Freo's View

FREMANTLE WEED SPRAY NO RISK TO HUMANS

Posted in city of fremantle, health, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 1, 2018

 

The City of Fremantle has responded to yesterday’s blog post about the use of Glyphosate for weed control in parks. Here it is:

The APVMA (Australian Government Regulator of Pesticides) has completed an assessment of the IARC report and other recent assessments of glyphosate and has concluded that the use of glyphosate in Australia does not pose a cancer risk to humans. http://apvma.gov.au/node/13891

Even so, the City of Fremantle is aiming to reduce its year on year use of glyphosate and chemicals generally.

To achieve this we have expanded our steam weeding program and increased the verge mowing program which has reduced chemical application. We are also looking at spray practices to minimise contact with the public, such as avoiding school holidays and adjusting the time of day we spray.

The City’s current practices in weed management are as outlined in the item that was tabled at Council in April 2016.

The City undertakes an integrated management approach to control weeds. This includes a range of measures including mechanical means, steam control and the use of glyphosate, in parklands, streets and bushland in the City of Fremantle. We are continually reviewing weed management to ensure best practice.

Currently, the City controls weeds on:

· Non-permeable surfaces such as roads, kerbs and footpaths with steam weeding. We have extended this to include Playgrounds in the most recent contract. Steam weeding is effective but more expensive than other methods, although technology is rapidly improving in this method.

· Permeable surfaces such as verges, turf and natural areas using mechanical methods (mowing, manual removal etc.) and chemical application (glyphosate and other target species chemicals).

For footpaths, roads and verges, steam control is undertaken six times per year in the town centre, six times per year on main arterial roads and four times per year in the suburban areas.

For verges and reserves, there are two forms of glyphosate used depending on the environmental characteristics of the site – one being approved for use near aquatic environments. Verges are also maintained through mechanical (mowing) control. This level of service was expanded last year into some residential areas.

For all turfed areas, including grassed areas within parks and all playing fields, selective herbicides, insecticides and fungicides are used when determined necessary. Mechanical control is used where this can be practically achieved.

For all natural areas (bushland, coastal dunes, riverine bushland), spot/paint application of a range of herbicides appropriate to the weed being controlled and the surrounding environment are used, along with mechanical removal where it is appropriate and desirable as a control method.

I also this morning posted a ruling by the World Health Organisation as a comment under yesterday’s article, so that we have balance.

Roel Loopers

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WHY USE DANGEROUS CHEMICALS IN FREMANTLE PARKS?

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, health, Uncategorized by freoview on February 28, 2018

 

Poison

 

North Fremantle architect Murray Slavin, who lives near Fremantle Park, is worried about the City of Fremantle’s use of Glyphosates spray to eradicate weeds.

He says that he has contacted a number of councillors from the Mayor down to find out why we’re still using Glyphosates in our parks which are widely used – including by children and dogs, but that he has never had a response.

Murray says “Glyphosates are considered hazardous in many areas of the world now. The hypocrisy here is that we have tokenised weed control by using steam where it’s visible to the public but Glyphosates where it’s less visible. I think the practice should be stopped.”

This photo taken by Murray Slavin was taken within 20m of a children’s playground and in an area where dogs are walked regularly, sports are played, and picnics enjoyed on the grass.

Slavin says “This photo was taken adjacent to Fremantle Park but similar signs regularly appear in other recreation areas, including South Beach.”

So, City of Fremantle, so keen to promote itself as environmentally friendly, why are you still using the dangerous chemicals?

Roel Loopers

COUNCIL BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE

Posted in children, city of fremantle, community, dogs, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on February 15, 2018

 

The FPOL-Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee of the City of Fremantle met in North Fremantle last evening.

The Dog Exercise and Prohibited Area Policy item on the agenda attracted many speakers who walk their dog in Frederick Samson Park and who were not at all happy with the proposed restrictions, with one of them saying that council was barking up the wrong tree.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton, who has a very cute little dog herself, said that maybe the policy was heavy handed. There are Bush Forever sites that allow dogs on a leash and we need more clarity on how we handle the bush and how we handle the walkers, with or without a dog, she said.

It was decided that a site visit by some Councilors and workshopping was needed before the Elected Members could make a proper decision, and the item was deferred.

The lease of the Evan Davies building upper level above the Dome cafe for bar and restaurant will have to be confirmed by full council. Mayor Brad Pettitt said he had expected a more cultural kind of outcome, but was assured by Director Tom Griffiths that live music events were planned.

The request for special parking permits for residents of the Warders Cottages is also still unresolved with Councillors being worried about setting a precedent for future residential development which does not supply parking, so officers will need to consider all the implications first.

The idea is that residents could be offered a yearly parking permit for CoF carparks at 50% discount.

