Freo's View

URBAN INFILL DEMANDS NOISE PROTECTION MEASURES

 

One of only two agenda items for the Strategic Planning and Transport Committee on Wednesday will be the community consultation paper put out by the WA Planning Commission-WAPC about noise in entertainment areas such as Northbridge, and the question if Fremantle Council should consider asking the WAPC to include the Fremantle CBD in the trial.

Medium and high density urban infill has seen a rise in complaints in recent years from residents who are not happy with the noise from entertainment venues and transport, but the entertainment industry believes it is not fair that the onus should only be on them and that it should be shared with developers of new residential buildings, which should be required to put better noise insulation measures, such as double glazing and thicker glass in their developments.

I remember many years ago that when the new apartments opposite Clancy’s were built that it only took one week before the first complaint was made about live music there, although the tavern had been having regular live concerts for many many years.

In Fremantle where we are going to see a glut of new residential apartments and hotel rooms, combined with new taverns and bars, it is essential to also protect the livelihood of the hospitality industry and demand new buildings that have better noise protection for their users.

Roel Loopers

SHARING ART IS GENEROUS AND BEAUTIFUL

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, city planning, culture, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on October 8, 2018

 

 

I was surprised to get a few negative comments about the mural artwork on the corner of Stevens and Brennan streets in Fremantle. I am yet to hear strong community protest against visual pollution such as signs all over the place, so what irks people about art along our streets?

Some people believe that individual home owners have no right to impose their art and taste on the community, and they argue that if people want these murals they should do it on the inside of the wall, or inside their house, but not where it is visible to the general public. I disagree with that.

Since humans started building structures others have had that imposed on them, be that bad architecture, ridiculous colour schemes, or garden gnomes, lions, etc.

And where would we stop if we legislated against murals and other art on private properties?  Should we ban businesses as well from beautifying their walls, and is it acceptable to have public art inflicted on us? What about bus shelters and railway stations?

Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but I believe that most people understand what crappy amateur art is, compared to good professional art, and the artwork in Brennan Street is the latter.

Roel Loopers

FREO KINGS SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT UPDATE

 

 

A look down Queen Street and another one down William Street shows how far the Fremantle Kings Square Redevelopment Project is progressing.

Great times ahead for good old Freo!

Roel Loopers

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VOTERS DO NOT APPRECIATE THE DEMOCRATIC PRIVILEGE

Posted in city of fremantle, democract, elections, Uncategorized, voting by freoview on July 30, 2018

 

Saturday’s federal by-election had the lowest voter turnout in the history of compulsory voting, which was introduced a century ago, with just over 60% of people voting in Perth and Fremantle, and that is disappointing. Part of the reason for the low participation is no doubt that the Liberal party decided not to run candidates in Perth and Fremantle.

The idea of David Templeman, the WA Minister for Local Government, of trying to introduce on-line electronic voting for local elections is a good one, but his target of getting 50% of voter participation is far too low.

The problem with low voter participation is that the ‘clever’ ones among us then claim that those who were elected don’t really have a mandate because they only received a relative small percentage of the eligible votes. That is nonsense, because members get elected within the laws, rules and regulations.

In a way those who-immaturely-decide not to participate in elections also vote, as they elect to not show a preference for any of the candidates. They should be quiet and not complain afterwards then about the governments we get.

In the seat of Fremantle Labor’s Josh Wilson received 52.7% of the primary vote, so that is up by 11.7%

Greens Dorinda Cox received 16.5% of the primary votes, down 1.2% and Josh Gray of the Lib-Dems got 14%.

I consider voting an absolute privilege, so while we all are tired of more and more election campaigns and hubris, we should still make the effort to vote. The next one will be here before we know it. ; >(

 

Roel Loopers

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THE WEST AUSTRALIAN ON FREO’S FUTURE

 

The West Australian newspaper published a feature article by Ken Acott today about Fremantle’s future with the headline Freo ripe for new investment to retain its edge.

The article is based on analysis by PCW City Pulse and features the opinion of Nadia van Dommelen, who is a partner in that firm, and also Freo Mayor Brad Pettit.

A lot of what van Dommelen says is not new and she puts a lot of hope in a new waterfront development along Victoria Quay and the move of the container port to Kwinana, so that is still far too far away to be realised.

But Nadia van Dommelen rightly states that Fremantle needs to stop comparing itself with other cities and be proud of the special character and gritty uniqueness of the old port city.

While van Dommelen is excited about eventual waterfront development she believes that the working port, sheds and railway are all part of Fremantle’s charm, and any future development needs to be authentic. She says there is now major opportunity for transformative investment in Fremantle, and that is already happening

I believe Fremantle’s immediate future needs intensive city planning that deals with all the current and imminent development, and that the City’s Council and planners need to have a strategic plan for creating better and more public realm that connects the new developments in the CBD.

