Freo's View

IS FREMANTLE REALLY A LIGHTRAIL OPTION?

 

trackless tram

 

Lightrail is allegedly popular because buses are deemed to be boring and uncomfortable while trains are sexy, hence TV stations in Perth yesterday showed Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and CUSP Professor Peter Newman promoting trackless trams through Fremantle and all the way to Murdoch.

“The world is watching us” Newman proclaimed, but the new technology is not that new at all with the first guided systems dating back to the late 1980s, while it has had limited commercial success since the 2000s in places like Rouen in France, Castellon in Spain and Las Vegas, and there is one somewhere in China as well I believe.

Trackless trams look good, I have to agree, and at only $15 million per kilometre are about a third cheaper than trams on rail, but they can get stuck in traffic, like buses and that is not very good for public transport.

The promo video on TV yesterday showed a trackless tram along the Cappuccino Strip and High Street in the West End where traffic often comes to a standstill because of traffic volume or people parking. A trackless tram down the popular Freo strip would also be the end for any parade such as the Blessing of the Fleet and Anzac Day going through there because unlike buses lightrail can’t just be diverted through other streets.

The low gradient for trackless trams is also a worry. Could they drive up to South Street at the Hilton Hill or High Street near Monument Hill?

According to Professor Newman two trackless trains are waiting for a trial in Australia, but Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth also are interested which will make Fremantle unlikely to be the preferred option.

Roel Loopers

MODEST RATES RISE FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, councils, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 26, 2019

 

Council rates in Fremantle will only rise by 1.8% and that put our local council at number 16 on the list of local government rates rises.

Our neighbours East Fremantle come in at number 9 with a 2.4% rise, Cockburn at number 14 with a 1.9% rise and Melville at number 21 with a 1.1 rates rise.

The top of the list at number 1 is the City of Rockingham with a 3.6% rise, no doubt to reflect the status of being the home of the WA Premier Mark McGowan. ūüė≥

Cottesloe is number 2 with a 3.5% rise and Nedlands comes in at number 3 with a 2.95% rise.

Roel Loopers

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RUNNING WITH THIEVES FOR SOUTH FREMANTLE

Posted in brewery, city of fremantle, development, hospitality, tavern, Uncategorized by freoview on June 6, 2019

 

The City of Fremantle Planning Committee last night unanimously approved the long overdue development of the vacant Sealanes buildings between South Terrace and Marine Terrace in South Fremantle.

The 300 patron venue is proposed to operate as a high quality ‚Äėgastro tavern‚Äô incorporating a working boutique micro-brewery and micro-distillery offering patrons a mix of high quality beverage and dining and ‚Äėcellar door‚Äô in a casual, friendly atmosphere. It will be operated by Running With Thieves.

Alterations to the Marine Terrace and South Terrace frontages, including the provision of new doors, metal balustrades, alfresco bench seating, and new shop front windows will allow views across to South Beach.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE SOCIETY PRESIDENT LEAVING FREMANTLE

 

 

It is not official yet, but I was told last night that shock waves are going through the Fremantle Society with their president John Downson indicating that he will soon be relocating permanently to England.

Dowson is said to be deeply frustrated that the Society has been unable to make an impact on Fremantle planning matters and bad architecture, and he is outraged about what he calls the incompetent Fremantle Council, planning department and State’s JDAP and SAT, which approve in Dowson’s opinion inappropriate buildings in our city.

The Fremantle Society committee is very worried that they might not be able to find anyone to replace John Dowson because it has been very difficult over the past years to find members willing to put their hat in the ring and take on an official function, hence FS has now members on committee who don’t live anywhere near Fremantle.

Already during the last two years Dowson has ran FS partly from London, where he bought an apartment in a new upmarket subway station development, and from cruise ships on which he lectures about Fremantle’s history.

I see John Dowson’s departure from Fremantle as a good opportunity for the Fremantle Society to consider how to make the group relevant again and less political and council-bashing. It needs to go with the times and rejuvenate and redevelop itself and not be anti change and anti development. I hope the group won’t falter and collapse in a heap because of the departure of its powerful president.

If the Brits can cope with Brexit and Dowson is another thing, but good luck to John Dowson, who has been very controversial but with his heart in the right place for Freo.

Roel Loopers

 

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TRAINING FOR LOCAL COUNCILLORS

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on March 15, 2019

 

Local Government Minister David Templeman has announced that he wants to introduce online inductions for local council candidates before the October election this year.

Newly Elected Members would also be required to attend further training within a year of being elected.

I think this is a very good idea, because very many of local council candidates have little or no knowledge about local government process.

The one question I will be asking council candidates in Fremantle during the October election forums this year is how many Council and Council Committee meetings they attended this year.

Those who are not prepared to do that basic home work won’t be getting my vote and should not receive any from the community either. Just criticising the present Council is not a good election platform, especially if one does not understand how local government works.

Roel Loopers

 

MINISTER WORRIED ABOUT COUNCIL BULLYING

 

Bullying of local Councillors and council staff is so frequent that even Local Government Minister David Templeman is concerned about it.

The minister expressed in a speech that he was disturbed about the abuse and he believed that the mob mentality of some has the potential to hinder councils to function properly.

It is a sad fact that social media is full of often unwarranted attacks, innuendo, name-calling and conspiracy of Elected Members and Council officers. We frequently see the mainly uniformed members of our community making outrageous statements about Fremantle Council on social media.

It is a real shame, because social media such as Freo Massive has so much potential to connect people within seconds, create a support base in our communities, help find lost dogs, inform about upcoming events and newly opened retailers, etc. but social media far too often is antisocial media and has become a platform for haters, trolls and bullies.

Councillors get attacked everywhere, not just in Freo, and that is fine as long as it is fair.¬† I don’t have an issue with scrutinising our democratically elected members and telling them what we believe they should be doing, or what we believe they have got wrong, but the absolute fact of politics is that no one in any form of government will ever be able to please everyone in the community and 100 per cent of voters.

What is essential though, and far too often overlooked, is that one should at least get one’s facts right before making outrageous and often defamatory claims.

I am not sure that Minister David Templeman will be able to find solutions to protect our officers and Councillors better from attacks on social media, so stricter moderation rules might have to apply.

Roel Loopers

 

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STATE STOPS FREO STREET DOCTOR FUNDING

Posted in city of fremantle, community, health, homeless, local government, social services, Uncategorized by freoview on February 12, 2019

 

Black Swan Health has applied to the City of Fremantle for a $ 20,000 per annum sponsorship to be able to continue with the Fremantle Street Doctor services, which they have supplied for over 14 years.

The WA Health Department will stop funding the project at the end of this financial year on June 30, which in my books is an absolute disgrace!!!!

The Freo Street Doctor runs six mobile health clinics a week and is the only medical service for many people, so very essential for those who are doing it tough.

Black Swan Health Ltd. is seeking a $20,000 donation from the City to enable
continuation of the ‚ÄėFreo Street Doctor‚Äô clinics. The donation request would support
indirect costs, including:
‚ÄĘ Two ‚ÄúFreo Street Doctor‚Äô vehicle running costs, licence, registration, insurance,
service, maintenance and repair, tyres and fuel.
‚ÄĘ Outreach worker salary costs.
‚ÄĘ Clinical consumable costs.
‚ÄĘ Information Technology costs.
‚ÄĘ Utilities

To put the money in perspective, the annual Winterworld Festival gets $ 25,000 cash from the city, plus the city loses out on parking fees at the Italian Club, and that comes combined to a total of $ 75,000 for just a few weeks of ice skating fun.

I know what I would prioritise.

Both items are on the agenda of Wednesday’s FPOL Committee, so come and speak out in support of the Freo Street Doctor!!!! 6pm at the North Fremantle Community Centre.

Roel Loopers

MINISTER AND MAYOR DIFFER ABOUT VICTORIA QUAY PLANS

 

There appears to be a misunderstanding between WA Planning Minister Rita Saffioti and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt about the terms of reference for the Steering Group which will plan development on Victoria Quay at Fremantle Ports.

I have highlighted in bold where the Minister and Mayor got a difference of opinion about the area it involves.

The Freo Mayor commented on this Freo’s View blog yesterday:

‚ÄúA key difference is that this one will look at all of Victoria Quay from the Maritime Museum to the traffic bridge and see if we can move the roll on roll off cars etc further south and open up the area around the Passenger Terminal. This is the first time we have got government agreement to look at this and the right people are around the table.‚ÄĚ Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

but in the media statement the Planning Minister states:

“Successful development of Victoria Quay is dependent upon a range of organisations committing to a vision for the 13-hectare area between the Maritime Museum and D Shed, then actively playing their roles to make it happen‚ÄĚ WA Planning Minister Rita Saffioti.

So the Freo Mayor believes it is about the entire area from the traffic bridge to the Maritime Museum, while the minister believes it only about the area between the museum and D Shed.

