Freo's View

HOW WILL FREMANTLE DEAL WITH AGEING POPULATION?

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, seniors, Uncategorized by freoview on October 30, 2017

 

The Committee for Perth has released their latest FACTBase research about our ageing population and Fremantle Council better take note off it.

Some of the key findings from the report were:

In 2016, 50% of West Australians were of working age, there were 29 children for every 100 people of working age, and 21 adults aged 65 for over for every 100 people of working age.

The Productivity Commission has predicted that the demographic changes in WA are going to happen so quickly that we will find ourselves in a demographic environment that is entirely unfamiliar to us.

By 2060, it is predicted that 1 in 4 West Australians will be aged over 65 and there will be 25 centenarians for every 100 children aged under one.

Most elderly people ‘age in place’. This could be a significant issue because urban design, transport systems and access to services in outer suburban locations tend to be less suitable for retirees.

A central tenant of delivering positive economic outcomes will be achieved by allowing older people to remain active and valued members of the workforce and the community.

There is currently a shortfall of 3,500 beds for the elderly across Western Australia.

Aged care providers say there needs to be reduction in red tape, so they can manage the demand for their services.

There needs to be more diverse conversations happening across the broader community about the issues and opportunities associated with an ageing population.

The success of delivering positive economic outcomes for ageing West Australians is to innovate, adapt, maximise public sector efficiencies and take advantage of technology to reduce the financial impacts of ageing and capitalise on the opportunities offered by living longer, healthier lives.

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NEW WOOLSTORES DEVELOPMENT PLANS

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on October 26, 2017

 

Woolstores

 

Brand-new plans for the development of the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre at Cantonment Street by Silverleaf are out and open for public submissions, so check out the City of Fremantle website.

The proposal is for a 4-10 storey mixed-use complex that would have shops, a market, a tavern, offices, student and aged-care accommodation, a carpark, etc.

There would be 799 car bays, 141 hotel rooms, 261 student accommodation and 155 retirement units.

 

Roel Loopers

FREO’S DISCONNECT A PRIORITY

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, seniors, Uncategorized by freoview on October 26, 2017

 

With the election finally over we can now all move on and create an even better Fremantle together.

After talking to many people and monitoring social media, there is no doubt that there is a serious disconnect between the City of Fremantle and the community, and an us and them feeling, as many people feel being left out or ignored.

Mayor Brad Pettitt clearly also picked that up, as his recent blog post indicates.

# There need to be better services in the suburbs, because people in Samson, Hilton and North Fremantle feel they are not cared for and that their rates are spent elsewhere.

# The coordination of social services is a must. Only last week no accommodation could be found for a desperate woman, but there were 30 beds available at 100 Hampton Road that night C0F staff said. That is not acceptable.

# We have a vast ageing population in Australia, and Fremantle already has a higher percentage of seniors than most councils, so they need to be considered more. My suggestions of a Circle of Elders, similar to the Youth Council, has not been taken on so far by Fremantle Council, so not sure what their reluctance is.

# Better communication is essential as the majority of people I talked to while door knocking did not have a clue of what goes on at council, and they also don’t understand the separation between the administration and council and what responsibilities the staff have.

Not communicating with the community means there is a silly dislike of council, and the City of Fremantle is by many seen as the enemy of the community, so how do we connect?

Many people who work at Freo City actually live in our city and are one of us. Our Councillors all live in Fremantle, but for newly elected City Ward Councillor Adin Lang, who lives in Cockburn, but has an office in Freo.

So staff and councillors are not strangers, but part of our community, people we see on our streets and in cafes and shops. That story needs to be told.

Collaborating, networking, brain storming, respectful dialogue, genuine community consultation, better listening and being less cynical are all ways forward to building our future together.

Fremantle is a great place with a great community, and we need to embrace positivity instead of indulging in negativity.

WE CAN DO IT FREO!

Roel Loopers

GETTING THE OLD AND YOUNG BALANCE RIGHT

Posted in city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2017

 

The City of Fremantle has a higher than average of older people living here than the other metropolitan councils, but policy making does not reflect that sufficiently, I believe.

We have a Youth Council, and that is great because we really need to get young people interested in local government, but we should also have a Senior Council, in the old tradition of a circle of elders.

Fremantle Council’s wish to reduce cars in the inner city can’t be dismissed, but it needs to be far more sensitive to the needs of seniors, disabled people, and parents with children.

Parking far away from shopping destinations will deter seniors from coming into town to shop and visit cafes. It”s a safety and a comfort issue for them.

We provide affordable and artist spaces, such as WGV and Nightingale, but we need to create communities for seniors as well. Men Sheds are good, but mainly for men, and many men, myself included, are not interested in handiwork, but would love to hang out with like-minded creative people in senior hubs, that could be inspired by the Fibonacci Centre.

There are opportunities at the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct, and the number one unit at J Shed could have been perfect for a creative community centre, but was unfortunately and inappropriately leased to Sunset Events to start a tavern and micro-brewery.

We also need to create community spaces where seniors can hang out with younger people, so that both sides can share their knowledge.

