Freo's View

VERY LONG COUNCIL MEETING TONIGHT

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on May 23, 2018

 

Anyone who believes that being a Councillor in Fremantle is just a walk in the park, should check out the agenda for tonight’s meeting.

The agenda for this evening’s Fremantle Ordinary Council meeting is a very long one and will probably attract a lot of people in the public gallery.

First agenda item is the very controversial proposal for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach and the next item is about new terms of reference for the Design Advisory Committee.

There is the Overdue Debtors report, Audit and Risk update for Assets, Toy Library report, the implementation of the three waste bin FOGO (not to be confused with the FOMO retail concept for Kings Square), the lease with the South Fremantle Football Club for Fremantle Oval, request for proposals for the old Weighbridge in Phillimore Street, Sets on the Beach events at Port Beach. There will also be a motion to ban gas filled balloons in public.

The replacement for the Moreton Bay fig trees at Kings Square will also be debated. This will be a very expensive exercise, but I hear Council want to replace at least two trees with other mature Moreton Bay figs, so that will be nice in addition to the relocated London Plane trees.

The agenda is 229 pages long and there are additional agenda attachments as well, so anyone keen to read it all should download it from the City of Fremantle website.

I’ll be there at the meeting of course, so will report back to you about it tomorrow.

Roel Loopers

TIME TO HAVE A SUNSET ON TAVERN PROPOSAL

 

 

The Sunset Events proposal for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach will go to Ordinary Council-hopefully for the very last time!-this Wednesday and it could be a close call.

Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, who is against the tavern, is on holiday and Councillors Rachel Pemberton and Sam Wainwright will declare a conflict of interest, so these three won’t be voting.

If there are no other apologies there will be ten elected members who will vote on the item.

It is likely that Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillors Dave Hume, Adin Lang, Andrew Sullivan and Hannah Fitzhardinge will vote for the tavern, while Councillors Jeff McDonald, Bryn Jones and Jenny Archibald will probably vote against it. How Jon Strachan and Doug Thompson will vote would be a guess, but if they vote against the proposal the casting vote of the Mayor would get it over the line for recommending it for approval by the WAPC.

But the deciding authority is the WA Planning Committee, which rejected the previous proposal because a tavern was inappropriate use of the A Class reserve at historic Arthur’s Head. Will they change their opinion just because the number of patrons and the outdoor footprint has been reduced?

Whatever the outcome it is time to move on and have a long term Masterplan for the area.

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! I have been advised that Councillor Jon Strachan is also an apology so that will make the voting by only 9 elected members very interesting.

FREMANTLE COUNCIL J SHIT GOVERNANCE

 

The Fawlty Towers approach to governance by Fremantle Council on the proposed J Shed tavern development continued at the Planning Committee on Wednesday evening and will be repeated again at full Ordinary Council next week.

The Bathers Beach saga has been going on since November 2012 when the City asked for Expressions Of Interest (EOI) for a bar/cafe/gallery for the No 1 unit at J Shed on historic Arthur’s Head.

With stars in their eyes the naive Council then decided to sign the ‘applicant driven’ 21 year lease for an 850 patron tavern and 1,500 patron outdoor live music venue, against the express and loud wishes of local residents and heritage groups, Fremantle Ports and neighbouring J Shed artists, as well as Noongar representatives.

But when Sunset Events finally put their planning proposal in Councillors got cold feet and rejected the application, which subsequently was also rejected by the WA Planning Commission, which is the deciding authority.

Since then the proposal has been watered down a few times and is now only for a 300 patron tavern on a reduced parcel of the A Class Reserve and no outdoor live music events. If that is actually financially viable for the proponent is very questionable, and according to a CoF director I spoke to this afternoon Sunset Events will need to find a financial partner for the around $ 1 million development to be able to realise it.

The WAPC rejected the proposal because it was inappropriate in use, bulk and scale for the area and Councillor Jeff McDonald passionately reminded his fellow Councillors of that.

McDonald said that the land is of regional significance, the parking requirements are not addressed, that it is not a low profile development, and it is not at all similar to Rottnest Island!

Mayor Brad Pettitt however believed that the proposal for a tavern is a real opportunity to activate the West End and Arthur’s Head and that the plans were now close to where the Council initially wanted to go. One has to wonder then why Council signed a 21 year lease for an large 850 patron tavern and an even bigger 1,500 patron music venue in the first place, when all they wanted was a small bar. Yes Minister!

The process has been unfair to everyone! Sunset Events had every reason to believe in good faith that Council would support the tavern and music venue when they signed the long lease, but the same elected members who approved the lease keep stuffing the proponents around until the proposal is close to no longer being viable.

