Freo's View

LINLEY LUTTON: INFILL FAILS UNIQUE QUALITIES OF OUR CULTURE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on January 13, 2018

 

I came across an article published in September 2017 in The Conversation  by internationally renowned Perth city planner and architect Linley Lutton, who sadly died this week, and want to share some of Linley’s thoughts with you.

Lutton writes that retrofitting cities is poor planning, justified in the name of sustainability, and that the results are often substandard living environments that show no relationship to local content.

The dispersed city form means we have to work, sleep, shop and socialise in different parts of the city.

High-density living works well where streets are at human scale, buildings  are interesting and where there are plenty of public meeting spaces, but in Australia we build jam-packed home units with minimal public open space, Linley Lutton says.

That is the failure to understand the unique qualities of Australian culture and how people choose to live.

Lutton writes that recent research shows that the great majority of Australians reject apartment living and that the majority of those living in an apartment would not repeat the experience.

It is seriously questionable to randomly subjecting suburbs to high-rise apartments, and so is the public transport corridor argument, or building infill near suburban railway stations.

Public transport only works if people actually use it, but Bureau of Statistics figures show that in Perth less than 10% of those living within walking distance of a train station actually travel to work by train.

Linley Lutton writes that there are three essential requirements of a good city:

  • Cities must nurture and stimulate healthy human growth and community development.
  • Local communities must meaningful participate in city planning.
  • The unique cultural and physical context of a city must be respected.

 

These are all very important points to consider for Fremantle Council for its strategic infill targets and the introduction of buildings that are too high for our human-scale character city!

The funeral of Linley Lutton, a man I greatly respect and like, will be held this Monday January 15 at 3.30 pm at the Karrakatta Cemetery.

 

Roel Loopers

LINLEY LUTTON WILL BE GREATLY MISSED

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on January 8, 2018

 

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I am deeply sad to hear that renowned architect and city planner Linley Lutton passed away on January 7 after a long illness.

Linley was a truly delightful and gentle man whom I greatly respected as a city planner and architect.

I met him for the first time when he started the City Gatekeepers movement against the plans for Elizabeth Quay and reconnected with him when he was on the City of Fremantle Design Advisory Committee.

One not often in life has the opportunity and privilege to meet outstanding people like Linley Lutton, who make a real commitment to contribute and improve the world in which we live.

Linley will be missed by all who met him. There is no doubt that heaven will soon look a whole lot better.

The funeral will be held on Monday January 15 at 3.30 pm at the Karrakatta Cemetery.

 

Roel Loopers

I want to add this comment Linley posted on Freo’s View in late 2014 in response to a blog article I wrote, as it is still as relevant as ever:

I suggest that far from being a rant, Roel is simply echoing the frustration many people feel when the usual industry-focused voices dominate the sustainability debate. We need better.

There are many well-reasoned arguments for and against densification of existing cities. If done properly and in the right places, densification via appropriate urban infill can have a positive impact. When done badly however it can trigger a whole range of micro-climatic, infrastructural, economic and societal problems.

Increasing density does not have to mean high-rise or even medium-rise development. Attached row houses, three-storey walk-ups, apartment houses, narrow-fronted two-storey houses and micro lots all result in significant densification in sensitive ways.

In most European cities, apartments up to five or six storeys have existed in city centers for hundreds of years. These dwelling types work because at the ground plain there are wonderful squares, piazzas, parks, and streets which the people use as extended living spaces. Importantly, people in Europe have always lived with higher densities – it is part of their culture.

In my city planning work in China we always planned the ground plain as if it was a living space. In Libya I also recommended the emerging new towns be planned to ensure the public realm and higher-density housing were properly integrated.

In Perth however we seem to think that high-rise buildings shoe-horned onto small sites in inappropriate locations is the only way to increase population density. This is of course the lazy way to increase density and is embraced by industry. Some like this approach because it happens quickly and the sight of a cluster of new towers is interpreted as successful infill. The reality is however that most of these types of developments in Perth offer little more than a dormitory existence where the residents rarely engage with the surrounding area and still prefer to use their motor vehicles for regular travel.

In the last few years of ongoing design review work I have seen the design quality of apartment buildings drop alarmingly as the government encourages higher densities. Many are very small, have internal bedrooms with no natural light and ventilation and are located so close to busy roads that the balconies are unusable due to traffic noise. This compels residents to leave their windows closed all day and night to achieve a comfortable aural environment which then requires them to run their air conditioning system all night which they simply can’t afford.

