Freo's View

LOCAL COUNCILS NEED TO LIFT THEIR GAME

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 21, 2019

 

Local government is clearly close to our heart because statistics in the annual report of the Local Government Standards Panel show that complaints about local councils and councillors have risen significantly.

The City of Melville and the shires of Capel and Toodyay are on the top of the list for complaints about elected members.

Compared to 82 complaints the previous year the 2018/19 annual report shows 126 complaints.

I feel a bit sorry for local councillors as it is humanely impossible to please everyone, but there is absolutely no doubt either that many complaints are relevant.

Local councils need to lift their game and listen to the community, rather than paying lip service through so-called community consultation, which is often ignored when councillors make decisions, hence many of us often feel ignored and taken for granted by those we elected to represent us.

Roel Loopers

MUA WANTS FREMANTLE PORT TO STAY

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, state government, Uncategorized, unions by freoview on September 18, 2019

 

MUA 6

 

The Maritime Union of Australia-MUA protested early this morning outside the office of Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk in Fremantle’s Market Street.

The MUA is not at al happy that the state government has been investigating through the Westport Taskforce what the future of Fremantle Port will be, with the preferred option a move to a new port at Kwinana.

The loud protest heard MUA branch secretary Chris Cain warn Simone McGurk that she will be gone at the next election.

The MUA is clearly worried about wharfies losing jobs at an automated new port, but the reality is that even if the state government decides to build a very expensive new port in Cockburn Sound it will take at least 15 years for it to be realised and replace our Freo port.

Roel Loopers

 

HOW CAN WE IMPROVE FREMANTLE?

 

Early notice that the Fremantle Network will have the topic How To Make Fremantle A Better Place? at the next community event at The Local in South Fremantle.

It is on Tuesday September 24 and is on from 6.30pm till 9pm and guest speaker will be Danicia Quinlan, the CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce.

Food and drinks are for sale from the bar, so support The Local which makes the venue available to the community.

Roel Loopers

LOCAL COUNCILLOR A THANKLESS TASK

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, election, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 1, 2019

 

The Local Government Election is a mere seven weeks away and we already know that in Fremantle at least two Councillors, Waltham and McDonald, will not nominate to get re-elected, so a chance for some new faces on Council.

I believe that local council is the closest we get to grassroots democracy and that is probably why many people are often critical of the Elected Members and feel disenfranchised and not represented by their Council. That is not a unique issue for Fremantle as community newspapers all over the Perth region are full with letters to editors complaining about their councils.

Fact is though that the community, well, those of us who bother to vote at local government elections, elected the Council we are having and that many of our Councillors have been re-elected, which presumably is a vote of confidence for what they have been doing.

North Ward Councillor Doug Thompson is one of the longest sitting members on Fremantle Council, Mayor Brad Pettitt was elected three times, South Ward Councillors Andrew Sullivan and Jon Strachan were re-elected and so were City Ward Councillor Rachel Pemberton and Beaconsfield Ward’s Dave Hume, so it is wrong to say that our Councillors do not represent the community.

It is impossible for any government to please everyone. I often don’t agree with the Federal Liberal government, but have to accept that they were elected by the people. Those on the left of politics feel misrepresented by those on the right of politics and vice versa, that is a simple reality we all have to accept in our democracy.

I disagree with some of the decisions made at Fremantle Council and agree with others, that is the nature of us humans that we have different opinions, tastes and preferences. One only has to sit through Planning Committee meetings to realise Councillors cannot please everyone. While neighbours of a proposed development will argue about losing privacy, overshadowing, etc. the proponents will say that their plans have little impact on the neighbours, so who is right? At the end Councillors will have to abide by the rules and regulations and advise from the expert planning staff and design advisory panel. Whatever decision they make will please some and upset others, that is government for you.

Being a Councillor is a thankless task, although the community should be grateful that people stand up and are willing to do the hard yards on council. Councillors are members of our community, they are like you and me and live in Fremantle, and they also have to live like all of us with the democratic decisions made.

When I read about the shambles at the City of Perth I feel even more comfortable with the Elected Members we have in Fremantle, because all of them are there to do their very best for our community and city. They might not always get it right but they make decisions with integrity and without fear or favour, and that is what we elected them to do.

