Freo's View

FREO’S $ 47 MILLION GOVERNANCE COST

Posted in budget, city of fremantle, finances, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 28, 2018

Governance

 

Two very large sums of expenditure  in the budget for the City of Fremantle, but what really is governance?

Employee costs are a whopping $ 37,809.270 but then there is also $ 47,083.216 costs for governance.  Surely our 13 Elected Members don’t get that much, so what is the money for, or is it just a way of hiding more staff costs?

Please explain CEO Phil StJohn. Thank you!

 

Roel Loopers

 

Henty's

 

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

 

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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FIVE MILLION DOLLAR PRESENT FOR FREMANTLE?

Posted in budget, city of fremantle, finances, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 26, 2018

 

It’s always good to start the weekend, especially a wet and stormy one, with good news about Fremantle, even if that news is so far only a rumour on the grapevine, but I expect Freo City to officially confirm it next week.

So what’s the good news? The City has received an unexpected and very welcome $ 5 million present, I hear from my always reliable sources, so where did the money come from and what will it be spent on?

I don’t believe they won Lotto or went to the casino, and I strongly reject the nasty thoughts that the present comes from Sunset Events. ; >)

The Fremantle Roundhouse volunteers are in need of only $ 200,000 for new interpretive historic displays, so make that a priority please Fremantle Council! Thank you in advance.

Roel Loopers

FUNDING FOR FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE PROJECT

 

First State Super, Sirona Capital and Altis Property Partners announced they have signed a $190m funding package agreement, comprising construction and term debt, for the Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment.

Kings Square Fremantle is underwritten by a 15-year lease to the WA State Government for 20,000sqm over five levels and across two buildings to accommodate some functions of the Department of Communities, mainly Housing.

The project also includes the introduction of FOMO (Fremantle on My Own), a new urban retail, food and dining destination in a concept which is authentically Fremantle, and the full refurbishment of the 830 bay multi-deck Queensgate car park.

Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly said he was excited to have First State Super on board as a funding partner for the transformational Kings Square Fremantle project. “What sets this project apart from others is that we have actively sought to conceptualise, plan and deliver it in ways that reset traditional thinking for projects of this type, size and scale,”

 

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FREMANTLE ELECTORS MEETING TONIGHT!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 21, 2018

 

A reminder that the annual City of Fremantle Electors Meeting will be held at 6pm this evening at the Fremantle Townhall.

Ask questions, put in motions, grill our elected members and staff. This is your evening.

Roel Loopers

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LATEST FROM SIRONA CAPITAL

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, sirona capital, Uncategorized by freoview on February 8, 2018

I just received this media release from Sirona Capital so just want to keep everyone in the loop:

8 February 2018

Comment from Sirona Capital Managing Director Matthew McNeilly Re: Cooper and Oxley

Sirona Capital is being drawn into Cooper and Oxley’s current financial issues when it is widely known throughout the industry that their problems are associated with the construction of a new office/retail/hotel project, Subi XO, located at 500 Hay Street, Subiaco.

There are substantial inaccuracies and rewriting of history in Cooper and Oxley’s writ which will be detailed in our defence if this legal action proceeds.

Cooper and Oxley is a unit holder in the Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment, an investment position they took in 2011, and which represents less than three per cent of the overall $220m cost of the project.

This investment cannot be construed to be a loan. Cooper and Oxley is a sophisticated wholesale investor and are aware that real estate equity investments of this type can be, at times, illiquid.

Cooper and Oxley’s involvement in the Kings Square, Fremantle project is limited to their investment in the Trust. They were among several firms who tendered for the construction contract for Kings Square Fremantle. Their tender was unsuccessful. Tenders were assessed on several criteria including price, expertise, capability and financial stability.

After being approached by Cooper and Oxley, Sirona Capital has been assisting Cooper and Oxley’s investment by selling their units in the investment trust. This legal action may undermine the ability to achieve that outcome. To be clear, Cooper and Oxley have always had the ability to do this themselves at any time.

The decision by Cooper and Oxley to pursue a legal remedy and the claims it is making in relation to Sirona’s management of the investment fund will be defended vigorously.

The Kings Square Fremantle redevelopment is now underway. Since signing a 15-year lease with the State Government in late 2016, the pace of work has recently escalated to deliver the commercial component within the Government’s timeframes. Probuild has mobilised on site and significant work has already been undertaken to prepare the former Myer building and the Queensgate building for demolition works, which have begun.

 

HISTORIC LAST COUNCIL MEETING TODAY

Posted in city of fremantle, kings square, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 13, 2017

 

It looks like the historic last Ordinary Council meeting in the old Fremantle civic centre could be a very long one this evening.

There are many interesting items on the agenda, where members of the community will want to address Councillors about, so I’ll be in for the long haul.

Here some of the items on the agenda:

  • Annual Financial statement
  • Report on Financial Management Review
  • Proposed tavern at J Shed
  • Local Planning Policy for the Beaconsfield and White Gum Valley town centres
  • Planning policy for taverns and hotels in the CBD
  • Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre future
  • South Terrace traffic calming in South Fremantle
  • Safe Hampton Road crossing at Scott Street

City of Fremantle staff will be moving to Fremantle Oval from Monday December 18 and the next Council meetings will be held in North Fremantle and other location until the new Civic Centre has been built at Kings Square.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE FINANCIALLY SOUND SAYS MINISTER

Posted in city of fremantle, development, economy, finances, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2017

 

I am not a big fan of publishing media releases by Freo City, or anyone else for that matter, but this one about the City of Fremantle’s financial situation is very important, especially during the local government election campaign, where some people claim Freo is going broke because of its investment in the Kings Square Project and selling city assets.

The City of Fremantle has received clarification from the Minister for Local Government over the City’s risk profile.

The City wrote to the Minister, David Templeman, in August after it was identified as being “high risk” in a response to a question in State Parliament.

The City’s risk profile was based on reporting from the 2015/16 financial year, where it recorded an unusually low Financial Health Indicator (FHI) score due a number of factors including a change in accounting methodology.

In his reply the Minister said he accepted information from the City’s auditors that, subject to final audit, the City of Fremantle’s 2016/17 FHI score will restore to approximately 85.

For the MyCouncil website and the Department of Local Government’s risk profile an FHI score of 70 and above indicates sound financial health.

The Minister also said he had asked his Department to review the way it communicates its risk profile process to avoid potential misunderstandings in the future.

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