Freo's View

MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN THE LETTER BOX

Posted in family, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2017

 

yes 1

yes 2

 

I just received my Marriage Equality ballot paper in the letterbox, so make sure to tick the YES box and put it in the mail fast.

I vote YES because I believe everyone should have the right to make an official commitment to love.

 

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

AUSTRALIA DAY THREAT TO LOCAL COUNCILS

Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 15, 2017

 

Australia Day smoking ceremony in the Fremantle Roundhouse

 

According to a report in the West Australian today the Federal Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection has written to all 547 local councils in Australia, and warned them that they will be stripped off their right to hold citizenship ceremonies, if there are politically motivated attacks on Australia Day.

Fremantle Council this year stopped the Australia Day firework on January 26 and instead had a One Day event on the Esplanade on the 28th.

The fireworks still went ahead and were paid for by the Fishing Boat Harbour traders.

I am not sure that I consider the now national discussion about a more appropriate date to celebrate Australia Day as political motivated. It is only genuine consideration for Australia’s indigenous people, who consider January 26 as invasion day.

 

Roel Loopers

LOCAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT JUST (ABOUT) RUBBISH

Posted in australia day, city of fremantle, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on July 31, 2017

 

With the Fremanle local government election just two months and three weeks away I have been contemplating what the role of local government actually is.

Some people in our community believe it is all about delivering services, collecting rubbish, cleaning streets, etc. but is there a bigger picture our Elected Members should also be involved in?

I personally believe there is because local politicians are the closest to grassroots democracy and should inspire state and federal governments.

I asked Dr. Martin Drum, Professor of Politics and International Relations and Chief of Staff of the Vice Chancellor at Fremantle Notre Dame University and this was his reply:

“Elected representatives have both a deliberative and representative function. We focus a lot on the deliberative part, where our MPs and councillors are empowered to make decisions on our behalf. They decide what proposed developments can and cant proceed, they decide what does and doesn’t get funded. Some people argue that this is all our elected representatives should do.

But our representatives are also expected to represent the community which elects them. In electing them, we have authorised them to do this. Representation is arguably even more important than deliberation because it helps shape the identity of a community. Our councillors are the voice of the people they represent. If you ask me, its especially important for elected representatives to speak up for people who dont have the capacity to represent themselves.

Fremantle is a special part of Western Australia. It’s a little different to other areas. Local representatives need to speak to this difference. That is why the council, the sum body of local representatives in Fremantle, should feel free to speak up about the date of Australia Day, especially if their community has communicated this to them.

Elected representatives get judged not only by the decisions they make but also by how effective they are at representing people.

Whether a particular policy position is a good or bad one (such as moving Australia Day, opposing Roe 8, banning plastic bags) is up to the Fremantle community to judge, but there is no doubt that elected representatives are entitled to speak about them. We expect that people we elect become a voice of the people they represent, so they should speak up.

Those who are running as alternatives should likewise feel free to express their views on these issues. Competition for political office is healthy and should be welcomed. We then expect the public to judge them on that come the next election. That’s why I think being accountable and transparent is important.

Personally I always hope that debate focuses on the issues rather than the person, but that’s a pretty idealistic position these days.”

There is no doubt though that Council needs to have its priorities right and that people in the community rightly complain when basic maintenance is not done. One has to consider and acknowledge though that the day to day running of the City of Fremantle is done by the administration.

There is also an absolute and non-negotiable need for excellent community consultation, which was lacking on the Australia Day changes. This should have been handled much better as it polarised the community and became a political, and sadly sometimes racist, debate.

The positive thing about the initiative of Fremantle Council is that the Australia Day date and plastic bags ban now have become a national debate and that looks like pretty healthy democracy to me.

I agree with Dr Martin Drum that the debate should focus on issues rather than on the person. Respectful dialogue is essential to move forward together, and I especially am aware that it is not always easy to keep that in mind when one has a passion for Freo.

 

Roel Loopers

GREENS ABILITY TO SHINE IN CANBERRA

Posted in fremantle, greens, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on July 28, 2017

 

Isn’t it interesting how difficult it appears to be to walk the talk, no matter if one is on the right or left side of politics.

According to the West Australian today the WA Greens are in a bit of turmoil after the dual-citizenship resignation of Senator Scott Ludlam.

The person who came second on the ballot has got the right to step into Ludlam’s position and go to Canberra, but that person is 22-year-old Jordon Steele-John.

