Freo's View

FREO TOWNHALL FLAG RAISED AFTER LONG ABSENCE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on May 26, 2017

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For the first time in ten years the Australian national flag was raised above the Fremantle Townhall at noon today, and the repaired bells were ringing.

A big mob of people turned up for the official unveiling of the Townhall conservation works and were very impressed with the brilliant outcome.

New WA Minister and Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk was present, as was Federal Labor MP for Fremantle Josh Wilson.

City of Fremantle heritage architect Alan Kelsall was clearly relieved and delighted that the effort by a large team of people had all been worth all the hard work.

Roel Loopers

SHIFTING GOALPOSTS NOT COMMUNITY PROBLEM

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on May 25, 2017

Fremantle Council deferred a decision last night on the application by developers Silverleaf to not go ahead with adding more fritted glass screens to the building, as was agreed on in the planning approval.

The planning officers and Design Advisory Committee wanted Council to  reject the application but an amendment by Councillor Rachel Pemberton is trying to find a compromise.

Pemberton said she was concerned and tried to understand the practical reality of not adding the glass screens, but it is the the original approved plans so why wasn’t it done? But there is no harm done to see if a good compromise can be found.

The DAC said it is very disappointed with the amended proposal as it spent considerable time with the proponent, and a number of design outcomes were negotiated and considered necessary components that lead to the DAC’s conditional approval of the building.

The DAC believes the fritted glass screens address the scale and massing by making the detail behind the glass less legible.

Silverleaf owner Gerard O’Brien said the developer had spent more money into details such as tuck pointing the facades in High and Cantonment streets and that he had been advised by the builders that retrospect adding of the fritted glass screens would be difficult.

I don’t mind the building as it kind of floats over the old facades and the fritted glass screens definitely help to give it that appearance of softness, so I would like to see the developer stick to the plans Fremantle Council approved. They made it more difficult for themselves, and probably more costly now, by not adhering to the plans and making unapproved changes as they went along.

I do understand the triple bottom line and Silverleaf at present developing eight major sites in different councils, but at the end of the day if developers move the goal posts during construction that is a decision they have to live with and pay for. The community should not be told that it is too expensive and troublesome now to do what they agreed on in the first place when they applied for planning approval from council.

Roel Loopers

ILLEGAL DUMP REMOVED FAST

Posted in city of fremantle, pollution, rubbish by freoview on May 25, 2017

 

 

My Freo’s View blog might not change the world but it does make a difference sometimes in Fremantle.

The illegal rubbish dump on the corner of Suffolk Street and South Terrace, that I reported about on Tuesday morning, is already being cleaned up. Three skip bins were being filled with the waste yesterday.

That is an amazingly fast response from the City of Fremantle and I thank the officers involved and the elected members who took the issue on. Well done all!

And thank you also to resident Kim D’Alton who made me aware of the issue.

 

Roel Loopers

TRAFFIC CALMING NOT THAT SIMPLE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, TRAFFIC, Uncategorized by freoview on May 24, 2017

 

I thought at the South Fremantle Precinct meeting at The Local last night how frustrating it sometimes must be to be a City of Fremantle officer and Councillor.

Three CoF officers were invited to talk about the process on the traffic calming of South Terrace and Councillor Andrew Sullivan also attended.

Questions were again raised that had already been addressed at previous community meetings and the process is about two third underway, but I don’t blame anyone for that, as it is often the case that those who attend the first meeting(s) don’t come again, while other do. It is great to see a crowd of around 60 people at a precinct meeting because community involvement is essential for the officers and elected members to make the right decisions.

Underground power is planned but who is going to pay for it. Normally it is around one third Western Power, one third City and one third paid by property owners, but the latter are very reluctant to hand over cash.

Five speed reduction platform nodes were suggested at Douro Road, South Street, Lefroy Road and Charles and Silver streets, but one resident suggested some should be put where there is already more activity such as near Abhi’s and Manna’s.

Widening footpaths to accommodate more street furniture, dedicated bicycle paths and trees all along are also on the cards.

There were concerns from residents of Marine Terrace that traffic calming along South Terrace would increase traffic in their street but as one officer said we can’t solve all problems at once and if there is a knock-on effect we have to deal with that if it happens.

Another resident pointed out that the two streets are very different with South Terrace having more cafes, restaurants, hotels and heritage buildings and hence traffic calming there made more sense than doing it along Marine Terrace.

Illegal parking makes it very difficult and dangerous for local residents to pull out of side streets onto South Terrace and parking officers should try to be more attentive to that problem.

From my own experience driving down South Terrace many times a week is that where there are activity notes motorists will slow down at Abhi’s, the Local Hotel, Lefroy Road and near the South Beach Hotel hospitality hub.

That is also happening in Wray Avenue were traffic slows down near Frank’s and Gallati’s because cars are pulling out, car doors are opened and pedestrians cross.

One of the basic facts of life is that one cannot please everyone and every change will have an impact on different areas, unless we all stop driving cars and hop on public transport or bikes.

