Freo's View

BUSY EVENING AT FREMANTLE COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2018

 

It was a busy night at the full Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle last night.

The Destination Marketing Fremantle was on the agenda, that will probably mean the demise of BID, and it sailed through with just a few mentions that BID had done a good job connecting small businesses and that the Economic Development and Marketing Department had a gap to close with the retailers in that regard.

Councillors expressed they hoped BID would survive in a kind of precinct form so that traders would stay connected and helped as volunteers at events.

It was unanimously decided to go ahead with the new marketing concept but $ 50,000 will be allocated from the budget for the Winter Festival and the Long Table Dinner.

Also-yes still!-on the agenda was the Sunset Venues lease for the No 1 unit at J Shed.

Councillors disagreed with speakers that the operators would not get the go ahead from the Western Australian Planning Committee for a smaller tavern, as there were examples on Rottnest Island and elsewhere where hospitality venues had been allowed on A Class Reserves and in heritage precincts.

It was mentioned that it would be hard to find another business that would be willing to spend a lot of money to put all the required infrastructure in and that Fremantle would get an improved asset.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said they had taken it back to where we originally wanted it to be as a small bar/cafe and restaurant that would activate the area.

The proponents will only have 12 months to start substantial development or the lease will be terminated. Only Councillors McDonald and Jones voted against the item.

Only Councillor Strachan did not support the License Agreement with the South Fremantle Football Club for Fremantle Oval. He questioned why the city was giving the club so much financial support in difficult fiscal times for the City.

The adoption of the new Precincts Policy was also approved with Councillor Sullivan expressing that he would like a more organic precincts system where groups would be less formal.

And the Dog Exercise and Prohibited Area Policy also got the tick of approval from our elected members.

Roel Loopers

DELAY FOR SPICER SITE SETTLEMENT

 

The monthly Fremantle Ordinary Council meeting will be held this coming Wednesday at 6pm and there are some interesting and controversial items listed on the agenda, so why not observe grassroots governance first hand and attend the meeting at the North Fremantle Community Hall.

On the agenda are Destination Marketing, the tavern lease for J Shed, the South Freo Solar Farm, the license with the South Fremantle Football Club for the use of Fremantle Oval, the Strategic Planning Framework, the new Precinct Policy,  and the Dog exercise areas policy.

Surprisingly listed as a confidential item is the request by Sirona Capital for the extension of the settlement for the former Spicer site, which now is the public car park on the corner of William Street and the Henderson Street mall.

The Spicer site development is part of the Kings Square Project the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital signed off on, and an important inner city development. Why does the Council debating the settlement extension request have to be confidential and not open to the public?

By the way, the new convenor for the South Fremantle Precinct is Sean Hefferon.

 

Roel Loopers

 

FROM THE FREO FPOL COMMITTEE

 

The Fremantle Council Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee last night approved all, but one, items on the agenda. Some of them will have to go through full council next week before being implemented though.

  • The contract for J Shed between the City of Fremantle and Sunset Venues will be changed for a smaller venue. The Director of City Business explained that is not a planning approval, so the proposed  300 patron tavern might still be stopped when and if Sunset Venues applies for it and for a liquor license.
  • The Solar Farm also got the tick of approval but Councillor Andrew Sullivan said he would have liked to see officers explore the possibility and costs of remediation of the site as it might well be profitable if it could be developed for residential living.
  • The new Precinct Policy was also adopted with Councillor Andrew Sullivan saying he never saw the need for precincts to be managed by the City, as community groups should rise and fall depending on the interest and participation of residents.
  • The contract for Fremantle Oval with the South Fremantle Football Club will also go ahead, so the footy club is getting all their Christmases at once. It appears they have been playing a bit of hard ball with CoF, so I am not sure why we so desperately need the club at the oval as it will not generate any income for the City. Not even the outgoings for power, water, etc. have reached an agreement yet. Councillor Rachel Pemberton was very worried about the big LED sign and said the City should make sure that the SFFC would not put up more of them.

