Freo's View

COMMUNITY NEEDS TO SUPPORT LOCAL TRADERS

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, parking, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on June 7, 2019

 

retail

 

There is a bit of a discussion going on on Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt‘s Facebook page about the decline of retail when he posted the good article by Nathan Hondros on WATODAY about it. Hondros’ article “Striponomics’ The reasons Perth’s main streets are struggling is no big secret is worth a read.

The usual quick fixes are suggested by some readers; free parking and councils forcing property owners to reduce rents, but neither is a solution in a world where retail has been declining for at least five years and where major shopping centres have replaced traditional high street shopping.

I don’t know all the reasons for the decline in Perth, Mouth Lawley, Subiaco and elsewhere but I do know that the City of Fremantle has been trying hard to keep and get a diversity of retail in the city, instead of more and more cafes and taverns.

Fact is that councils can’t force property owners to lower rents and that many retailers are struggling because of rising outgoings such as power, water and gas. More competition might lower coffee prices for patrons but at the end that is not sustainable either for the operators.

Pop-up shops are the flavour of most councils but they are not a long-term solution because most of those who start a pop-up realise they can’t earn enough if they have to pay full commercial rates plus outgoings, so pop-ups do what their name suggest; they pop up and die after three or six months.

The always suggested free parking is not at all a solution because free parking will be taken up all day by commuters from Fremantle to Perth, backpackers, and Notre Dame students, so that would not leave too many bays for shoppers.

There is plenty of parking in Fremantle on weekdays and residents get free street parking before 11am and after 3pm.

Fremantle Council has a small ratepayers base so parking fees and fines are essential income for our city. Free parking would mean higher rates and I doubt property owners would agree that they had to pay for free parking of others. If it happened they would pass on the council rate increase to their tenants.

On very busy Sundays Fremantle might have the occasional parking issue, but surely no one expects Council to cater for weekend parking by creating more parking bays that would be vacant the rest of the week. It is like suggesting we should have 16-lane freeways to cater for rush hour traffic when for the rest of the day six lanes are sufficient.

I love the feeling of a good old high street, where there is a diversity of shops and were shop operators live above or behind their shops, as was the case in my home town of Hague in the Netherlands, where our family of seven lived behind the corner shop my parents ran, the pharmacist family on the other corner lived above their shop, the grocery shop people and the bookbinder next door lived behind the shop, as did the butcher on the other side of the street.

But times have changed and 25% of Australians engaged in on-line shopping last year, and money is tight with too many unemployed people.

There are never easy solutions, but we can all help by shopping local, even when it costs a few dollars more. Councils can not enforce shopping diversity or lowering of rents and we can only keep asking for property owners to keep the rents as low as possible so that our traders can survive and new traders are more willing to take the risk of starting in Freo.

Roel Loopers

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ANGST ABOUT NEW WATER PIPES FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, retail, traders, traffic, Uncategorized, water by freoview on May 30, 2019

 

There is quite a bit of apprehension about the Pipes for Fremantle works which are scheduled by the Water Corporation to start in June in the Fremantle CBD.

Traders and Council staff are concerned about the inevitable impact the road works will have with road closures, accessibility problems and loss of parking bays, so what can be done to make it as good as possible?

Of course the first that was considered was free parking, but it is doubtful it would have a tangible impact and would be more of a goodwill gesture than anything else.

How can Watercorp make it any better because there is day-time and night-time trading in the inner city, so moving the essential renewal of the pipes to the evenings is not a solution. Day and night work would make the project faster and roads would be closed for a shorter time, but is that practical?

To put it bluntly, without wanting to create panic, there are no easy solutions. The work has to be done or we might end up with water mains bursting and flooding and other damage, so our struggling traders will have to cop it again. I hope for them that financial compensation is an option because there is little doubt that the water pipes work will impact on their businesses.

