Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, councils, local government, western australia by freoview on March 19, 2017

The Sunday Times reports today that seven out of the twenty-eight metropolitan mayors are ‘moonlighting’ and have other jobs.

Local government is not intended to be a full-time job for Mayors and Councillors but the workload is significant as I know from observing the huge number of hours Mayor Brad Pettitt and most Councillors spend on looking after Fremantle.

For the Freo Mayor it is a full-time job with additional local government work at the Heritage Council for which he annually receives $ 9,000 in addition to the Mayor’s payment of around $ 140,000. Correct me if I am wrong as I can’t find the exact amount.

But the City of Swan Mayor does only two days full time at council there and received nearly $ 140,000 per year, while Jim O’Neill, the Mayor of East Fremantle gets $ 43,000 for 25 hours a week and works another 45 hours per week as deputy-principal of the Willeton Senior High School.

I believe elected members should get properly paid as many of them spend the equivalent of full-time job hours on serving the community.

Roel Lopers


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


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on June 25, 2014

Good to hear that local councillors in Western Australia are due for a three percent pay rise. This is higher than the pay rise for police officers and other public servants, but I believe councillors have been underpaid for far too long. My personal observations show that Fremantle councillors work very long hours for our community and the remuneration they receive is not anywhere near adequate.

Elected Members make decisions about the future of our councils, and we should try to attract the best possible people to stand at local council elections, to make sure we get visionary people who have a big picture approach to city planning. We will only attract the best if we are willing to pay them good money for their time, that involves a lot of evening and weekend work.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 21, 2013

The news that there will be extended trading hours during the Christmas period is immediately followed by calls from State Government to scrap penalty rates for workers in the retail and hospitality industries, and one has to wonder why. If businesses are allowed to trade four hours longer on Sundays, and if they do so, they only do that because they are expecting more business, more sales, and more profit. They don’t do it out of the good of their hearts, or because they want to deliver a better service, but because they see an opportunity to make more money. So why should those who accomplish that for them; shop assistants, kitchen and waiting staff, etc. not also profit from it.

Scrapping Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates could well mean many people have to work additional hours during the week to make up for it, and that could be detrimental to their family life, studies, etc.

Why do we need ten-hour shopping days anyway. Are people really that bored?

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on July 27, 2012

There are a few disgruntled ice skating lovers in Fremantle who worked for the Winter Festival on the Esplanade. They complain they were paid below minimum wages and did not get extra pay for Sunday work, while some worked 13 hours straight without getting a meal.

Reportedly the Winter Festival averaged 1300 visitors a day at $ 20.00 each, so that looks like a healthy turn over of over $ 180,000.00 a week. Surely enough to pay casual staff award rates. However one has to wonder why staff did not check about conditions and pay before they commenced working for the company.

The people of Fremantle obviously loved the Winter Festival and I was told it will definitely return next year, so maybe the City of Fremantle could make it a condidtion of use of the Esplanade that adequate rates are paid to casual staff.

My advise to everyone offered casual work, no matter how young or old, is to make sure you know before taking on the job what you will get paid for it and what is expected of you. Complaining after the event means you did not do your homework.

Roel Loopers


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