I personally love engaging with younger people in Fremantle because they often have a different perspective on life and different priorities, and it can be inspiring to listen to them.

In the Netherlands, where I was born, university students are offered free rooms in retirement centres, on the condition they spend a certain number of hours each week communicating with the older residents. A win win for all!

My next door neighbour told me that there are many single women in their 40s and 50s who feel a sense of isolation and are looking for safe housing options that suit them better, but there is not enough diversity of small dwellings available in Fremantle.

There are many people in our society who feel isolated and lonely and we need to reach out to them. Fremantle is the perfect city to do that. We care, we are creative, we are passionate and generous, so let’s work on some ideas and how we can make improvements.

What do YOU think?

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

WOODSIDE FOR AGED CARE

Posted in aged, east fremantle, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on August 10, 2017

 

Woodside

 

The former Woodside maternity hospital in East Fremantle has been sold to a consortium for $ 13 million, and will be developed into aged-care facilities.

The gorgeous building in Dalgety Street was built in 1902 and is considered a prime example of Victorian Italianate architecture.

 

Roel Loopers

ROUNDHOUSE CELEBRATES VOLUNTEER WEEK

Posted in fremantle, heritage, roundhouse, Uncategorized, volunteers by freoview on May 9, 2017

 

Royndhouse volunteers

 

It is National Volunteer Week and the Fremantle Roundhouse volunteer guides took that as an opportunity to celebrate the commitment of the 40 mainly senior volunteers who open the Roundhouse every day of the year, but for Christmas Day and Good Friday.

They met for breakfast today at the Moore&Moore cafe and moved on for this group photo.

The guides at Western Australia’s oldest public  building welcome over 130,000 visitors through the door every year.

They are there in 40 degree heat and in rain, storm and winter cold and always with a smile on their face and a joke to share with people from all over the world.

Every day at 1 pm the cannon on the gun deck behind the Roundhouse gets fired and they are always looking for a visitor to push the button. Those who do are given a signed certificate to take home.

Tell your visitors about historic Arthur Head, Bathers Beach and the gorgeous West End!

Roel Loopers

 

OLDIES ALSO NEED INNER CITY LIVING

Posted in fremantle, lifestyle, residential, seniors by freoview on July 2, 2015

Talking about higher density is a bit of a no-no in Fremantle, where many in the community believe that high-density automatically means highrise, but we know from European countries that that does not have to be the case and 5-8 storey buildings will do the job and look a whole lot better than massive 20+ storey residential towers that create social issues as well as visual pollution.

Strangely when we talk higher density in Perth we talk about young people and families moving into inner city apartments, but rarely do we hear there is a need for seniors to move there as well and that needs to be addressed by developers and local and state governments.

Research in the USA has found that once seniors who live in the suburbs loose their license and right to drive a car, the public transport systems fail them and older people often become hermits without a social life, because they have to depend on friends and family to drive them around, so there is a need for them to relocate closer to the inner city.

The problem though is that inner city rents are quite a bit higher than those in the burbs, so how can seniors afford to live there? Whilst I absolutely understand the need for privacy I believe we need to find a new and cheaper way of accommodating seniors and other on low incomes, be that with one bedroom flats or bedsitters and shared use of kitchen(s), laundry and communal dining rooms, and maybe even gophers.

With a fast ageing population in Australia we need to find creative ways in dealing with what could become a serious issue in the near future. That might well mean that we need to accept that we don’t all need to have our own washing machine and stuff we only use once every ten days or so, and that sharing is cheaper and reduces the need for individual laundries, dining areas and kitchens in each and every apartment. I know I would be a huge compromise and change in lifestyle and thinking, and I am not even sure I would like it for myself, but it could be a way of finding solutions to deal better with an ageing population.

Roel Loopers

HAPPY WELFARELESS NEW YEAR AUSTRALIA!

Posted in australia, fremantle, social services, welfare by freoview on December 23, 2014

Welfare and social services for those who need and deserve government support will no doubt be slashed by new Social Services minister Scott Morrison, who showed little empathy for asylum seekers when he was in charge of the Immigration and Border Protection portfolio. As he did with his migration portfolio Morrison will try to stop welfare and turn back the boats of social despair.

Morrison will have little respect for all those bludgers who need government handouts, support and housing, as they can only blame themselves.

People should no longer receive pension once they reach their use-by date of 70 years of age and age-care facilities should be closed.

Those narcissists who claim to have mental health problems and live with the paranoid fantasy that a black dog is responsible for it should embrace the Dr Philip Nitschke solution and take a pill or two instead of expecting expensive government care.

Disabled people should just get on with it and not behave like soccer players who act as if they are badly hurt when nothing is wrong with them.

People who don’t earn enough to rent or buy a house simply have to accept that it is survival of the fittest. They can’t expect governments to supply them with accommodation as that is unfair to those who have worked hard to buy their own home.

Single parent benefits will also be scrapped because relationship break-ups can only be blamed on those involved and should not become a burden to society. Stick with your partners and look after your kids instead of being sooks who feel sorry for themselves.

Aboriginal people had 200 years to assimilate and adapt to our western lifestyle and should just get on with it, get a job, have fewer children, learn English and stop whingeing, because Scott Morrison will have nothing off it.

