Freo's View

WILL LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM CREATE BETTER COUNCILLORS?

Posted in city of fremantle, council reform, councils, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 28, 2019

 

Landmark local government reforms passed by State Parliament will bring councils into the 21st century as the first reforms resulting from the Local Government Act review. But will the new WA Local Government Reform create better Councillors through inductions and training?

I have been amazed for many years that many of those who nominate for a position on local council do not even bother to do the basic homework of attending Council and Committee meetings, so when elected they come in unprepared and for some of them it takes very long to understand local government process, so let’s hope the reform will improve the level of local governance we are getting.

These reforms target key priority areas identified by the community and local government sector to better prepare council members for their challenging role, strengthen governance, empower councils to communicate with residents using modern technology and expand the amount of information available to the public online.

Commencing at the 2019 ordinary local government elections in October, all candidates will be required to have completed an online induction. This free, online module will be available on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries’ website in July.

Building the capacity of council members further, all council members will be required to complete a training program following their election covering key areas such as conflicts of interest, understanding financial reports and budgets, and serving on council.

Reforms will also:

  • Improve standards of behaviour through a mandatory code of conduct for council members and candidates;
  • Introduce new standards for CEO recruitment and performance management to help elected members select a CEO and assess their performance;
  • Provide clarity for elected members to manage real and perceived conflicts of interest related to gifts; and
  • Require local governments to publish information on their website such as local laws, approved council policies and all documents contained within a meeting agenda allowing instant access to council information for everyone 24/7.

 

Roel Loopers

 

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FREO MP JOSH WILSON IN SHADOW CABINET

Posted in city of fremantle, election, environment, federal government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on June 3, 2019

 

Congratulations to Fremantle Federal MP Josh Wilson who was appointed Assistant Shadow Minister for the Environment by new Labor leader Anthony Albanese.

I was impressed with Josh Wilson when he was on Fremantle Council and always knew he would step up pretty fast in Canberra.

Well done and good luck Josh!

Roel Loopers

NEW MAYOR FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on May 26, 2019

 

I pinched this great photo by BEN LANGLEY from the Kidogo Arthouse Facebook page.

 

On a sunny Sunday in Fremantle good news spreads like a bush fire, so let me too make this day one big happy smile for those in our community who relentlessly, and often unfairly, have been criticising our Mayor Brad Pettitt. Freo will be getting a new Mayor!

From June 1 on this year Councillor Rachel Pemberton will become not only the new Mayor of Fremantle but also the new Deputy Mayor.

But boys and girls, it is only till June 9, because Rachel will be acting Mayor and Deputy Mayor only while Brad Pettitt and Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham are away.

Enjoy Freo anyway and every day. Walyalup is a great place to be!

Roel Loopers

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G’DAY. IT’S STILL A GREAT COUNTRY

 

One lesson we need to learn from this election is that we should not allow politicians to run fear campaigns, and that applies to all parties!

Fear divides the community and fear allows politicians to take more and more of our liberties from us, because they claim that only then will we live in a safe society.

What we-all of us-need to do is create an environment of trust and safety where we communicate respectfully with one another, instead of campaigns of accusation, innuendo and fear.

Fear makes us less tolerant and less accepting of those with different views, but the others are not the enemy, they are fellow Australians who believe in different solutions and options. That does not make them bad people, or worse than we are, they are different and have the same high hopes for the future as we do. They just believe that it can be achieved in different ways.

When we still live in a country that believes in the urban myth of fair go, we need to grow up and accept that we are not the best country in the world, but among many really great countries. And we need to acknowledge that we are far from perfect and like everywhere else on earth we are looking for strong leadership, but what we are getting instead is political parties who just want to beat the other party. It is about them, not us and that is not good, and only we can change that by demanding better governance.

We cannot blame those who are unemployed for wanting jobs and we cannot even blame them that climate change is not a priority when you are struggling to put food on the table.

Those of us who were hoping for a new government in Canberra are very disappointed, but the sun is shining and the sky is blue in Fremantle and most of us have a roof over our head, so let’s reflect and be grateful for what we have instead of being disappointed.

Australia is still a relatively young country and we have to endure the growing pains. We can do that by nurturing more and criticising less.

Have a brilliant Sunday. The sun will rise again tomorrow and we will still wake up in a peaceful country that offers many opportunities, so embrace that.

Roel Loopers

THANK YOU BOB HAWKE!

RIP Bob Hawke. A man of principles and values, willing to take risks, trying to find consensus and bringing people together instead of dividing them.

He was also a big fighter against racism. A brilliant man has died.

He changed Australia for the better. Thanks Bob!

Roel Loopers

NOTHING NEW AT FREMANTLE ELECTION DEBATE

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, federal government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on May 8, 2019

 

The Fremantle Candidate Debate at Tannock Hall was never going to be a great debate with the absence of the Liberal Party candidate, so it was not surprising that there were fewer people in the audience than at previous election debates. It did not help either that ScoMo and Shorto were having a third TV debate at the same time.

I had been hoping for a few laughs listening to the One Nation candidate, but could only feel sorry for the politically inadequate mumbling Brett Weary who clearly was enormously out of his depth. What was funny though that he kept enthusiastically nodding whenever Socialist Alliance candidate Sam Wainwright spoke. If Pauline only knew.

The gross inaction on climate change by the present Australian government was lamented by Greens candidate Jesse Hutchinson who said we needed to get out of the coal business and change the narrative to renewable energy. Sam Wainwright for the Socialist Alliance agreed and said it was as if we are in a bus with a lunatic in the driver’s seat. “Forgo the profits and stop selling coal to the world.”

