Freo's View

YOUR VOTE COULD BE THE DIFFERENCE!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 18, 2017

 

VOTE!

 

Enrol to vote and VOTE PLEASE!!!! at the Fremantle Local Government Election.

Local Council elections notoriously get a very small percentage of the community voting, and that is such a waste of your democratic right.

Just around 30 per cent of eligible voters posted their ballot paper two years ago, so 70 per cent elected not to have a voice, that in my books is just plain silly.

If you are passionate about Freo and want to make it an even better place than it is, the least you can do is vote. Better even better if you nominate for one of the seven seats up for grabs and make it a contest.

 

Roel Loopers

NEWS FROM OUR LOCAL STATE MEMBER

Posted in city of fremantle, state government, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on August 10, 2017

 

Here some info from the newsletter of Fremantle state member Simone McGurk, Minister for Child Protection, Women’s Interest, Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, and Community Services.

In March, the people of WA elected a McGowan Labor Government, and we have gotten straight to work delivering better and fairer management of our state. Since taking office, the Government has:
Stopped the Perth Freight Link;
Kept Western Power in public hands;
Frozen TAFE fees;
Put education assistants back into classrooms;
Reduced the number of State Government Departments from 41 to 25;
Introduced domestic violence leave for WA public sector workers
Heritage listed Fremantle’s iconic West End.

Fremantle has lots to look forward to: the relocation of a Government Department to our CBD, the opening of Fremantle College in 2018, the construction of WA’s first MediHotel at Fiona Stanley Hospital, the establishment of an Urgent Care Clinic in Fremantle, much needed upgrades to local roads, and planning for the second port at Kwinana.

As always, I am keen to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my office on 9336 7000 if there are any issues you’d like to raise with me.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT JUST (ABOUT) RUBBISH

Posted in australia day, city of fremantle, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on July 31, 2017

 

With the Fremanle local government election just two months and three weeks away I have been contemplating what the role of local government actually is.

Some people in our community believe it is all about delivering services, collecting rubbish, cleaning streets, etc. but is there a bigger picture our Elected Members should also be involved in?

I personally believe there is because local politicians are the closest to grassroots democracy and should inspire state and federal governments.

I asked Dr. Martin Drum, Professor of Politics and International Relations and Chief of Staff of the Vice Chancellor at Fremantle Notre Dame University and this was his reply:

“Elected representatives have both a deliberative and representative function. We focus a lot on the deliberative part, where our MPs and councillors are empowered to make decisions on our behalf. They decide what proposed developments can and cant proceed, they decide what does and doesn’t get funded. Some people argue that this is all our elected representatives should do.

But our representatives are also expected to represent the community which elects them. In electing them, we have authorised them to do this. Representation is arguably even more important than deliberation because it helps shape the identity of a community. Our councillors are the voice of the people they represent. If you ask me, its especially important for elected representatives to speak up for people who dont have the capacity to represent themselves.

Fremantle is a special part of Western Australia. It’s a little different to other areas. Local representatives need to speak to this difference. That is why the council, the sum body of local representatives in Fremantle, should feel free to speak up about the date of Australia Day, especially if their community has communicated this to them.

Elected representatives get judged not only by the decisions they make but also by how effective they are at representing people.

Whether a particular policy position is a good or bad one (such as moving Australia Day, opposing Roe 8, banning plastic bags) is up to the Fremantle community to judge, but there is no doubt that elected representatives are entitled to speak about them. We expect that people we elect become a voice of the people they represent, so they should speak up.

Those who are running as alternatives should likewise feel free to express their views on these issues. Competition for political office is healthy and should be welcomed. We then expect the public to judge them on that come the next election. That’s why I think being accountable and transparent is important.

Personally I always hope that debate focuses on the issues rather than the person, but that’s a pretty idealistic position these days.”

There is no doubt though that Council needs to have its priorities right and that people in the community rightly complain when basic maintenance is not done. One has to consider and acknowledge though that the day to day running of the City of Fremantle is done by the administration.

There is also an absolute and non-negotiable need for excellent community consultation, which was lacking on the Australia Day changes. This should have been handled much better as it polarised the community and became a political, and sadly sometimes racist, debate.

The positive thing about the initiative of Fremantle Council is that the Australia Day date and plastic bags ban now have become a national debate and that looks like pretty healthy democracy to me.

I agree with Dr Martin Drum that the debate should focus on issues rather than on the person. Respectful dialogue is essential to move forward together, and I especially am aware that it is not always easy to keep that in mind when one has a passion for Freo.

 

Roel Loopers

GREENS ABILITY TO SHINE IN CANBERRA

Posted in fremantle, greens, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on July 28, 2017

 

Isn’t it interesting how difficult it appears to be to walk the talk, no matter if one is on the right or left side of politics.

