Freo's View

COMMUNITY OUTRAGE ABOUT FREMANTLE HERALD’S F WORD USE

 

The front page of the Fremantle Herald does not have the head line Community Outrage About F Word, but the paper did publish several letters to the editor expressing outrage about last week’s article about the J Shed debate at Fremantle Council.

Editor and owner of the Herald Andrew Smith does however apologise to Aboriginal elder Herbert Bropho for publishing the awful F word headline above a photo of him.

According to Andrew Smith the F word headline reflected the mood of the council meeting and hence it was deemed appropriate by him to publish it.

The Herald then publishes it’s own Thinking Allowed-why not call it an editorial?- in which it claims that most community members miss the main point that Fremantle Council is ‘badly divided, split down the middle’ and argues it is time for a rethink about the activation of Arthur’s Head.

Fremantle Council is indeed divided about a tavern at J Shed but only 4 Councillors voted against it at the last meeting. Councillors Strachan, Pemberton and Waltham were absent and Councillor Wainwright did not vote, as he had declared a conflict of interest.

It is not a factual understanding of procedures to claim Fremantle Council is badly divided, but that probably comes from the fact that the Fremantle Herald very rarely has a reporter present at Council and Council Committee meetings.

The first things that needs to happen before Council can rethink the activation of Arthur’s Head is for the WAPC or the Liquor Licensing Authority to reject the tavern proposal.

While I too would love to see a substantial Whadjuk Noongar presence at J Shed it would be up to our indigenous leaders to decide if that would be an appropriate location for an Aboriginal cultural centre as a tourist attraction.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE COUNCIL’S MOMENT OF INSANITY

 

J Shed

 

Predictably Fremantle Council last night voted to recommend for approval by the WA Planning Commission a 300 patron tavern at J Shed on Arthur’s Head, against the express wishes of the local community, Noongar people, artists and heritage groups.

But the battle was lost long before last night when over four years ago Council in a moment of collective insanity decided that the best applicant for the Expressions of Interest process for a bar/cafe/gallery was the proposal for a 1,500 patron live outdoor music venue and an 850 patron tavern, and signed a 21-year lease with Sunset Events.

Since then the live music aspect was taken away as the Council back tracked more and more because of public outrage, so at the end they believed everyone had compromised enough and 300 patrons was just a bit more than a small bar, and a tavern would activate Arthur’s Head.

The public gallery was jam packed full, and more than 30 people spoke for an hour and a half, with 80 per cent of them being against the tavern.

There were many new faces and young artists and valid arguments were made that a good arts venture would help activate J Shed and the historic area, while a very eloquent young psychologist warned about the dangers of alcohol and public health, but it was all to no avail and only four of the nine Councillors present voted against the proposal.

It was very disappointing that the elected members were abused by some people in the public gallery as that is totally inappropriate. The planning approval went through proper process and the community has elected Councillors to make decisions, and as with all decisions governments make half of the people won’t agree with them. For the record. I don’t agree with this one either.

The deciding authority is the WAPC and even if they approve Sunset Events’ application they will still need to convince the liquor licensing authority that a tavern at Bathers Beach with only portaloos is a good idea.

I am very disappointed with Fremantle Council about this issue. They did not have the backbone to admit the 21-year lease for a tavern was wrong, so they had to back their wrong decision all the way. That is not good governance.

Roel Loopers

 

THIRTY YEARS OF CLANCY’S MUSIC FEST

Posted in bars, city of fremantle, concerts, culture, entertainment, hospitality, music, Uncategorized by freoview on May 23, 2018

 

May 26 CLANCYS

 

The weather bureau predicts rain from tomorrow on and showers all weekend, so what better way to spend the day than celebrating Fremantle’s CLANCY’S 30th birthday.

Thirty Years of Clancy’s Music is on at the fish pub this Saturday. Check their Facebook page for details.

Roel Loopers

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TIME TO HAVE A SUNSET ON TAVERN PROPOSAL

 

 

The Sunset Events proposal for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach will go to Ordinary Council-hopefully for the very last time!-this Wednesday and it could be a close call.

Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, who is against the tavern, is on holiday and Councillors Rachel Pemberton and Sam Wainwright will declare a conflict of interest, so these three won’t be voting.

If there are no other apologies there will be ten elected members who will vote on the item.

