Freo's View

REWRITING HISTORY IS NOT A SOLUTION

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, history, racism, Uncategorized by freoview on August 27, 2017

 

The Sunday Times reports today that Fremantle Councillor Sam Wainwright is calling for the removal of historic monuments of people who have committed atrocities against Aboriginal people in Australia.

Before anyone starts yelling, this is a personal opinion of Wainwright and has nothing to do with Fremantle Council!

I like Sam, but don’t agree with his views on this.

History is very complex, and times were very different when the first explorer went far away from their home countries to find new lands.

Racism was unfortunately the norm, rather than the exception in those times and was committed by the Dutch, French, Portuguese, English, Spaniards, etc.

Religion was very black&white and fanatic and there was little respect for people of different beliefs, cultures or skin colour.

The world has changed, and while there is still far too much racism in Australia and around the world, we are improving and have made substantial inroads.

We can not rewrite history and change what happened so many years ago, but we can learn from it.

Changing street names and removing historic monuments will achieve very little, and it also fails to recognise the incredible achievements of the early explorers. They were adventurous, brave, greedy and also racists, but they are also part of us, and they are the roots that helped us grow and learn.

We should make a bigger effort and learn from the mistakes of our past, no longer fight wars, have more respect for different cultures and beliefs, and grow into a tolerant nation. Changing the history books is not the solution, Sam.

 

Roel Loopers

PALM SUNDAY WALK FOR REFUGEES

Posted in asylum seekers, city of fremantle, refugees by freoview on March 19, 2016

City of Fremantle Councillors, staff and the community will show their support for refugees by marching in the annual Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees this Sunday 20 March.

The group will gather at 11.30 am at Pioneer Park (opposite Fremantle Train Station) and board a train to Perth to join the main event at 1.00 pm outside St George’s Cathedral.

Fremantle councillor and refugee rights advocate Cr Sam Wainwright said the Walk For Justice aimed to shed light on the injustices refugees face when attempting to seek refuge in Australia.

“Overwhelming evidence indicates severe and systemic abuse of asylum seekers’ human rights is occurring within Australia’s immigration processing system,” Cr Wainwright said.

“We’ve seen a recent surge of concern about the conditions in Australia’s offshore detention centres in particular as a result of the impending deportation of 267 asylum seekers. A lot of this attention was focused around the fate of “Baby Asha”, who doctors in Brisbane only agreed to release on the condition she would not be returned to Nauru.

“It’s completely unacceptable to detain people like this and I’m really proud of the actions the Fremantle council has taken recently to help defend the rights and raise the profiles of these innocent people.

“We’re now calling on our famously compassionate local community to stand together to support refugee rights by attending the march with us,” Cr Wainwright said.

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GROUPS COMBINE TO FIGHT ROE HIGHWAY MADNESS

Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 22, 2014

Is the proposed extension of the Roe Highway with a tollway from Muchea to Fremantle port common sense or madness, and why is rail the better alternative to Western Australia’s freight and traffic problems? It was the topic of the Freeway Madness forum at the Fremantle Workers Club on Wednesday.

Kathy Anketell talked about her experience with the anti Eastern Bypass campaign, while Barry Healy represented the Road2Rail group and Nandi Chinna spoke on behalf of the Save the Beeliar Wetlands fighters. Councillor Sam Wainwright was the fourth speaker.

Speakers agreed that this was not a NIMBY issue but affected the whole Perth metropolitan area and that it was “one road, one struggle!” A statement by the Minister from Transport that the road would carry 65,000 trucks a day was believed to be excessive, with Barry Healy claiming that soon 1,2 million containers a year would be moved to and from Fremantle Ports.

There were warnings that in other states all competing infra structure within ten kilometers of a tollroad had to be closed and that could mean the part closure of the existing rail line and suburban roads. Sam Wainwright said that while there was no proof, he believed in the long-term Fremantle Ports would be privatised and the tollroad would help to achieve finding a buyer for it.

Barry Healy spoke about a huge campaign of non violent civil disobedience, a mass petition with 20,000 signatures, and that he wanted to see “a total people’s victory”

Nandi Chinna said that previous Environmental Protection Authority reports had found that “the North Lake, Bibra Lake area was the most historical site south of the river and the most significant Aboriginal site within the Perth metropolitan region south of the Swan River.” 97 hectares of significant trees and bushland would be destroyed if the Roe 8 extension went ahead, she claimed.

Sam Wainwright said that the billions of dollars cost for the highway was madness and that rail would be cheaper and much better for the environment.  It would be an environmental and urban catastrophe, and we should not see Roe 8 as an isolated issue in the transport debate.