Roel Loopers

 

PRECINCTS THE VOICE OF THE FREO COMMUNITY

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on April 8, 2018

 

The FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council will this Wednesday deliberate if Council should implement a new Precinct Policy, to clarify working requirements and expectations.

The new Precinct Policy would allow for an Arts Centre, Inner City, Hilton, O’Connor, South City, White Gum Valley, Beaconsfield, Gibson Park, North Fremantle, Samson, and South Fremantle Precinct but would no longer consider FICRA and the Fremantle Society precinct groups.

It is clear under the Election Rules of the Precinct Policy, posted below, that the two groups no longer qualify. FICRA had their own candidate at the last October election and also were strong supporters of one of the Mayoral candidates, while the Fremantle Society endorsed election candidates in the election material of the candidates.

The Society also is not qualified to be a precinct because its members come from all over Fremantle and Perth and one of their committee members actually lives in Sydney, so they can hardly claim to be a precinct.

There needs to be a process in place though where members of the precinct community can vote out a convenor who is politically motivated and not objective, as happened during the last election in the South Fremantle Precinct.

Precinct can have a really important role in informing their community, liaising with city officers and councillors and help improve the area, as long as it is done without political bias, and that is a real challenge for all precincts.

Precincts must provide open, cost and commitment free membership where any interested community member is welcome to participate.

Administration 1. Each Precinct is to update the contact details for their precinct contact details and name of their convener with the community engagement team once a year. 2. All published material, including meeting notes and minutes, produced by a precinct, are to be made publically available within 14 working days of distribution or from when a meeting is held. 3. Each precinct group can decide: How to appoint their convener. The length of term and how many terms a convener can be appointed for Who will be the precinct contact person and action correspondence received. What the meeting schedule will be. If and how meetings will be recorded, for example, meeting notes or minutes. How best to share information with precinct members, for example, by email, social media, or through ‘Freospace’ (see definitions).

Elections 1. The Local Government Act 1995 does not allow the use of council resources to assist any individual candidate in their election activities. The City is also responsible for being objective, non-political and Agenda – Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee 11 April 2018 Page 73 unbiased therefore the City does not support local, state or federal electioneering and City funds must not be used for electioneering in local government elections. 2. The City acknowledges the role of the precincts in encouraging community interest in council elections, such as organising events to allow community members to meet candidates and hear what they have to say. However, Precincts must not use City funds to support any individual candidate or group of candidates in an election. 3. Precincts who wish to promote council elections must: include all candidates in any publications distributed containing information about the election. invite all candidates to participate in events or functions organised by the precinct, in relation to the election, in order to ensure each candidate is given an equal opportunity to participate.

Roel Loopers

FREO ARTS CENTRE PRECINCT GET TOGETHER

Posted in city of fremantle, community, development, Uncategorized by freoview on March 5, 2018

 

March 10. art centre precinct meeting

 

The Fremantle Arts Centre Precinct has organised a day to meet the neighbours, this Saturday March 10 from 4pm at the Fremantle Tennis Club at Parry Street.

There is a lot happening in the precinct with substantial residential development, the Cantonment Hill development and the new shared clubhouse that will be built for the tennis, bowling and workers clubs.

It is always good to get to know your neighbours and Fremantle police is encouraging the revival of neighbourhood watch groups, so bring a plate and have a chat!

Roel Loopers

JOIN FREMANTLE SOUTH CITY PRECINCT

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 10, 2018

 

27654588_10156287916798311_8742363439195863664_n

 

Do you or friends live in this area and would be interested in joining the South City precinct group

They will meet this Thursday February 15 from 7pm at the Fremantle Primary School (Science Rooms). There is plenty to discuss!

Roel Loopers

 

Comments Off on JOIN FREMANTLE SOUTH CITY PRECINCT

FREO RETHINKS THE PRECINCTS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on January 19, 2018

 

The City of Fremantle has a draft policy to make changes to the precincts, that will go to a 28-day community consultation process, if council approves the policy.