Streets for renewal include:

  • Bannister Street, between Pakenham Street to Market Street.
  • Collie Street, between Marine Terrace and South Terrace.
  • Essex Lane, between Collie Street and Essex Street.
  • Essex Street, between Marine Terrace and South Terrace.
  • High Street, between Little High Street and Market Street.
  • Leake Street, between Pakenham Street and Market Street.
  • Marine Terrace, between Cliff Street and Suffolk Street, and Howard Street and Price Street.
  • Market Street, between High Street and Bannister Street
  • Nairn Street, between Pakenham Street and Market Street.
  • Norfolk Street, between Marine Terrace and South Terrace
  • Pakenham Street, between Collie Street and Leake Street
  • South Terrace, between Bannister Street and Norfolk Street

We estimate this construction work will take now place between June and November 2019.

Streets no longer included in this package of work include:

  • Henry Street, between Marine Terrace and Phillimore Street.
  • Pakenham Street, Leake Street to Phillimore Street.
  • Phillimore Street, between Henry Street and Pakenham Street.
  • Short Street, between Pakenham Street and Market Street

Renewal of the water mains on these streets will be completed at a later date.

Roel Loopers

 

NEW PARKING SIGNS FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, local government, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on March 18, 2019

 

parking

 

New parking signs to support the PayStay smartphone App. have been going up around Fremantle, so take note of them.

Roel Loopers

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TRADERS UPDATED ABOUT KINGS SQUARE PROCESS

 

Kings Square

 

Only a handful of local traders turned up yesterday for an update about the building progress of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project.

These updates at the Federal Hotel have been regular events to keep affected traders in the loop.

Those who came heard form builders Pindan and Probuild, Sirona Capital and City of Fremantle Director Infrastructure and Project Delivery Graham Tattersall that things are going very well and to schedule.

Completion of our Civic Centre community facility will be in July 2020, so a construction period of 18 months. Excavation will start in two weeks for the lower level and the main structure will be up before Christmas this year, so that will give us all a much better idea of what we can expect and how it works in the space.

Sirona is on the home straight with their two buildings and they are estimated to be completed by August/September this year. The paving of Newman Court on the Sirona side will be done in September and the Civic Centre half toward completion of that building.

Queen Street should be back to normal in July when the hoarding there comes down, so that will make traffic flow a bit easier.

The Newman Court thoroughfare between William Street and Queen Street will be open before Christmas, so that is good news as well. Scaffolding around the carpark will be removed in July.

Roel Loopers

 

 

 

 

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PAYSTAY IN FREO BUT NOT WHEN YOU ARE OLD

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, local government, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on March 7, 2019

 

Pay Stay

 

It appears the new City of Fremantle PayStay parking App. has a flaw. A South Fremantle resident reported on the precinct Facebook page that she tried to sign up and had to enter her date of birth, but the App only went as far as 1950, so people born before that are in a bit of a worry.

I am sure it is just a small glitch that can be rectified fast, unless the parking contractor believed only young people live in good old Freo. 😩

Roel Loopers

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TREES TO BEAUTIFY UNSIGHTLY CAR PARK

 

 

Some West End residents have expressed concern about the pruning of the lovely little tree on the corner of Cliff and High streets, but it is all good because the City of Fremantle wanted to create a bit more head space and to put new benches under the tree.

The City will also put four olive trees in large square concrete boxes along the unsightly Notre Dame University car park from Cliff Street to the Chalkys cafe.

Roel Loopers

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PAYSTAY APP FOR CASHLESS PARKING IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on March 1, 2019

 

Parking

 

The City of Fremantle’s new PayStay parking app is coming to a phone near you next week. The new app, which allows visitors to find and pay for parking using their mobile phone, will launch on Tuesday 5 March.

The new app will make it easier and cheaper to park in Fremantle and the PayStay app is a smarter and faster way to pay for parking.

Once motorists have downloaded the app and added their car registration and credit card details they’ll be saved for future use, so they can just park, start their parking session on PayStay and go.

Drivers can also choose to be sent an alert when their parking session is about to expire, and it’s timed down to the minute so they’ll only pay for the time they actually use.