Sustainable design in terms of energy and water consumption is a low priority and the construction materials used are very rarely recycled and are high in embedded energy. Once the current batch of substandard strata apartments has been constructed they will be there for a very long time and all of this is in the name of so-called sustainability via densification.

The sustainability debate at present is out of balance and dominated by a few who are driven by narrow-focused ideologies. Roel is intuitively responding to this imbalance.

Linley Lutton

HIGH DENSITY LIFESTYLE QUESTIONED

Posted in fremantle, high-density, living by freoview on December 8, 2014

It was very interesting to read two articles in two newspapers on the weekend about high-density living. In the West Australian Kate Emery wrote that Western Australians don’t have the mentality for high-density housing and that the W.A. Planning Commission(WAPC) is proposing to State Government to change the R30 and R35 buildings codes because there has been a huge community backlash against inappropriate and out of character high buildings being detrimental to the overall community amenity. The WAPC also wants to increase the minimum parking requirements for new dwellings.

In the Subiaco Post renowned urban planner and architect Dr Linley Lutton writes under the headline “Frantic Density Push Is Alarming” that …”experts warnings from those outside the industry are rarely heeded.” And that the warning for a huge population growth in Perth is an unrealistic and alarmist over-estimation of future growth.

We have already witnessed that planning schemes by Local Governments are completely overridden by State Government agencies and are a real worry to especially older suburbs like Fremantle Subiaco, Cottesloe, etc.

Lutton writes “High-density European and Middle Eastern cities work because they provide a diversity in stimulation, convenience and interaction opportunities. The piazzas, squares, courtyards, parks, shops and streets of these cities are where people live and grow. Most high-density development in Perth offers none of these things.”

 The article continues that Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that only 5-7% of people living near suburban train stations actually use the train to go to work. A 2010 study in Australia, Canada and the USA showed that the main users of public transport were those living in the low-density outer suburbs, not those who live in high-density areas with railway access.

Dr.Linley Lutton also warns for health impact of high-density living along main streets near traffic noise, especially on the older population, because poor air-quality and noise trigger mental and physical health problems.

Lutton suggests that self-sufficient suburbs with a variety of housing densities and with ample employment opportunities, and less need to commute far and wide to work, would be a better way to plan for the future, and I could not agree more. In an ideal world no one living in Rockingham should have to commute to Joondalup for work.

Fremantle Council also needs to heed these warning and realise one cannot change a decades-old entrenched culture and lifestyle overnight. Change happens slowly and only when the community embraces it and takes ownership of it. Collaboration and integration is what is needed, not a narrow focus anti-car mentality.

New developments like Kim Beazley and Stevens Reserve offer very little in lifestyle enhancement, with no green lingering nodes between buildings and only a strip of green on the periphery. As Lutton points out, the piazzas, parks, town squares, etc. are needed to create a lifestyle people embrace. Much better and more creative and innovative city planning is required in Fremantle and the ambiance of the CBD needs to be improved with modern seats, shade structures, green areas, more trees, play nodes for children and better and creative lighting.

Higher density living will only be embraced by the community if it supports and enhances the Freo lifestyle and when it allows for diversity.

Roel Loopers

LINLEY LUTTON ON URBAN DESIGN

Posted in fremantle, linley lutton, urban planning by freoview on November 1, 2014

Well-respected urban planner and architect Linley Lutton commented on my article On the Cusp of Crap that was about comments made in the media by CUSP professor Peter Newman, and a subsequent comment by Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt that it was a rant. I believe the debate about urban planning is too important to ‘hide’ Linley’s comment under last week’s post, so here it is.

Roel Loopers

I suggest that far from being a rant, Roel is simply echoing the frustration many people feel when the usual industry-focused voices dominate the sustainability debate. We need better.

There are many well-reasoned arguments for and against densification of existing cities. If done properly and in the right places, densification via appropriate urban infill can have a positive impact. When done badly however it can trigger a whole range of micro-climatic, infrastructural, economic and societal problems.

Increasing density does not have to mean high-rise or even medium-rise development. Attached row houses, three-storey walk-ups, apartment houses, narrow-fronted two-storey houses and micro lots all result in significant densification in sensitive ways.

