Freo's View

PRIME MINISTER WANTS TO FUND NEW WA PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, federal government, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on August 8, 2017

 

Busy Fremantle Port today

 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has been battling the Abbott virus for some time, mentioned in an interview with the Sunday Times on the weekend that his government is interested in helping to fund a major port project in Western Australia.

One has to assume he meant the overflow port at Kwinana, which would open up Fremantle Port for part development, such as the South Quay Project suggested by the City of Fremantle.

Now that Fremantle Port will not be sold/leased out for 50 years the opportunities for development and changes at the port are real, but it requires more flexibility from the Port administration and board, and willingness to change some of the buffer zones around the harbour.

Fremantle Ports need to start behaving more like it is part of the Fremantle community, rather than as if it is not connected to it, and they should learn from Notre Dame University on how to become a better corporate citizen of Freo.

It seems rather inconsistent that large cruise ships with thousands of mainly elderly passengers on board can be in Port for a day or more, but that the buffer zones don’t allow for tourist accommodation or residential development at Victoria Quay.

If some of the port operations could be moved to Kwinana it would create fantastic opportunities to develop non operational areas of the port.

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE LIGHTRAIL NOT A PIPE DREAM

Posted in city of fremantle, lightrail, transport, Uncategorized by freoview on June 25, 2017

 

How nice to hear local councils in the Fremantle area working together for a change, instead of viewing each other as competition.

They could not agree on local government reform, council amalgamations and the Roe 8 highway, but now the South West Group of Cockburn, Fremantle, Melville, Kwinana, East Fremantle and Rockingham are planning ahead together for light rail, according to a report in today’s Sunday Times.

A Fremantle to Murdoch lightrail corridor is a high priority according to the report, but also a loop with Rockingham and the coast.

There is no doubt in my opinion that lightrail from Fremantle to Rockingham would be used extensively by locals and tourists alike and connect the two cities.

The South West Group report also considers lightrail from Fremantle to Canning Bridge and linking Cockburn and Fremantle.

Long-term planning by local councils for lightrail and traffic corridors is essential to pin point where new residential and commercial development should be encouraged so that planing schemes can be introduced to accommodate that.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt told the Sunday Times that local councils had a role to play in planning transit systems as they would need to rezone areas for transport hubs.

Lightrail has been on Fremantle’s wish list for a long time but low residential figures make it difficult to build a sound business case for it. However the development boom in Fremantle and Cockburn and along to coast to Rockingham is starting to make lightrail a very good option for the not too distant future, and we need to plan for that now.

Roel Loopers

 

FREO PSYCHIATRIST BELIEVES BAR NEXT DOOR WOULD BE STRANGE COMPANY

Posted in city of fremantle, health, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on June 8, 2017

 

I find it rather strange to read on Perth Now/Sunday Times on-line that a Fremantle psychiatric clinic operator objects to a new small bar proposal at 10 High Street in the historic West End.

Psychiatrist Dr Keven O’Daly told Perth Now it would be totally inappropriate to have a bar next to his premises where they deal with drug, alcohol and suicide issues.

The proposed bar would be a sister bar to the great Strange Company bar in Nairn Street that is very popular and last Monday even introduced a book club. The new bar would operate from 4.30 pm to midnight, so mostly when the clinic next door would be closed for business.

It is rather bizarre that Dr O’Daly opened his clinic in High Street where there are already licensed premises when that is a concern for his clients. The temptation to grab a drink would be a lot less outside the cbd one would think.

Roel Loopers

CAN SUNSET EVENTS AFFORD J SHED TAVERN VENTURE?

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on May 7, 2017

Today’s report in the Sunday Times that suppliers to the Southbound concert have been asked to sign a deed of arrangement and waive outstanding fees owed to them by Fremantle based Sunset Events should send worrying signals to the City of Fremantle council and administration. SE director David Chitty told the Sunday Times that settlement had been reached with the suppliers.

Sunset Events has a 20-year lease for the J Shed Number One unit at Bathers Beach where it wants to build a tavern and micro brewery, but if their finances are so precarious will they be able to commit themselves to the long lease and substantial investment?

Sunset Events is already spending millions of dollars on refurbishing the former Drillhall, that was home to the Fly by Night club, so where will all the money for two big new ventures come from when they are unable to pay their concert suppliers one has to wonder.

Roel Loopers

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VACANT SHOPS A MAJOR PROBLEM

Posted in city of fremantle, economy, hospitality, retail by freoview on April 2, 2017

A report in the Sunday Times today shows that the accusations against Fremantle Council not looking after its retailers well enough and that parking problems keep shoppers away are hot air.

The new Perth Labor MP wants a City Summit because of the dire retail economy in the big smoke, which shows Fremantle’s retail problems are neither unique nor to blame on Council.

Of the 950 shops in the Perth CBD 150 are vacant at a 16 per cent vacancy rate. Along Barrack Street and St George’s Terrace a staggering one in five shops are empty, so it does not look well at all.

We know that retailers in Subiaco and elsewhere have also been struggling for years, so this problems is all over the Perth metropolitan area.

Yesterday the West Australian reported that many restaurants are closing in Perth as well and that shows that we need to do more for tourism, conventions, festivals, etc. and can no longer rely on the patchy mining industry that booms and busts often and lacks the stability our retailers and hospitality industry need.