It is probably prudent to check how much commercial carparks like Queensgate are charging annually for long-term parking, and also to consider if small business owners in Fremantle should also be offered the same courtesy, because quite a few of them park their car all day while they are attending their shop.

It is disturbing to hear from one Warders Cottage resident, who contacted me, that the State Heritage Office in a letter to prospective buyers of the cottages had suggested that the City of Fremantle might supply them with parking permits,

Just before the FPOL meeting was the Library Committee meeting, so interesting to hear that the Toy Library has now been made available to Cockburn and Melville residents as well.

Roel Loopers

GREEN FREO NOT GREEN ENOUGH

Posted in city of fremantle, development, local government, nature, Uncategorized by freoview on January 9, 2018

 

The substantial residential development that is happening, and is planned for, the east of the Fremantle CBD requires that developers and the City of Fremantle create new green public spaces and amenity for those who are coming to live in the high-density buildings.

Heirloom and LIV residents have very little green space to enjoy with Fremantle Park basically being a sports ground for the Christian Brothers students and sporting clubs. It offers very little in form of seating, shade structures or BBQs. The same applies to the nearby Princess May Park that is a large lawns to kick the footy or play cricket, but lacks seats and shade.

Fremantle Council does have a masterplan for Princess May, but that seems to be on the back burner until/if the Hilton Hotel development next to it is completed.

Then there is the uninspiring Pioneer Park opposite the railway station that also lacks amenity, shade, a playground and good seating, and there are a couple of small pockets of green on the corner of Parry and High Street.

The most inviting green ambience for apartment dwellers at LIV and Heirloom is the courtyard at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

While there is a Green Plan for Fremantle and the policy to increase the tree canopy, there are no plans I am aware off for new green spaces in or near the CBD.

The large carpark, or a part off it, at the East Street Jetty offers the opportunity for a new green space with river connections and harbour views.  It is the only opportunity in Fremantle south of the river to connect with the mighty Swan, as Fremantle Port has stopped the connection from the city with the water front.

There are plans for the massive development of the Woolstores shopping centre site and an eight-storey residential building on the former Spotlight site next to Target, and a four-storey residential building at the former Energy Museum site. All those people will want to connect with nature and Fremantle is not offering them very much at all.

Developers should be urged to create green internal courtyard spaces for residents, and even the Westgate Mall could be turned into a green space when the Little Laneway development is happening.

Freo’s Green council needs to do a lot more to green our city!

 

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE GOOD STORY TSUNAMI

Posted in city of fremantle, election, environment, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 9, 2017

 

It must be election time, the cynic in me thinks, because the good news stories coming from the City of Fremantle are abundant.

This week we read that the vast majority of residents love to live in Freo, according to a CoF survey, and yesterday a media release came out about the City of Fremantle planting 500 more trees in streets and parks and 1,000 in bushland.

This, the blurb tells us, is in addition to the 20,000 plants and shrubs planted across Fremantle in parks and reserves:

The City’s urban forest plan forms part of its Greening Fremantle: Strategy 2020.

The strategy aims to progressively increase tree planting across the City to achieve at least 20 per cent canopy coverage.

To achieve this, the City has an ongoing tree planting and revegetation program and is integrating new trees into road and path upgrades where possible.

The City now even has a public relations officer, so stay tuned for a lot more good news between now and October 21.

Under the Local Government act the elected members can not direct the administration, so we will just naively have to believe that the marketing department is doing this all on their own accord. I just noticed some pigs flying over Beacy, as I am writing this. ; >)

 

Roel Loopers

 

ENKEL CHANGEMAKERS FOR CANTONMENT HILL

Posted in enkel, fremantle, fremantle network by freoview on March 28, 2017

The monthly Fremantle Network event upstairs at the National Hotel on Monday evening featured Adam Jorlen of ENKEL and Adin Lang of the newly founded Friends of Freo.

ENKEL will move into the former Navy Stores at Cantonment Hill this year and is a social innovation centre with the aim to create a new generation of changemakers.

The group has a 20-year lease and there will be a big climbing wall, collaboration with Freo Food, and there will be stations for robotics and coding, a school of changemakers and Knowmads.

All activities in the big hall will be open to the public.

The ENKEL concept intrigues me as I like change and innovation, but for the sceptic there seems to be unresolved naivety about it. It worries me that the group only has 55 members when it has been operating out of Victoria Park for a few years now.

I am all for giving the group a fair go and the benefit of the doubt though, because creative rejuvenation is very important for the future of Fremantle, but I have no idea how they are going to survive financially and pay the required rent to the City of Fremantle.

Change is healthy when it is good change, so I definitely will try to get involved with ENKEL events to make sure that the new concept also involves older people and taps into our experience and knowledge.