In most European cities, apartments up to five or six storeys have existed in city centers for hundreds of years. These dwelling types work because at the ground plain there are wonderful squares, piazzas, parks, and streets which the people use as extended living spaces. Importantly, people in Europe have always lived with higher densities – it is part of their culture.

In my city planning work in China we always planned the ground plain as if it was a living space. In Libya I also recommended the emerging new towns be planned to ensure the public realm and higher-density housing were properly integrated.

In Perth however we seem to think that high-rise buildings shoe-horned onto small sites in inappropriate locations is the only way to increase population density. This is of course the lazy way to increase density and is embraced by industry. Some like this approach because it happens quickly and the sight of a cluster of new towers is interpreted as successful infill. The reality is however that most of these types of developments in Perth offer little more than a dormitory existence where the residents rarely engage with the surrounding area and still prefer to use their motor vehicles for regular travel.

In the last few years of ongoing design review work I have seen the design quality of apartment buildings drop alarmingly as the government encourages higher densities. Many are very small, have internal bedrooms with no natural light and ventilation and are located so close to busy roads that the balconies are unusable due to traffic noise. This compels residents to leave their windows closed all day and night to achieve a comfortable aural environment which then requires them to run their air conditioning system all night which they simply can’t afford.

Sustainable design in terms of energy and water consumption is a low priority and the construction materials used are very rarely recycled and are high in embedded energy. Once the current batch of substandard strata apartments has been constructed they will be there for a very long time and all of this is in the name of so-called sustainability via densification.

The sustainability debate at present is out of balance and dominated by a few who are driven by narrow-focused ideologies. Roel is intuitively responding to this imbalance.

Linley Lutton

DON’T LET FREO LOSE SENSE OF PLACE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on September 22, 2014

City planner and architect Linley Lutton makes some valid points in his opinion piece in the Fremantle Herald. Lutton was on the City of Fremantle Design Advisory Committee until December last year, so he knows the process and what goes on behind the scenes.

Lutton argues that Fremantle Council facilitates poor development that ignores the importance of sense-of-place, that triggers strong memories and shapes our identities. He writes that Freo’s heritage West End is the most valuable asset in entire Perth.

That a member of the Design Advisory Committee expressed that commercial viability had been taken into consideration when dealing with the Atwell Arcade development proposal is a no-no according to Lutton, who claims that is well outside the formal terms of reference given to the DAC. Lutton writes there is nothing in the planning scheme either that allows for variations because of commercial capability.

I agree that one of the main concerns about recent development approvals is that they do set a precedent that can be used for future development, as far as increased height, bulk and mediocre design goes, and that is a worry because we have not seen the approval of any outstanding buildings for the Fremantle CBD yet.

Lutton warns that the community should be alarmed that the advisory committee and councillors have started a process of eroding the character of place, something he believes is not replaceable.

Development at all cost will harm Fremantle in the long term, so vigilance is the essence and insisting that Council only approves outstanding buildings in the inner city that show consideration, and are respectful, to our heritage.

Roel Loopers

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HOW GOOD OR BAD IS OUR CITY PLANNING

Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 27, 2014

City planner and architect Linley Lutton is providing a short course of four lectures over four weeks on city planning as part of the UWA Winter Extension program. The aim is to help the community to understand what good city planning is and why major city planning failures occur. This will help people to be better informed when confronted with contentious planning proposals in their neighbourhoods. You do not need any previous understanding of city planning to take part in the course.

Linley was on Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee until he resigned from it late last year because he was not happy with the process.

Linley will be using some examples of poor city planning in Perth to reinforce planning principles. Elizabeth Quay and other Perth planning failures form part of my presentation. No doubt Fremantle will also get a mention during Linley’s lectures, so it will be very interesting to get to hear from an expert what is good and bad about the way we plan our cities.

If you are interested in enrolling then simply follow the link below to see an outline of the four week course:

http://issuu.com/uwaextension/docs/winter_2014_uwa_extension_links

FREO IMPROVES DESIGN ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 19, 2014

Fremantle‘s Planning Services Committee will tonight debate changes to the DESIGN ADVISORY COMMITTEE, as requested by the Special Electors Meeting.