PLEASE do vote on October 19 and if you really want to make a positive contribution to our city nominate and try to become a local Councillor!

Roel Loopers

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WESTPORT TASKFORCE RESPONDS TO UNFAIR CRITICISM

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on August 30, 2019

 

The Westport Taskforce has received a lot of criticism from the Liberal party and its PR agency the West Australian and Sunday Times, plus from interest groups, so it is good to see that the chair of the taskforce Nicole Lockwood has responded and rejects criticism that was often not based on facts, as she points out.

Read it all here: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/ehq-production-australia/55a2a28b14ce22b742f8e9aff4526a6ae746b60f/documents/attachments/000/114/622/original/FINAL_Westport_Project_Update_15.pdf?1567142690?utm_medium=email

Roel Loopers

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NO SECOND TERM FOR FREO DEPUTY MAYOR

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on August 29, 2019

 

Fremantle Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham announced at the Ordinary Council meeting yesterday that she will not be nominating as a candidate for the October 19 Local Government election and will be retiring her role as East Ward Councillor and Deputy Mayor.

Waltham told her colleagues that it had been one of the toughest decisions she ever had to make, but said it had been good to be part of the council during one of Fremantle’s most exciting times and to make decisions that will ensure the city is headed in the right direction.

In my opinion it will be a loss for Fremantle that Waltham is leaving as she has been an excellent councillor who deeply thought about the issues at hand and never made a quick decision.

The softly spoken Councillor often explained her reasons for voting a certain way and expressed the challenges that came with it.

Ingrid Waltham has been a Councillor with real integrity who was not swayed by party politics or ego. She always voted for what she thought is best for Fremantle, and while I did not always agree with all her decisions I have the greatest respect for her.

The Fremantle community owes Ingrid a lot of gratitude for her commitment and honesty.

And Su Groome just announced she will be nominating for East Ward

Roel Loopers

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WHO WANTS TO BE A FREO COUNCILLOR?

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, elections, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on August 27, 2019

 

While Fremantle Councillors and community members are not normally shy in coming forward, it is still a mystery who will nominate for the Local Government election that will be held on October 19.

So far we know that City Ward Councillor Rachel Pemberton and North Ward Councillor Bryn Jones will try to get re-elected while Hilton Ward Councillor Jeff McDonald has declared he won’t contest the election.

Chris Jenkins of the Socialist Alliance has declared he will nominate for Beaconsfield Ward, but we have yet to hear from other members of the community who might like to step up and join our council.

Local Government is grassroots democracy where one can make a real difference, so show your dedication for our great city and community and nominate!

Roel Loopers

UPDATE!  I hear Frank Mofflin will nominate for Hilton Ward!

PORT DEBATE SHOULD NOT BE POLITICAL FOOTBALL

 

Roe 8

 

It is a shame that the future of Fremantle Port has become a political football with self interest groups battling it out.

There is another attack by the pro Liberal West Australian on Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt today and the Libs have also paid for a wrap around of the Fremantle Herald to tell us all how fantastic Roe 8 would be.

Let’s just pause and be clear about some of the issues here. First of all the Liberal party lost the last state election by a landslide and the Labor party had promised not to build Roe 8. Second is that the Perth Freight Link the Barnett government wanted never made it over the Swan River or dealt with the bottleneck in North Fremantle. It stopped at Stirling Highway and hence was not offering the solutions needed.

Traffic on Leach Highway is mainly general private traffic and not trucks to and from Fremantle Port, and truck movements to the port have decreased significantly the last year or so.

The Town of Kwinana and the Western Harbour Alliance are only promoting a new port at Kwinana for obvious reasons, while Fremantle wants the cake and eat it too by wanting to keep a working port but also developing Victoria Quay while reducing the traffic issues at North Fremantle and not inconveniencing residents along the railway line with more frequent container trains. They can’t have it all!

The MUA is only worried about wharfies losing jobs if a Kwinana Port is built because automisation at a new port would mean fewer jobs for MUA members.

Truck companies whinge about Leach Highway traffic because a new Kwinana Port would be mainly road based freight, according to the recent Westport Taskforce report, so that means more work and money for the road transport industry.

