Freo's View

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!

ALL THE CANDIDATES FOR THE FREMANTLE ELECTION

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 15, 2017

 

Nominations for the Fremantle local government election have now closed and ballot papers will start to be delivered by Australia Post from September 24.

Whatever your opinion is, PLEASE VOTE!

Nominations are as follows:

MAYOR: Mayor Brad Pettitt and Ra Stewart.

BEACONSFIELD: Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge and Fedele Camarda.

SOUTH WARD: Councillor Andrew Sullivan, Marija Vujcic, Ben Moodie, Jennifer Suffling, Liam Carter.

NORTH WARD: Councillor Doug Thompson, Michelle Corbo.

HILTON WARD: Councillor Sam Wainwright, Catherine Hammond.

EAST WARD: Jenny Archibald, Michelle Cunningham.

CITY WARD: Roel Loopers, Linda Wayman, Julie Morgan, Claudia Green, Adin Lang.

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

 

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

 

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FREMANTLE ELECTION FORUMS DATES

Posted in city of fremantle, community, election, Uncategorized by freoview on September 8, 2017

 

Candidate Forums

 

The Fremantle community is always good at organising election candidate forums, where voters can listen to those who want to represent them on council and ask questions during the Q&A.

So write the dates down in your diaries, or record them in any of your electronic devices.

The big mayoral one between Mayor Brad Pettitt and candidate Ra Stewart is on Tuesday October 3 at 6.30 pm at Tannock Hall of the University of Notre Dame, at Cliff Street, opposite the Fremantle Herald.

East Ward candidates will have their forum on September 19, Beaconsfield/Hilton candidates on September 20, City Ward is on September 28 and South and North Wards are yet to be determined.

I will update you as we go when I got starting times, but most of them will probably be from 6 pm.

 

Roel Loopers

 

AUSTRALIA DAY THREAT TO LOCAL COUNCILS

Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 15, 2017

 

Australia Day smoking ceremony in the Fremantle Roundhouse

 

According to a report in the West Australian today the Federal Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection has written to all 547 local councils in Australia, and warned them that they will be stripped off their right to hold citizenship ceremonies, if there are politically motivated attacks on Australia Day.

Fremantle Council this year stopped the Australia Day firework on January 26 and instead had a One Day event on the Esplanade on the 28th.

The fireworks still went ahead and were paid for by the Fishing Boat Harbour traders.

I am not sure that I consider the now national discussion about a more appropriate date to celebrate Australia Day as political motivated. It is only genuine consideration for Australia’s indigenous people, who consider January 26 as invasion day.

 

Roel Loopers

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ESSENTIAL FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 4, 2017

 

Unlike federal and state government local government is unique by the fact that there is no opposition party in local councils.

There is no shadow front bench, party rooms, whips, or leader of the opposition, so all elected members at local government have a conscience vote on every issue, something we often wish would be the case more at the two other forms of government.

Local government has no oposition, and practically that means that the community becomes the de-facto opposition. That sounds like very good grassroots democracy to me, as long as the community is willing to engage in the process, and that often is the problem.

For a local government like Fremantle Council to perform at its best exceptional community consultation is essential, but that is difficult to achieve because of community apathy.

You can take a horse to water but can’t force it to drink, and that is the case with community consultation where most people don’t bother to engage.

To make local government work community input needs to be pro-active rather than re-active, and it is essential that the elected members treat community input like a discussion in a political party room, with all the respect it deserves.

Unfortunately most people don’t even vote at council elections, let alone engage in the process of consultation, so it is often left to a few who polarise issues and are against most things council decides. That kind of negative engagement is not helpful and divides the community, and both sides are to blame for that.

I believe it would be helpful to get a better understanding of how council works by having regular monthly meetings with community groups, as is already done at the more active precincts around Fremantle.

It would also be helpful if more people attended council meetings, but I have no idea how to achieve that, unless we do live streaming, so people don’t have to leave home to witness the democratic council process.

FICRA, FRRA, the Fremantle Society, the Chamber of Commerce, etc. should all be part of the deliberations and debate and have an input. Not just on one off occasions, but as a matter of monthly routine.

If council engaged earlier and more intensely with the community, a lot of the re-active negativity could be avoided, and positive outcome based dialogue could be had with the community.

That would result in the community being part of the solutions and taking ownership of the issues at hand. It would no longer be us and them, but all of us together shaping the future of Fremantle.

