Freo's View

BEELIAR COURT WIN PARTY

Posted in fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on December 17, 2015

 

More than a hundred people came to the Beeliar Wetlands late Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the Supreme Court win that ruled that the Environment Minister Albert Jacob’s approval of the Roe 8 highway through the wetlands was invalid because the advise he had received from the Environmental Protection Authority had been invalid.

Champagne flowed, there were high fives and big hugs and a lot of laughter and smiles, didgeridoos played and TV did live crossings to the 6 pm news.

Roel Loopers

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FOOTY FINAL TRIGGERS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Posted in domestic violence, fremantle, western australia by freoview on September 7, 2015

The State Government is correct to finally start focusing on family and domestic violence says Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk, but it will fail if it doesn’t follow words with action. WA Labor’s Shadow Community Services, Women’s and Children’s Interests  says more resources are needed if the government is really serious about tackling the problem.

Western Australia currently faced unacceptable levels of family violence but under the current Liberal Government existing services already struggled to cope, McGurk said. Without ensuring there are additional resources for shelters, specialist services and education, the government’s strategy is unlikely to reduce family violence.

WA Labor welcomes the government’s adoption of the Labor’s 2013 election policy, which proposed the use of electronic monitoring of violence restraining order (VRO) respondents.

Simone McGurk’s response comes after an article in today’s West Australian by Helen Morton, the WA Minister for Child Protection. Morton wrote that a staggering 40,000 calls about domestic violence were made in WA last year and that in 65 per cent of the cases children were the victims of domestic violence or witnessed it.

Disturbingly the biggest night of the year for domestic violence in Western Australia is on AFL grand final day according to Minister Morton, so maybe the AFL should invest in an advertising campaign against domestic violence during footy TV telecast.

Roel Loopers

Facebook: ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

WA CABINET DIVIDED ON PERTH FREIGHT LINK

Posted in fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on August 9, 2015

pfl 4

SUNDAY TIMES journalist Joe Spagnolo reports today that Planning Minister John Day is not happy with the PERTH FREIGHT LINK project and has asked Cabinet why it wants to spend $ 650 million on stage two that would see the road stretch from Stock Road to Stirling Highway in Fremantle, when a new port at Kwinana is needed.

According to Spagnolo Premier Colin Barnett believes it might be better to build the PFL after the 2017 State election, which shows what a shambles the whole project has been. Barnett has already indicated he won’t contest the next election, and it is likely that the mismanagement of the State’s finances and controversial projects will see the Liberal/National coalition booted out of government in 2017.

The danger is that Transport Minister Dean Nalder is adamant that contracts to build the PFL will be signed this year, so even if a new Labor government would scrap the PFL plan the government might have to pay out contractors or go through expensive court procedures to cancel the project.

It seems amazingly ad-hoc amateurish piecemeal planning of such a huge $ 2 million project when Cabinet clearly has not debated it in detail and John Day is now starting to question the need for the Perth Freight Link.

Roel Loopers

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UNWANTED STATE INTERFERENCE WITH LOCAL DEMOCRACY

Posted in fremantle, local government, state government, western australia by freoview on August 7, 2015

One has to wonder about W.A. Premier Colin Barnett’s expressed desire to “Just fix local governments up” and get more involved with them, as State interference could mean a serious erosion of democracy at local council level.

Is there a need for it or is Barnett just having a fit of sour grapes because of community and councils opposition to the DAP(Development Assessment Panel) that simply rubber stamps over 90% of development applications, many against the will of Local Governments and communities?

Maybe the Premier is still irate about the failed Local Government Reform and council amalgamations, which he and Minister Tony Simpson so disgracefully messed up.

Some Council reform and amalgamations might be needed, as is a control on rate rises, and I quite agree that a CEO running a small Council administration should not be earning as much as a Minister, but does that warrant strong, democracy threatening, action by the State?

Local Government is the closest form of democracy. It is hands on and the community has the opportunity for easy access to its elected members, so any form of interference from State Government should be viewed with suspicion about the real reasons.

Maybe the Premier does not like it that, as he called it, we bite the hand that feeds us, and pipe up against the inadequately  and amateurishly planned Perth Freight Link that will be a disaster for some southern suburbs including Fremantle. Maybe Colin Barnett believes democracy is simply a waste of time and we should allow him to squander taxpayers’s money. Maybe the Emperor even believes there is nothing wrong with building a new train station that will only operate on match days near the new football stadium. Maybe we should all just shut up because our divine leader knows what’s good for us.

Democracy, dear Premier, is listening to what the people want, not dictate to them what you want. If you no longer want to represent the community it might be best to step down or have an early election, so we can show you what we think of the shambles you have made of democracy in this state.