Those who fought for the Beeliar Wetlands seem a lot less concerned about the environmental impact on Cockburn Sound, and in general no one really talks about the impact massively increased freight traffic would bring to the Kwinana region and the residents there.

The political decision about Roe 8 has been made and the voters agreed with it, so the silly push by the Liberal party and West media is ignoring democracy. At the same time the City of Fremantle needs to start being pro-active about where to go when-it’s not if-Freo will lose its working port. It might still be 10-15 years away but it will happen, no matter how much the Mayor talks up the potential for Fremantle Port to handle a lot more containers.

In my opinion Fremantle will be a lot less attractive once it loses the vitality of the working port, but level headed discussions are needed and we need to be pragmatic and realistic about the options and opportunities. Making it all into a political football is silly, immature and unprofessional.

Roel Loopers

TRUMP FOR FREMANTLE COUNCIL?

Posted in city of fremantle, community, election, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on August 18, 2019

 

election

It is not that long till the October local government election and City Ward Councillor Rachel Pemberton has confirmed she will be nominating and is hoping to win a third term as one of two City Ward members on Fremantle Council.

On social media notoriously disgruntled Andrew Luobikis has warned Fremantle Council that “we the community are coming for your candidates in every ward to take control of our council for the residents not your political party affiliations.”

The post comes with the above image of the cap Making Fremantle Great Again which already received backlash in comments because it is borrowed from redneck Donald Trump.

I am not sure who Andy Greenygreenfields, as he often calls himself on social media, thinks he is representing as it was the community who voted the current elected members on council, so are those of us who voted for Brad Pettitt as Mayor and our present Ward Councillors not members of the community?

I always find it quite funny that those on the right of politics claim that party politics play a role at Fremantle Council but are trying to replace left-leaning Councillors with right- leaning ones.  I suggest they lose their ignorance in that regard by attending council and council committee meetings to observe for themselves that party politics are not in play, but there is no doubt that Fremantle Council is progressive and not conservative.

Anyway, I have no doubt the regular group of council opponents in the community will rally again, especially for City Ward, so it will again be a predictable and unfortunate campaign of negativity from those who blame Fremantle Council for just about everything from homelessness and law&order issues to the international decline in retail.

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! Andrew Luobikis has contacted me and says he has no connection to Andie Greenie Greenfields so I take his word for that and retract that he is posting messages on social media with that email address. Sorry Andrew for my mistake!

I have been told that the post has now also mysteriously disappeared from Freo Massive, so who ever posted it must have had second thoughts about it. If anyone kept the post please do send me a copy of it as it was posted under the name I published, so I suggest Mr Luobikis takes that up with the Freo Massive people.

 

DYING WITH DIGNITY IS RESPECT FOR HUMANITY

Posted in city of fremantle, health, state government, suicide, Uncategorized by freoview on August 8, 2019

 

Euthanasia

 

The voluntary assisted dying legislation proposed for Western Australia is very important and something I strongly support.

The legislation would allow for people with a terminal illness to be in control and die with dignity and the respect we all deserve.

My oldest sister Marja was euthanised in the Netherlands only a few months ago after an unwinnable battle with cancer of the vagina. It was a very thorough process where she was assessed by different professionals. It took quite some time until her request was approved and she died peacefully at home. I talked to her on Skype till the last moment when the doctor arrived. She felt empowered that she was able to make the decision herself and that the option was available to her.

My father who had suffered from bowel cancer for years was also euthanised some twenty years ago.

Palliative care is important but people need to realise and respect that not everyone wants to prolong their life and the some of us, me included, prefer to leave when we are still in control and not totally dependent on others, who are often strangers.

Doctor assisted dying is so more dignified than having to kill oneself with pills, hanging, jumping in front of a train or truck, slashing one’s wrists, etc. and that regularly happens in our society. Committing suicide is a very stressful, awful and lonely moment where one feels totally abandoned by the world, so assisted dying is a very important choice for us to have

Those who believe in God are not threatened by the new proposed legislation as no one will be forced to euthanise and no medical professional has to assist if they do not wish to do so, but for those of us who have had enough and want the struggle and pain to end doctor assisted dying is a humane option and we should be allowed to have that.

Roel Loopers

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