Not only is Jordon just 22 but he is also disabled, so now the Greens are lamenting that it should be decided by the grassroots members of the party who will follow Scott Ludlam.

I have witnessed Jordon Steele-John a few times during community forums and he is a very intelligent young man who speaks very well and is really likeable, so why not give him the go he deserves?

It is not as if there are a lot of good breaks in life for disabled people, and if we talk about quotas in politics disabled people are rarely mentioned.

Jordon would be a breath of fresh air in the Canberra Senate and has the intelligence to grow into the job and become an excellent representative for Fremantle.

 

Roel Loopers

FREO GREENS SENATOR SCOTT LUDLAM RESIGNS

Posted in fremantle, greens, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on July 14, 2017

Sad to hear Fremantle Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has resigned after he became aware that he has dual citizenship in Australia and New Zealand, which could be a breach of the constitution.

Ludlam did not want to go through a possible High Court challenge and decided to resign from the Senate instead. He had not realised that he had not renounced his NZ citizenship.

Scott Ludlam only recently recovered from a mental health issue and has been a very active Senator for Western Australia.

It will be interesting to see who will replace him.

Thank you for all your hard work Scott!

Roel Loopers

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

GOOD, BAD AND UGLY FREMANTLE 2016

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, development, local government, politics, tourism by freoview on December 26, 2016

2016 has been a big year for Fremantle, so I want to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

A few things stand out for me and the first one is the national exposure of the Australia Day changes the City of Fremantle made. I believe it is positive that there is now a national debate if January 26 is the appropriate date to celebrate Australia.

The most positive change in Fremantle is seeing so many substantial building sites in the CBD after our city had been in the development desert for decades. The news that state government departments will be moving into Kings Square is huge for Fremantle and so are the Liv, Heirloom, Hilton Doubletree, Quest, Spotlight and other major developments. However, the most disappointing aspect of all the Fremantle development is the mediocrity of most buildings. It’s a shame that planning laws are not stronger and more specific in that regard.

A great win for the community was the rejection by the WA Planning Commission and the State Administrative Tribunal of the proposed tavern at J Shed, but Sunset Events still has a 25-year-lease so we’ll need to wait till July to see if they will take that up and what they will be proposing this time.

Not so positive is the attempt to make historic Arthur Head into the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct. The eviction of residents at Captain’s Lane has resulted in the verandas and backyards of the cottages being used by homeless people at night and most of he new artists studios have done little to activate the area, and neither has the Walyalup Aboriginal Centre which has been a costly failure.

Absolutely fantastic to see the historic Warders and Gunners cottages restored and people living in them again. It has been a long battle by Fremantle City and the community to stop the neglect and we finally got outstanding results.

Also great that historically significant Cantonment Hill will be developed into an attraction for locals and visitors and the old Signal Station being used again by Fremantle Sea Rescue.

Disappointing is the corporate greed of the Fremantle Dockers football club who are demanding a large million-dollar payout from the City of Fremantle to relinquish their long-term lease on Fremantle Oval.

Community negativity has been a disappointing feature of the year and social media is frequently showing the nasty face of keyboard heroes, who often are uninformed and make comments and judgements based on ignorance. I like a good debate and engaging with people who have different opinions, but the nastiness and name-calling is distasteful, unnecessary and inappropriate.

Good community consultation and information is still lacking and makes the interaction between Council and the community often negative. There is too much inconsistency and tokenism. Community engagement happens too late in the process where it inevitably becomes reactive and negative. That needs to improve!

There is no doubt that there is a lot of room for improvement, especially at the basic levels of city maintenance and cleaning, and WA Police need to do a whole lot better addressing the anti-social and crime issues in Fremantle.

The City of Fremantle also needs to start getting serious about the ageing population in Australia and our city and needs to find a better balance between youth interest and that of older people in town.

City expenditure is at a dangerous level and that has to become the number one priority in 2017 for Fremantle Council. There needs to be a more realistic financial approach to what the city can afford because it is following dangerously into the footsteps of the State Government of over-spending.

Fremantle needs to have a debate on what good development for our city is and how we can stop the glut of ugliness we are getting in the the city. The fact that Fremantle Council gets overruled by Joint Development Assessment Panels and State Administrative Tribunal is a worry as we need to retain the unique character of Freo because that is why tourists come here.