Roel Loopers

YES MINISTER GOVERNANCE HURTS FREMANTLE

Posted in fremantle, politics, state government, western australia by freoview on May 21, 2015

I wrote a post below on how intrigued I am with local government, but the piecemeal planning of the Perth Freight Link by State Government puts Fremantle Council’s ineptness in the shade.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder appears to be doing most things on the run and changes his mind more often than the Melbourne weather. He has suddenly announced that they are looking at widening the Fremantle Stirling Bridge to accommodate the expected tsunami of additional trucks to Fremantle Ports.

This means bringing forward the bridge expansion by some 10-15 years. Wow! And all that just because Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt expressed his worry about creating a bottleneck full of traffic congestion chaos in North Fremantle? Yes, Minister!

Minister Nalder also said he was not convinced yet about the route of the PFL through Palmyra, but only after residents protested against being forced to sell their homes to make way for the road. Yes Minister!

On the hop piecemeal planning indicates clearly that there has been no integrated planning by State Government for this extremely expensive, and wrong, option to get freight to Fremantle Ports. I don’t give a four X what side of politics governments are on as long as they offer good, professional and sensible governance, but this whole thing is just as shambolic as the way the State’s finances have been mismanaged. It is unacceptable and the people responsible for it should all be sacked, no matter how high up the ladder they are.

Roel Loopers

FREIGHT LINK HOPE FOR PALMYRA

Posted in development, fremantle, perth freight link, state government by freoview on May 19, 2015

Dean Nalder, the Minister for Traffic Chaos, told ABC radio late yesterday afternoon that he is not convinced that the present proposed route for the Perth Freight Link to Fremantle Port is the ideal and best one, so there is some hope for home owners in Palmyra that they won’t be forced to sell their houses to Main Roads to make way for the terribly ill-conceived tollroad that will create traffic chaos, pollution, noise and splitting up communities.

This road is going to be a fast truck road to nowhere as they will all get stuck in the bottleneck at North Fremantle and the Minister has not indicated that substantial changes would be made there. Widening roads, overpasses, etc. would be extremely detrimental to the lifestyle of North Freo residents and could destroy that community. I fear it is too late to hope that sanity will prevail at State Government and the idea for the Freight Link will be scrapped.

It is very strange and comes across as piecemeal governance that the Minister is still thinking about the right route for the road when already a consortium of builders have been shortlisted to start building it in probably less than a year from now. It looks as if Minister Nalder does not communicate well with his department.

Roel Loopers

MINISTER: FREO CITY FOLLOWED LOCAL ACT ON KINGS SQUARE

Posted in city of fremantle, kings square, local government by freoview on May 5, 2015

Tony Simpson, Minister for Local Government, has answered questions about the Kings Square development put to him by Peter Tinley MLA, and as expected the Minister has decided to wash his hands off it all and not investigate anything as the local government act was followed, according to him.

The City of Fremantle media officer advised me the reason media outlets and bloggers did not receive the official response from CEO Graeme McKenzie was that they received a request from the Fremantle Gazette to put an embargo on it and the City was happy to give the never controversial or critical newspaper the exclusive. I find that astounding.

Here it is Minister Tony Simpson written reply to Peter Tinley’s questions:

Question

(1) Is the Minister aware of community concerns over how the City of Fremantle has represented the financial implications of their $45 million investment of ratepayer funds in its Kings Square Business Plan, and if so, what action has the Minister taken to address these concerns?
(2) Has the Minister directed the City of Fremantle to answer legitimate ratepayer questions concerning the Kings Square Business Plan, and if not, why not?
(3) Has the Minister conducted a full and proper investigation into the questions raised with regard to the Kings Square Business Plan:
(a) if so, what were the findings; and
(b) if not, why not?
(4) Is the Minister satisfied that the Kings Square Business Plan:
(a) accurately represents the financial implications that the $45 million project will have on the City of Fremantle’s asset base; and
(b) correctly represents the rate of return and net present value derived from this investment of ratepayer funds?
(5) Is the Minister satisfied that the Kings Square Business Plan contains sufficient detail for ratepayers and Councillors to properly understand whether this project increases or decreases the asset base of the City of Fremantle, and if so, for what reason?

