Freo's View

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

SILLY MEDIA PUSH FOR REJECTED PERTH FREIGHT LINK

 

I find it quite astonishing that the West Australian and its related West Media outlets keep pushing for the Roe 8 highway to be built when the McGowan Labor government received a clear mandate for scrapping the Perth Freight Link when it won the last WA election by a huge landslide.

While the West never forgets to remind us that the Federal Liberal government have a mandate because they won the recent election that does not appear to apply for Western Australian politics.

The Perth Freight Link was a failed concept that did not have a solution for the bottleneck in North Fremantle.  Recent articles and letters failed to acknowledge that according to Mainroads 90 per cent of vehicles using the PFL would be private vehicles, so it is wrong to suggest this was just going to be some kind of fast toll road for trucks to and from Fremantle Port.

Now that the new state government has established the Westport Taskforce to see what the best location for a new port might be it is highly premature for the West and state and federal Liberal politicians to keep pushing for Roe 8, 9, 10 and whatever. Let’s just wait and see what the recommendations of the task force are before spending billions of dollars on a highway extension that might not be needed.

The people voted against Roe 8 so the McGowan government has a mandate to not build it.

Roel Loopers

MAKE IT A HOT COMMUNITY FREO SUNDAY

 

Never Again

 

It promises to be a hot Sunday, but there is plenty to do in Fremantle, so don’t stay at home.

The Growers Green Farmers Market is on from 8am till midday at Annie Street in Beaconsfield.

The Fremantle Arts Centre Christmas Bazaar is on from 10-5 and the In Cahoots Aboriginal art show is there as well.

Not far from there the East Fremantle Festival in George Street is on from 1-7pm.

And last but not least the NEVER AGAIN book launch about the Roe 8 highway and Perth Freight Link protests is at the Town Hall from 5-10 pm with live music, readings, speeches, food and drinks.

It’s going to be a busy Sunday for those who like to connect with their Freo community. Have fun!

Roel Loopers

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LET’S HAVE A ROE 8 EXHIBITION!

Posted in community, democracy, election, fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on March 13, 2017

The Save Beeliar Wetlands and Roe 8-Perth Freight Link community protest has been so successful that I believe there should be an exhibition of photos and videos of what happened over the last years.

Thousands of photos were taken and hours of video recorded and that should not be lost but end up in the Fremantle history library, but first in a big exhibition at the Moores building.

People power had a big impact on the W.A. election on Saturday and there is no doubt in my mind that Labor’s Lisa O’Malley won the seat of Bicton because of the Roe 8 issues.

Saturday’s election was not so much about the Labor win but more about democracy and how we all can make a difference when we stand up for what we believe in. It takes guts to do that and I greatly admire those who never protested before but who took on leadership because they wanted to leave their children a better place.

Forget all the politics and parties and all the negativity and see the very positive message the Roe 8 community protest has delivered. It is about us the people! We are not numbers. We are passionate people who care about our environment and community and we know we are just the custodians for a short time. That brings with it a great responsibility to look after our planet for future generations.

Well done all and a great strong and deep message for all politicians in Australia.

Let’s have that exhibition!

Roel Loopers

IT IS OKAY TO NOT AGREE!

I am very disappointed that social media brings out so much negativity and bullies and name-calling as there is absolutely no need for it. It is okay to disagree and have a different opinion but it is not okay to express that by making personal and unwarranted attacks on those who disagree with you.

The cancellation of the Australia Day fireworks by the City of Fremantle has resulted in vile attacks on Fremantle Council and more specifically Mayor Brad Pettitt and he does not deserve that.

As the Mayor Brad Pettitt is the spokesperson for Fremantle Council but he does not and can not under the local government act make dictatorial decisions on his own. The Australia Day decision was made by full council and required a majority vote.

To claim that 99.9 per cent of Fremantle people are against the Council decision is not based on any facts or surveys, so why make that claim? Facts are these: 15,000 people attended yesterday’s One Day in Freo concert, 1,300 attended the Nyoongar smoking ceremony at the Roundhouse, and  60 people attended the pro Australia Day rally the day before. And 5223 people viewed my photos of the smoking ceremony here on Freo’s View and many others on Facebook.