The DAC was  established in February 2010 as an expert panel of architects and urban planners to advise Council on new development proposals, but its reporting has been unsatisfactory, and renowned architect Linley Lutton resigned from the committee in December last year because of issues he had with the committee and COF staff.

One of the changes recommended is to create a pool of experts, because in the past committee members were not always available, which let to the DAC not having a quorum at all meetings.

Another, well overdue, recommendation is that the full DAC report will be attached to public reports and reports to Council and committees. Up till now we more or less received officers’ interpretations of what the DAC had said and recommended and that was far too ambiguous, as the case with the Queensgate development showed, where councillors had to guess if the DAC had given the go ahead for Council to consider discretionary additional height.

It is quite remarkable that the officer states that “It is not practical for all DAC members to sign off the report” Why not? Modern technology, such as email, dropbox, etc. can be used to share a draft report that all members can make changes to, from which a final report will then be written. If volunteer community groups can do this with their with submissions to council, surely highly paid professionals can do the same. We know that all DAC members sign off at other councils, such as Victoria Park, so why is it an issue in Fremantle?

The most important thing though is to make sure that the DAC can work absolutely independently and without undue influence from officers and elected members. How that can be guaranteed though I don’t know.

Roel Loopers

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LINLEY LUTTON REPLIES TO FREO MAYOR

Posted in fremantle by freoview on February 24, 2014

Urban planner Linley Lutton‘s reply to comments made by Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt is a bit long for a blog post, but I don’t believe that it would be correct for me to cut and paste it, so here it is in full:

Following my recent FICRA talk, I have read blog comments from the Mayor saying that I made a  number of errors. He specifically mentioned errors I made with respect to floor area targets and building set back requirements for Queensgate. Like everyone I am certainly capable of making errors and will admit them when I do so however, I don’t believe I did so in my talk. I may not have adequately  expressed my arguments but this differs from being incorrect. I thought I would send you this email which addresses his comments. The response is a little long but hopefully you can use it in some way.
 
With respect to gross floor area targets. The Mayor claimed my assertions that the COF had a target of 270,000m2 of gross floor area was not correct.
 
In 2011, I was engaged by the COF to participate in a strategic sites study where the council set the target for additional gross floor area at 270,000m2 – as stated in my talk. A COF presentation was used to brief myself and others. (See attached CCSSWG presentation. I know you can’t put this on your blog but I send it nevertheless to verify my claims.)
 
Several objectives were set for the study, one of which was to achieve a GFA of 270,000m2 in the central city area of Fremantle. This information was used to establish the building height variations for the sites described in amendment 49.
 
Later in 2011, after completion of the strategic sites study, they engaged Urbis to determine how much floor space may be taken up in Fremantle. Of course this should have been done before the study commenced.
 
Rather than validating the COF’s assessments and targets of 270,000m2 the report says:  “we consider that an aspirational target for new, purpose built office space within Fremantle over the ten year period to 2021 would be in the range of 20,000m2 to 40,000m2 in total and 30,000m² – 50,000m² for the decade following 2021. However, in order to achieve these outcomes, it will be necessary to develop a long term strategy which will maximise the potential attractiveness of Fremantle for both developers and occupiers of office space, as some other centres within the Perth metropolitan area currently have greater attributes in relation to being centred within large white collar catchment areas and have greater all round transport accessibility.”
 
I provided a list of suburban areas in the metropolitan area where developers are in fact building new purpose built office accommodation and these compete directly with Fremantle.
 
It is critical to note use of the term ‘aspirational target’ in the Urbis report.  There is a very big difference between an aspirational target and achievability. The issue here is that the COF applied a wholesale change to permitted building heights across the Fremantle CBD in the form of planning amendment 49 to achieve their own target of 270,000m2 of additional gross floor area, when independent advice states that a far lesser target should have been considered. In my talk I outlined a range of reasons why Fremantle would struggle to achieve even the Urbis targets.
 
The way any urban redevelopment project starts, and I have been involved in many, is by setting targets which are then used as the basis to determine how much change needs to be made in terms of building stock. The COF actually started with an unworkable target. Sadly, this is history now because amendment 49 has been gazetted however the community should know the background, which was in my talk.
With respect to building heights and setbacks under Amendment 49
 
The Mayor claimed that I was wrong when I said the upper levels of the Queensgate building needed to be setback from the street.
 
