Freo's View

NEW MAYOR FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on May 26, 2019

 

I pinched this great photo by BEN LANGLEY from the Kidogo Arthouse Facebook page.

 

On a sunny Sunday in Fremantle good news spreads like a bush fire, so let me too make this day one big happy smile for those in our community who relentlessly, and often unfairly, have been criticising our Mayor Brad Pettitt. Freo will be getting a new Mayor!

From June 1 on this year Councillor Rachel Pemberton will become not only the new Mayor of Fremantle but also the new Deputy Mayor.

But boys and girls, it is only till June 9, because Rachel will be acting Mayor and Deputy Mayor only while Brad Pettitt and Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham are away.

Enjoy Freo anyway and every day. Walyalup is a great place to be!

Roel Loopers

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MAYOR’S REASONS FOR NEW FREO CIVIC CENTRE

 

Interesting to read on page 3 of the Fremantle Herald the explanations given by Mayor Brad Pettitt for the building of the new Civic Centre and the Kings Square Redevelopment Project.

The Mayor responds to some of the criticism the development has received and points out that a previous council in 2003 saw the need to replace the ailing and outdated former centre.

An expert report in 2012 noted that it would cost the City of Fremantle $ 28 million to meet minimum standards plus another $ 50 million to add needed extensions to the building and upgrade and refurbish it.

Dr Pettitt points out that the new Civic Centre is much more than just a new home for Councillors and staff and that it will have a big library, double the size of the previous one, with courtyards, a library lounge, a better history centre, computers, gaming consoles, etc.

The former library attracted 14,000 people a month, so one can imagine this will increase when the library has more to offer.

The Mayor states that the $ 41.3 million civic centre project will be funded over the next four years, so it won’t be, as some critics allege, a financial burden on future generations of Freo ratepayers.

All I see is that some people disagree with the City’s expert officers and consultants, so who is right? I suppose the future will tell us.

Now that the contract with Pindan has been signed we need to move on and hope that it will all work out and that Fremantle will be an amazing and vibrant city again in a few years from now.

Roel Loopers

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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:

A 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.” 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” 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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FREMANTLE MAYOR WANTS FREO PORT TO STAY

 

The opinion piece by Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt in today’s West Australian about the pros and cons of an outer harbour, and the continuation of Fremantle as a working port is pragmatic and realistic, and without the political spin we are often getting about this important topic.

Brad Pettitt rightly argues that there is no immediate need for an outer harbour in Kwinana and that the environmental damage to Cockburn Sound might well be unacceptable. The Mayor also points out that shifting the port away from Fremantle would “erode Fremantle’s history and identity and lead to a big loss of economic activity…”

I agree with the Freo Mayor that the Perth Freight Link was a flawed plan that did not resolve how to get freight to the port, and that increased container freight by rail, with a new rail bridge across the Swan River, could see Fremantle continue as our much-liked working port.

It is a good idea to move the offloading of imported vehicles to Kwinana, or even Bunbury, and maybe also the scrap metal and live sheep transport.

A new rail bridge and rail line and better use of freight on roads, where we no longer see empty trucks running in and out of the port, and more freight by road during the evenings, are all part of the solution.

Fremantle Ports and the State Government should also become serious about part development of Victoria Quay and prioritise this by changing the buffer zones around the port, so that tourist and residential accommodation will be possible.

Moving the car imports away from Fremantle can be done very fast and does not need large infrastructure investment and the same applies to sheep trade.

I love the working port of Fremantle and would hate to see it become only a port for cruise ships. The container ships are part of Freo’s history and should continue to be so for many more years.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE WANTS GST INVESTMENT

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has urged the state government to spend some of WA’s $4.7 billion GST windfall on essential infrastructure in the port city.

Changes to the GST distribution passed by the Senate yesterday will deliver $1.7 billion in top-up payments to WA over three years, and see the state about $4.7 billion better off over the next eight years, and the Freo Mayor wants to see some of that windfall invested in Fremantle.

Fremantle is having an unprecedented level of investment and development, so Mayor Brad Pettitt said  “Over the past few years the state government has invested billions of dollars in the Perth CBD in projects like Elizabeth Quay, Yagan Square and the stadium, and now is the perfect time to invest in Perth’s second city.

“As a local government we’ve done a lot of the ground work with planning and feasibility studies, so there is an ideal opportunity for the government to partner with us to deliver some of these projects that are essential not just for Fremantle but for the entire state.”

Brad Pettitt mentioned the possible redevelopment of land surrounding the Fremantle Passenger Terminal at Victoria Quay and including Fremantle in the early stages of METRONET as key projects requiring government investment.

An independent report Freo City commissioned back in 2016 identified the development of the South Quay precinct would generate 3700 new jobs, attract private investment of $3.5 billion and return almost $1 billion to the state over 20 years.

The Mayor said “We want the government to bring forward the detailed planning for the Fremantle to Murdoch link – be it light rail or trackless trams – to fill the east-west public transport gap until the Fremantle to Cockburn passenger rail link is progressed.