An exciting new feature of the PayStay app is the parking map. The parking map shows all of the City’s on-street and off-street parking in Fremantle, which visitors can then click onto to find out information like the car park’s capacity, the parking rate and time limits.

The PayStay app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play, or by visiting the PayStay website.

Roel Loopers

 

CALOGERO’S ALFRESCO GETS APPROVAL

Posted in alfresco, cafe, city of fremantle, development, hospitality, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 28, 2019

 

calo-1

 

South Fremantle’s Calogero’s cafe are allowed to keep their unauthorised alfresco area after Fremantle Council reluctantly agreed to approve it with some modest modifications such as providing substantial bike racks.

The main issue with the unauthorised development was the removal of four car parking bays from the site to make way for tables and benches, but Councillor Dave Hume argued that there were other means, such as the CAT bus to get to the area and it did not rely on cars only as transport.

Councillor Andrew Sullivan said that when he looked at the alfresco from a community perspective it worked and he would not swap the ambience it created for a few car bays.

But Councillor Rachel Pemberton was not at all happy with the cavalier-attitude of the cafe owners who seem to think they can just do anything they like and ignore council laws and processes.

Now the cafe owners will have to put bike racks in the cross-over so that they cannot park their delivery van there either, so they’d better get on with that fast.

My one comment about this is that I in general don’t like retrospective approval, but I also don’t get it that it is o.k. for cafes to take street parking bays away to create alfresco parklets but that one cannot do that on one’s own property. That makes little sense to me.

Roel Loopers

 

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IMPRESSIVE FREMANTLE SNAPSHOTS

Posted in art, city of fremantle, community, cruiseliners, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 26, 2019

 

While we often complain about our local government, well, all governments really, we also should acknowledge the huge and varied work they are doing and what a challenge this must be for the elected members and officers.

Here some snap shots provided by the City of Fremantle at the Annual General Electors Meeting last evening:

  • 200 applications for alfresco dining, food stalls, short stay accommodation and liquor licenses
  • 493 residential parking permits issued
  • 490,709 visitors to the Fremantle Leisure Centre
  • 301 entries to the Fremantle Arts Centre Print award
  • 18,015 cruise ship passengers visited
  • 9,682 children’s toys loaned through the Fremantle Toy Library
  • 59,647 phone calls received by customer service
  • 43,327 contributed to local groups through community development grants
  • 1.000+ new trees and shrubs planted in the suburbs
  • 70,744 visitors to Fremantle Arts Centre-a record!
  • 142.5 tones of material recycled at Fremantle Recycling Centre
  • 155 new parking bays at Cappuccino Strip carpark
  • 5,765 callouts for Community Safety Officers
  • 1276 people assisted at Fremantle Community Legal Centre
  • 4,597 parking bays in carparks managed by City of Fremantle
  • 30,000 people engaged with Kids’ Corner at FAC
  • $ 70,000 upgrade to changerooms at Gilert Fraser reserve, North Fremantle
  • 109 new Australian citizens at Fremantle citizenship ceremonies

 

I am out of breath just typing all this.

Roel Loopers

FREE PARKING FOR FEMALE FREMANTLE DOCKERS GAMES?

Posted in afl, city of fremantle, fremantle dockers, local government, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on February 19, 2019

 

There are a lot of people around who have easy, but often very unrealistic, solutions for just about everything.

A letter in today’s West Australian by R.Correla of Beaconsfield fits in that category.

Correla writes that the City of Fremantle should provide free parking one hour before and three hours after the Fremantle Dockers women’s team games at Fremantle Oval.

But those games are on weekends when Fremantle is at its busiest and where the lack of inner city parking is often complained about. Parking fees are also a substantial source of income for the City and council rates would need to be increased if more free parking were to be provided.

It is also quite insulting from R.Correla to say Fremantle needs more smart people on council, and not a minority who are only about themselves. Fremantle Council is far from perfect, but the elected members do their best to make the right decisions for our community.

May I suggest to R.Correla to actually attend and observe council meetings. It’s always good to be informed first hand, rather than making ignorant assumptions and accusations.

Roel Loopers

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