Freo's View

MINISTER LAUNCHES FREMANTLE HIGH TIDE SHOW

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, Uncategorized by freoview on October 17, 2017

 

 

The Hon. David Templeman, WA Minister for Local Government, Heritage, Culture and the Arts this morning officially launched the High Tide show of the Fremantle Festival, with local member Simone McGurk and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

Templeman said it was great to see the City of Fremantle once again leading the way, and  is a fantastic opportunity to showcase WA’s unique artistic talent.

It also allows for partnerships with international artists, such as Felice Varini who is creating the site-specific Arcs D’Ellipse along historic High Street.

Artistic director Tom Mueller of PS Art Space was there, as were many local artists, all in awe of the brilliant Varini artwork in progress.

Disappointingly yesterday’s big storm and rain has damaged the yellow foil on the Townhall, and that is due to the anti-graffiti surface of the newly-restored building, Felice Varini told me.

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

 

FREMANTLE FINANCIALLY SOUND SAYS MINISTER

Posted in city of fremantle, development, economy, finances, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2017

 

I am not a big fan of publishing media releases by Freo City, or anyone else for that matter, but this one about the City of Fremantle’s financial situation is very important, especially during the local government election campaign, where some people claim Freo is going broke because of its investment in the Kings Square Project and selling city assets.

The City of Fremantle has received clarification from the Minister for Local Government over the City’s risk profile.

The City wrote to the Minister, David Templeman, in August after it was identified as being “high risk” in a response to a question in State Parliament.

The City’s risk profile was based on reporting from the 2015/16 financial year, where it recorded an unusually low Financial Health Indicator (FHI) score due a number of factors including a change in accounting methodology.

In his reply the Minister said he accepted information from the City’s auditors that, subject to final audit, the City of Fremantle’s 2016/17 FHI score will restore to approximately 85.

For the MyCouncil website and the Department of Local Government’s risk profile an FHI score of 70 and above indicates sound financial health.

The Minister also said he had asked his Department to review the way it communicates its risk profile process to avoid potential misunderstandings in the future.

MINISTER WANTS YOUNG, ETHNIC, FEMALE LOCAL COUNCILLORS

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 11, 2017

 

New Local Government Minister David Templeman is considering making changes to the local government act, and change the payment to councillors and mayors, depending on the accredited training courses they attend.

Templeman wants to bring greater diversity to our councils, and more women, younger people, and a diversity of people from different cultural backgrounds and professions.

Under the proposed plans councillors should take a minimum of accredited training courses to prepare them for the job.

David Templeman also wants the reporting of gifts to be changed and made more transparent.

Fremantle has three female councillors in Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, Hannah Fitzhardinge and Rachel Pemberton, but little ethnic variety, but for some Poms.

There is one real ethnic and diverse councillor in Jeff McDonald, who is not white, Anglo Indian and gay.

The creative community is also not well represented at Fremantle Council, and neither are younger people.

I am all for candidates being better informed and understand local government process, as most of them don’t even bother to attend council meetings, which I believe is essential when one does the ‘job interview’ at election time.

While I am an older white male, I’d tick the boxes of  coming from a different ethnic background and bringing diversity to council, having been a small business owner in a creative industry. ; >)

The youngest candidate  at this election is 21-year-old Liam Carter who nominated for South Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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

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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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