Freo's View

AUSTRALIAN DAYS TO CELEBRATE INCLUSIVENESS

 

So what is the fuss about again about Australia Day? It was all over the news yesterday but there is very little new in what ScoMo and other politicians said, besides a new dress code for those who receive the citizenship certificate, which is soooooo un-Australian.

Already last year local councils were told by the Federal Government that citizenship ceremonies had to be held on January 26 and the City of Fremantle obliged, but also held the One Day event two days later on Sunday the 28th.

This year again we will have the very good One Day event on Sunday the 27th in Fremantle and the citizenship ceremony at Fremantle Oval on the 26th, and then we have the Australia Day Monday to do whatever we like.

And after we heard all the political stuff about how sacrosanct Australia Day supposedly is, it turned out that the ScoMo government only wants to introduce the changes in 2020, when they are most likely no longer in power. What a waste of time!

And just for the sake of the argument, why isn’t the Australian of the Year announcement on Australia Day, but the day before, and what actually is Australian Citizenship Day on September 17 for?

Personally I am looking forward to being at the citizenship ceremony in Freo because as a migrant myself I know how special and important that is, and I am very much looking forward to the Smoking Ceremony on Bathers Beach at 8am and the all day One Day event on the 28th. There is something for everyone. It is inclusive and it should not offend anyone to celebrate that way together!

Roel Loopers

 

EAST FREMANTLE COUNCIL MORALLY ILLITERATE

 

Fremantle Councillors last night expressed their dismay about neighbours East Fremantle pulling out of the library services and stopping their $ 200,000 a year contribution to the Fremantle Library at the end of this financial year.

Councillor Andrew Sullivan, who sits on the joint Library Committee, said the members were gobsmacked when it was announced by the Town of East Fremantle, and when the two East Fremantle members of the committee simply no longer turned up to debate it.

“We were hoping East Fremantle Council would recognise it is morally wrong and change their mind”

Sullivan said it was not relevant how many East Fremantle people used Fremantle, Melville or Cockburn libraries. “In Fremantle we just celebrate that people are using the library and are not counting the numbers of which councils they come from” Sullivan said. “I won’t be as polite to them next time I see East Fremantle Councillors”

Councillors Doug Thompson and Bryn Jones pointed out that the Town of East Fremantle is one of the wealthiest councils in the metropolitan area and would be the only one that would not financially contribute to library services.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said that after the last failed council amalgamation attempts she believed councils would work closer together, but instead the divide is getting wider. “No one from East Fremantle turned up at the last three Library Committees!”

The CEO confirmed that even if they stopped paying their contribution East Fremantle still could send two representatives to the Library Committee who would be allowed to vote. It would take Fremantle Council to change the local law to change that officially.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said he had the impression that the East Fremantle Mayor wanted to bring the issue back to his Council and reconsider their position.

Roel Loopers

 

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WE DEMAND OUR SAY IN CITY PLANNING!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, Uncategorized by freoview on November 17, 2018

 

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This letter to the editors of the West Australian by Ian Kerr of Mt Lawley makes so many valid points about the failures of our planning process that it deserves to be spread around, so that more people can read it and comment on it.

The rights of local communities to have a proper say on city planning have been eroded over the years by giving more power to the Joint Development Assessment Panels(JDAP), SAT and the WA Planning Commission, which often overrule local council decisions and approve inappropriate high and bulky buildings in character suburbs.

Main Roads is all about moving vehicles, with often scant regard for pedestrians and other road users, and JDAP is all about building bigger buildings and higher density, and not about amenity and aesthetics. That needs to change.

Great letter, Ian Kerr! Keep up the good fight!

Roel Loopers

 

HAVE YOUR SAY ON NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT

 

WA Local government Minister David Templeman has an article in today’s West Australian in which he encourages the community to get involved in the review of the local government act and make suggestions on how we can improve our local councils and administrations.

Here some information from the government website about it:

Phase one: modernising local government

Phase one of the review focuses on four key areas:

  • Meeting community expectations of standards, ethics and performance
  • Meeting public expectations for accountability, including gift disclosures
  • Electronic availability of information
  • Building capacity through introducing administrative efficiencies

Local governments and the community were invited to have their say throughout the consultation period. The phase one discussion paper was released on 8 November 2017 and public consultation closed on 9 March 2018.

