Freo's View

PREMIER ADMITS TRAFFIC JAMS AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

Posted in city of fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on April 20, 2016

All those people who have been attacking Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt, opponents of the Perth Freight Link and me about our warnings of the traffic congestions the Perth Freight Link would create at the end of the tunnel and in North Fremantle can now eat their own words, as Premier Colin Barnett admitted on ABC Radio this morning that it will be the case.

Colin Barnett said “So the first sort of kilometre or so out of the harbour is going to be slow, but it works and from there on, when the freight link is completed, the trucks will be on a no-intersection route that will take them all the way through to Muchea.”

He also agreed with Minister Dean Nalder that the final stage-from the tunnel to the port-would not be needed for a  decade but that there will be a traffic congestion point in the meantime.

No big deal hey Premier for the people of Fremantle, East Fremantle and North Fremantle to have to put up with it, especially with significant residential development south of Freo and in the inner city. We can all meet at the bridges and maybe engage in yoga or meditation classes while we are waiting in the traffic jams every morning and evening.

Roel Loopers

PASSENGER TERMINAL NOT PART OF PORT SALE

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, western australia by freoview on April 20, 2016
Even the great Charles Yelverton O'Connor appears concerned about the plans for Fremantle Port.

Even the great Charles Yelverton O’Connor appears concerned about the plans for Fremantle Port.

 

 

Fremantle Councillor Jon Strachan alerted me to the presentation by WA Treasurer Mike Nahan to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday, where he told the 100 strong crowd that the Passenger Terminal and all land to the east of it at South Wharf would not be part of the sale of Fremantle Port.

The land would developed by an MRA-style project management group and also allow for community access to the area west of the railway bridge.

Under the present buffer zone rules around Fremantle Ports that land could not be developed for residential use and I wonder if that would be a great idea anyway as it is very close to train noise.

Where would they put the new passenger terminal though? Would it be part of the contract with those who lease the port for 49 years to build a new passenger terminal west of the present one, closer to the CBD and how would that be enforced, or would it have to be part of the new development and even further away from the CBD? I doubt it would be considered to be safe to let the massive cruise ships turn around so close to the old traffic bridge though so a new passenger terminal would more likely be near the present Rottnest ferry terminal at B Shed.

There is possibly a need for a new and stronger railway bridge in the future and also for a new traffic bridge with more lanes, so any development in the area needs to be done with that in mind.

Roel Loopers

 

WA TREASURER: OUTER HARBOUR ONLY NEEDED IN 25 YEARS

Posted in fremantle, perth freight link, western australia by freoview on April 19, 2016

WA Treasurer Mike Nahan told the media today that the start of building the outer harbour at Kwinana was not needed in another 15 years. The government’s own estimates are that it would take ten years to build the port, so that would mean it would not open before 2040. That is an awfully long time away.

Top that with Transport Minister Dean Nalder saying that a new bridge or tunnel to connect the Perth Freight Link with Fremantle Port would not be constructed for another ten years and one realises the unacceptable planning mess this state is in.

The people of Fremantle, Melville, Cockburn and Kwinana, and other affected communities, expect better and more urgent solutions!

Roel Loopers

KWINANA OUTER HABOUR ESSENTIAL FOR WA ECOMONY

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on April 17, 2016

An exclusive report by Joe Spagnolo in the Sunday Times today says a yet to be released report by the Perth and Peel Economic Development Strategy sees the development of the outer harbour as essential for the WA economy and that it would create a significant number of jobs in the region of up to 48,000.

The outer harbour is seen by the expert committee as game-changing and essential and the top priority for the region.

The PPEDS paper , to be released in June, makes no case for the Perth Freight Link but states that an extension of the inner harbour is not a viable option.

Roel Loopers

KINGS SQUARE CONTRACT EXTENSION LIKELY

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on April 16, 2016

The West Australian reports today that City of Fremantle CEO Graeme McKenzie will recommend to Council to extend the contract for the Kings Square project with Sirona Capital for six months, to see if the State Government will commit to relocate the Department of Housing to the former MYER building. According to McKenzie a decision is due mid year. A decision was also expected by November last year and the year before, so I won’t be holding my breath.

The Freo CEO told the West reporter that the department is looking at two locations, the second one presumable the Woolstores shopping centre development.

Should Council decide not to extend the contract, my bet is they will, Sirona could go it alone and buy the Queensgate building fom COF, but it is questionable if the Civic Centre still would be built if there is no partnership, so what would happen with that idea? Could the City afford to build the Kerry Hill designed building and if not where would all the staff be accommodated?

The reality is that there is a 50 per cent chance that Housing will move to Kings Square. We have waited a long time, so my gut feeling is to grant the extension, maybe not even for six months but until the State has made a decision on the relocation.

There is no doubt for me personally that the development of Kings Square is essential for the revitalisation of the Fremantle CBD. I still believe it needs to be 24/7 activation and that means residential should be put in the mix as we otherwise will only have daytime activation and the same old dark city square at night. The area needs passive surveillance and that can only happen when people live there and frequent the area day and night, for that reason alone a hotel would have been good.

Roel Loopers

P.S. The West must be getting desperate claiming the story about the Fremantle Oval development is an exclusive. It is an agenda item for Wednesday’s committee meeting for heaven’s sake, so there is nothing exclusive about it.