Answered on 5 May 2015

(1) Yes, I have received correspondence from the Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association on this matter.
(2) No, theLocal Government Act 1995confers limited powers and authority for me to intervene or direct a local government in the performance of functions it is legally entitled and empowered to undertake.
(3) No
(a) Not applicable
(b) See answer to question 2 above
(4)(a)-(b) My Department of Local Government and Communities has not undertaken any analysis of the financial assumptions in the plan.
(5) The principal consideration for me, as Minister for Local Government, is whether the City has acted contrary to the Local Government Act 1995in its handling of the matter. The materials that have been forwarded to me do not demonstrate that the City has acted unlawfully or in a manner that is contrary to the Act.

IS IT SAFER TO HAVE BIKES ON FOOTPATHS?

Posted in cycling, fremantle, TRAFFIC, western australia by freoview on May 4, 2015

The announcement that WA Transport Minister Dean Nalder is considering changing the road rules so that cyclists of all ages can use the footpaths will no doubt be talked about for as long as we have talked about roads being unsafe for cyclists and many motorists being inconsiderate morons.

What are the pros and cons of these changes, especially the no speed limit one? While life might become safer for cyclists it will become more dangerous for pedestrians because no matter what speed bikes are going at they will be faster than pedestrians, so that must be a worry. Will cyclists be allowed to use the footpaths on both sides of the roads in both directions, which would create a bit more chaos, or should they use the left footpaths only in the direction of traffic?

It makes sense not to limit speed as it would create even more work for police to try to monitor that with speed cameras on footpaths, but it is naive to believe all cyclists will behave responsibly and not endanger pedestrians when riding too fast on the footpaths.

But it will be a relief for motorists driving along the Fremantle Cappuccino Strip and other tight spots around the city to not have to sit behind a cyclist doing only 15 kilometres per hour.

No one expects that those weekend licra-clad road ‘terrorists’ who speed in large pelotons to early morning coffee will start using footpaths, but at the same time we should not be so naive as to belief that common sense will prevail and that it will be a good self regulator. If it were we would have far less traffic accidents on our roads.

Is the future of walking now going to be pedestrians with little mirrors attached to their heads so they can detect speeding cyclists coming from behind on footpaths? Time will tell, but Minister Dean Nalder has not done many things right in his short career in Parliament, so I am not convinced he will get this one right.

Roel Loopers

COOGEE LIGHTRAIL ESSENTIAL TO SUCCESS

Posted in cockburn, development, fremantle, public transport, TRAFFIC by freoview on April 29, 2015

Short-sighted piecemeal planning seems to be very much what Western Australia is all about, both at state and local levels. The planned Coogee Coast development south of Fremantle’s South Beach, that includes the heritage significant former South Fremantle Power Station, is another example of non-integrated planning.

While Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt say that the influx of some 12,000 residents would make lightrail the perfect form of public transport, Lands Minister Tony Redman stated that a bus priority corridor along Hampton Road and through the new development would be adequate. Who is he kidding?!

We constantly hear from State Government experts that higher density living along transport corridors is the way forward for fast-growing Perth, but a bus service that would accommodate 10,000 commuters during rush hour each day is just a ridiculous and outdated proposition. It would require some 200 busses to drive from Coogee to the Fremantle train station between 6.30-8.30 am to shift that many people. 200 busses in 120 minutes along Hampton Road? YES Minister.

Why can’t the cost for lightrail be included in the massive development, so that the developers who are going to make millions from it actually pay for most of the transport infrastructure required. Imagine that same light rail also looping past Fiona Stanley Hospital, and the Murdoch and Curtin universities and we might start seeing the light on how to deal with traffic congestions and the associated air pollution.

Roel Loopers

SOUR GRAPES STATE GOVERNANCE IMPACTS COMMUNITY LIFESTYLE

Posted in fremantle, local government, state government, western australia by freoview on April 24, 2015

Local Governments will be punished for the W.A. State Government messing up its own local government reform process and the community will be paying for it by losing more planning control over what can be built in their cities.

Planning Minister John Day has announced the State has lowered the threshold for builders so they can go to the Development Assessment Panel and bypass local councils if the development is $ 2 million plus. Previously that had to be a $ 3 million dollar project.

This severely limits the input the community can have on what they like or dislike as far as new development is concerned because there are only 2 members representing local council on the six member panel, so they are outnumbered by state bureaucrats.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson is quoted in the POST newspaper as having said at a Bunbury Chamber of Commerce  and Industry lunch that “If you don’t go on the journey with us…..you’ll wake up one day and you’ll be putting a smiley face on every application to say you have looked at it but have no power to deal with it”

It was very disappointing that the Town of East Fremantle residents did not want to go on the amalgamation journey with the City of Fremantle, but at the end State Government created the shambles, but now punishes all local governments for the disaster they should blame themselves for. Sour grapes is not good governance Premier Colin Barnett!

Roel Loopers

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