The announcement that WA Transport Minister Dean Nalder is considering changing the road rules so that cyclists of all ages can use the footpaths will no doubt be talked about for as long as we have talked about roads being unsafe for cyclists and many motorists being inconsiderate morons.
What are the pros and cons of these changes, especially the no speed limit one? While life might become safer for cyclists it will become more dangerous for pedestrians because no matter what speed bikes are going at they will be faster than pedestrians, so that must be a worry. Will cyclists be allowed to use the footpaths on both sides of the roads in both directions, which would create a bit more chaos, or should they use the left footpaths only in the direction of traffic?
It makes sense not to limit speed as it would create even more work for police to try to monitor that with speed cameras on footpaths, but it is naive to believe all cyclists will behave responsibly and not endanger pedestrians when riding too fast on the footpaths.
But it will be a relief for motorists driving along the Fremantle Cappuccino Strip and other tight spots around the city to not have to sit behind a cyclist doing only 15 kilometres per hour.
No one expects that those weekend licra-clad road ‘terrorists’ who speed in large pelotons to early morning coffee will start using footpaths, but at the same time we should not be so naive as to belief that common sense will prevail and that it will be a good self regulator. If it were we would have far less traffic accidents on our roads.
Is the future of walking now going to be pedestrians with little mirrors attached to their heads so they can detect speeding cyclists coming from behind on footpaths? Time will tell, but Minister Dean Nalder has not done many things right in his short career in Parliament, so I am not convinced he will get this one right.
The South Metropolitan Police have announced that they will enforce helmet bike laws in Fremantle today but that won’t affect the speeding riders in the TOUR DE PERTH this evening. They always wear helmets.
Stage 1-Fremantle Prologue will be held from 6 pm with start and finish at the Esplanade and riders going around very tight corners at Mouat, Croke and Cliff streets at high speeds.
It is a great spectacle that deserves far more spectators than it had last year, so forget the TV for a few hours and support this event.
Some people’s logic escapes me, but that makes life a lot funnier sometimes. This car was parked in a no standing area near the Fremantle Town Hall this Friday morning with a note on the dashboard saying the driver was getting his/her parking permit. The facts is that even with a residents parking permit the car would not have been exempt where it was parked and would have received an infringement notice and fine.
IS WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PLANNING REFORM THE DEATH OF COMMUNITY DEMOCRACY?
The Fremantle Society Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday, 8 December 2014 – 6 PM for 6:30 PM at Victoria Hall, 179 High Street, with renowned planning law authority and Local Government Act expert, lawyer Denis McLeod as special guest speaker on the topics including planning and local government reform.
This year’s Annual General Meeting is an opportunity for the Fremantle community to gain an understanding of how town-planning law affects the community.
Guest speaker, Denis McLeod, founder of the firm McLeods Lawyers, will address the AGM.
Denis’ experience includes:
- over 40 years of representing local governments and other local government work – including advising on major developments and drafting zoning schemes;
- numerous planning appeals and trials in the Supreme , Federal and High Courts;
- defending actions against development schemes
Denis has spoken and written on current issues such as the amalgamation of local councils and Development Assessment Panels (DAPs). He has been honoured as a Life Member of the Local Government Planners Association in 1991, Honorary Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia in 1993, and Adjunct Professor at UWA in 2008. He teaches planning law to students at UWA and Curtin.
All are welcome!
THE W.A. State Government is one step closer to implementing local council reform with Chief Justice Wayne Martin today dismissing the case against the government by some local councils.
It is now to be seen if the Nationals will support the act in parliament and if councils like East Fremantle, Melville and Cockburn will have enough no votes to make the Dadour act work and stop the City of Fremantle from doubling in size. Time will tell.
Almost 300 people attended the Fremantle Notre Dame University talk on indigenous recognition in the Australian constitution by Fred Chaney. Chaney is a very inspirational, measured and likable man, who made it clear that “the devil is in the detail” when it gets to the stage of adding the recognition of Australia’s Aboriginal people to the constitution, and the referendum it requires to do so.
He quoted Aboriginal and Wadjela leaders and that it is the question of how the country deals with its history. Recognise how and recognise when, is the question, Chaney said, and that Edward Burton was right when he said there is no racial quality,there is inner quality.
Chaney was optimistic about the future and the changes he had already observed in Australia, especially with the mining/commercial industry no longer working against Aboriginal people but with them. It was also good that there is political unanimity with all parties supporting the recognition.