Under the new system there will be eleven precincts, but the Fremantle Society and Fremantle Inner City Residents Association-FICRA will no longer be recognised as precinct groups.

Part reason for that is no doubt that FICRA and FS have been active in promoting and supporting election candidates, while the COF does not support electioneering by precinct groups.

The suggested precinct groups would be Arts Centre, City, Hilton, O’Connor, South City, White Gum Valley, Beaconsfield, Gibson Park, Samson and South Fremantle.

Some precinct groups have been very active and do a really good job liaising with officers and elected members of the City, while other groups are near dormant and do very little to get their voice heard and wishes considered.

Precincts can and should be an important part of grassroots local government where the community has a strong voice. It has been good that young people stepped up and became convenors of some precincts and organised meetings and get togethers with councillors and CoF staff.

I have no doubt that should the Fremantle Society and FICRA be eliminated as precincts their members will become also active in the City Precinct.

It is probably unrealistic though to believe precinct groups will be apolitical.

Roel Loopers

SOUTH TERRACE TRAFIC CALMING PLANS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, TRAFFIC, western australia by freoview on May 18, 2016

Around 90 people packed the reclaimed bottleshop at the Local Hotel to attend the South Fremantle Precinct meeting on Tuesday evening where the topic was mainly traffic calming between Douro Road and South Street.

City of Fremantle officer Phillip Adams, who is in charge of the project, explained the process and timeline with support from South Ward Councillors Jon Strachan and Andrew Sullivan.

Speed, parking and crossing streets were the main issues with the officer expressing he would like to see speed reduced to 40kph or even 30kph but that was a Mainroads department decision. He also said the City would like to plant more trees along that stretch of road but this would be a long-term plan as it would take 10-20 years for trees to mature.

There is a reference group that includes community representatives and members of the business community, economic development and arts departments, and a blackspot initiative project has started at the intersection of Lefroy Road and South Terrace as there are many accidents there due to very poor sightlines. Other improvements at intersections will be made by leading the side streets further into South Tce. to improve sightlines.

He expected the urban design plans to be ready by Christmas and the work to start mid next year. Funds had been rolled over from this year so substantial funds will be available for the traffic calming work to be done.

The suggestion to put powerlines underground was considered unrealistic as Western Power demands a residential component of over 90% and that stretch of South Terrace does not comply with it as there is a lot of commercial use of buildings. It is also extremely expensive.

It was considered a good idea to start marketing the South Fremantle Precinct as a shopping and hospitality destination similar to the Wray Avenue hub.

Traffic calming was not necessarily about reducing car numbers but more about slowing them down as businesses in the area often relied on customers being able to drive there.

People expressed that South Fremantle is becoming a carpark for people who commute to Perth and that is very irritating for the locals, as all day parking is taken up by those who hop on the CAT bus.

The new plans will see entry statements at the Douro Road and South Street intersections to make road users aware of the traffic calming and share road aspects. The officer said the City wanted to move people rather than cars, e.g. share and more bike lanes, etc.

There were a lot of complaints about trucks using Hampton Road and motorists using the bus lanes and steps have already been taken to stop trucks using the road to get to the port.

Everyone agreed it would be useless to solve the traffic issues along South Terrace only as it might create problems elsewhere, especially in side streets, but I did not have the impression the urban design plan will be an integrated one that includes Marine Terrace, Douro Road and South Terrace and that could become a problem as traffic will increase at Marine Terrace if the South Street speed limit comes down.

It was a good meeting, well chaired by convenor Belinda Keanan, but it was disappointing that two people tried to use it as political point scoring, and the large crowd expressed its displeasure about that clearly. It showed that when residents are personally affected they will take part in trying to solve the local problems and that is a very good thing. Well done South Fremantle Precinct!

Roel Loopers

CLAYTON LAUNCH OF FREO VISIONING 2029

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, visioning 2029 by freoview on December 5, 2014

Visioning 2029

That was a bit of a Clayton launch of the Fremantle Visioning 2029 document last evening, with the document not available till Monday. Not something that has ever been attempted at a boat launch or building opening I think, but let’s move on.