Let me  be the Devil’s advocate here and say that there are many people who don’t believe, or don’t care, about global warming and climate change and who will dismiss the environmental issues of additional freight traffic on our roads as irrelevant, but who could be swayed to support the anti Roe 8 protest if it can be shown that rail is the cheaper option. We (sadly) live in a world where money speaks louder that the environment. So what would it cost to probably have to built a new traffic bridge over the Swan River and to upgrade the existing rail network in the metro area and country, so it can cope with increasing and heavier freight trains that will need to be double stacked to be able to move the the volume of containers in our fast growing state?

It would be a worthwhile exercise for students of CUSP(Curtin University of Sustainable Policy) to try to put a figure on what it would cost to move most of the freight to Freo ports to rail, and that would probably mean moving it away from the present coast line, because of increasing residential buildings along that corridor.

The proposed Roe 8 extension is going to affect a large number of people in a large number of suburbs. It is going to affect areas of significant nature. It is going to affect people’s health and lifestyle , and it is pure madness that in 2014 governments still believe building roads to accommodate more and more vehicular traffic should be preferred over public and freight rail transport. It will be a very tough and very long battle, so get ready Freo!

Roel Loopers

SHOCK ABOUT AUSTRALIA’S REFUGEES DISGRACE

Posted in australia, fremantle, perth by freoview on July 20, 2013

The mood was very sombre at Perth Forrest Place at midday today when people gathered in shock to protest about Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd‘s announcement that asylum seekers and refugees arriving by boat will be relocated to Papua New Guinea and will not be able to settle in Australia in the future.

Many people in the crowd had come from Fremantle, including Greens politicians Scott Ludlam and Lynn MacLaren and Freo councillors Rachel Pemberton and Sam Wainwright.

I believe the people of Fremantle will send a strong message to the Labor party and that this unacceptable decision by the Rudd government will cost Melissa Parke the seat of Fremantle.

We have heard often that the office of Prime Minister deserves respect but I believe that office has now lost all integrity and dignity and Rudd’s extreme right-wing stand just to win the next election is an indication of the moral corruption of this man. Since opposition leader Tony Abbott is not any better I hope the people of Australia will vote for alternative parties and independents to show the major parties that we are sick and tired of them making a political football out of desperate people because of egotistic self-interest. Kevin Rudd, you slimy little man, you are a disgrace!

Roel Loopers

FREO COUNCIL DEBATES BUSES, WIND, MOUNDS AND FERN

Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 25, 2012

Full Fremantle council meeting was on Wednesday evening so I duly went along to see what our decisions makers had to say. It was a surprise to see the Liberal candidate for Fremantle, Matthew Hanssen there, so my immediate thought was that he was looking for a back-up plan to stand for council next October if he does not win at the state election in March, but I was wrong. Hanssen was one of three public speakers complaining about FERN at Montreal Street. The group was accused of having created a fire and safety danger with a wall of hay-bales, running an unapproved cafe, allowing illegal camping and overnight stays on the property, being a public nuisance, etc. Matthew Hansen called for the City to terminate FERN’s lease, inappropriately and offensively saying they were “a group of freeloaders constantly causing problems.”  The City is already investigating the issues and will have a meeting with FERN next week.

Councillor Sam Wainwright called for the Mayor to express the city’s disappointment with remarks made by the CEO of Fremantle Ports regarding the proposed windfarm at Rouse Head. Wainwright said the supposed health impact of a windfarm had only been put forward by the CEO who created the Ports own objections rather than them coming from the public or unions. He said council needed to convey that the community supports a windfarm.

There was lengthy debate about the proposed skate park, or Youth Plaza, at the Esplanade and the pros and cons of keeping the mound. This is going to be a substantial 2000 square meter attraction along the railway line near the ferris wheel. While some councillors wanted the mound to stay in the same location others argued that a new mound, or mounds, could be created as part of the Youth Plaza and that keeping the mound in its existing place might constrain the design.

It will be interesting to see if the Youth Plaza will affect future Chilli and Indian festivals on the Esplanade and also the connectivity to Little Creatures as the railway crossing could become obscured by the skate park. I noted that the Skywheel will have to be moved but that they are replacing it with another one anyway, so I hope to find out what that is all about.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton‘s motion to conduct a trial over summer to redirect buses away from the Cappuccino Strip was approved. There are more than 800 bus movements a day there and the roadworks at the strip had greatly reduced traffic noise and fumes and improved the amenity, safety and enjoyment of the strip. Only the CAT bus will be allowed to continue its route. The redirection trial will affect bus rotes 98, 99, 511, 513, 520, 530, 531, 532, 825 and 920. With this decision I hope we are a very small step closer to maybe one day see the Cappuccino Strip as one way traffic only or be closed all together for traffic.