He asked if we will ever close the gap between non-indigenous and indigenous people, who die on average 15 years earlier than white people and he warned that closing the gap for many meant assimilation instead of equality.
Australians should admire, respect and glorify the magnificent survival of the Aboriginal people in this harsh continent and embrace their culture.
I have long argued that Australia will only have its real identity when it truly acknowledges and embraces our indigenous culture. Tokenism and empty words are not enough and the move toward recognition in the constitution is long overdue.
On that note, go and visit Fremantle’s Aboriginal Cultural Centre on Arthur Head, just five doors down from the Round House. Say Kaya(G’Day), sign up for a course and look at the beautiful art.
There is a very important forum at Fremantle Notre Dame University this evening at 7pm. The honourable Fred Chaney will discuss the planned recognition of Australia’s indigenous people in our constitution.
It is something I believe is long overdue and it has bipartisan support in Federal Parliament from the major parties.
The referendum on it, and the implementation off it, are still a long way away with Prime Minister Tony Abbott hinting it might happen in four years.
There are critics of the recognition in the Aboriginal and Wadjela communities, with some saying it would only be tokenism and would distract from doing the really hard yards and making the difficult decisions and changes required to finally get indigenous people an equal lifestyle and life expectancy as the non indigenous ones.
Come along this eve at 7 o’clock to Tannock Hall on the corner of Cliff Street and Croke Lane, opposite the Fremantle Herald building. It is a free event!
There is an interesting article on Photoshop manipulation in regard to eating disorders of women, by Fremantle Notre Dame University School of Law lecturer Marilyn Krawitz in In Principo, the University’s magazine.
Ms Krawitz reports on the Photoshop Law in Israel that requires female models to have a minimum BMI of 18.5, and when photographers or magazines manipulate photos to make models look thinner, they have to include a warning that covers at least seven percent of the photo.
I quite agree that excessive photo manipulation needs to be recorded somehow, as many photos are drastically changed in PS and other software, and that alters the reality of photos that will be seen as historic documentation by future generations. The Photoshop ‘reality’ is in fact fake reality because things that were in the original photos might have been taken out, or things could have been added.
There is another issue for me. While eating disorder in young women is serious, the manipulation of innocent children under 15 in fashion photography is equally disturbing to me. Girls are made up and dressed up to look sexy,and are photographed in seductive poses and plastered on magazine covers as some kind of sex bombs, and that is absolutely unacceptable.
Every photo we take is the recording of our history and we need to be aware of that at all times. The overuse of Photoshop and other similar software often is a tool to hide bad and mediocre photography.
But I received a few complaints already from Fremantle people who claim that smokers occupy the alfresco areas at cafes and restaurant and subject others to passive smoking.
I asked the City of Fremantle what the rules for smoking are and here they are: Smoking is not permitted in alfresco dining areas throughout WA under the state government’s Tobacco Control Act. Local government officers are increasing awareness of the law by advising members of the public and business owners of their responsibility and explaining the law to tourists. In relation to enforcement, officers can issue an infringement if a customer refuses to stop smoking in an alfresco area. Free ‘no smoking’ stickers and signs were provided to alfresco operators when the law was introduced. City of Fremantle officers pro-actively inform businesses operators and customers of the law and will investigate complaints upon request. Infringements are issued for willful non-compliance.
So if anyone smokes in an alfresco area let staff know it is unlawful and enjoy the sunshine!
Fremantle is in the news for all the right reasons, with an ABC TV report last night on the proposed ban on plastic bags in our city. Fremantle Council will next Wednesday vote to adopt a local law banning single-use plastic bags, that is likely to go through council unopposed. There is already a ban on plastic bags in the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt said there’s a lot of support for the ban from the Fremantle community, and that the idea came from local community groups.
Fremantle Council last year introduced a plastic bag ban but it was rejected on a technicality in State Parliament by National and Liberal MPs. Under the previous law, customers would have been able to purchase environmentally-friendly bags but only if retailers charged 10 cents per bag. That mandatory charge has been deleted from the law that will go to Council next week, because according to legal advice, local government cannot legally impose a mandatory charge for retailers to collect.
If the proposed law gets approved, retailers who ignore it would face a fine of $150, while repeat offenders could be fined up to $2,500.
Brad Pettitt said while the thin non-degradable bags would be prohibited, alternatives such as paper and compostable bags would still be available.