The same applies to the Roe 8 protests. You want Roe 8 and believe it will be good for traffic and some local communities. Fine, you have every right to express and support that, but please do not call these genuinely concerned people the unwashed, dreadlock, dole bludgers, etc. as the protestors represent a big cross section of our community. They are business people, mums and dads, pensioners, etc. and not some leftwing loonies.

It is healthy to disagree and it is great that we live in a country where we can openly express our opinions and feelings, but we can do so in a mature and rational way without making personal, defamatory and insulting attacks on people who stand up for what they believe is right. We are better than that!

Roel Loopers

ASBESTOS FEAR AT ROE 8 CONSTRUCTION SITE

Posted in fremantle, health, health&safety, perth freight link, roe 8 highway by freoview on January 16, 2017

Residents near the Roe 8 highway clearing at the Beeliar Wetlands have raised serious concerns about the lack of dust repression measures by the building contractors. They say the area is a known location for asbestos dumping and that the clearing of the bushland is dangerous for the health of local residents, police officers and workers.

It seems unbelievable that the EPA, Worksafe and unions do not insist on watering trucks being used to spray down the dust at the Roe 8 works, as that is even required in the most remote locations of WA at mining sites.

I have been to hundreds of mines around Australia in the last 30 years and have never not seen dust repression measures at any of them, so why does the WA state government ignore this basic rule of protecting the health of everyone near the construction site?

Roel Loopers

ROE 8 -ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Posted in beeliar wetlands, environment, fremantle, nature, perth freight link, roe 8 highway by freoview on January 11, 2017

 

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There is a call for a mass public action against the Roe 8 Highway and Barnett government this Thursday January 12 at the very early hour of 6 am. See details below as supplied by the organisers:

Join us this Thursday at Tait Place, Coolbellup near North Lake Road.
Park on Malvolio Rd and walk along the fence line.
Let’s tell Colin Barnett’s unaccountable government that – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

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GREAT WETLANDS CONCERT

Posted in beeliar wetlands, city of cockburn, concert, fremantle by freoview on December 30, 2016

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The New Year really only starts on January 2 with the LIVE! in the Wetlands free concert at Manning Park to show the community opposition to the Roe 8 Highway.

This is a very special concert with Koi Child, Pow! Negro, Grace Barbe, Dilip ‘n the Davs, Donna Simpson, Neil Murray and many more.

It’s on from 2-7 pm and is an alcohol, drug and smoke free family event, so just come and enjoy great music, have a dance, bring a picnic, and feel embraced by the community and the lovely park.

See you all there!

Roel Loopers

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GOOD, BAD AND UGLY FREMANTLE 2016

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, development, local government, politics, tourism by freoview on December 26, 2016

2016 has been a big year for Fremantle, so I want to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

A few things stand out for me and the first one is the national exposure of the Australia Day changes the City of Fremantle made. I believe it is positive that there is now a national debate if January 26 is the appropriate date to celebrate Australia.

The most positive change in Fremantle is seeing so many substantial building sites in the CBD after our city had been in the development desert for decades. The news that state government departments will be moving into Kings Square is huge for Fremantle and so are the Liv, Heirloom, Hilton Doubletree, Quest, Spotlight and other major developments. However, the most disappointing aspect of all the Fremantle development is the mediocrity of most buildings. It’s a shame that planning laws are not stronger and more specific in that regard.

A great win for the community was the rejection by the WA Planning Commission and the State Administrative Tribunal of the proposed tavern at J Shed, but Sunset Events still has a 25-year-lease so we’ll need to wait till July to see if they will take that up and what they will be proposing this time.

Not so positive is the attempt to make historic Arthur Head into the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct. The eviction of residents at Captain’s Lane has resulted in the verandas and backyards of the cottages being used by homeless people at night and most of he new artists studios have done little to activate the area, and neither has the Walyalup Aboriginal Centre which has been a costly failure.

Absolutely fantastic to see the historic Warders and Gunners cottages restored and people living in them again. It has been a long battle by Fremantle City and the community to stop the neglect and we finally got outstanding results.