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

MICRO GRID POWER TECHNOLOGY FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, solar, sustainability by freoview on April 13, 2016

WGV

 

The Federal Government’s green energy arm ARENA will be funding $1 million into a micro-grid project in White Gum Valley.

The solar battery technology will allow the apartments on the former Kim Beazley school site to store and trade power. This is the first trial in the world of the micro-grid technology. 

The Landcorp solar energy project that will cost a total of $3 million will have solar panels and batteries installed at four apartment buildings on the WGV development site at Stevens Street.

Strata companies who manage the apartment can sell the electricity to tenants, so they don’t have to buy their power from SynergyIt is estimated that the strata companies would be able to sell electricity to tenants and home owners cheaper, or at the same price as Synergy does, while the owners and occupiers of the apartments will be allowed to sell power to other apartments if they don’t use all the power generated.

The development has received criticism from the White Gum Valley community because nearly 100 trees were killed to make way for the development. Solar energy does not like large trees around buildings as they impact on how much sun light the solar panels receive.

 

Roel Loopers

 

CITY OF FREMANTLE OPPOSES SHORT-SIGHTED TUNNEL

Posted in city of fremantle, perth freight link, western australia by freoview on April 12, 2016

Here the media release by the City of Fremantle on the proposed Perth Freight Link tunnel:

The current Perth Freight Link (PFL) proposal, with increased federal funding for a tunnel from Stock/Winterfold Road to High Street/Stirling Highway is not supported by the City of Fremantle.
“The current $1.9b outlay for Roe 8 and the Roe 9 tunnel would be for a solution that is incomplete, short-sighted, has strong community opposition and won’t solve Perth’s ongoing freight and traffic issues,” said Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt. “Among other issues including severe impacts on local communities in Fremantle, the proposed three kilometre tunnel connecting Roe 8 to Stirling Highway still fails to address the most difficult connection – from Stirling Highway at High Street across the Swan River and into Fremantle Port.

“We’ve become so frustrated by the lack of information from the state government on this critical aspect of the PFL, we’ve been forced to commission engineers to develop scenarios based on a massive new bridge and associated road works between North and East Fremantle; or a very expensive tunnel option underneath Fremantle and the Swan River.
“What that work shows is the extreme impacts this will have on the communities of East and North Fremantle, with the only alternative to overcome those issues being an expensive and complex $1.4 billion tunnel into the port. That would bring the total PFL project cost to almost $3.5 billion.” he said.

Dr Pettitt said the City strongly supports the development of a second harbour further south as a priority, allowing Fremantle port to handle manageable freight volumes into the future. This would be without the need for such a radical spend on transport infrastructure that provides only a short-term solution.

“A second harbour not only provides a long-term solution to the efficient transport of Perth’s freight issues, it does it in a way which has far less impact on people’s everyday lives and the environment – $3.5 billion goes a long way towards such a smart long-term investment in Perth’s future transport needs, both freight and domestic.”

 

PERTH FREIGHT LINK TUNNEL PROTEST

Posted in community, fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on April 12, 2016

 

A good crowd and the TV media turned up on very short notice at Bibra Lake this morning to protest about the Federal Government’s increased funding for a tunnel for the Perth Freight Link that is supposed to make freight access to Fremantle Port faster.

And the politicians turned up in droves as well, after all there are a couple of elections ahead. The Greens were represented by federal leader Richard Di Natale and Scott Ludlam, Rachel Siewert and Kate Davis, while the Labor party had Melissa Parke and Simone McGurk there.

Fremantle Council was represented by Mayor Brad Pettitt, deputy Mayor Josh Wilson and Councillors Rachel Pemberton and Dave Hume.

It is an interesting thought bubble process by the WA State and Federal governments as no one has any idea how the freight link will be connected to Fremantle Port from Stirling Highway. Stage 1 is also still waiting for new EPA approval and a challenge in court against the Supreme Court ruling. This means we would be building a very expensive Stage 2 without knowing if Stage 1 through the wetlands will get approval and how Stage 3 will be resolved. I don’t believe that is good governance or good professional planning.

Roel Loopers

 

PERTH FREIGHT LINK TUNNEL THE FEDS AGREE

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports by freoview on April 12, 2016

port 4

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The Federal and WA State governments have agreed that the best way of proceeding with the Perth Freight Link is a tunnel from Stock Road to Stirling Highway that will go under Hamilton Hill, Beaconsfield and White Gum Valley.

The Turnbull government has agreed to give WA an extra $ 260 million for the $ 1,9 billion project.

I am amazed by the remark of the West Australian newspaper’s Federal Political Reporter Andrew Probyn that this is “despite some residual community hostility.” No word in today’s article that the project was stopped by the Supreme Court that found that the EPA process was unacceptable, and that the State is challenging that ruling.

There is substantial community opposition against the Perth Freight Link and some of that is because there are no plans on how to get the freight road from Stirling Highway into Fremantle Port without destroying North Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

Call Out to Bibra Lake 10am-11am TODAY Tuesday 12th April to protest Turnbull’s further funding the PFL. Meet near the jetty opposite Gwillam Drive.

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