Phase two: delivering for communities

​Commencing in 2018, phase two will ensure local governments are positioned to deliver for the community by examining:

  • Elections
  • Community consultation and engagement
  • Integrated Planning and Reporting
  • Financial management
  • Rates and charges
  • Beneficial organisations (council controlled organisations)
  • Local laws
  • Interventions
  • Administrative efficiencies

What you need to know

What is the Local Government Act review?

The Local Government Act review will introduce changes that will modernise the Act and ensure that local governments are positioned to deliver for the community into the future. The review is being undertaken in two phases. The first consultation paper released on 8 November 2017.

Phase two of the review is now underway.

Local government is real grassroots government so we should all take an active part in trying to improve the performance of our elected members and staff, and get greater transparency and better communication, so have your say!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE COUNCIL CORRUPTION CLAIM

Posted in book, city of fremantle, crime, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 22, 2018

book launch

 

A book written and published by former Fremantle Greens Senator and former Fremantle Society president Dr Ian Alexander claims corruption at Fremantle and Perth councils.

The City of Sharks book is promoted as a novel, but the invitation to the launch reads: A novel about corruption and intrigue in the Cities of Perth and Fremantle. A novel which asks: will high-rise take over Fremantle or will the people’s campaign against it succeed?

The book launch is on July 11 from7-30-9pm upstairs at the National Hotel in Fremantle and discounted books for just $ 25 will be available.

I am sure the book will have a disclaimer that states it is only creative fiction writing, but it could still become a field day for lawyers. I can’t wait to read it.

Roel Loopers

 

 

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PROPOSED CHANGES TO WA PLANNING PROCESS

 

The WA Government has released its plans for changes to the planning process, stating that the present process is more about process than it is about quality outcomes.

The discussion paper that is now out for public comment focusses on five areas which I have copied and pasted here for Freo’s View readers:

1. Strategically-led

2. Legible

3. Transparent

4. Efficient

5. Delivering smart growth

  • The State Government, WAPC and local government to collaborate on the planning and delivery of key centres and infill locations and forward planning of infrastructure.
  • Develop a state planning policy focused on delivering consolidated and connected smart growth.
  • Provide for coordinated land use and transport planning of key urban corridors.

Key reform proposals

Make strategic planning the cornerstone of the planning system

  • Local governments to have up-to-date local planning strategies, including one for housing, through which the community has a say in how their neighbourhood will be developed.
  • Make strategic planning for sustainable development the purpose of planning in Western Australia.

Make the planning system easy to access and understand

  • A single concise State Planning Policy framework with common elements for State, regional and local plans and policies.
  • A comprehensive local planning scheme will be available online for each local government including a local planning strategy, the statutory scheme and local planning policies.
  • Reduce red tape by standardising commonly used zones.

Open up the planning system and increase community engagement in planning

  • A Community Engagement Charter with a focus on up-front community involvement in strategic planning.
  • Re-balance Development Assessment Panel processes including recording meetings, providing reasons for decisions, and undertaking more comprehensive investigation and consideration of complex proposals.
  • Local governments to report annually on their planning responsibilities.

Make the planning system well-organised and
more efficient

Refocus the planning system to deliver quality urban infill

  • Revise the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) to include 5-7 specialist members and increase their focus on strategic planning and policy development.
  • WAPC to delegate more statutory matters to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and accredited local governments.
  • Rethink administrative processes that add unnecessary time and cost to approvals processes.

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THREE BINS FOG(O) FOR FREMANTLE

 

Three bins CoF

 

The City of Fremantle is moving towards the introduction of a new three bin system for household waste and recycling.

If introduced the new three bin system will include:

Weekly collection of a new 240 litre FOGO bin (with a lime green lid)

Fortnightly collection of the existing 240 litre co-mingled recycling bin (yellow lid)

Fortnightly collection of a new 140 litre general waste bin (red lid)

The City of Fremantle is part of the larger Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC), where local governments in southern Perth work together to provide waste and recycling services for our residents.

Since 2016 CoF have been working closely with the other member councils to assess the merits of the three bin system, including a trial with 7000 homes in the City of Melville.

The results from the trial so far have been better than expected, with the bins being used correctly and less contamination of the FOGO bins than anticipated.

Subject to final approval, the three bin system will be introduced to more than 13,000 residential households in Fremantle in July and August next year.

The roll-out will include high-profile education program to let people know what to put in each bin and how the system will work.

Because of issues with access and space the roll-out will not include high-density areas like the city centre and some town houses, commercial properties or residential complexes with more than four units, although this will be subject to review over time.

The new system will mean the City will need to carry out an additional 400,000 bin lifts per year.

The capital cost of setting up the system – including purchasing the new bins – will be around $1.2 million, while additional ongoing operational costs will be between $250,000 and $350,000 per year.

CAN FREMANTLE CITY SAVE ON INSURANCES?

Posted in city of fremantle, councils, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 7, 2018

 

I hope that the City of Fremantle beancounters and Councillors did read the article on the front page of the POST community newspaper this weekend.

The article claims that local councils can save a lot of money by shopping for insurance, rather than simply using the Local Government Insurance Scheme-LGIS.

Staff from the City of Nedlands estimate they have saved $ 266,000 in premiums in four years while the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Councils saved $ 400.000 off its yearly LGIS bill after getting cheaper quotes from other insurances.

Cambridge Mayor Keri Shannon told the POST that LGIS member councils could save about 30% off their premiums by leaving the LGIS.

Fremantle is not exactly swimming in money, so if the City could save hundreds of thousands of dollars that would be great.

Roel Loopers

 

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BIG BROTHER WANTS PLANNING POWER STRIPPED FROM COUNCILS

 

It is a worry to read that the WA Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage has put a submission to Local Government Minister David Templeman to strip local councils off their power to make planning decisions.

The department argues that councils should be responsible for planning strategies, e.g. planning schemes and amendments but that councillors should not have the power to decide over individual planning applications, because they are not trained. The individual planning application decisions should instead be made by the council’s CEO and staff or an authority such as JDAP.

We have already had many complaints from local councils that the Joint Development Assessment Panels and the State Administrative Tribunal overrule local council planning decisions too often and ignore the desire by local councils to retain the unique heritage character of their suburbs.

To have a big brother approach to local planning would be all wrong and would severely put in doubt the quality and height and scale of buildings a state authority might deem appropriate but a local council would reject.

While there is a strong push for suburban infill by the State Government to stop the unsustainable urban sprawl it is imperative that local council should decide on the appropriateness of new development plans. Fremantle is not Joondalup and vv and state planners might not have a lot of sympathy and consideration for that.

 

Roel Loopers

FREO NEEDS SUBSTANCE NOT HYPERBOLE

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 19, 2017

 

Over the last ten years that I have been scrutinising Fremantle Council, by attending most council and committee meetings, I have come to understand how diverse and challenging local governance is.

Councillors need to be interested in almost everything and have good common knowledge of what goes on in Fremantle. Elected Members vote on every item that comes to Council, so it is important for the Freo community that Councillors are not only interested in their own backyard, street or suburb.

During local government election campaigns in Fremantle we hear claims of uniqueness, as some candidates state that they are only one with certain qualifications to do a proper job as Councillor, because they live or work in the ward they have nominated for.

Elected Members need to make a positive contribution, have ideas, and aim for solutions and good outcomes. Stubbornly sticking to a philosophy, or just being negative about decisions of the past, does not make for a good Councillor.

Integrity, consistency, outstanding communication skills, willingness to compromise, and convincing fellow Councillors, so that we get the best outcomes, are essential skills for elected members. And so are innovative and creative ideas, long-term strategies, and deeply listening to the community.

One candidate claims that no one else can claim her local government activism and knowledge. But this candidate only attended Council when she wanted to protest about something that happened in the West End. Here ends her Fremantle interest.

The three other City Ward candidates don’t attend council meeting, so their  interest in Fremantle local government is questionable.

I have lived all over Fremantle for 25 years. I registered my commercial photography business in WA in 1985 and had my office in Freo from 1992 to 2016.

I am the only one of all five City Ward candidates who can honestly claim to have attended most Council and committee meetings for over ten years, and therefore have a thorough understanding of local government process.

I walk the City Ward streets every day of the year and engage with the community, so say hello and have a chat with me when you see me!

There is a whole lot more expected from a Councillor than looking after your own interest, street and suburb, so VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

Roel Loopers

Let’s cut the crap and get some substance: CITY WARD CANDIDATE FORUM Thursday September 28 at 6.30 pm, upstairs at the National Hotel!

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