Labor MP Josh Wilson said it all depended on what Australia was going to do about climate change and that his party will take action, if elected. They would supercharge renewable energy. While the current government does not believe in climate change Labor has a clear policy and are ambitious about what can be done. “We have to make a start!”

Janetia Knapp for the Western Australian Party said that Aboriginal people knew how to look after the environment, that wildlife was disappearing and landfill affecting the environment.

What about electric cars? Josh Wilson said we are so far behind the rest of the world in Australia, while Jesse Hutchinson promised we can be the world leader in electric cars and reach a 100% electric car use by 2030. Youthful optimism or naivety?

It was a rather strange question what the next Federal Government would do about Fremantle’s retail challenge, and Josh Wilson rightly pointed out that the challenge is not unique to Fremantle but is happening all over Perth and Australia.

Sam Wainright said better public transport needed to be provided to those living outside of Freo so that it would be easier to get into town without a car. The One Nation candidate though that we just needed to relocate Adventure World into Fremantle and all our retail worries would be over.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme has structural flaws and people do not get the quality of support they need, and there is not enough support for people who need to be out in the community. The cultural leadership of the NDIS has to be provided by people with a disability, Josh Wilson suggested.

Homelessness was also a topic with 16,000 youth under the age of 12 being without shelter in Australia. Janetia Knapp said kids as young as seven were roaming the streets at night because for some it was not safe to go home. “Governments need to talk to the Aboriginal people!”

Jesse Hutchinson said it was a disgrace and nobody should have to sleep rough. Raising Newstart would help them pay the rent, and education can help liberate kids. Homelessness is a big issue and needs to be a national priority!

There is far too much under-employment of young people and Janetia Knapp questioned why Aboriginal youth can’t get work even when they have the right qualifications.

Sam Wainwright said that small businesses should share the responsibility of training, that migrant workers were not the issue, but those on temporary working visas are.

Jesse Hutchinson said we needed to ask ourselves what work in the future would look like. “Bring back the free Uni and TAFE”  That got thunderous applause in the Notre Dame University hall.

Josh Wilson said that 9 out of 10 future jobs would at least require TAFE level education and that Labor would give more funding to public schools and TAFE. “We have not closed the gap (as far as Aboriginal education is concerned).

What to do about the distrust and disengagement of political parties being at an all-time high? The Greens candidate said that the massive corporate donations needed to stop. “Clean up politics and bring it back to the people!”

Josh Wilson believed that the lack of trust came from media sensationalism and that politicians needed to lead by example by being open, trustworthy and honest.

All in all there was nothing said that we had not heard before, and no doubt many of it will be relentlessly repeated over the next ten days.

For me the best moment of an election campaign is when it is over.

Roel Loopers

 

FREO ELECTION DEBATE TONIGHT!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, federal government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on May 8, 2019

 

debate

 

The Fremantle Federal election candidate debate is on tonight in a Q&A format, with lecturers of Notre Dame University joining the party candidates.

Moderators are former ABC political reporter Peter Holland and Fremantle Herald Chief of Staff Steve Grant.

Doors open at 6pm for a 6.30 start at Tannock Hall on Cliff Street corner Croke Street.

The Liberal Party and United Australian Party candidates have declined to be scrutinised and that is very bad form.

Roel Loopers

 

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THE FREMANTLE ELECTION DEBATE IS ON WEDNESDAY

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, federal government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on May 6, 2019

 

A reminder that the Fremantle Federal Election Candidate Debate is on this Wednesday at Tannock Hall of the University of Notre Dame in Cliff Street from 6.30pm. Doors open at 6pm!

All candidates were invited and here is the list of those who will be participating.

Liberals – declined

ALP – confirmed to attend

Greens – confirmed to attend

Christians – still TBC

Socialist Alliance – confirmed to attend

One Nation – confirmed to attend

WA Party – confirmed to attend

UAP (Palmer) – declined

The forum will be moderated by the esteemed political journalist Peter Kennedy with support from Steve Grant, Chief of Staff at the Fremantle Herald, and Notre Dame academics, Dr Mignon Shardlow and Dr Jamal Barnes.

Adopting a ‘Q&A style’ approach this year, we welcome questions in advance and on the night.

Follow our event and have your say on Facebook and Twitter #FreoDebate. RSVP and submit your questions to http://www.notredame.edu.au/events-items/candidates-debate

I keep hearing the same argument at every election that Liberal candidates do not participate in the debate because Fremantle Councillor Rachel Pemberton is involved in organising it, and allegedly that makes the event biased. That is pretty insulting to Notre Dame University, Oxfam, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and all involved. It’s rubbish!

 

Roel Loopers

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FREO MAY DAY AT A GLANCE

Posted in city of fremantle, employment, politics, Uncategorized, unions by freoview on May 5, 2019

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LOTS OF FREMANTLE MAY DAY PHOTOS

Posted in city of fremantle, employment, politics, Uncategorized, unions by freoview on May 5, 2019

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The traditional May Day parade marched through Fremantle and what a noisy, colourful and important event it is.

More than 2,000 people, including WA Premier Mark McGowan attended the march while many watched on.

The Maritime Union of Australia diverted from the normal route to pay respect at the Kings Square fountain to Tom Edwards, a port worker who was killed 100 years ago.

Roel Loopers

 

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