Freo's View

CITY OF FREMANTLE FINANCES SOUND

Posted in city of fremantle, economy, finances, Uncategorized by freoview on August 11, 2017

 

A small article in today’s West Australian reported that David Templeman, the Minister for Local Government, had announced that 15 per cent of, or 22 local councils in W.A. were considered to be high risk by the department.

They include the City of Perth, Fremantle, Kalgoorlie, Exmouth, Derby, Carnarvon, etc. but the article did not go into detail as to why these councils are judged to be high risk.

The claim about Fremantle’s finances has been made before, and rejected by the City, but I thought it would be prudent to ask them for a comment. Here it is:

Today’s page 14 newpaper article in The West Australian: ‘More councils high-risk’ has named the City of Fremantle as being identified by the Department of Local Government as ‘high risk’.

The City assumes it was included in this list due to a one-off low Financial Health Indicator (FHI) score for the 2015/16 financial year. The lower than usual score was caused by a combination of factors including a change in accounting methodology used by the City to simplify the way overhead costs are recorded. This change artificially inflated the year-on-year operating expenditure in 2015/16.

With this anomaly addressed in subsequent budgets, the City’s FHI score will normalise back to its long-term healthy trend when the 2016/17 audit is completed.

In previous reports issued by the Department of Local Government the City of Fremantle has not ever been classified as being in any risk category, let alone a high risk.

The City is independently audited each year and no audit has ever indicated any fundamental issues or problems with the City’s medium or long-term financial viability.

I wonder if it should not be a matter of course for the Department of Local Government to notify local councils of their findings and concerns and offer support to them, and clarify how they reached the findings.

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S UNIQUE HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE ACKNOWLEDGED

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on July 18, 2017

 

 

The new Western Australian Minister for Heritage David Templeman came into Fremantle today, in the company of Freo’s own Minister Simone McGurk, to announce at the National Hotel the official permanent listing of the historic West End in the State Register of Heritage Places.

The Minister said this was the largest single place to be included in the state register. The area of the Goldrush Period includes 250 buildings and 200,000sqm.

Templeman said that the City of Fremantle had played a critical role in the very long process and that the report about it is 574 pages long. It was a process of collaboartion with state and federal agencies, property owners and Fremantle Council and administration.

Fremantle is unique, the Minister said, and the state heritage listing has the potential to increase tourism marketing and attract new bars and eating opportunities.

The listing does not mean however that the place can not be altered and developed, he said.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said he was proud to have been part of the process that took a very long time.

The listing changes the way we understand heritage, the Mayor said, and he quoted CoF heritage architect Alan Kelsall that Fremantle is not a museum and that it was essential to restore and use heritage buildings.

National Hotel owner Karl Bullers said there needed to be more state and national marketing for the historic area and the state listing would be a catalyst to drive heritage tourism to Fremantle.

Heritage and business need to work together as there needs to be a good return on investment.

Heritage is getting quite trendy, Bullers told the audience.

Roel Loopers

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