Freo's View

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

GREAT XMAS PRESENTS AT ARTS CENTRE BAZAAR

Posted in art, christmas, city of fremantle, fremantle arts centre, Uncategorized by freoview on December 1, 2018

 

 

The lovely Fremantle Arts Centre BAZAAR is on again this year, for the 30th time!

There are many arty, craft and fashion design items for sale and lots of other things, plus there are food stalls for the hungry and thirsty, and the cafe is open as well of course.

It is still open today till 5pm and tomorrow-Sunday from 9am to 5pm so go and have a look!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE HAS THIRD LOWEST CRIME RATE IN WA

Posted in city of fremantle, community, crime, homelessness, law&order, local government, police, Uncategorized by freoview on November 13, 2018

 

The public perception that Fremantle is a hot spot for crime and antisocial behaviour is wrong according to the statistics, Senior Sergeant Brad Warburton, the officer in charge of the Fremantle police station, told a safety forum at the Townhall on Monday evening.

The senior sergeant said that Fremantle ranked third from the bottom of all local councils in Western Australia when it came to crime, and that the majority of crime in Fremantle is stealing of clothes and food, stealing bicycles, and stealing from cars.

Minister Simone McGurk said that the perception of safety depended on where you are in Fremantle and at what time of the day, but a perceived issue is a problem in itself.

A whole raft of issues needed to be addressed and we should look at the evidence of solutions in other cities.

Senior Sergeant Brad Warburton said that police had a real passion for Fremantle and that burglaries, theft and motor vehicle theft were down considerably, compared to last year. “Crime is definitely not out of control!”

He said there needed to be a platform for multi-agency support and collaboration and that the City of Fremantle safety officers and excellent CCTV network were very important.

Homelessness is a social problem. It is not a crime to be homeless and not a police problem.

Lately Fremantle had been experiencing a youth problem with truancies, especially from the new Fremantle College in Beaconsfield and that needed a multi-agency approach to deal with. Unfortunately many agencies had a too high threshold before they could engage with issues, and that meant they often came in too late.

The new policing system introduced by the new police commissioner meant that Fremantle police station has doubled in size and the officer in charge has more control and a better understanding of the problems.

Chris Scanlon, who leads the City’s safety team, said that they are improving their collaboration with NCOs around town and that an additional 39 new CCTV cameras will be installed over the next 12 months.

Michael Piu, the CEO of St Patrick’s said that Imagine Futures had brought together a large number of agencies which are working together at all levels, from youth problems and schools to homelessness. “We need to stop things from happening in the first place!”

It was a good forum last night, but we had one about a year ago, so we need to make sure that these forums are more than just talk fest, and that actual action is taken. As Senior Sergeant Brad Warburton said “My question after forums like these is what now?”

Two things that need improvement in Fremantle in my opinion are street lighting, maybe in some areas motion-triggered lights to flood a whole area, and the fact that too many drunks fall out of licensed premises, an indication that the responsible service of alcohol is not complied with and the Fremantle Accord is not working.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

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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