Freo's View

FREMANTLE ARTS GRANTS AVAILABLE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, community by freoview on January 28, 2017

arts-grants-freo

If you need financial help to realise a community art project contact the City of Fremantle for a grant. Details above.

 

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HOW THE COMMUNITY WOULD SPEND FREO’S MONEY

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government by freoview on February 16, 2016

The Fremantle community is engaging with the idea of participatory budgeting where the community gets to decide how to spend $ 1 million of ratepayers money in a Citizen Jury style process.

There are plenty of ideas being thrown around on social media and Mayors Brad Pettitt’s blog which shows it could become a very tedious and lengthy process that could be kidnapped by self-interest and In My Backyard thinking, where jury members only want improvements in the areas they live in.

Another risk I see in randomly selecting participants based on demographics is that most people are not interested in local government and have no idea about the process and what projects are already planned and signed off on. Ignorance is not a great basis to make decisions on how our City should be spending our money.

For example several people suggest the City of Fremantle should move the port to the outer harbour. Really?! For just one little million dollars and with no power whatsoever to do so?

There are good suggestions of a nature&water playground, but where? More trees, extended CAT bus services,  staffed showers for homeless people, investing more in culture, theatre, music, beautification of streets in White Gum Valley and Hilton, banning traffic from the Cappuccino Strip on weekends, and more affordable inner city housing.

I hope there will be more big picture thinking where the Citizen Jury supports projects that benefit the wider community and visitors. I would for example love to see COF support new displays in the Roundhouse, WA’s oldest public building, that already attracts over 110,000 visitors a year who mostly walk around the city and also enjoy hospitality outlets, retailers and other tourist destinations, so they support our small businesses as well. The old gaol is also a favourite destination for many schools and a great attraction for students, so also good for education.

The item is on the agenda of the COF committee tomorrow, Wednesday at 6 pm, so come and have your say and address Councillors, or just listen to the discussion about it. Enter at the back steps near the Myer/Many 6160 building.

Roel Loopers

HOW WOULD YOU SPEND FREO’S MONEY?

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government by freoview on February 12, 2016

A very interesting media release!

Fremantle Council is considering giving the local community the power to directly decide where a portion of the City’s municipal budget is spent.

The proposal is for $1m of the City’s 2016/17 budget to go through a process known as ‘participatory budgeting’, a democratic process where the community decides what projects or initiatives they would most like to see that money spent on.

“Participatory budgeting is growing in popularity worldwide and is something we’ve been looking at with interest for some time,” said Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt.

“Our local community is passionate and engaged in local issues so giving them a real say on deciding where some of the City’s budget is spent will be a win-win for both the City and the community.

“Council sees it as way to empower our community to work with us to make decisions affecting people’s everyday lives, as well as providing more transparency and insight into our budgeting process.

“The initiative still needs to be approved by council and then a model to engage with the community agreed on, but if proved successful in 2016/17, we will extend it out to a greater percentage of the overall budget in years to come,” added Mayor Pettitt

Fremantle Councillor Rachel Pemberton, a strong advocate for the benefits of participatory budgeting, was confident the initiative would work in Fremantle just as it had in so many other places globally.

“Other examples of participatory budgeting have shown that well-informed and genuinely empowered community representatives make excellent decisions for the collective good,” Cr Pemberton said.

The proposal will be tabled at the City’s Finance Policy Operations and Legislative Committee (FPOL) meeting next week.

Proposed Fremantle model

Upon approval of the initiative by council, City officers will work with the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP) to refine the model. A key aspect of the process is to ensure a diverse cross-section of the community is reached, including disadvantaged groups.

City Officers have recommended a ‘citizens jury’– a randomly selected jury made up of a representative sample of the local community–is established to make the final recommendation of where the money is spent.

The independent jury would be presented with the most popular community ideas and based on these, would make their final recommendations.

Background

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making; and a type of participatory democracy in which the local community decides how to allocate part of a municipal budget.