Tourism needs to be more appreciated and looked after with more than 60 cruiseliners visiting Freo this summer. The visitors’ numbers at the Roundhouse are significantly up this year, so we need to have more attractions to keep the tourists in town longer. I would like to see a real physical interpretation of the former Whaling Station at Bathers Beach and also a migrant museum.

A mere $ 10,000 for power into the Roundhouse so that a $ 200,000 new display project can be undertaken should be supported by Fremantle City. It’s the sum of money the City has given for a solar parklet in Wray Avenue that will not attract even 1% of the 135,000 visitors the Roundhouse gets.

The selection of candidates for the federal election was a bit of a farce with Liberal candidate Sherry Sufi pulling out, to be replaced by equally unknown Pierrette Kelly, while Labor engaged in the unnecessary and unfair humiliation of Chris Brown who was replaced by former Freo Deputy Mayor, and my preferred candidate, Josh Wilson. Josh is our new MP in Canberra.

port-sunrise

A possible swap at McGabe Street in North Fremantle where parts would go to Mosman Park is interesting in the context of the failed local government reform. It looks to me like piecemeal governance.

The sale of Fremantle Port and the building of the Perth Freight Link will not eventuate should the Labor party form government after the March 2017 election, so it is disappointing that the Barnett government is fast tracking the Roe 8 Highway extension and the destruction of the wetlands instead of waiting for the election outcome.

Heritage protection remains critical and needs to remain a priority for Fremantle Council. It is not necessary to compromise heritage to appease developers. There are many other locations outside the West End that are better suited for higher density and building height. Community vigilance is essential to keep inappropriate development out of the inner city.

I love living in Fremantle and I love engaging with the community. It disappoints me that there is so much negativity in this great city and that so few people participate in the democratic local government process, and I hope that will change in 2017.

We all can make a positive difference to our city and be part of the solution when we respectfully engage with the Elected Members and CoF staff, and they with the community. That is my wish for the New Year. Have a very happy one!

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on GOOD, BAD AND UGLY FREMANTLE 2016

PATHETIC CANBERRA FORCES FREO CITIZENSHIP EVENT

Posted in australia day, citizenship, city of fremantle, local governmet by freoview on December 9, 2016

Two conflicting reports in the media today with the West Australian reporting the City of Fremantle missed the deadline to announce a date for the January citizenship ceremony, while the Fremantle Herald reports it will be held on January 26 at the Town hall, after the Federal Assistant Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke refused Fremantle to hold it on any other day in January, not even on Sunday the 29th during the Fremantle Arts Centre courtyard music session.

Enough has been said about Australia Day but I’d like to say to the Assistant Minister that great politicians find solutions and compromises, but his stand shows that he is just a power-hungry little man with a my way or the highway attitude that is unbecoming to a minister of the crown. No wonder the Liberal government is failing to make a significant impact with mediocre politicians like Alex Hawke.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on PATHETIC CANBERRA FORCES FREO CITIZENSHIP EVENT

TURNBULL GOVERNMENT FORBIDS FREO CITIZENSHIP EVENT

Posted in australia day, city of fremantle by freoview on December 8, 2016

The federal Assistant Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke has forbidden Fremantle Council to conduct a citizenship ceremony on January 28 during the One Day in Fremantle family concert with John Butler, Mama Kin and others, because he considers the concert to be a political event.

I believe Fremantle should throw it back in the face of the ass minister and his righteous Liberal government and now hold the citizenship ceremony on Sunday the 29th before or after the traditional courtyard music session at the Fremantle Arts Centre, and let’s throw a prawn or 100 on the barbie and show how Freo celebrates our history and multiculturalism!

Roel Loopers

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BULLIES FREO COUNCIL

Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, federal government, local government by freoview on December 2, 2016

I find it quite amusing to read that the Federal Assistant Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke has threatened Fremantle Council that the government could revoke Fremantle’s ability to conduct citizenship ceremonies because it will no longer have an event on Australia Day on January 26, but instead a big concert on January 28.

The Ass. Minister said council could not politicise the national celebrations of Australia Day.

Citizenship ceremonies all over Australia are held on days other than Australia day, so I see no reason why the City of Fremantle should be forced to hold one on January 26.

I would also like to know how many WA councils and shires celebrate Australia Day with events other than citzenship ceremonies. Has anyone in the commercial mass media bothered to check?

Roel Loopers

 

 

%d bloggers like this: