Freo's View

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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GIVE ME FREO OVER PERTH ANY TIME!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, perth, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on May 22, 2018

 

ca 6

 

 

I lasted just over an hour in Perth this morning as I find the CBD there rather boring.

I was surprised how quiet it was and how many vagrants were lurking around, and there were ample retail vacancies and for lease signs all over the place. Buskers played amplified music way too loud and so did some of the cafes.

Most of the new buildings under construction are average or worse, and the inappropriateness in context to heritage buildings is staggering.

The saving grace was the gorgeous tranquil architecture of the Cadogan Singing School at St George’s cathedral, and the stunning new Perth Library where window cleaners were doing a high trapeze act.

So happy to be back in Fremantle. It’s far from perfect, but so much more beautiful than the Perth CBD.

Roel Loopers

KINGS SQUARE DIRECTORY TO SUPPORT LOCAL TRADERS

 

Sirona Capital Managing Director Matthew McNeilly and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt with the directory

 

 

The Kings Square Fremantle Business Directory is a joint initiative by the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital to support Fremantle traders who are affected by the Kings Square Redevelopment Project.

The directory is being distributed to more than 15,000 households in the Fremantle area to promote the diverse range of retail and food and beverage offerings surrounding Kings Square.

The 44 page booklet is designed to support local traders through the construction period of arguably the most important redevelopment project in the port city’s history.

The business directory, which includes vouchers and promotion of businesses adjacent to Kings Square is one of many ways the City and Sirona have supported local traders since the project commenced late last year.

Other initiatives have included:

# one hour free on-street parking in surrounding streets
# directional signage and site fence advertising with ‘Shop local and support Freo traders’ messaging
# bunting and pole wraps to attract people and showcase the Kings Square retail precinct
# free parking permits for customers of businesses directly affected by the recent Queen Street road closures
# regular face-to-face contact with traders to share information and discuss ideas for promoting the area
# a series of ‘trader forums’ where local businesses receive project updates and can provide feedback and ask questions of project staff
# free advertising space for local businesses in construction workforce lunchrooms
# free custom designed outdoor signage for eligible local businesses.

Construction of the new buildings will commence soon and that means hundreds of workers in Fremantle, so hopefully that too will support our struggling local traders!

Roel Loopers

 

NO ASBESTOS AT WORKERS CLUB

Posted in city of fremantle, development, health, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 3, 2018

 

Tests show no asbestos at school

Testing has shown there is no asbestos in samples of dust and materials taken from Fremantle’s Lance Holt Primary School.

City of Fremantle Chief Executive Officer Philip St John said independent analysis of nine samples taken from locations around the school earlier today found no trace of asbestos.

The City has advised the school of the findings and will continue to liaise  with Lance Holt staff and parents and closely monitor the demolition works on the site of the former Workers Club at 7 Henry Street.

The City took action to instruct the demolition contractor to cease works until further notice while testing could be undertaken in response to concerns about dust emissions from the site.

Mr St John said the City was yet to receive results of the soil tests taken from the demolition site which was closed and contained this morning.

“Our immediate priority was to clarify the situation regarding Lance Holt Primary School. Now that the tests conducted at the school have come back negative, we will focus our attention back on the demolition site.

“As soon as we receive the results back from the laboratory where they were sent for testing, we will determine any further action.”

UPDATE at 18.17 hours: Testing has revealed asbestos at the former Workers Club site but not at the Lance Holt School opposite the demolition site!

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