The J Shed artists had to live with the anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen with their work spaces, studios and galleries and if the impact of the proposal might mean they will have to move elsewhere.

The heritage groups are of course concerned about the negative impact on one of the most significant historic areas in Western Australia and how that might impact also on tourism.

The inner city residents are rightly concerned about drunks, anti social behaviour, littering of Bathers Beach and parking issues. One can just imagine that at night time clever motorists will find that Mrs Trivett and Captain’s Lane, as well as Fleet Street are just fine for illegal parking and maybe having a quick wee in the dark. With the Whalers Tunnel closed at night it is a long walk around Arthur’s Head in the dark to the Little High Street and Victoria Quay carparks.

The fact that there are no plans for building a proper toilet block should also be a concern as portaloos are unsightly and smelly.

Councillor Jenny Archibald summed up pretty well what I have been saying for years. Arthur’s Head and the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct need a more cohesive approach from Council. She said it was disappointing Council is willing to compromise so much and that the original EOI was interesting. May I remind the Mayor that he agreed before the October election at an event in the National Hotel that the Bathers Beach Art Precinct needed to be revisited by Council because it was not working!

Councillor Adin Lang said it was unlikely a cafe could afford to spend $ 1 million on infrastructure.

Don’t waste your time folks watching a satirical program on TV, come attend Fremantle Council instead when they debate the J Shed proposal and you’ll get a mix of Yes Minister and Fawlty Towers all on the same night and free to hot air. If it wasn’t so sad to watch the incompetence it would be a good laugh.

Roel Loopers

FREO SOCIAL HALL NEW MUSIC VENUE

Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, heritage, hospitality, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 1, 2018

 

Freo Social Hall

 

While the controversial proposal for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach will come before the City of Fremantle Planning Committee tomorrow evening, at the other end of town Sunset Events appear to be progressing well with converting the former Drillhall and former home of the Fly by Night Club into the FREO SOCIAL HALL music venue.

Sunset Events signed a lease with the National Trust to bring back the heritage building to its former glory and has been working on it for years. The new music venue is opening later this year.

A new large music venue will be very welcome in Fremantle, but it will be serious competition for the struggling Fly by Night in Victoria Hall, so time will tell if the two venues can survive in the same town.

Roel Loopers

NEW PLANS FOR SMALLER J SHED TAVERN

 

The City of Fremantle Planning Committee will next Wednesday, May 2, deliberate another planning approval by Sunset Venues for the No One unit at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

The application is for Partial change of use to tavern, additions and alterations to existing building.

Fremantle Council agreed two weeks ago to change the lease conditions for a smaller-300 patron-venue and rent reduction, so the next steps are planning approval and a liquor license.

I would have been a lot more at ease if the application had been for a large licensed restaurant/cafe that could cater for weddings and corporate functions. The insistence of creating a tavern at Arthur’s Head does not sit well with inner city residents and the neighbouring artists at J Shed.

There is little doubt that the planning approval with sail quickly through Fremantle Council and it will then be up to the WA Planning Commission and liquor licensing authorities to stop the tavern, or approve it.

Whatever the outcome, this has been going on for far too long!

Roel Loopers

BUSY EVENING AT FREMANTLE COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2018

 

It was a busy night at the full Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle last night.

The Destination Marketing Fremantle was on the agenda, that will probably mean the demise of BID, and it sailed through with just a few mentions that BID had done a good job connecting small businesses and that the Economic Development and Marketing Department had a gap to close with the retailers in that regard.

Councillors expressed they hoped BID would survive in a kind of precinct form so that traders would stay connected and helped as volunteers at events.

It was unanimously decided to go ahead with the new marketing concept but $ 50,000 will be allocated from the budget for the Winter Festival and the Long Table Dinner.

Also-yes still!-on the agenda was the Sunset Venues lease for the No 1 unit at J Shed.

Councillors disagreed with speakers that the operators would not get the go ahead from the Western Australian Planning Committee for a smaller tavern, as there were examples on Rottnest Island and elsewhere where hospitality venues had been allowed on A Class Reserves and in heritage precincts.

It was mentioned that it would be hard to find another business that would be willing to spend a lot of money to put all the required infrastructure in and that Fremantle would get an improved asset.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said they had taken it back to where we originally wanted it to be as a small bar/cafe and restaurant that would activate the area.

The proponents will only have 12 months to start substantial development or the lease will be terminated. Only Councillors McDonald and Jones voted against the item.

Only Councillor Strachan did not support the License Agreement with the South Fremantle Football Club for Fremantle Oval. He questioned why the city was giving the club so much financial support in difficult fiscal times for the City.

