Freo's View

IS AUSTRALIA GROWING TOO FAST?

Posted in city of fremantle, community, fremantle network, pollution, Uncategorized by freoview on February 25, 2019

 

The question Is Australia Growing Too Fast? is the topic of the next Politics in the Pub by the Fremantle Network this Tuesday February 26.

The meeting starts at 7pm sharp at the Local hotel in South Fremantle, so come early and have a pre-drink and meet the other participants.

A two-men panel will address the topic; Julian Bolleter, the deputy director of the Australian Urban Design Research Centre at UWA and Colin Scott, the WA candidate for the Sustainable Australia Party will speak and answer questions from the floor.

I have not been impressed with the patronising new format of the Fremantle Network, so will give it one last try tomorrow. See you at the Local!

Roel Loopers

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COMMITTEE FOR PERTH LATEST WA STATISTICS

 

Committee for Perth WA stats

The Committee for Perth released its latest Fact Sheet with this easy to read graphic.

Interesting to note that the huge state of Western Australia only has 10% of Australia’s population, so over-population is not something we have to greatly worry about here in the west.

While the unemployment rate is 6.3% in WA the forecast for employment growth is 2%, so let’s hope that will be at least the case as the nation’s average is 5%.

Roel Loopers

FREO’S INTERESTING VITAL SIGNS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, fremantle foundation, Uncategorized by freoview on July 23, 2017

 

The fantastic FREMANTLE FOUNDATION has published some interesting Vital Signs statistics about Fremantle, and I would like to share some of that with you all.

32,600 people work in the City of Fremantle and 39 per cent of the population were born overseas, but only 23%  speak a language other than English.

Only 9 per cent of Freo people walk or cycle to work, and our gender balance is pretty good with 51 out of 100 people being female.

According to the Fremantle Foundation stats there are 371 restaurants and cafes in the port city, 47 licensed venues, 20 live music venues and we had 149 events and festivals in 2016.

Unemployed in Fremantle has risen to 7.3%, and there are 139 crisis accommodation beds at St Patrick’s. 44% of Fremantle Doctor patients are between the age of 45 and 64 years old.

We are a smart mob in Freo with 64% of the population having a post-secondary education. The Australian average is 56%.

Only 19 per cent of the Freo community volunteered in 2010/11 and voters’ turnout was down to only 30.30% at the last local government election. It was 37.12% in 2013.

Only 26% of the Fremantle population is aged 0-25 years old, while the majority of 57% is aged 25-64, and 17 out of 100 are 65 and older.

Check out all the stats on http://www.fremantlefoundation.com/vitalsigns

Donate to the Fremantle Foundation. They are a great Freo group!

Roel Loopers

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SHEILAS UP BUT RELIGION DOWN IN AUSTRALIA

Posted in australia, fremantle, multicultural, Uncategorized by freoview on June 27, 2017

 

The fear that Australia is being swamped by a tsunami of Muslims has been proven unfounded by the latest CENSUS 2016 statistics, which shows that Buddhists are closing in on the only 2.6% of Australian residents who claim to be Muslims, while 2.4% are Buddhist.

In general people who claim to have no religion increased to 29.6% in 2016, compared to 0,8% in 1966.

The good news for us blokes is that there is a small majority of females with just over 50 %.

There have been 1.3 million new immigrants to Australia since 2011 and the most common countries they came from were China and India.

And the Turnbull government does not have to worry too much about the language skills of migrants with 72.7%  of CENSUS participants stating that they speak English at home.

The most important thing we should not underestimate is the enormous contribution immigrants to Australia are making. Without them we would not be the great multicultural and tolerant community we are!

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE PERCEPTION AND REALITY

Posted in city of fremantle, economy, retail by freoview on December 5, 2016
The new Cotton On opened in the Atwell Arcade.

The new Cotton On opened in the Atwell Arcade.

I picked out a few more figures from the City of Fremantle annual report to show facts that sometimes do not support the perception(s) people have of Fremantle.

The lament that businesses constantly close in Fremantle is a real but the annual report figures show that 64 new businesses opened while 37 closed and 11 relocated within the city. Not great figures and I’d love to see no shop closures at all and new big retailers opening up in Freo, but the facts are better that community perception.

And here a copy and paste below from the annual report:

Compared to Perth’s metropolitan population, Fremantle shows a lower proportion of people in the younger age groups (0 to 17 years) and a higher proportion of residents in the older age groups (50+ years). Overall, 18% of the residents are under 18 years of age, 8% are between 18 and 24 years, 37% between 25 and 49 years, and 38% are aged 50 years and over.

Fremantle households tend to be smaller than the Perth average with 70% of dwellings housing one or two people, while only 4% have five or more residents. Car ownership reflects this, with 13% of households having no vehicles and fewer than 10% having three or more cars.

Fremantle people are well educated, with 29% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. At 6.4%, unemployment in the city is slightly higher than the national average.

The Fremantle economy is diverse, with 4 456 registered businesses operating across a wide range of sectors. Many of the city’s enterprises are small businesses, with 20% of active businesses employing fewer than five people.

Interesting about these statistics for me is the average age of the Fremantle population with 38% over the age of 50 years and 37% between the ages of 25 and 49 years of age. This means 75% of Fremantle residents are older than 25 years of age, but there is a strong emphasis at Fremantle Council to create a youth culture in Fremantle that tends to ignore the population reality. I support having a Youth Council but we should also have an Aged Council that represents the vast majority of the population!

Roel Loopers

STATE GOVERNMENT CONSIDERING DAP CHANGES

Posted in city of fremantle, development, state government, western australia by freoview on August 5, 2016

New WA Planning Minister Donna Faragher has indicated to Mosman Park council that the state government is willing to make changes to the controversial Development Assessment Panels(DAP) process.

The Minister told Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris that the State would not abolish the DAP but were willing to consider making changes to the process.

The WA Government has also reassessed the increase of WA’s population and now believes the 3.5 million metropolitan  population will be achieved by 2050 and not as previously estimated by 2031.

This could also mean the drastic infill targets set for councils can be reduced as the population increase will be delayed by 19 years.

I already reblogged Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt’s views on the DAP, but read his Thinking Allowed in this weekend’s Fremantle Herald!

Roel Loopers

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STATE DEVELOPMENT PANELS ERODE LOCAL DEMOCRACY

Posted in city of fremantle, development, western australia by freoview on April 14, 2016

The controversial State Development Assessment Panels-DAP are here to stay by the sound of it. The West Australian reports today that Gail McGowan, the Director General of the Planning Department, has dismissed the angst around DAPs as not being helpful.

McGowan told the West that Councils and DAPs are bound by the same planning schemes, but adding that the discretionary options DAPs have are interesting. Yep, like building a 17 storey building in the centre of Subiaco when Council’s planning scheme only allowed for eight storeys!

There has been a lot of protest by local councils against the DAP system with Vincent, South Perth, Stirling, Subiaco, Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Bayswater and others asking for it to be abandoned or significantly changed.

All development over $ 10 million is assessed by a DAP and developers of over $ 2 million projects can opt-in and bypass councils.

There is no doubt that the urban sprawl can’t go on indefinitely as WA does not have the funds for all the extra infrastructure, so urban infill makes a lot of sense. It should however only be done with quality architecture and in very targeted locations that don’t destroy the local character of especially the older suburbs.

The population of metro Perth is predicted to rise by 70 per cent by 2030 to 3.5 million, so all those new people need to be catered for.

Demographer Bernard Salt told a Property Council conference that Perth needs to address the challenge of densification and that is is inevitable as it has happened in all major cities in Australia.

City planning experts URBIS predict that within ten years 30 per cent of dwellings in Perth will be apartments.

Premier Colin Barnett warned Councils a few weeks ago that unless they get closer to their urban residential infill targets the State would take over and enforce them. That would severely erode local government democracy and is not acceptable.

I am worried about the discretionary allowances in planning schemes as they are far too often used to bypass and overrule the schemes. As I understand it the Fremantle Hougoumont Hotel in Bannister Street will be allowed to build a fifth storey loft in the West End Conservation Precinct although the planning scheme only allows four storey. The invasion of additional height in the West End under the guise that it is only a loft and set back is not acceptable and Fremantle Council and the DAPs are too lenient in that regard.