If you can’t find a job when you leave school you obviously did not study hard enough and did not try hard enough, so why should the community look after you. Centrelink will be closed and that will save society millions.

Caring for the community will no longer be a government responsibility. We are on our own and those not strong enough to make it in our competitive and selfish society will just have to go away and die. Imagine how much money can be saved by cutting social services and how fast the Abbott government can get the budget back in the black that way.

Scotty wishes all us bludgers a happy welfareless new year.

Roel Loopers

QUALITY LIVING TO AGE WELL AND HEALTHY

Posted in aged, fremantle, living by freoview on October 15, 2014

Two articles in the West Australian today caught my interest. The first one is about a study by Edith Cowan University on green public space, something we in Fremantle often talk about but where we don’t seem to be making any inroads.

The ECU study found that people who live in suburbs with good green spaces feel healthier than those who don’t have a park in the vicinity, but also that the quality of the space is more important than the proximity to where people live. Pioneer Park in Freo is a good example of a boring unattractive open green space that the City has not invested much money in, hence not many people use it. It’s the chicken and the egg thing.

The second article is about supplying spaces for “active-ageing” with an estimation that 5,7 million Australians will be over the age of 65 by 2030.

One of the requirements according to the article is less emphasis on rush-hour public transport but a steady supply of busses, trains, lightrail, so seniors can use them during the day and seven days a week.

There is also the need for new model ag-integrated buildings, and of course public open space to relax and meet people is essential to that as well.

Roel Loopers

FREEDOM OF CHOICE, NOT FUNDAMENTALISM

Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on September 21, 2014

In an interview about PARK(ing) day on WA Today Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said that the heart of the city should be for people and that parking should be on the periphery. I wonder how many inner city traders agree with that philosophy, that appears to want to make the CBD into a car-free shopping centre.

My problem with some of the sustainability philosophy is that it seems to replace reality. And I am not the only one, as newspapers are full with letters where people complain about the lack of common sense of their local councils.

Sustainability is the new bible for a few, the new religion, and like most religions it attracts righteous zealots who tell us we’ll end up in sustainability hell unless we do what we’re told. These sustainability fundamentalists do not want to hear any arguments because it is their way or the highway. They know what is best for us, so the community will simply have to change their lifestyle and follow the belief of the sustainability church. Forget God, Allah and the reverend Fred Nile, the Lord of sustainability is more powerful than anyone and only his teachings are right and relevant to this new world.

Parking in the inner city? Come off it, people can park on the outskirts and walk into town, or hop on public transport. You want car bays at new residential, office and hotel development? You must be kidding. What’s wrong with hopping on a bike, walking or using trains and busses? (Interesting to note in that regard that the WAPC is considering changing the rules and demanding a minimum number of parking bays at new buildings).

According to the new religion people don’t need to have a car, no matter how old or disabled they are or that they have a family. Everyone should just join the happy sustainability congregation that is more concerned about the environment tomorrow than the people today. In CUSP they believe.

It does not matter to them that what Freo’s 30,000 residents do is less than a drop of water in all the earth’s oceans and that the real environmental efforts should be coming from the powerful industrial and over-populated nations. Stick that argument in a plastic back to take home. Oh, I forgot, you are no longer allowed to use plastic bags in good old Freo, or should that be renamed Sustainability Heaven. Time to stop plastic bottles as well, as a US city just implemented?

We are dealing with a PR spin machine that doesn’t like green, but it loves a good bit of bitumen and concrete. They replace public green open spaces with vertical hanging gardens, so unless your children are monkeys they really have no grass to play on. They plan for high-density buildings but not for public spaces. They want more people to live and work in the CBD, but don’t plan for relaxation, lingering nodes, playgrounds, picnic and BBQ spots, and grass to kick a footy on.

But hey, that’s progress and economic development for you, because all those people deprived of inner city car bays will spend a lot more time walking through the city and that will be good for the economy, because what else can they do but shopping and having lunch.

We must assume that drones will then fly our sustainability-approved, soy latte, free-range, gluten-free, organic, degradable shopping bags to our cars that are parked some kilometres away on the periphery, but that is not something our forward looking council has thought about much yet. And to paraphrase Treasurer Joe Hocking, old and disabled people don’t go out a lot anyway, so why should COF be concerned about their parking needs. As for kids, home detention replaces nature play for  generation ME.

The future of the progressive city of Fremantle will be a lot of irate and unhappy people living in a healthy environment. Freo could become a ghost town for bike-hugging sandal lovers, as shoppers will stay away in droves, but that’s life. One person’s hell is someone else’s heaven. Halleluja and amen, or whatever they say in that new religion.

For the record, I believe that looking after the environment is essential and extremely important. I know that everyone means well, but I can’t stand dogmatism, hence my sarcasm, for which I apologise right now.

The point I am making is that it might be better for my health for me to become a vegetarian and teetotaller and exercise more, but I don’t want anyone to force me to that, and the same applies to all the above. Do not force your lifestyle and belief upon others. Your exorcism will be wasted on me.

Roel Loopers

 

 

 

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