Roel Loopers

 

SIRONA APPOINTS PROBUILD FOR KINGS SQUARE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on May 16, 2017

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SIRONA CAPITAL has appointed national building company ProBuild for the $ 270 million Fremantle Kings Square Project. Building will commence in August this year.

ProBuild has been signed up for several major construction jobs in Perth recently and is already busy with building the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Elizabeth Quay.

I believe it is great news for Fremantle and will truly change our city’s fortunes for the better.

Roel Loopers

CARRIAGE CAFE TO STAY

Posted in city of fremantle, esplanade reserve, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on May 6, 2017

 

I hear that the Carriage Cafe on the Fremantle Esplanade has been sold and that the new owners have an understanding with the City of Fremantle that they can stay there for several years, and don’t have to move or demolish the building to make way for the Esplanade masterplan development.

This is probably due to Freo City not being in the financial position to build the planned new hospitality venue near the ferris wheel that was to become a burger bar.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE SOCIETY NOT TRUTHFUL

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle society, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 5, 2017

While Fremantle Society President John Dowson is always keen to question the integrity and transparency of Fremantle Council he does not care much about telling his members blatant lies to make Council look bad.

Dowson sent this email to FS members recently “…..the new administration building will only have HALF as much office space for staff as the current one! The 400 staff will have 800 sq metres of space, or 2 sq metres each, with the new “Hot desking” technique of not giving staff their own offices. This encourages staff to arrive early, around 5am, to secure the best positions.”

But the facts are very different according to the City of Fremantle. The present administration building has a net floor area for staff of 1,804 square metres and the new administration building will have 1,839 square metres of net floor area for staff, so  1,039 square metres more than the Fremantle Society President claims it will have.

In his desperation to make political points John Dowson does not bother to check facts it appears, so be warned who you vote for at the October election, especially when the candidates are supported by John Dowson’s hot air.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE GLASS HALF FULL

Posted in city of fremantle, development, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on May 5, 2017

We are a funny lot in Fremantle  and some people will only see the negative side of things, as these two examples show.

La Porchetta pizza restaurant in Collie Street has unfortunately closed and that inspired someone on the Freo Massive Facebook page to write that Fremantle might as well become a ghost town.

It is always disappointing when a business closes but there is an abundance of hospitality outlets in Fremantle and the new meatball and cocktail bar just opened around the corner, there is a new cafe on Cantonment Street, another one in Pakenham Street and a new restaurant in Douro Road, to name just a few of newly opened businesses. There is also a new florist in South Freo by the way!

Another gentleman on the same social media page claimed that Fremantle Council is anti-development. When I pointed out that we have not seen so much development in 30 years he questioned that because Council had rejected two development applications recently.

I only know of the inappropriate and ugly proposal for the Mills Record building and the out of scale building Notre Dame Uni wanted to put in Cliff Street that Fremantle Council rightly rejected, but just look around what is going on!

The stunning Heirloom apartments opened in December, opposite the massive LIV Defence Housing apartments are being built, The Hilton Hotel, Spotlight site, Kings Square Project, Fremantle Oval project, Quest Hotel, imminent plans to develop the Woolstores shopping centre site, etc.

Fremantle Council anti-development? I don’t think so!

The glass is well over half full in Fremantle and the long-term vision of Council is paying off with more developers feeling confident about investing in Freo, which will give a huge boost to our retailers and the hospitality industry in the not too far future.

Smile! Freo is on the right track.

Roel Loopers

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FREO BAN THE BAG IS BACK

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on April 27, 2017

Fremantle Council decided last night to ban the use of plastic shopping bags. This is the third time in five years Council is giving it a try as the previous W.A. Liberal/National government rejected the proposal in 2012 and 2015, but the new Labor government have indicated they would support local councils banning non-degradable plastic shopping bags.

Already other councils have started the same process and Councillor Doug Thompson said that a survey showed that 32 councils support banning the environment-damaging bags.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton pointed out that it was about the material of the bags and that degradable bags could still be supplied to customers.

Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge said Council should campaign for the general reduction of the use of plastic as it was extensively used. She is right. Single pieces of fruit and vegetables are offered on trays wrapped in plastic by supermarkets, which is not only wasteful but also damaging to the environment.

Roel Loopers

FOREVER BORING HILTON LIFE

Posted in children, city of fremantle, family, Uncategorized by freoview on April 27, 2017

There are not many endearing moments at local council meetings but last night’s City of Fremantle meeting had some cute moments about the plans for a pocket park in Hilton.

A very brave and articulate 10-year-old girl addressed Council and urged members to approve the plans, and mothers of other children read out letters written by them.

Another ten-year-old wrote that the new small park would enable them to meet new people from the suburb and meet other families.

But the laugh of the night came from an eight-year-old boy who wrote that without the park life would be boring forever.

One mum mused that while her introvert child wanted to stay at home, the extravert one wanted to go out, and it would be much safer if she could let him go to a park nearby, rather than to another park that required crossing a busy road.

Council unanimously voted to approve the pocket park.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on FOREVER BORING HILTON LIFE

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