The default position enabling increased building heights under Amendment 49 is that additional height may only be granted provided it is not seen from the streets and neighbouring public spaces. This means a substantial upper floor set back is required if additional height is being sought. This is very good urban planning practice, as I stated, and is strongly advocated even in the state planning policy Directions 2031 as the better way to deal with taller buildings when they are required in  places like Fremantle.
 
However amendment 49 has a clause that curiously undoes this good practice by stating that the setback is not required if the additional height is granted on the basis that it meets high standards associated with appearance, environmental sustainability, and its impact on the amenity of the surrounding public realm.
 
My argument at the talk was that the current Queensgate proposal does not satisfy the level of excellence required to exempt it from the setback requirement.
 
The DAC, according to their written comments made public recently, had focussed primarily on the architectural merit of the Queensgate proposal. The question of overall environmental sustainability and the building’s impact on the public realm appeared not to have been fully addressed. In my opinion, the proposal was not sufficiently advanced in its resolution to be granted exemption of the requirement to set the upper storeys back from the street. The DAC comments stated that ‘the proposal achieved pedestrian permeability, allowing legible connections to other city facilities’, which is code for it includes enclosed malls at ground level which I stated in my talk would most likely contribute very little to the public realm as is the case everywhere else in Fremantle and in much of Perth.
 
The proposal falls well short of the special requirements exempting it from setbacks and it should therefore be considered as if a setback is required and this was the point I was attempting to make.  
 
 The Mayor then goes on to question my statement that Fremantle is not actually broken. He is certainly entitled to his opinion on this and we obviously disagree. In my talk I presented a range of key indicators which show Fremantle is far from being a basket case. I did say that some large wool store buildings needed redevelopment, some tired old 1960s buildings could be remodelled and more people should live in the city centre but overall things weren’t too bad.
 
The mayor’s stated reasons for believing Fremantle is broken are interesting. He refers to housing affordability and a decline in suburban retail activity and its associated workforce as  a sign that something needs to be done. Housing affordability and suburban retail decline is certainly not unique to Fremantle and is being experienced across the entire metropolitan area. As I said in my talk, Fremantle is subjected to overwhelming competitive retail pressures and constricted catchment areas which the COF can do little about. It is also very hard to imagine any way in which a local government can make housing affordable in Perth. Building apartments in the centre of Fremantle certainly won’t achieve affordability if this is his argument.
 
I went to hear a Fremantle-based writer at the writer’s festival over the weekend and he spoke publically about living in Fremantle. His view was that Fremantle was a quiet easy going place to live and he loved that aspect of it. Activity was there in the central areas as needed. And incidentally, he was not an older person.
 
My talk was aimed at helping the community learn how to engage with the planning process. My opening remarks stressed that the most sustainable cities are ones where the community is fully involved in and supportive of its development.  Perhaps this paragraph from an international biourbanism article I recently wrote is relevant:
 
“If we are to inhabit cities which support our wellbeing and nurture our growth we must show the current generation of developers and governments that there are far better ways to build cities. True long-term sustainability in our urban environments comes from a collaborative approach between the community and government. A bottom-up approach to city planning is essential. This requires the involvement of the grass roots community. Planners and architects working on their own do not have the answers. We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to fight for better city planning and community empowerment.”

Linley Lutton

P.S. I made the last lines bold, not Mr Lutton.

GETTING THE MIX RIGHT FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on February 24, 2014

Like a politician Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt is trying to divert attention away from the debate about his embarrassing spin comparing the J Shed pub proposal to the Fringe Festival, by attacking urban planner Linley Lutton‘s talk. The Mayor of course did not attend the event, so he would only have heard and read about it.

Brad Pettitt attacks Lutton for having said that nothing is broke and nothing needed to be fixed in Fremantle, but this was mentioned by Lutton in the context of Fremantle being a  self-contained community that works well and meets UN standards and as such is functioning pretty well.

I doubt anyone would argue with the Mayor that development is needed in Fremantle and that there are things that need to be changed, but the question is how much development Fremantle can sustain and what needs to be fixed, and that is where the community and Lutton do not agree with Council on many points.

It is too easy to ignore Lutton’s warning that there is no demand for all the office space Fremantle is trying to develop, and there is no doubt it will be a huge challenge to fill all that future retail space.