Mayor Brad Pettitt-who is not a great public speaker- did a good and competent presentation and clearly felt good in his skin and was nicely relaxed, while consultant James Best and CEO Graeme McKenzie are always confident about their role.

* What could tomorrow and the next 50 years be for Fremantle?

* How do we create a liveable, vibrant sustainable city for the 21st century? 

It was all about the Collective Vision for Freo’s future and that over 950 people attended the five community workshops, 3 stakeholders forums and a combined precincts forum, and thousands followed the process on social media, James Best told us. I need to point out here that I went to all the workshops and often saw the same faces, so the 950+ people participation is not the figure of individuals participating, but just adding numbers of people attending, even when many of these people went to several of the workshops.

The process, we were told, is about the action WE ALL need to take TOGETHER and I believe that is a fair point as too often we expect governments to do it without the community taking ownership. Fremantle has got great creative people with a high interest in community-building and city planning and we are the ones that should be bringing ideas forward and not rely on elected members and a few consultants to come up with the best ways of moving Freo to the future.

The question is how to integrate all the issues, how do we connect, get a sense of meaning, a unity of purpose, an agreement on priorities, and community involvement with the transformative process, the Mayor talked about.

I was not the only one who was very surprised to hear that one of the outcomes of all the consultation was a strong desire for more and cheap periphery parking, because I only heard that mentioned once during all the events I attended. I hope that the document once available on-line on Monday will not have been ‘cooking the books’ to create the outcomes council desires.

Avenues of trees are wanted and 1,000 trees a year will be planted in Fremantle, we want retail that captures the Freo spirit, more than 1.3 million visitors come to Freo each year, the Esplanade might grow and expand to Norfolk Street and that street could be extended to the waterfront at Mews Road.

As I said to Brad Pettitt after the presentations, integration is essential when Fremantle develops periphery parking by making streets more walkable-friendly, with seats, lingering nodes, shade,etc. so that people can enjoy the journey from the carparks into the shopping destinations. Just putting carparks on the edges of the CBD won’t work, so street beautifications need to start at the same time as new carparks are being built.

Good to hear that a new trial closure of the Cappuccino Strip will start on Sunday December 21 and will continue on Sundays during summer. I hope COF learned lessons from the last failure by providing seating, shade, entertainment, expand alfresco areas, etc, because just closing the street for vehicles alone won’t do.

In February next year the Fremantle Transformative Moves will be launched.

I’ll read the Fremantle Visioning 2029 document when available on Monday and ill report more on the findings then.

Roel Loopers

ARE WARDS BETTER FOR LOCAL COUNCIL DEMOCRACY?

Posted in democracy, election, fremantle, local government by freoview on November 13, 2014

How important are Wards is local government? Do they make a difference to how Councillors vote when they are elected to represent the whole community and not just the Ward that voted them in? Is not having Wards better than having them, or will it make no difference at all?

Every member of the public can contact any of their local members and they don’t have to talk to the Councillors in their Ward if they believe another Councillor could be more supportive of the issues that are a concern, so why have Wards then.

Is it a problem that political parties might get involved if the Wards system is not reinstated after the council amalgamations, when most Councillors are members of political parties anyway and receive support from their parties during election campaigns.

But if Wards are too localised for local government, why not also scrap regional state voting. Does it matter if a member lives in Kununnura or Albany?

Not having Wards in Fremantle at elections could hypothetically see no local representation for East or North Fremantle, etc, and I bet the residents and businesses there would be concerned about that. Or should as FRRA president Mark Woodcock suggests Wards be divided after the election and Councillors will randomly get a Ward they are responsible for?

We know that in the bigger picture of voting at Council, local representation is not wanted because Councillors have to be impartial and vote for what is best for the entire community, not just a select few in their Ward.

I believe it would be good to have a public debate about it and while it will be up to State Government to keep the Wards system or abandon it, it would be interesting to hear the views of the broader community on this.

Roel Loopers

%d bloggers like this: