but don’t use it to socialise.

Get a take away coffee, but don’t linger. Stay away from each other when going for an early morning swim, but don’t stay on to sun bake for hours.

Socialise on the phone or via the internet, us Skype and Facetime, etc, but don’t invite friends over for dinner or drinks!

Apply common sense and think of other people!

WASH YOUR HANDS! WASH YOUR HANDS! WASH YOUR HANDS!

Roel Loopers

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MERCY FLIGHTS FOR ARTANIA PASSENGERS

 

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The German MS ARTANIA cruise liner was allowed to berth at Victoria Quay in Fremantle Port after all, when a compromise was reached and the Federal Government arranged with the German government for three charter flights to take the over 800 passengers to Frankfurt.

The passengers will embark from the ship straight onto buses which will be escorted and go directly to the airport. They are only allowed to take one piece of luggage with them each.

Peter Hughes Drive to the Passenger Terminal has been closed, so no one can get near it who does not have to be there

Five passengers and two crew members who have Covid-19 symptoms will be treated here in Perth.

I believe this is a good outcome for all, with a mercy dash to Germany that won’t compromise the health of Western Australians.

Roel Loopers

FREO MARKETS ESSENTIAL FOOD SUPPLIERS

 

It is good news that, with all the coronavirus restrictions in place, the Fremantle Markets and the Freo Farmers Markets are allowed to continue trading, as they have been classified as essential services providers for fresh food.

It will no doubt be a far more pleasant experience to shop for fruit and vegetables, etc. there than in the panic buy environment of supermarkets.

It was very quiet around Fremantle last night with hospitality providers struggling to do the right thing and create the 4 square metre distance between patrons the Federal Government is demanding. At the Synagogue every second table was off limits to create distance between the patrons, and that worked well in the outdoor area where I sat with a friend.

So far though the rules appear ambiguous. Could cafes create larger tables by putting two or three together and thus creating space between the tables, but are strangers allowed to sit together at large bench tables that we see at Bread in Common for example?

We all will have to adapt an relax and embrace it as a community challenge. We will get through it, and most of us unharmed!

Roel Loopers

FOUR SQUARE METRES PER PERSON IN CAFES

Posted in cafe, city of fremantle, health, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on March 20, 2020

 

This is important for the Fremantle hospitality industry!

Latest from the PM this morning in a live media conference:

New rules today for cafes, restaurants, all enclosed spaces. On indoor non-essential gatherings, PM says the rule is one person per four square metres.

Maybe the City of Fremantle can be supportive here and offer cafes larger alfresco areas, without increasing the fees, so more people can enjoy a coffee and meal outside, instead of in the confined interiors of cafes.

Roel Loopers

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