Roel Loopers

BUSWELL IGNORES FREO COMMUNITY WISHES

Posted in fremantle by freoview on September 9, 2011

Statement by City of Fremantle Councillors,

Sam Wainwright and Josh Wilson

in response to WA Minister for Transport’s decision to impose Option 4

6 September 2011

The City of Fremantle was asked to participate in a collaborative process for the upgrade of High Street, but it now appears that the Minister really only wanted the Council to rubber stamp his preferred option.

It’s disappointing that the Council and the community are now threatened with the compulsory acquisition of the A Class Reserve which the Council manages.

And it’s particularly disappointing that the Minister released his letter to the media before it was received by the Mayor.

We’d hope the Minister could take a more reasonable approach and return to genuine good faith negotiations with the City.

Our community wants the best possible road design, and it is Council’s job to push for the best outcome, rather than accept the quickest off-the-shelf outcome.

The delay in getting this project underway is entirely the responsibility of the Minister, and it’s grossly unfair for the Minister to now bully the Council and the community with the threat of compulsory acquisition.

We can’t understand how the Minister refers to the conditions we have set out in relation to community amenity and access as unreasonable expectations.

The Minister’s own projections show a doubling of freight into the port by 2020, so you would think that amenity and pollution monitoring considerations are not only reasonable, but necessary.

We’re prepared to work towards an agreed outcome, but the Minister will need to understand that it would be a failure of our duty to simply rubber stamp his preferred option without some guarantees when it comes to maintaining community access and amenity.

FREMANTLE NAIDOC CEREMONY

Posted in fremantle by freoview on July 3, 2011

The Fremantle ceremony to celebrate NAIDOC WEEK was held at the Round House this morning. Nyungar elder Len Collard opened the procedures with a present to Councilor Sam Wainwright who represented the Mayor of Fremantle. Also present were councilors Bill Massie and Robert Fittock as was the President of the Fremantle Society Jon Strachan.

Flags were raised and a huge Aboriginal flag was up on the mast above the gun deck of the Round House. Aboriginal women danced and the City of Fremantle Aboriginal liaison officer was in charge of the sausage sizzle. Young indigenous girl Haylie Cumming loved the sausages from Franks on Wray Avenue  so much that she came for seconds.

NAIDOC by the way stands for National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Committee.

There will be another sausage sizzle at lunch time at King’s Square on Thursday, while Gina Williams will be performing at Kulcha on Saturday evening.

Roel Loopers

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IT’S NOT ILLEGAL TO SEEK ASYLUM!

Posted in fremantle by freoview on June 25, 2011

The WELCOME PARTY for refugees at Fremantle’s King’s Square was a heart warming afternoon, with a multitude of cultures and nationalities supporting the cause of asylum seekers. The event was organised by  Leony Lundi  of the Fremantle-Tangey Greens party and Rachel Pemberton of Greens Senator Scott Ludlam’s office, and attracted many people.

A choir from the central African nation of Burundi sang, the West Papuan band Mambefor played, refugee students from Melville Senior High School played footy and volleyball, and local percussionists dictated the beat of the day. Children dressed up and played games. It was fun for all, and a reminder that refugees deserve our support and not the rejection they get from Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Australian government.

Greens politicians Scott Ludlam and Lynn MacLaren were there, as were Mayor Brad Pettitt and councilors Sam Wainwright, Josh Wilson, Andrew Sullivan and David Cogin.

Roel Loopers

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WHO RUNS FREMANTLE?

Posted in fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on April 29, 2011

A report in today’s Fremantle Herald raises serious concerns about who actually is in charge at the City of Fremantle. Councilors John Dowson, Josh Wilson and Sam Wainwright all complain about not receiving answers to questions put to the public servants, or get replies to their queries many months later. They are also taken by surprise about decisions made by the bureaucrats.

It is unacceptable that our city is not being governed by our elected members but by the unelected CEO and his staff and this should be investigated by the Minister for Local Government urgently.

I heard complaints before from councilors who expressed frustration about the lack of urgency of council staff when it comes to implementing decisions made by council.

The people of Fremantle elected councilors and mayor to look after our interests, and if they are being slowed down by council staff, those people should be made aware that they need to perform their duties within acceptable time frames set by the council. Performance based salaries for CEO and top management might be a step in the right direction.

Roel Loopers

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