It is unfair to lay blame for the economy on individual local councils as there is clearly a bigger picture at play well outside the power of local government.

Roel Loopers

LET’S BE COMPASSIONATE ABOUT EUTHANASIA

Posted in fremantle, health, humanity, state government, western australia by freoview on March 26, 2017

Good to hear that the new WA Health Minister Roger Cook is saying that we need to have a community discussion about voluntary euthanasia in Western Australia.

Euthanasia has got nothing to do with religion or any of the gods people believe in but it is about humanity and dying with dignity.

We don’t allow animals to suffer and euthanise them when they no longer have a good quality of life, but we do keep people alive who should be able to decide if they want to go because the suffering is unbearable and there is no hope of recovery.

A Sunday Times survey last year found that nearly 90 per cent of Western Australians support voluntary euthanasia, and I do too!

Roel Loopers

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WHAT IS FAIR PAYMENT FOR MAYORS?

Posted in city of fremantle, councils, local government, western australia by freoview on March 19, 2017

The Sunday Times reports today that seven out of the twenty-eight metropolitan mayors are ‘moonlighting’ and have other jobs.

Local government is not intended to be a full-time job for Mayors and Councillors but the workload is significant as I know from observing the huge number of hours Mayor Brad Pettitt and most Councillors spend on looking after Fremantle.

For the Freo Mayor it is a full-time job with additional local government work at the Heritage Council for which he annually receives $ 9,000 in addition to the Mayor’s payment of around $ 140,000. Correct me if I am wrong as I can’t find the exact amount.

But the City of Swan Mayor does only two days full time at council there and received nearly $ 140,000 per year, while Jim O’Neill, the Mayor of East Fremantle gets $ 43,000 for 25 hours a week and works another 45 hours per week as deputy-principal of the Willeton Senior High School.

I believe elected members should get properly paid as many of them spend the equivalent of full-time job hours on serving the community.

Roel Lopers

BARNETT PLEDGE TO BUILD PERTH FREIGHT LINK

Posted in fremantle, perth freight link, roe 8 highway, state government, western australia by freoview on January 15, 2017

In an interview today with the Sunday Times  WA Premier Colin Barnett has pledged to go ahead with building the Perth Freight Link despite massive community protest.

Barnett said that if re-elected the construction of the tunnel would start in 2020 and that there was no need to build another bridge over the Swan river or a tunnel underneath it to accommodate the container trucks to Fremantle Port.

While the pros and cons of the PFL can be debated forever it is mind-blowing that the Premier believes the PFL will adequately work without building the last link into the port. That is putting his head in the sand and refusing to acknowledge the huge bottleneck it will create at Stirling Highway and in North Fremantle.

Even those who agree with the PFL concept know it won’t work properly unless a new Swan river crossing is provided specifically for freight, so why the state government only wants to build 90% of the freight tollway and not finish it shows they have not found a proper solution to do so, but stubbornly want to go ahead anyway. That is childish and not good governance.

Roel Loopers

ROTTNEST WANTS NOONGAR RECOGNICTION

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle, history, indigenous, rottnest island, western australia by freoview on December 11, 2016

The Sunday Times reports today that the Rottnest Island Authority wants to make name changes on the island that refer to the cruel, sadistic and violent Henry Vincent, who was the prison supervisor of the indigenous Quod gaol from 1839-1867. Nearly 370 Aboriginal men died on Rottnest Island!

The RIA wants to change the name of Lake Vincent and Vincent Way and add more Aboriginal names to the island to acknowledge the indigenous history of Wadjemup, as Rottnest is known by the Noongar people.

According to the Sunday Times WA Premier Colin Barnett does not like “rewriting of history” but he does “support some recognition of that history.” The Premier told the Sunday newspaper he does not want to see renaming and glossing over history good or bad.

There will no doubt be people who believe the suggestions by the Rottnest Island Authority are just political correctness gone mad but many West Australians believe proper recognition of what happened to the Aboriginal people on the island is long overdue and a memorial for them should be built on Rottnest.

It is not rewriting history to properly acknowledge the atrocities committed to the Noongar people and other indigenous tribes in Western Australia and it is definitely time to adjust the one-sided history written by the Wadjelas.

Roel Loopers

 

 

STOPPING PERTH FREIGHT LINK COSTS $ 1,1 BILLION

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, perth freight link, western australia by freoview on September 18, 2016

W.A. Transport Minister Dean Nalder, who yesterday resigned from Cabinet, has told the Sunday Times that Premier Colin Barnett’s decision not to go ahead with the Perth Freight Link tunnel between Stock Road and Strirling Highway would cost the state $ 1,1 billion.

In the “exclusive” by reporter Joe Spagnolo Nalder says “The Premier has instructed me not to proceed with the second phase, the Fremantle Tunnel, and only proceed with the Roe 8 section.”

The handling of the PFL at State and Federal level has been shambolic, as there are still no firm plans for the link to connect with Fremantle Port, although that is the initial reason for the project and funding from the Federal Government.

With the sale/49-year lease of Fremantle Port also still in limbo it looks like WA has been wasting a lot of money on two projects that might never proceed as the WA Labor Party will not go ahead with either of them should they win the election in March next years.

The finances of Western Australia are in an incredible mess due to wasteful spending by the Liberal/National party.

Roel Loopers

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