I believe Freo is capable of that kind of mature debate and would love to see it implemented.

The community apathy is happening in most councils in Australia and is not specific to Fremantle though.

While the inevitable future local government reform and council amalgamations might result in more cohesive and effective administrations, there is no guarantee it would result in better community embracing governance.

It could be an interesting project for Notre Dame University students of politics to find creative ways of how to improve local government, how to improve community participation, and how to improve voter participation at council elections.

It is worthwhile to think about this and find ways of accommodating change and progress while respecting our unique city and its history.

Roel Loopers

LOCAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT JUST (ABOUT) RUBBISH

Posted in australia day, city of fremantle, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on July 31, 2017

 

With the Fremanle local government election just two months and three weeks away I have been contemplating what the role of local government actually is.

Some people in our community believe it is all about delivering services, collecting rubbish, cleaning streets, etc. but is there a bigger picture our Elected Members should also be involved in?

I personally believe there is because local politicians are the closest to grassroots democracy and should inspire state and federal governments.

I asked Dr. Martin Drum, Professor of Politics and International Relations and Chief of Staff of the Vice Chancellor at Fremantle Notre Dame University and this was his reply:

“Elected representatives have both a deliberative and representative function. We focus a lot on the deliberative part, where our MPs and councillors are empowered to make decisions on our behalf. They decide what proposed developments can and cant proceed, they decide what does and doesn’t get funded. Some people argue that this is all our elected representatives should do.

But our representatives are also expected to represent the community which elects them. In electing them, we have authorised them to do this. Representation is arguably even more important than deliberation because it helps shape the identity of a community. Our councillors are the voice of the people they represent. If you ask me, its especially important for elected representatives to speak up for people who dont have the capacity to represent themselves.

Fremantle is a special part of Western Australia. It’s a little different to other areas. Local representatives need to speak to this difference. That is why the council, the sum body of local representatives in Fremantle, should feel free to speak up about the date of Australia Day, especially if their community has communicated this to them.

Elected representatives get judged not only by the decisions they make but also by how effective they are at representing people.

Whether a particular policy position is a good or bad one (such as moving Australia Day, opposing Roe 8, banning plastic bags) is up to the Fremantle community to judge, but there is no doubt that elected representatives are entitled to speak about them. We expect that people we elect become a voice of the people they represent, so they should speak up.

Those who are running as alternatives should likewise feel free to express their views on these issues. Competition for political office is healthy and should be welcomed. We then expect the public to judge them on that come the next election. That’s why I think being accountable and transparent is important.

Personally I always hope that debate focuses on the issues rather than the person, but that’s a pretty idealistic position these days.”

There is no doubt though that Council needs to have its priorities right and that people in the community rightly complain when basic maintenance is not done. One has to consider and acknowledge though that the day to day running of the City of Fremantle is done by the administration.

There is also an absolute and non-negotiable need for excellent community consultation, which was lacking on the Australia Day changes. This should have been handled much better as it polarised the community and became a political, and sadly sometimes racist, debate.

The positive thing about the initiative of Fremantle Council is that the Australia Day date and plastic bags ban now have become a national debate and that looks like pretty healthy democracy to me.

I agree with Dr Martin Drum that the debate should focus on issues rather than on the person. Respectful dialogue is essential to move forward together, and I especially am aware that it is not always easy to keep that in mind when one has a passion for Freo.

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE VACANCIES NOT TOO BAD

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, real estate, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on July 21, 2017

 

Fremantle is doing pretty well in the commercial vacancy rate comparison with other councils.

The West Australian this week released the vacancy figures for Bayview Terrace in Claremont at 10.16%, Napoleon Street in Cottesloe at 6.81% and Rokeby Road in Subiaco at 5.94%, but failed to mention Fremantle shopping streets.

The best performing street was Oxford Street in Leederville that has no vacancies.

When we compare Freo’s main shopping streets we are doing alright here and it is not as bleak as some people think.

Commercial vacancies in Fremantle high streets are:

  • High Street mall and west end 5%
  • South Terrace 3%
  • Cappuccino Strip and Market Street 5%

However the more run-down part of Fremantle that is waiting to be developed has higher vacancy rates:

  • Cantonment Street 16%
  • Adelaide Street 21%

Adelaide Street is of course waiting for the Hilton Hotel and Little Laneway (Spotlight site) developments, while Cantonment Street will be transformed with the Woolstores shopping centre development.

 

Roel Loopers

 

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