I am also worried about the Mayor saying it is about getting the mix right, when no residential development around Kings Square is planned, but he talks about night-time activation of the area. Is the Mayor thinking about bars all around our city square without the passive/active surveillance of residents living above the retail street level? That could be a disaster in the making that they got wrong in Northbridge for far too long, and that still requires huge Police resources on weekends.

It appears to be a trend in Fremantle that the advise of experts and the concerns of the community are brushed aside by many elected members, who believe they have got all the know-how and wisdom.  That is a very worrying trend for our City, especially with the possibility that State Government might not appoint a Commissioner to oversee the local government amalgamation, but leave Freo Council in place and in charge.

Roel Loopers

A COUNCIL ON HIGH HORSES

Posted in fremantle by freoview on February 19, 2014

At Fremantle council the word activation comes a very close second to the word sustainable, with Elected Members showing an almost indecent haste to change our city and make Fremantle the first city in the world to beat the Global Financial Crisis and turn the retail economy around.

 It looks all good on the surface, with promises of huge hundreds of millions of dollars of development in the inner city, and grandiose, and too high, “heritage of the future” buildings, but is it all what it appears to be?

The promised activation of Kings Square is only going to be business-hours activation, as the majority of the planned new buildings will be street level retail and office space on the floors above, with no, or very little, residential. That means Kings Square will remain a ghost town after dark, but with modern new high buildings. There won’t be much incentive for traders to open businesses that trade after 7pm when no one lives at or near King Square, so those kind of businesses will open in the east of the CBD where residential development will happen at Queen Victoria and Beach streets.

The activation of Arthur Head, by making it into the Bathers Beach Art Precinct, is short of a disaster, with ailing artists not making a living that pays the rent, let alone an income. The studios and galleries are only sporadically open a few days a week and the place is a ghost town after dark that attracts homeless people and anti social behaviour. It was activated 24 hours a day prior to that with residential and port pilots occupation of the historic cottages, so the activation went backward and has not improved at all.

To activate the Arthur Head area Council is now keen on allowing the development of a microbrewery and live music venue at J Shed on Bathers Beach, ignoring that the area already has weekend summer activation with the incredibly successful Bathers Beach Sunset Food Markets. The market attracts far more people each Saturday than the 1500 patrons Sunset Events would be allowed to have at their 12 concerts a year. And it is a family friendly environment instead of one focused on the sale of alcohol.

The activation and increased connectivity of the Esplanade is done at the expense of losing green public open space and against the wishes of inner city residents, who pleaded for the skate park youth plaza to be built adjacent of the A Class Reserve, but that fell on deaf ears at Fremantle Council, as the calls against highrise in the CBD did.

My concern that Fremantle could end up with ‘white elephants’ of floors of empty office space and streetscapes with more vacant shops than we already have, were ignored, but this week renowned urban planner Linley Lutton warned that exactly what I feared might happen, because there is not enough demand for significant office space in Fremantle. It is unlikely, and unrealistic to believe, that without fully occupied offices retailers will open new shops.

Sirona Capital seems to be struggling to get major tenants for the Myer building development at Kings Square and had to delay it. We have not heard yet if the mid year start of the face-lift will actually happen, or if there is going to be more delay because the Department of Housing is not coming to the table.

It appears council has been behaving like a small child whose eyes are bigger than its tummy, and who puts more on its plate than it can eat. Planning in Fremantle is more a case of wishful thinking and hope, and believing a big dream is reality, and those who warn the Elected Members to wake up and deal with facts are dismissed as the anti-development and anti-change lobby who don’t want to see Fremantle grow.

In their childlike eagerness for something new, Council is ignoring the community it was elected to represent, and it is unnecessarily dividing that community. When we ask for restraint and wisdom we receive spin, smoke and mirrors, and hyperbole instead, and our wishes are ignored and our concerns shrugged off.

Fremantle Council sees the Freo community as its opposition, the other team they need to beat and get the better off, instead of seeing us as the people they should be closely working together with to get the best outcome for our city and future generations of residents. That is very disappointing and it makes dealing with the City of Fremantle so intensely frustrating.

Yet another Special Electors Meeting will be held this Monday at the Town Hall, where frustrated residents will air their concerns, but it will go like the ones before. Council, in it’s unwillingness to listen, will again ignore any motions that might be passed on the night, because we are only residents of this City and not equal to the Elected Members who look down on us from their high horses.

Roel Loopers

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