The Heirloom and LIV apartments at Queen Victoria Street will be joined in the next few years by the Little Lane apartments in Adelaide Street, the Hilton Doubletree hotel development and apartments at Point Street and the Adani Hotel on the Woolstores site.

Add to that the development of the Manning building, the huge Kings Square development, plans for a new Fremantle Oval Precinct, a small boutique hotel next to the Fremantle Markets plus a four-storey hotel at the former Court and Police site at Henderson Street, and one can envisage a huge change in the inner city that will require more detailed planning for people movement, parking, safety, and enjoyment.

It is imperative that Fremantle Council is very realistic and very pragmatic about what it needs to do and what can be achieved. This is not the time for pie in the sky ideas but for the elected members to have their feet firmly on the ground.

I hope it’s not a bad omen that the West Australian on-line article about Fremantle’s future features a photo of the Botega cafe that recently closed. ; >)

Roel Loopers

 

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PROPER TRAINING FOR LOCAL COUNCILLORS A GOOD IDEA

Posted in city of fremantle, local council, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 22, 2018

 

Good to read that WA Local Government Minister David Templeman wants local Councillors to get a proper induction. New members would have to complete thorough training for the new job to learn the Local Government Act and financial literacy.

I have expressed my dismay in the past that people nominate to become local Councillors without ever having attended council or council committee meetings. I can not understand at all why people would not do their basic homework on local government before they nominate to manage our cities.

Templeman told the Sunday Times that there have been new Councillors in the past who did find out on the job that it was nothing like they expected, presumably because they did not go to council meetings or read the often very extensive agendas on line before nominating.

It is also a very good initiative by the WA Government that they want to put new legislation in place where they can sack individual council members and do not have to sack all elected members because there are some duds on council.

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S BIG BROTHER REGO-GNITION

Posted in cars, cbd, city of fremantle, law&order, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 18, 2018

 

A  $ 928.336 Safer Community grant from the Federal Government will be used by the City of Fremantle to install automatic number plate recognition cameras at the entries to the city. The technology is similar to that used in WA police cars.

The new cameras would be an addition to the existing Fremantle CCTV network and installed at main roads into the CBD and also at Beach Street, Marine Terrace, Market Street, South Terrace and Queen Victoria Street.

The Fremantle CCTV system is controlled by the CoF and footage release on request to the WA Police, lawyers and members of the public as evidence in court cases.

The cameras scan all passing vehicles and identify persons of interest, unregistered  and stolen vehicles and drivers without a license.

Roel Loopers

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FREO KINGS SQUARE PROGRESS REPORT

 

KS2

KS1

 

The first bit of scaffolding, to allow for the removal of asbestos, is now up at the Fremantle civic centre next to the Townhall.

Over the road ground work has begone on the former Queensgate site and it is a matter of days until we will see the start of the construction of the new building.

It is all part of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project by Sirona Capital and the City of Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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ROYAL GEORGE HEIGHT A HUGE PROBLEM

 

Royal George 2

 

It will be an interesting Planning Committee session at the Town of East Fremantle tonight, with Council debating a Scheme Amendment for the historic Royal George Hotel site at Duke Street.

Saracen Properties have proposed a 21-storey building behind the heritage listed building, but that has received huge community criticism, as was to be expected.

There is not yet a planning proposal by Saracen at the Town of East Fremantle and the final decision authority is the WA JDAP, but the proposed Scheme Amendment to be discussed this evening is to only allow a seven-storey building that does not exceed 36 metres on the vacant part behind the former hotel.

Several public submissions even argued against a seven-storey building and want only 3-4 storeys behind the heritage building

Saracen made it clear during community consultation that they can’t spend millions of dollars on refurbishing the old Royal George unless they get considerable height allowance. A much lower building is not financially viable according to the proponents.

It is known that JDAP and SAT do overrule local government decisions, so even if Council tonight decide to approve the proposed Scheme Amendment Saracen might still put forward the 21-storey building at JDAP.

It would be an utter shame if nothing would happen again and if the Royal George remained a vacant and derelict eyesore for another ten years.

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S QUEENSGATE ALL GONE

 

Kings Square

 

There is nothing left of the former Queensgate building at Fremantle’s Kings Square, as this photo shows.

Ground preparation is now under way and in about two weeks the prefabricated walls will start arriving at the site. That will coincide with the demolition of the City of Fremantle civic building.

Great views of the development from the Federal Hotel balcony!

Roel Loopers

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