I personally also want the State Government to invest in an Aboriginal Centre in Fremantle so that overseas tourists can enjoy and learn about our Aboriginal culture and history. This is well overdue and should be a priority!

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE MAYOR SELLS BIG ISSUE MAGAZINE

Posted in charity, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 5, 2018

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt will tomorrow take part in the BIG ISSUE magazine Mayors Sell event.

Mayors all around Australia will participate and help to sell the charity magazine, so make sure to buy one.

Brad Pettitt will join regular Big Issue seller Bill, who we see regularly at the Cappuccino Strip in Freo.

The Freo Mayor and Bill will be in front of the Fremantle Markets from 3.30 pm tomorrow. Get Brad and Bill to sign your copy and make it a collector’s item.

Roel Loopers

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HOW TO LEGISLATE FOR BETTER CITIES?

 

 

What can a small city like Fremantle of just over 30,000 residents learn from a mega city like Singapore with over 5 million people? It was a question Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt asked when he went on a study tour with the South West Group and the Mayors of Melville, East Fremantle, Cockburn, Kwinana and Rockingham.

Yesterday at the monthly Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel the Mayor shared his thoughts and some photos, and it was a thought provoking presentation.

Brad Pettitt said that city greening was the extraordinary success of Singapore, as developers were required to create large green spaces on and around new buildings, but there is also a greening of highways, rooftops, walkways and gardens, and road corridors of trees that make large parts of the huge city look delightfully green. That is certainly a lesson we can learn from in Fremantle and in Western Australia, as European countries also do that much better and more intense than we do over here.

The largest vertical garden in the world is also in Singapore, comprising of 57,000 pot plants!

How we can legislate for it is altogether the question though. It probably needs to be done at state level, but there is always a risk that local council then lose control of their city planning.

I have suggested before here on Freo’s View that in appropriate locations Fremantle City should consider a percentage for green space, where developers are granted additional height if they create the equivalent floorspace into a green open space near or within the development.

Brad Pettitt also showed some less desirable and quite ugly highrise development that we definitely don’t want in WA.

The Freo Mayor also mentioned how massive the port of Singapore is with 35 million containers(TEU) a year.

Singapore has over 17 million international tourists a year, compared to WA of less than a million, and it is strongly branding itself as a green sophisticated city. Brad Pettitt thought Fremantle should celebrate its Aboriginal history more and make it part of our brand. We need a major attractor, Pettitt said.

The Mayor said that heritage was highly valued and protected in Singapore and that there is a lot of street activation in heritage areas, something missing in Fremantle, but there was a lack of solar energy use and Singapore was trying to catch up on that.

Brad Pettitt asked if there was a case to be made for greater hight if it helped to create better public realm, because the urban sprawl could no longer be supported in WA. “Get a train to Butler and see what we are doing!”

In that context it is good to note a change of heart by one of Melbourne’s leading urban planning experts Rob Adams, who ten years ago strongly supported densification and urban infill, but now says it has destroyed many streetscapes in the city because the public realm improvements did not eventuate when they started building highrise.

I say it again here that I would love to see a forum about what appropriate architecture, development and density for Fremantle could be, so I hope someone will organise an event that I would love to be part of.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE MAYOR LESSONS FROM SINGAPORE

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 13, 2018

 

Pettitt talk

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt is the next speaker at the monthly Fremantle Network event next Tuesday June 19 at the National Hotel at 6pm. He will share his impressions of Singapore with us and what Fremantle can learn from this modern city.

The Freo Mayor went on a study tour to Singapore with representatives from the South West Group, that comprises of six local councils.

On one level Singapore and Fremantle seem very far apart. A high density metropolis of over 5 million that’s at the crossroads of global trade, in contrast with our relatively small and isolated port city.

But there are some important lessons, both good and bad, that Freo can learn from Singapore, be that city greening, density, heritage, affordable housing, tourism, and multi-modal transit investment.

Roel Loopers

BEACY COMMUNITY MEETING WITH MAYOR

Posted in city of fremantle, community, council, democracy, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 1, 2018

 

mayor-in-the-square-800x430

 

Fremantle Council quite often, and often unfairly, gets accused of not communicating and consulting with the community, so tomorrow morning Beaconsfield residents and business owners can chat with Mayor Brad Pettitt and some Councillors at Davis Park from 11.30am.

The Mayor in the Square has been taken to the suburbs for a while now, so that community members do not have to come to Kings Square on Wednesdays to meet the Mayor.

Your local councillors and City staff are always available to answer queries, so don’t hesitate to contact them. They are there to work for us!

Roel Loopers

FREO MAYOR OUTSIDE THE SQUARE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 4, 2018

 

The Mayor in the Square sessions with Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt are conducted outside the square to be more accessible to the community.

This Thursday from 11am the Mayor will be at the Lumos cafe in Minilya Avenue, White Gum Valley.

On Saturday from 1.30pm Brad Pettitt will be at Samson Park to talk to people there. This coincides with the community consultation session about new equipment for the playground.

Roel Loopers

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