Also great that historically significant Cantonment Hill will be developed into an attraction for locals and visitors and the old Signal Station being used again by Fremantle Sea Rescue.

Disappointing is the corporate greed of the Fremantle Dockers football club who are demanding a large million-dollar payout from the City of Fremantle to relinquish their long-term lease on Fremantle Oval.

Community negativity has been a disappointing feature of the year and social media is frequently showing the nasty face of keyboard heroes, who often are uninformed and make comments and judgements based on ignorance. I like a good debate and engaging with people who have different opinions, but the nastiness and name-calling is distasteful, unnecessary and inappropriate.

Good community consultation and information is still lacking and makes the interaction between Council and the community often negative. There is too much inconsistency and tokenism. Community engagement happens too late in the process where it inevitably becomes reactive and negative. That needs to improve!

There is no doubt that there is a lot of room for improvement, especially at the basic levels of city maintenance and cleaning, and WA Police need to do a whole lot better addressing the anti-social and crime issues in Fremantle.

The City of Fremantle also needs to start getting serious about the ageing population in Australia and our city and needs to find a better balance between youth interest and that of older people in town.

City expenditure is at a dangerous level and that has to become the number one priority in 2017 for Fremantle Council. There needs to be a more realistic financial approach to what the city can afford because it is following dangerously into the footsteps of the State Government of over-spending.

Fremantle needs to have a debate on what good development for our city is and how we can stop the glut of ugliness we are getting in the the city. The fact that Fremantle Council gets overruled by Joint Development Assessment Panels and State Administrative Tribunal is a worry as we need to retain the unique character of Freo because that is why tourists come here.

Tourism needs to be more appreciated and looked after with more than 60 cruiseliners visiting Freo this summer. The visitors’ numbers at the Roundhouse are significantly up this year, so we need to have more attractions to keep the tourists in town longer. I would like to see a real physical interpretation of the former Whaling Station at Bathers Beach and also a migrant museum.

A mere $ 10,000 for power into the Roundhouse so that a $ 200,000 new display project can be undertaken should be supported by Fremantle City. It’s the sum of money the City has given for a solar parklet in Wray Avenue that will not attract even 1% of the 135,000 visitors the Roundhouse gets.

The selection of candidates for the federal election was a bit of a farce with Liberal candidate Sherry Sufi pulling out, to be replaced by equally unknown Pierrette Kelly, while Labor engaged in the unnecessary and unfair humiliation of Chris Brown who was replaced by former Freo Deputy Mayor, and my preferred candidate, Josh Wilson. Josh is our new MP in Canberra.

port-sunrise

A possible swap at McGabe Street in North Fremantle where parts would go to Mosman Park is interesting in the context of the failed local government reform. It looks to me like piecemeal governance.

The sale of Fremantle Port and the building of the Perth Freight Link will not eventuate should the Labor party form government after the March 2017 election, so it is disappointing that the Barnett government is fast tracking the Roe 8 Highway extension and the destruction of the wetlands instead of waiting for the election outcome.

Heritage protection remains critical and needs to remain a priority for Fremantle Council. It is not necessary to compromise heritage to appease developers. There are many other locations outside the West End that are better suited for higher density and building height. Community vigilance is essential to keep inappropriate development out of the inner city.

I love living in Fremantle and I love engaging with the community. It disappoints me that there is so much negativity in this great city and that so few people participate in the democratic local government process, and I hope that will change in 2017.

We all can make a positive difference to our city and be part of the solution when we respectfully engage with the Elected Members and CoF staff, and they with the community. That is my wish for the New Year. Have a very happy one!

Roel Loopers

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BEELIAR WETLANDS CONCERT SLIDESHOW

Posted in beeliar wetlands, environment, fremantle, nature, perth freight linl, photography, roe 8 highway by freoview on December 18, 2016

Some people prefer to see photos as a slide show on their devices, so here a second run of today’s Beeliar Wetlands concert against the Roe 8 Highway and Perth Freight Link.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Roel Loopers

 

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