Freo's View

SNIPPETS FROM FREMANTLE ORDINARY COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 29, 2017

 

* Fremantle Council deferred the application for a five-storey tourist accommodation development for the Mills Records site at Adelaide Street on a motion by Mayor Brad Pettitt.

* The Mayor believed the lines of the new building should have a stronger vertical impression and be more complimentary to the old building in front, and that the pergolas should be removed.

* Council rejected an application for parking permits for the residents of the Warders Cottages in the Henderson Street Mall, with Councillor Sullivan saying the mall should be car and parking free.

* A two-storey addition and additional use of the site as a restaurant and health studio in South Fremantle was also rejecetd by Council because the area is zoned residential and it would create parking, noise and smell issues for local residents.

* Scheme Amendment 68 for a mixed use zone for Brockman Place and Hampton Road was also debated with Councillors expressing concerns about traffic and that there should be a clear integration with Hollis Park.

Councillor Andrew Sullivan said it needed to be genuinely beneficial for the community and residents, and that getting it wrong now could mean millions and millions of dollars of cost for the City in the future.

Councillor Sam Wainwright said that everyone will be a winner by preserving a road corridor that will be needed when the area is being developed.

* The packed full public gallery was not at all impressed with the self-indulgence of Councillor Jon Strachan, who presented a 20-minute slide show of his visit to the sister city of Molfetta at the start of the council meeting, when everyone wanted to get on with business at hand and far more important items to deal with than the Councillor’s last supper in Italy.

Roel Loopers

TRAFFIC CALMING IS COMMUNITY WISH

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on June 28, 2017

 

speedhumps

 

Social media is an interesting indication on how well informed or ill-informed the community is, what they believe in, what they are passionate about, and how some people just want to use social media to release anger and negativity.

The recently installed speedhumps in Fremantle are getting a lot of feedback on Facebook, with some people saying they don’t slow down traffic, while others claim they create traffic jams.

People ask why speedhumps instead of lowering the speed limit, but local government can only do that if Mainroads agree to do so, and they did not in these instances.

My own observation, and that is not an opinion, is that vehicles are considerably slowing down in Ord and Ellen streets and Wray Avenue and South Terrace, from doing around 50kph to only 30kph.

I know that my old car will complain and the shockies cry out when I go over a speedhump too fast.

There are also those who believe speedhumps are a unique Fremantle thing and show that Freo Council are lunatics, but speedhumps are used all over Australia and the world to calm traffic and they need to be approved by the WA Mainroads Department.

Traffic calming is mostly implemented after complaints about traffic from local residents and businesses, so Fremantle Council is accommodating those who are affected most by it.

Roel Loopers

SOUTH FREMANTLE TRAFFIC CALMING

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on June 27, 2017

 

Speedhumps are being installed this week along South Terrace between South Street and Douro Road in South Fremantle.

This is part of the traffic calming measures the City of Fremantle is creating at request of local residents and businesses, who believe South Terrace is dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians.

The traffic slowing will also delight residents of side streets off South Terrace as it is often a nightmare to try to turn into that street because of fast-approaching vehicles, lack of clear views, and the high volume of traffic, especially during peak hours.

The City undertook extensive community consultation with South Freo residents and businesses, so let’s hope this will improve the conditions.

Roel Loopers

WITNESS GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY AT FREO COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 27, 2017

 

It is just over four months until the Fremantle local government election so a good time for those who want to nominate to start doing their homework and attend council meetings, so that they do understand the process and complexities of local councils.

On Wednesday there are some interesting items on the agenda, so perfect to see democracy at work and hear our Elected Members deliberate and their thinking behind why they support or reject items.

There are plans for a five-storey backpackers at the Mills Record site at Adelaide Street, and that is significant in the context of the Kings Square Project development.

The planning compliance of the new Kings Square Civic Centre building is also on the agenda.

Sunset Events’ request to delay the start of their J Shed lease is another interesting item that no doubt will attract speakers from the public opposing it.

And there is an item to be debated about a scheme amendment for small infill development. It has a lot of merit but there are also people in the community opposing it.

The solar farm at the South Fremantle infill site is also an agenda item, but it is confidential, so the public won’t be able to sit in on that.

Local government is fascinating and grassroots democracy so inform yourselves and see how diligent our Councillors and officers are.

The Ordinary Council meeting starts at 6 pm, Wednesday June 28. Enter from the back stairs.

Roel Loopers

FAKE FREMANTLE NEWS BITES

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 24, 2017

 

fake news bites

 

The City of Fremantle has done a Donald Trump on us and given us fake news. Well, it’s a typo only, but important because the next Ordinary Council meeting will deal with the Sunset Events J Shed tavern again, and I am sure some people will want to address our Elected Members.

The meeting is on WEDNESDAY JUNE 28 and not as published on the City’s News Bites page in the Fremantle Herald on Monday.

Roel Loopers

 

LOCAL COUNCIL VOTE IMPORTANT!

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 22, 2017

 

While the Fremantle local government election in October is still months away I urge everyone to make sure they are registered on the Electoral Roll. This is especially important for young people who have just turned 18 as YOUR vote is so very important.

Councils make decisions for YOUR future and you have the power to vote for the people who YOU believe will best represent you and youth issues in general.

While we have a vast-ageing population the future is with younger generations, so governments need to make decisions that are progressive and look at the long-term implications.

I was told a few years ago by university students that they are not interested in local government and that is a real shame because local government is the closest we can get to grassroots representation.

In Fremantle we have easy access to our Councillors and Mayor, so we can influence their decisions. But it means we need to participate and we need to understand how local government works.

Council and council committee meetings are not boring. They give a real insight into how the democratic process works and how complex it can be.

Councils need to do far more than putting the motions in place for street cleaning and maintenance, they are responsible for long-term strategies and policies.

We are witnessing how long-term Council planning is slowly making a very significant impact in Fremantle, with unprecedented investment through massive development in Fremantle, and a whole lot more is in the pipeline.  That was very deliberate action by a Council which realised it needed to be pro-active on trying to turn the economic downturn around and revitalise and activate the city.

But we need to have plans that will make sure that we have affordable student accommodation and for young people to live in the inner city and only when young people care to vote will they be represented by Councillors.

Fremantle does have a Youth Council, but it works in the dark and I have no idea what they are doing and how they influence the elected members. I also don’t know if many young Freo residents know about the Youth Council and how to contact them, and I don’t understand why that council is not more in the public domain.

VOTE! Get yourselves enrolled and take part in the very important democratic privilege!

Roel Loopers

WE ARE LUCKY TO LIVE IN FREMANTLE!

 

SMILE!!!!!

 

Waking up this morning I thought how lucky I am to live in Fremantle. The sun is out and the sky is blue and it is a mild 23 degrees at the start of our winter.

We live in a very special and unique city but sadly there are those who only make negative comments and never see the beauty we have and the special close community we live in.

I don’t suggest for one moment that Freo is perfect and that there is not a lot of room for improvement, but I believe we are doing very well and that our city has a very positive future.

We are seeing massive unprecedented development in Fremantle, not seen in 40 long years, which means in the very near future we will have many more people living, working and staying overnight in the inner city.

That will create confidence for more developers and businesses and we’ll see new shops and bars, new hotels and more investment also from Fremantle council and state government.

But sadly there are those with a political agenda who don’t want to recognise the strategic and long-term planning our elected members have made.

The Kings Square, Fremantle Oval, Cantonment Hall, South Quay projects are huge for our city and so are the private developments of the Woolstores shopping centre, Heirloom, Liv apartments by Defence Housing and many more that are popping up around town or are planned.

Some people in Fremantle treat our democratically elected members as the enemy of the community and more often than not their criticism is based on ignorance.

Many people do not understand the separation between the councillors and administration and blame councillors when the streets are not clean or maintenance not done.

Fact is that council sets rules and regulations in place, makes policies and development approvals, but it’s up to staff to implement them. It is like a footy club where no one would consider the board of directors responsible for the players underperforming.

It is too simplistic, and unfair, to attack councillors and the mayor when it is out of their hands, and I often hear how frustrated too they are when things are not done.

There are the conspiracy people who frequently accuse council of being communists or socialists, but how ridiculous is that when the present council has done more to encourage and support capitalist development in Freo than the councils before them.

I am not a one-eyed supporter of Fremantle council and I don’t have the blinkers on. I also don’t care if councillors are left, right or centre of politics and I don’t socialise privately with any of them, but credit needs to be given where due and criticism handed out fairly. I have been doing that on this blog for nearly eight years and in letters to editors for over 25 years.

Whenever I talk to tourists they tell me how cute, clean, beautiful and special Fremantle is, but far too many locals I talk to only have negativity on their mind.

Many people do not engage with local government and fail to inform themselves adequately, hence there is a lot of misinformation out there and people are blaming Fremantle council for things outside their control and state responsibility.

We live in a community where people really care, where they are willing to stand up and make a difference and where many want to be part of the solution.

But the internet and social media has also created large numbers of people all over the world who are only interested in writing spiteful, nasty, insulting comments that are only meant to be personal attacks and hurt. That to me is not acceptable, hence I will speak out and defend our utterly decent and very likeable councillors, collaborate with them, put suggestions to them for improvement and show them the respect they deserve.

Fremantle is a magic and magnificent place to live. We have the stunning heritage West End, great beaches, markets, lifestyle, festivals, events and we actually care.

Be passionate about Freo, as I am, and stand up for what you believe in. I support anyone who wants to help make Freo a better place, no matter if you vote Liberal, Labor, Green or any other political colour, but please let us engage in respectful and informed dialogue and not ignorant hyperbole and hot air.

Have a brilliant week, Freo and acknowledge how green the grass is on this side of the fence!

Roel Loopers

FACTS ARE ESSENTIAL TO COUNCIL CRITICISM

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 26, 2017

A letter to the editor in today’s Fremantle Herald:

Dear Brad

Why are you spending millions of dollars on Fremantle Kings Square and leaving our port in such a horrible state for our visitors who arrive. Think twice and see which is more important.

Abelle Wards. Cockburn Rd. Coogee

Dear Abelle,

Fremantle Port is a state agency and not the jurisdiction of Fremantle Council, so the City of Fremantle can do nothing, but ask, beg and plea for upgrades of the Passenger Terminal, etc.

However the City has revealed its South Quay Project plans for the development of Victoria Quay and beyond, but to realise those plans it will need collaboration from state government and Fremantle Ports.

I am making this point not to defend Fremantle Council and its Mayor but because I am getting very annoyed with the often-made ignorant and ill-informed comments about our hard-working council.

It is not very intelligent to not inform oneself and make comments that are baseless.

Yesterday someone posted that Freo Council are naysayers who have no balls, and the truck accident at Stirling Highway somehow could be blamed on them, but Mainroads is responsible for the long-overdue upgrade that was cancelled because of the Perth Freight Link plans. The upgrade at High Street is now back under the new Labor government.

Criticise Fremantle Council and Mayor Brad Pettitt as much as you like, as I regularly do, but base it on facts, not ignorance.

Roel Loopers

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MILSOM RESIGNS AS FREO BID CEO

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 21, 2017

It comes as a shock to me that Tim Milsom, the energetic CEO of Fremantle BID, has suddenly resigned after only three months in the job, giving personal issues as the reason for his resignation.

It is very disappointing that the well-liked Milsom has gone because the City of Fremantle has just prolonged the life of BID, that was deemed not to have performed satisfactory in its first four years.

I have no doubt the appointment of Milsom as the new BID CEO was one of the reasons Council agreed to extend the Business Improvement District model.

I hope you are well Tim!!!!

Roel Loopers

MAKE MY ELECTION DAY FREO

Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 15, 2017

The Fremantle local government election campaign started early this year with Ra Stewart announcing she is standing for Mayor and Claudia Green contesting the City Ward position that will be vacated by Simon Naber.

Dave Coggin has already left so his seat is available, and four other seats plus the Mayor’s will be up, so it’s going to be a signifiant election.

Because of some critical observations I have made about Ra Stewart there are already people who assume I have something against her, with one West End resident claiming I am the publicist for Mayor Brad Pettitt.

So I want to make a few points that will hopefully stick. I am PRO Fremantle and whoever shows me that they have the vision, long-term plans and solutions, innovation and creativity to lead our beautiful city toward inevitable economic recovery and vibrancy will have my support.

All candidates, including all sitting members, will get a fair go on Freo’s View, but if they make accusations that are unfair or not based on facts I will call them up on that. If all you have is criticism of the present Council but no ideas on how to do it better than I will point that out.

Council bashing alone won’t do and I expect balance and fairness from those who put their hand up and want to be our next community representatives on Council.

I don’t care if my local members are to the right, centre or left of politics as long as they have the best for Fremantle in mind and I will judge them on that.

If you want to put me in a box or drawer and assume you know where I stand, just go ahead with name-calling. I have had heated arguments with Freo’s Mayor and have at times been extremely critical about certain aspects of Fremantle Council, to the point that the former CEO confronted me at a public meeting and told me he was sick and tired of me calling for his head. CoF staff en-masse complained when I finally was given a photographic assignment some years ago, because I was too critical of the City of Fremantle.

I have been called a lapdog of Fremantle Council on social media, and on a promise by the Mayor to get on council, as if a Mayor ever had the power to appoint Councillors.

I have been called an anti-development NIMBY, and the narrow-minded president of the Frraemantle Society called me Adolf and an apologist for bad development, when I have been more vocal against inappropriate development in the CBD than most people.

But I am very much for the modernisation and development of the ugly east part of the inner city because I strongly believe that with more people living and working in the city and tourists staying in new hotels our traders will significantly start to benefit from that in 2-4 years from now. It is the game changer Fremantle needs!

I believe in balance and fairness and expect people who make accusations against our Elected Members to at least give them the courtesy of informed criticism based on facts, not some of the ridiculous ignorant comments I read on social media and in letters to editors.

I am not anti Ra Stewart or anti Brad Pettitt and I am not anti Fremantle Council either. I want the best for Freo and will do my utmost to support those who will make a significant positive difference to the city I love. If you want to attack me for that just go ahead and make my day! ; >)

Roel Loopers

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