Now a global phenomenon, PB has spread to over 1 500 cities in Latin America, North America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It. was initially formed out of the town of Porto Alegre in Brazil in the late 1980s.

For more information on participatory budgeting visit http://www.participatorybudgeting.org

I have only two comments to make. Who will guarantee that the citizen jury will be really and absolutely selected randomly and not include mates of mates of etc…… and why use Council mates CUSP again for this project? Surely there are other organisations in Western Australia that could consult Council on the process, details, etc.

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! A quick reply from the City about the Citizen Jury. Fair is fair!

The jury would be randomly and independently selected by a third party provider as a representative sample of Freo’s population (based on demographics).

LET’S LIVE THE LOTTO DREAM (UNTIL THE DRAW)

Posted in fremantle, lotto by freoview on November 11, 2015

lotto dream

Some Freo people might say that you have a better chance of winning Lotto than Fremantle Council listening to the community, but let’s not have a Council-bashing Wednesday hey.

We all live in hope for a better life and while I don’t believe one needs a lot of money to be happy, I do believe that not having to worry about money makes a huge difference to one’s mental health, so good luck tomorrow for those who buy a ticket! I’ve got one and I will be very happy to share the $ 70 million jackpot with a lot of people should I win. ; >) I think my chances are one in 70 million or so?

Roel Loopers

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GREEDY DOCKERS WANT MONEY TO LEAVE FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle dockers by freoview on October 8, 2015

Professional sport has very little to do with community but is all about making a lot of money out of people who follow their footy team like a religion. The Fremantle Dockers have shown this just to be the case by demanding a rumoured $ 4 million from the City of Fremantle for their building at Fremantle Oval when they move to Cockburn.

This is akin to someone kicking you in the guts and then asking you for compensation because they hurt you. Fremantle City did not want the Dockers to leave and offered them many incentives to stay, but none were good enough for the high profile footy club, so it was their choice to move to our neighbours.

The building the Dockers now want to sell to the City of Fremantle, while breaking the lease they signed till 2054, was built in 2000 with the help of a loan Freo City took out for them in support of the development.

Greed is the pretty ugly face of professional sport where it is all about money and the bottom line and where no one really connects with the community or feels an obligation to it.

It’s good riddance to the Dockers as far as I am concerned. The City of Fremantle should fine them the equivalent of what they want for the building for breaking their lease.

On the upside Fremantle Oval has huge potential to be developed into a multi-use stadium for sport, events, concerts, etc. and help take the pressure off the over-used Esplanade Reserve, while it is still attractive to organisers as an inner city venue close to the train station and public transport.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Fremantle 6162.

CROWD FUNDING FOR 100 HAMPTON ROAD

Posted in community, fremantle by freoview on July 17, 2015

FORM are launching a crowdfunding campaign on August 3, 2015 to fund equipment for our 100 Hampton Road Kitchen, which helps disadvantaged social housing residents in Fremantle.
We need to raise $20 000 by September 3 so the Hampton Road Kitchen can be fully equipped with the tools of the trade to train, mentor and provide hope to residents.

Most of the 192 residents at 100 Hampton Road, WA’s largest lodging house, are disadvantaged, vulnerable or recovering from periods of crisis. If you asked them, many would tell you interaction was what they wanted most.
We’ve been running a weekly shared lunch project there with Perth Chef Sophie Budd, using a cooking class to strengthen community and create opportunities. But it’s growing into something much bigger. Residents have been piloting the sale of jams, chutneys and preserves made using little more than a barbecue and an old stove at local markets and we’ve just given the kitchen a renovation.

We want the 100 Hampton Road kitchen to be a space for skill development, where disadvantaged and vulnerable people can gain the expertise necessary for employment in the food industry. Our vision is for a place of abundance, warmth, fresh produce and shared learning around a kitchen table. We want to activate the space to nourish, inspire and create a meaningful activity for people facing a time of uncertainty.

With enormous thanks to a grant of $100 000 from Impact100 Fremantle, the floors have been laid and the ceiling fixed- but we are only halfway there. To get the Hampton Road Kitchen across the line we need to fill our empty shelves with pots and pans, our cupboards with bowls and spoons and our benches with industry appliances.

We need to raise $20 000 by September 3 so the Hampton Road Kitchen can be fully equipped with the tools of the trade to train, mentor and provide hope to residents. Help us make this a reality. Pitch in for a Kitchen and help us rekindle the hearth of 100 Hampton Road.

Our crowdfunding site goes live on chuffed.org at 1pm on August 3. Stay tuned here for a link.

How we will use your contribution

We’re halfway there. The kitchen is complete, but the shelves are empty and the benches are bare. The $20 000 we raise will fund cooking equipment and resources to create an industry standard training kitchen.

Here are some of the things we will use the funds for.
Food processors, Blenders, Mixers, Stainless steel pots and pans, Crockery, Cutlery, Salt and Pepper shakers, Wooden spoons, Knives, Colanders, Strainers.

The story of 100 Hampton Road

Many residents at 100 Hampton Road are living at a lodging house because they have no other options. Some are facing significant challenges, serious disadvantage or are just starting to get their lives together following periods of crisis or homelessness.

The Hampton Road Kitchen is part of a broader 100 Hampton Road project designed and delivered by FORM in partnership with Foundation Housing, the building operators.
Beginning in April 2014, we’ve been upgrading shared spaces including common rooms and outdoor areas and running a bunch of projects at the lodging house that connect people, strengthen communities and improve wellbeing, from bicycle building to making terrariums. We’ve been working with residents to create a place of pride, opportunity and community,

The project has been rich and multi layered with people dedicating their time, love and hard work and, through initiatives like collective lunches, woodworking, growing things and creativity we hope to give some of Fremantle’s most vulnerable people the basis for integration into economic and social opportunity.

Want to know more? Give us a bell on 9226 2799.

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INDECENT MONEY WASTING BY POLITICIANS

Posted in canberra, fremantle, parliament, politicians by freoview on July 16, 2015

There is something seriously indecent about politicians generously wasting taxpayers’ money on travel, accommodation claims and many other things that are presumably within the rules, because it sets standards that are well below those the community expects of our leaders.

Our governments should be full of role models we should look up to, with people who show what Australia’s values are, but far too often they rort the system for their own egos.

When the independent speaker of Federal Parliament spends $ 300,000 on travel expenses in her first year in that role then there is something very wrong with the parliamentary system we have created for our society.

Politicians of all parties abuse the system when in government and spend far too much money on so called fact finding missions, that their staff could research on the internet at no costs.

If a member of parliament or their spouse own a second home in the city of parliament they should not be able to claim accommodation expenses and get reimbursed for not living at their residency while parliament sits. It is a rort and nothing else!

For reasons I have never understood society expects sports people to be role models, but why should they be? Why should someone who can kick a football or hit a cricket ball be of exceptional moral values, when the moral standards of many of our elected members are so low? Why don’t we demand from our politicians to show restraint and decency when spending our money and why don’t we tell them that their greed and arrogance in the way they spend our money is not acceptable and in fact indecent.

When footy players take drugs there is public outrage, but when politicians misuse our money for their own inflated ego we say little. That makes me wonder what the Australian values are and what is means when people say that something is un-Australian. Wasting taxpayers’ money should be on the top of the list of un-Australian behaviour.