The development plans for Victoria Quay between the Maritime Museum and D Shed were always on the cards and the Port is keen to start developing the 13 hectare area, but Fremantle Council wants it to go all the way to the traffic bridge, but that appears not to be happening if one takes the statement by the Planning Minister for a fact.

Could someone at State Government please let us know which of the two statements above is correct, so that the community and interested parties know what we are dealing with. Thank you!

Roel Loopers

 

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FREO ROUNDHOUSE DESERVES FEDERAL AND STATE FUNDING!

Posted in aboriginal, arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on January 29, 2019

 

 

roundhouse-5

rh-1

 

The complaints about the lack of funding for the Duyfken Replica Foundation, expressed today in the West Australian by Graeme Cocks, are shared by the Fremantle Roundhouse, Western Australia’s oldest public building.

Prime Minister Scott Morison has committed $ 6,7 million to let the Endeavour replica sail around Australia next year to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Captain’s Cook first journey to this continent, but Western Australia’s most significant historic building does not receive any annual Federal, State or City of Fremantle funding.

The Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides manage the tourism aspects of the Roundhouse and with just 30 volunteers open the historic jail 363 days a year and fire the cannon behind the building every day at 1pm, all just on meager donations from tourists.

Arthur’s Head, on which the Roundhouse stands, was vested in the City of Fremantle by the State Government, but with a small ratepayers’ base the City does not have the funds for the ongoing expensive maintenance of the area. Where is the State funding for that?!

The Roundhouse volunteers are in the process of getting all new modern interpretive historic displays, which will also tell the important Aboriginal story of the area, but the main funding of the estimated $ 200,000 project will have to come from Lotterywest, so we hope for the best as first indications have been promising.

As a Roundhouse volunteer myself I am asking why there is no yearly State and Federal funding and why the City of Fremantle does not spend more on this important tourist destination.

Why for example do Fremantle Ports not sponsor the Roundhouse when we fly their flag every day? Even paying for the explosives(Maroons) for the cannon would help, but that too has to be paid for from the few donations, and so do the summer and winter uniforms for the mainly senior guides, promotional leaflets, etc.

I find it unbelievable that such a significant historic building and tourist attraction does not receive support from our governments on an annual basis.

Roel Loopers

WESTPORT TASKFORCE FIRST PROGRESS REPORT IS OUT

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on December 13, 2018

 

 

The first progress report by the WESTPORT Taskforce is an interesting read. It came out yesterday, so check it out on-line as it is quite substantial.

I had a quick look at the WHAT HAVE WE FOUND SO FAR report and there are two points I consider very important for Fremantle. The first one is that the report states that Fremantle Port would be capable of handling double the number of containers it does now, as long as improved road and rail access to deliver and pick up container freight is part of the development.

The second one is maybe even more important as it means that residential and other development along Victoria Quay does not have to be halted until the port stops accepting containers.

The reports states: However, the Fremantle Port buffer is a guideline rather than a State statutory and use planning instrument. It does not preclude planning for additional residential development, even in the area closest to the port, and is dependent on local governments to regulate.

This is really important, because so far any attempt at wanting to build residential or hotel accommodation at Victoria Quay has been dismissed as not being possible because of the buffer zone around the port. It might just need a different, less rigid, approach by the Fremantle Ports board and management.

And a few more snippets from the report:

Changing community expectations about what is shipped from the port should be recognised as a constraint to development in the Fremantle study area. With the relocation of some trades, the port could expand its container operations or alternatively, use the space for non-port purposes.

Changing land use within the port buffer could open opportunities for a range of recreation, commercial and residential activities around Victoria Quay and in North Fremantle.

Key considerations of future work will be to: determine how long Fremantle’s Inner Harbour can efficiently and safely operate alongside the increasingly urban environment of the City of Fremantle; assess the impacts that trucks and other traffic has on suburbs west of the Kwinana Freeway as well as on access to the port; identify opportunities to facilitate and grow trade; assess if and when any trades should be moved to a different port location; and plan for the infrastructure required to keep freight moving efficiently and the economy growing for decades to come.

Any change to Fremantle Port operation will be long-term and won’t be happening for many years. It is quite clear from this progress report that there is no immediate need to move all port operation to Kwinana or Bunbury, but that a long transitional period might be required to move some operations.

The Westport Taskforce will continue to work, explore and consult with all affected communities and stakeholders, and nothing will happen overnight, or next year.

Roel Loopers

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