The adoption of the new Precincts Policy was also approved with Councillor Sullivan expressing that he would like a more organic precincts system where groups would be less formal.

And the Dog Exercise and Prohibited Area Policy also got the tick of approval from our elected members.

Roel Loopers

FROM THE FREO FPOL COMMITTEE

 

The Fremantle Council Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee last night approved all, but one, items on the agenda. Some of them will have to go through full council next week before being implemented though.

  • The contract for J Shed between the City of Fremantle and Sunset Venues will be changed for a smaller venue. The Director of City Business explained that is not a planning approval, so the proposed  300 patron tavern might still be stopped when and if Sunset Venues applies for it and for a liquor license.
  • The Solar Farm also got the tick of approval but Councillor Andrew Sullivan said he would have liked to see officers explore the possibility and costs of remediation of the site as it might well be profitable if it could be developed for residential living.
  • The new Precinct Policy was also adopted with Councillor Andrew Sullivan saying he never saw the need for precincts to be managed by the City, as community groups should rise and fall depending on the interest and participation of residents.
  • The contract for Fremantle Oval with the South Fremantle Football Club will also go ahead, so the footy club is getting all their Christmases at once. It appears they have been playing a bit of hard ball with CoF, so I am not sure why we so desperately need the club at the oval as it will not generate any income for the City. Not even the outgoings for power, water, etc. have reached an agreement yet. Councillor Rachel Pemberton was very worried about the big LED sign and said the City should make sure that the SFFC would not put up more of them.

Roel Loopers

 

REDUCED J SHED TAVERN ON FREMANTLE AGENDA

 

Fremantle Council is relentless in ignoring the clear messages from the community about not wanting a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

This Wednesday the Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee will debate to  change the lease conditions for Sunset Venues for the No 1 unit at J Shed as below:

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION

Council approve the following amendments to the lease with Sunset Venues for Unit 1 J Shed, Fremantle:

  1. a)  Reduce the patron capacity to a maximum of 300;
  2. b)  Removal of clause/s relating to concert events;
  3. c)  Reduce the size of the lease area by approximately forty percent (40%)from 1493m2 to 892m2;
  4. d)  Reduce rent from $83,950p.a to $50,370p.a.;
  5. e)  Add a condition precedent clause to provide for planning approval andliquor license approval to be achieved; and
  6. f)  Add a clause to provide for development to commence within twenty-four (24) months or lease to be terminated.

While the number of patrons capped at 300 more resembles that of a slightly larger small bar, I have no doubt that this new proposal will also receive strong opposition from the neighbouring J Shed artists and the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association-FICRA.

Roel Loopers

IMAGES OF INDIA FREO FUNDRAISER

Posted in art, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on March 16, 2018

 

 

OPENS TONIGHT!

Images of India is a fundraising exhibition by local photographer Juliet Murray.

The exhibition opens on Friday 16th March at 6.30pm at the Art of Freo Gallery at J Shed and runs Wednesday to Sunday 11-4pm until March 25th.  There will also be a fundraising raffle with heaps of great prizes.

India is a land of contrasts. It is a country that is immensely rich; in culture, spirituality and diversity. It is enchanting and beautiful place, overwhelming to the senses.

On the flipside, poverty is significant, with one on 5 living in extreme poverty, without access to basic human needs. Of the poor, only 20% have access to toilets, 60% to electricity and 6% to running water.

This fundraising exhibition aims to capture both the magnificence of this sacred country and it’s people whilst highlighting the issue of extreme poverty and struggles that the people face, in a compassionate and sensitive manner.

Proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to the Australian Friends of Asha, who work to support and raise awareness of the important work that is done by Asha India in tackling issues that keep slum dwellers trapped in poverty. Their programmes help slum residents gain access to healthcare, financial services and education, and make it possible for them to make long-term, positive changes to their lives.

http://www.australianfriendsofashaslums.org.au/

 

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LOVING THE OCEAN ART WORKSHOP

Posted in art, city of fremantle, indian ocean, nature, Uncategorized by freoview on March 14, 2018

 

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Rekindle your love of the ocean and learn about Sandy McKendricks intimate connection to the Western Australian coastline and how she draws inspiration from the land and sea.

Join Sandy for a 3 hour workshop, enjoy a stroll along Bathers Beach, talk with the artist, learn techniques for still life drawing and relax with a light morning tea.

Sunday March 18 from 8.30-11.30am at Little Space Freo. J Shed

It costs $65 pp. Numbers are strictly limited so book your place now early.

Sandy is a Fremantle based artist, performer, writer, director, puppeteer, designer, and ocean lover. Through her company Sandpiper Productions she has been involved in the Perth International Arts Festival and has toured performances both Nationally and Internattionally.

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