According to the West Australian today the WA Greens are in a bit of turmoil after the dual-citizenship resignation of Senator Scott Ludlam.

The person who came second on the ballot has got the right to step into Ludlam’s position and go to Canberra, but that person is 22-year-old Jordon Steele-John.

Not only is Jordon just 22 but he is also disabled, so now the Greens are lamenting that it should be decided by the grassroots members of the party who will follow Scott Ludlam.

I have witnessed Jordon Steele-John a few times during community forums and he is a very intelligent young man who speaks very well and is really likeable, so why not give him the go he deserves?

It is not as if there are a lot of good breaks in life for disabled people, and if we talk about quotas in politics disabled people are rarely mentioned.

Jordon would be a breath of fresh air in the Canberra Senate and has the intelligence to grow into the job and become an excellent representative for Fremantle.

 

Roel Loopers

BE PART OF FREMANTLE’S BRIGHT FUTURE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, politics, property, Uncategorized by freoview on July 17, 2017

 

property-council

 

There is a lot of hot air in politics, and one-eyed blinkered judging of the other’s failures and one’s own greatness. In local politics one can add parochial polemic to it that is not helpful to get a balanced view of the facts.

It becomes understandable why many people don’t really now what is going on in Fremantle, because for some it is all positive while for others it is mostly negative.

I prefer facts over fake news, misinformation, and political point scoring.

It is often good to hear the opinion of out of towners and see how they assess the performance of Fremantle Council, as the promotion for a sundowner does.

According to the poster for an event of the Property Council of Australia with Mayor Brad Pettitt and Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, Fremantle is undergoing its biggest revitalisation with unprecedented levels of public and private investment underway.

The PCOA also writes Most importantly, find out about the current and imminent investment opportunities. Be part of Fremantle now as its future is bright.

The Sundowner is on Friday July 28 from 3.30-5.30 pm at the Perth Convention and Entertainment Centre. It costs $ 135.00 for non-members and $ 90.00 for members.

 

Roel Loopers

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LUDLAM CASE FAILS CANBERRA CHECKS

Posted in city of fremantle, federal government, greens, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on July 16, 2017

 

It is too simplistic to engage in political point scoring, as a Labor party official did on TV last night, and question why the Greens could not even get the citizenship check of Senator Scott Ludlam right.

Yes, Ludlam should have checked and so should his party, but I wonder why there are no checks and balances in place at our Federal parliament to make sure even honest mistakes like this one can’t happen.

Q: Are you an Australian citizen?

Q: Are you also a citizen of another country than Australia?

Ludlam did the right thing by resigning immediately once his dual citizenship was confirmed, but surely this should not have happened and the bureaucrats in Canberra need to do better at checking the eligibility of future parliamentarians.

I believe it would be unfair to Ludlam to demand he pays back the salary he received as Senator. He did turn up for work and was very active and made a good contribution to Australia, so why would the community he served well want to force him into financial disaster.

 

Roel Loopers

ENROL TO VOTE. IT IS YOUR RIGHT AND PRIVILEGE!

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 10, 2017

 

I have been made aware that many business owners in Fremantle do not realise they can vote at the local government election in October.

The participation in local council elections is extremely disappointing so I urge anyone to enrol to vote!

We need small business owners, young people, and the old to have a say, so please vote!

Here is the link to the enrol to vote page: http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/council/your-council/local-government-elections/how-vote-election

The form for people/businesses with a lease for more than 3 months is: enrolment eligibility claim form for sole or one of two owners or occupiers.

The form for body corporates/multiple owner representatives is: enrolment eligibility claim form to register a nominee.

Roel Loopers

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FREO DESERVES SUPPORT NOT NEGATIVITY

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized, western autralia by freoview on July 7, 2017

 

It appears that Fremantle has a new ABB, no, it’s not a typo. It stands for Anyone But Brad. Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and the sitting members who are due for election in October might as well not bother to nominate if the relentless-and often uninformed-social media attacks on Council are any indication.

Some people only want to be negative and ignore all facts of progress and a positive Fremantle future. On social media one of those residents, who has not had a good word to say about Freo Council for many years, claimed that Fremantle is rudderless.

This is an amazing statement when one considers that the present Council has done more to encourage substantial development in the inner city than councils over the last 40 years. Facts do not seem to matter when one only wants to be negative.

Leadership is not about making populist decisions but about long-term planning and strategies that will see Fremantle grow and prosper, and in my opinion the present Council has done that well.

Governments never please everyone, that is simply human nature. We all have our political preferences and different views on where Freo should be heading. But it does not mean there is no leadership just because one doesn’t agree with the decisions the democratically Elected Members make.

Yes, there is no denying they have also made mistakes and made decisions I don’t agree with, but my score card is more positive than negative. Because of that I have recently been accused of Council bias. I, and no doubt many at CoF who hate my guts, find that very funny. All I try to do is create a fair balance on social media against anti-Council bias, and point out facts rather than engaging in one-eyed polemic.