I hear the arguments that Bannister Street is not a great street and has little heritage value and already some pretty average buildings, and that to just add a little loft does not have much impact on the streetscape and surroundings, but that does not cut it for me.  It should be a matter of principle to not award discretionary height in the West End unless a very, very good case can be made that is would be the very best heritage outcome for the building, the streetscape and the West End. There would not be very many projects that would apply to.

Yes to modern development for inner city Fremantle, but only with extreme restraint and exceptional architecture.

Roel Loopers

DECENTRALISATION NOT SUCCESSFUL IN PERTH

Posted in fremantle, perth, planning by freoview on March 4, 2016

The FACTBase reports by the Committee for Perth are always interesting reading and the latest one on the failure of decentralisation is another one worth reading.

CfP concludes that despite many strategic activity centres being created for decades, the City of Perth still remains the number one destination for workers. More than 123,000 people commute to Perth daily.

The objective of getting people to work closer to home has not been achieved the Committee for Perth said, and there is a disparity between the number of jobs on offer and the number of workers in areas such as Cockburn, Melville and Rockingham in the southern suburbs, as well as Joondalup, Wanneroo, Armadale and Gosnells.

Committee for Perth CEO Marion Fulker said that “Interestingly, many of the people who are commuting to work are actually living in or near strategic development centres.”

The strategic metropolitan centres are Fremantle, Rockingham, Mandurah, Joondalup, Armadale, Midland, Morley, Cannington, Stirling.

We in Fremantle have been waiting for years for the State Government to move departments here to help restart the economy and help Freo to become an activity hub with many more office workers coming to work here and hopefully relocating and becoming residents of Fremantle.

Traffic congestion during peak hours is becoming worse and worse and people reject public transport because of over-crowded trains and busses, so decentralised activity hubs that offer real job opportunities are very important for the future of the Perth metropolitan area that is rapidly growing, but not coping with the population boom.

Roel Loopers

STRONG YOUTH FOCUS FOR FREO’S MATURE POPULATION

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on December 13, 2015

Many candidates for the recent Fremantle local government election wanted the City to focus on its core responsibilities and that is local government for local people, but is the City of Fremantle doing that? There appears to be a strong emphasis on youth culture and I wonder why that is because the figures don’t stack up.

According to the agenda of Thursday’s Annual Electors Meeting 75% of Freo residents are over 25 years old and 38% of those are over 50 years of age. That leaves only 8% of people between 18-24 years old and 18% under 18. (There is a small discrepancy here as the numbers add up to 101%)

While no one wants to see Fremantle become a retirement village one has to wonder why there is so much done for those under 24 years old and so little for those over 50 who are in the majority. This is even more staggering when all the national statistics show a rapidly ageing population in Australia, so when will the City of Fremantle start catering for those?

Roel Loopers

FREO’S MULTICULTURALISM IS SPECIAL

Posted in fremantle,multicultural, tourism, by freoview on December 1, 2015

ginos night

 

Buon Giorno! A study by the Committee for Perth in collaboration with Notre Dame and UWA universities, the City of Fremantle and Fremantle Ports has concluded that Fremantle does not capitalise on its ethnic diversity and it is not promoting it well enough to visitors to the port city.

Fremantle has the highest number of Italian restaurants in the metropolitan area and around 12 per cent of the population is from Italian background.

The study found that Freo is lagging behind and while population growth in the metro area between 2001-2011 was 29.4 per cent in Fremantle that growth was a mere 8.2 per cent.

So why is the City of Fremantle not boasting more about its multicultural lifestyle?  Is it because culture is a brother to heritage and not new and innovative? Is showing our cultural and ethnic diversity a bit old-fashioned and not new-age enough and we are now single-mindedly embracing the knowledge industry and the modernisation of the old port city?

The times we really see how multicultural Fremantle is is during the Festival Parade and at food markets, when we celebrate that so many of us came from all over the planet to start a new life in Freo. It is a history we should be proud off and sell and let the world know how peaceful and well we live together and that we are a prime example that multiculturalism does work molto bene.

Ciao!

Roel Loopers

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