And ENKEL means simple or easy in Swedish, Adam Jorlen told us. To broaden your horizon, let me point out that it also means nephew in German and ankle in Dutch. ; >)

Adin Lang who just started Friends of Freo as an extension of Friends of Hollis Park, wants to connect the green spine of Fremantle and do community nature conservation work in collaboration with the City of Fremantle.

It is about connecting the community groups at Cantonment Hill, Clontarf Hill, Booyembara Park, Hollis Park, etc. and share tools and knowledge, and tackle unique issues.

I think that is a good idea because community groups often work in isolation of other community groups with similar concepts.

Former Councillor Robert Fittock pointed out that Adin Lang had not included North Fremantle in his map and Adin promised to change that.

I always enjoy the Fremantle Network events and the next one will be on the last Monday of April where people from the affordable and ethical housing project Nightingale will speak.

Roel Loopers

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SUCK IT UP FREMANTLE CITY!

Posted in art, city of fremantle, local government, tourism, western australia by freoview on September 15, 2016

 

It always disappoints me when I see an I don’t care attitude from City of Fremantle staff, as the photos show.

This grass mowing job at Captain’s Lane at Arthur Head is not good enough because the workers just leave the grass clippings stuck to the artworks and that looks awful.

What is the big deal of brushing the clippings off the three works, or using one of those terribly noisy suckers/blowers?  It only takes a few minutes. I am not impressed!

Roel Loopers

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BOOYEEMBARA PARK WORKSHOP

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, local government, western australia by freoview on June 16, 2016

Booyeembara workshop

The City of Fremantle is holding a workshop on the future development of Booyeembara Park, especially about stage four opposite Sullivan Hall at Nannine Street.

The workshop is on this Saturday June 18 from 9 am till midday at Sullivan Hall, corner Stevens and nannine streets.

Please register on ParksandLandscape@fremantle.wa.gov.au

Roel Loopers

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DEVELOP FREMANTLE CHILDREN FRIENDLY

Posted in city of fremantle, development, housing by freoview on March 26, 2016

An article on Twitter by Canadian Sightline Institute talks about one of my passions for diverse housing in inner city Fremantle and tells the story of how downtown Vancouver BC has 5 times more kids than Seattle and 9 times more than Portland.

Town planners in Vancouver BC made a conscious decision some 20 years ago to not leave the inner city to singles, couples, aged and low income earners, but to also encourage families.

Apartments and townhouses in big developments have to have dining rooms with easy to clean floors, accessible stroller storage, lockable bicycle storage, and outdoor play spaces, ideally where parents can look out on from windows to supervise the children.

At least 25 percent of the development needs to be suitable for families and 20 percent for low-income people.

High density development needs to incorporate parks, open space, daycares, libraries, community centres and elementary schools, and there needs to be soundproofing between the apartments and between the sleeping and living areas.

This is the kind of development that I would like to see in the Knutsford/Blinco/Montreal street area, and not just a small housing scheme only suitable for singles. I would also encourage developers to build more family apartments with a minimum of two bedrooms in the CBD, so that we get real diversity and not just childless couples and singles buying apartments in new Fremantle development.

Roel Loopers

HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE FREMANTLE GREEN PLAN

Posted in city of fremantle, green plan, local government, nature by freoview on November 4, 2015
Smoke haze at the Swan River.

Smoke haze at the Swan River.

The City of Fremantle’s draft GREEN PLAN is out for community input so make sure to download it from the COF website and put submissions in to make it a really good plan to protect and enhance our public green spaces, increase our city’s essential tree canopy, create more small green lingering nodes all over Fremantle, protect established mature trees from demolition through new development, etc.

Here is some of what the Green Plan says:

The 2020 Green Plan provides the background, rationale and framework to deliver projects and programs over the next five years. Key initiatives and targets include:

 Every resident and worker to be within walkable distance to public open space.  Progressively increase tree canopy across the city to achieve up to 20% by 2020.  Design adaptable open space that allows for future flexibility as the community and open space function and needs change over time.  Planning for future water security to identify opportunities for best available water sources for existing and new open space.  Develop links that increase the amount of flora/vegetation and increase habitats for native fauna and encourage their movement between green spaces and to increase and improve biodiversity areas.

Key projects over the next five years include:  Investigation and identification for accessing public open space in the priority areas of Hilton, O’Connor, White Gum Valley and Beaconsfield.  Investigation and identify options to improve and/or expand public open space is proximity to future high density areas.  Undertaking an Urban Forest Strategy to manage and guide tree and vegetation population across the public and private realm, to increase canopy and biodiversity and to mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect.  Undertaking water demand modelling to inform future fit for purpose water supply options.  Prepare landscape concept plans for green links and develop a biodiversity plan.

Public submissions closing date is November 11, so participate and be part of the solutions!

Roel Loopers

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