Let’s talk about the P-Word again! Parking in Fremantle is not outrageously expensive, as some claim, but only $ 2.80 per hour. After 5pm the maximum amount one has to pay is $ 5.50 for unlimited time. For Fremantle residents parking before 11am and after 3pm is free on weekdays. That is 20 hours daily of free parking, five days a week. On weekends parking is free for residents with a permit at the Beach Street carpark. Street parking in Perth is $ 4.00 per hour by the way.

Notre Dame University students complain that parking cost them thousands of dollars a year, basically because they are too lazy to walk ten minutes from the Point Street carpark where they could park all day for just $ 9.00, instead of paying well over $ 20.00 a day by parking in West End streets. Silly really!

I don’t believe at all that Fremantle Council is rudderless and lacks leadership. Fremantle Council has respectfully and protectively kept one eye on our heritage past while having a strong focus on the future.

The Kings Square Project, Cantonment Hill Project, Fremantle Oval/Stan Reilly Project, State Heritage listing of the West End, the futuristic South Quay Project, Princess May Park masterplan, Esplanade masterplan, lobbying State Government to relocate government departments to Fremantle, and zoning changes to encourage residential infill and small housing, and planning changes, that now see unprecedented commercial and residential development in the inner city, show that the present council has strong strategic thinking.

In my books that is good future-focussed leadership that should be consolidated in the next challenging years. The many projects on the way and in the pipeline require thorough knowledge and people with local government experience.

They are well thought-out long-term and strategic plans by Fremantle Council to help our city grow faster, to get more people living and working in the CBD, to get more visitors to stay overnight and to boost the retail and hospitality economy. Cutting red tape so that more small bars and businesses can be established in the West End is also good leadership.

It is unlikely that Mayor Brad Pettitt and I will ever be friends and that is fine, but that does not mean I don’t respect him. I really don’t care much what the Mayor or anyone else at the City of Fremantle think off me.

I am at this beautiful end stage of life where I don’t have to prove anything anymore to anyone, or even myself. I am involved in Council and community business because I want the very best for Fremantle, not because of my ego and wanting to be right.

Anyone with good new and positive ideas for Freo will have my support. Anyone with solutions will have my unbiased ear, but those who are hell-bent on talking our city down will receive little sympathy from me.

Fremantle is an outstanding place to live. Fremantle has a really good and exciting future ahead and will be one of the great vibrant destinations in the metro area in just a few years from now.

We will have many more people walking the streets day and night, who will be supporting our local traders, and we will have a modern new East End of town that will well juxtapose the beautiful historic West End of Fremantle.

What we need to be most aware of is that developers are trying to push five-storey buildings into the heritage West End and we can’t let that happen. It is disappointing that this is actively supported by the Chamber of Commerce. Approving high and massive buildings in the historic area is unacceptable because it would negatively change Fremantle’s unique character forever. We can’t let that happen ever!!

Fremantle is on the right track, but it is a marathon. Right now we need to be patient and supportive, not negative!

Roel Loopers

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BACK TO THE FUTURE FOR FREO COUNCIL?

Posted in city of fremantle, election, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 30, 2017

 

It could be a case of deja vu all over again and back to the future with two former Fremantle councillors attempting to get back on at the October 2017 local government election.

Last week Katie Anketell announced she would be nominating, and I hear former Freo Mayor Jenny Archibald is also going to put her hat in the ring.

I wonder who else will be nominating and when/if Mayor Brad Pettitt will officially announce that he will be trying to get another term.

Roel Loopers

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WITNESS GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY AT FREO COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 27, 2017

 

It is just over four months until the Fremantle local government election so a good time for those who want to nominate to start doing their homework and attend council meetings, so that they do understand the process and complexities of local councils.

On Wednesday there are some interesting items on the agenda, so perfect to see democracy at work and hear our Elected Members deliberate and their thinking behind why they support or reject items.

There are plans for a five-storey backpackers at the Mills Record site at Adelaide Street, and that is significant in the context of the Kings Square Project development.

The planning compliance of the new Kings Square Civic Centre building is also on the agenda.

Sunset Events’ request to delay the start of their J Shed lease is another interesting item that no doubt will attract speakers from the public opposing it.

And there is an item to be debated about a scheme amendment for small infill development. It has a lot of merit but there are also people in the community opposing it.

The solar farm at the South Fremantle infill site is also an agenda item, but it is confidential, so the public won’t be able to sit in on that.

Local government is fascinating and grassroots democracy so inform yourselves and see how diligent our Councillors and officers are.

The Ordinary Council meeting starts at 6 pm, Wednesday June 28. Enter from the back stairs.

Roel Loopers

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