Roel Loopers

RESTORING NEPAL BANK DETAILS

Posted in earthquake, fremantle, nepal by freoview on May 11, 2015

Nepal aid

For those who can’t come to the Fremantle RESTORING NEPAL fund raising events, but who would still like to donate money to help rebuild the country and supply shelter, water, food and clothing to those affected by the earthquake, you can donate here:

RESTORING NEPAL

Westpac
BSB: 036306
A/C:  488664

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TRUST AND TRANSPARENCY THE KINGS SQUARE PRIORITIES

Posted in city of fremantle, kings square, local government by freoview on April 23, 2015

KSP_The_proposed_development_at_night

The long ANZAC weekend starts soon and we are still waiting for a response by the City of Fremantle on questions asked about the Kings Square business plan and that is a worry. The ongoing community questioning of the Kings Square business plan and the financial commitment of the City of Fremantle is something that needs to be resolved fast, and that can only happen if the COF frankly, openly and honestly reveals what we are getting and what we are losing and if the predictions made in the plan are realistic or fanciful. Very specific questions have been asked for some seven months now and it is not good enough that COF have been avoiding answering the very valid questions by concerned Fremantle community members.

The public criticism and skepticism is damaging for brand Fremantle and is also unfairly damaging for Sirona Capital as the partner in the Kings Square development. If the City signed up for a bit of a dud because it was overly optimistic than this can only be blamed on the consultants and officers and a Council that did not scrutinise the plans carefully enough and forgot to ask the right questions. That has little to do with Sirona, which as a private company is in the business of investment, development and making money, and do not have to account to the community, but the City of Fremantle does have an obligation of explaining in detail what Fremantle will be getting and what it already has and will cost us in the future.

It is not acceptable that after seven months of questioning the City of Fremantle now claims to still need more legal advise before they can release more details. What highly-regarded professional auditors have asked the City of Fremantle to do is TO MAKE PUBLIC THE CASH FLOW SPREADSHEET THAT SUPPORTS THE $ 4 MILLION NPV AND THE BUSINESS CASE PREPARED FOR THE CITY OF FREMANTLE BY CONSULTANTS LEEDWELL.

Already questions have been asked in State Government by Labor MLA Peter Tinley and I fear it is only a matter of time until the big media boys will pick up the story. That is something Fremantle, that is on the cusp of being a desirable development destination again, can’t afford.

The community and developers need to have confidence in Fremantle council and the administration and that can only be achieved with brutal honesty and full disclosure of the City’s financial commitment in the Kings Square development. Hiding behind commercial confidentiality will leave a very sour taste in the mouth of many and would create a backlash in community confidence in this council and the administration. That should and can be avoided by looking the community in the eyes and telling us the true story.

Questions also should be asked what the delay in the development costs the City, with very reduced income from the Queensgate building that has huge vacant areas that could have been leased for few years. Will COF receive compensation for that?

Roel Loopers

P.S. I think it is rather funny that I have been accused by both sides in this saga of taking sides for the other side. Let me assure everyone that I am not interested in playing games or people trying to push me in certain directions. I am on neither side, just on the side of Fremantle. I am well capable of making up my own mind and will blog about this issue how and when I see fit, no matter whom that might displease. All I want is the best for Fremantle and if that displeases both sides than so be it.

From my view point I am expecting full disclosure of the financial details by the City of Fremantle and I would be disappointed if the Council and officers I trust would give the community anything less.

FREMANTLE MONEY MATTERS

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on January 25, 2015

It was very interesting to read in the West Australian that the City of Fremantle is on top of the WA Local Government chart of INCREASE IN CASH HOLDINGS with a whopping 585%. I am not much of a financial person but it surprised me to read this as we very often hear that Freo council does not have the funds to do maintenance on heritage buildings and to pay for infrastructure, so why does it  keep millions of dollars in the bank that could be spend on improving our city?

In that context it is also intriguing to read in the monthly financial report for December 2014 that the City had budgeted for a profit of $ 400,000 for the sale of the Pakenham Street carpark but that it made an actual loss of $ 133.000 instead.

Bad financial news also from the Leisure Centre where the Gym has not recovered from the long closure due to upgrading the pools and the revenue from the Gym is $ 546.000 under the YTD budget.

Roel Loopers

ENJOY THE BLINCO STREET CAFE AT THE FIBONACCI CENTRE!

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