It is likely that Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillors Dave Hume, Adin Lang, Andrew Sullivan and Hannah Fitzhardinge will vote for the tavern, while Councillors Jeff McDonald, Bryn Jones and Jenny Archibald will probably vote against it. How Jon Strachan and Doug Thompson will vote would be a guess, but if they vote against the proposal the casting vote of the Mayor would get it over the line for recommending it for approval by the WAPC.

But the deciding authority is the WA Planning Committee, which rejected the previous proposal because a tavern was inappropriate use of the A Class reserve at historic Arthur’s Head. Will they change their opinion just because the number of patrons and the outdoor footprint has been reduced?

Whatever the outcome it is time to move on and have a long term Masterplan for the area.

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! I have been advised that Councillor Jon Strachan is also an apology so that will make the voting by only 9 elected members very interesting.

FREMANTLE COUNCIL J SHIT GOVERNANCE

 

The Fawlty Towers approach to governance by Fremantle Council on the proposed J Shed tavern development continued at the Planning Committee on Wednesday evening and will be repeated again at full Ordinary Council next week.

The Bathers Beach saga has been going on since November 2012 when the City asked for Expressions Of Interest (EOI) for a bar/cafe/gallery for the No 1 unit at J Shed on historic Arthur’s Head.

With stars in their eyes the naive Council then decided to sign the ‘applicant driven’ 21 year lease for an 850 patron tavern and 1,500 patron outdoor live music venue, against the express and loud wishes of local residents and heritage groups, Fremantle Ports and neighbouring J Shed artists, as well as Noongar representatives.

But when Sunset Events finally put their planning proposal in Councillors got cold feet and rejected the application, which subsequently was also rejected by the WA Planning Commission, which is the deciding authority.

Since then the proposal has been watered down a few times and is now only for a 300 patron tavern on a reduced parcel of the A Class Reserve and no outdoor live music events. If that is actually financially viable for the proponent is very questionable, and according to a CoF director I spoke to this afternoon Sunset Events will need to find a financial partner for the around $ 1 million development to be able to realise it.

The WAPC rejected the proposal because it was inappropriate in use, bulk and scale for the area and Councillor Jeff McDonald passionately reminded his fellow Councillors of that.

McDonald said that the land is of regional significance, the parking requirements are not addressed, that it is not a low profile development, and it is not at all similar to Rottnest Island!

Mayor Brad Pettitt however believed that the proposal for a tavern is a real opportunity to activate the West End and Arthur’s Head and that the plans were now close to where the Council initially wanted to go. One has to wonder then why Council signed a 21 year lease for an large 850 patron tavern and an even bigger 1,500 patron music venue in the first place, when all they wanted was a small bar. Yes Minister!

The process has been unfair to everyone! Sunset Events had every reason to believe in good faith that Council would support the tavern and music venue when they signed the long lease, but the same elected members who approved the lease keep stuffing the proponents around until the proposal is close to no longer being viable.

The J Shed artists had to live with the anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen with their work spaces, studios and galleries and if the impact of the proposal might mean they will have to move elsewhere.

The heritage groups are of course concerned about the negative impact on one of the most significant historic areas in Western Australia and how that might impact also on tourism.

The inner city residents are rightly concerned about drunks, anti social behaviour, littering of Bathers Beach and parking issues. One can just imagine that at night time clever motorists will find that Mrs Trivett and Captain’s Lane, as well as Fleet Street are just fine for illegal parking and maybe having a quick wee in the dark. With the Whalers Tunnel closed at night it is a long walk around Arthur’s Head in the dark to the Little High Street and Victoria Quay carparks.

The fact that there are no plans for building a proper toilet block should also be a concern as portaloos are unsightly and smelly.

Councillor Jenny Archibald summed up pretty well what I have been saying for years. Arthur’s Head and the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct need a more cohesive approach from Council. She said it was disappointing Council is willing to compromise so much and that the original EOI was interesting. May I remind the Mayor that he agreed before the October election at an event in the National Hotel that the Bathers Beach Art Precinct needed to be revisited by Council because it was not working!

Councillor Adin Lang said it was unlikely a cafe could afford to spend $ 1 million on infrastructure.

Don’t waste your time folks watching a satirical program on TV, come attend Fremantle Council instead when they debate the J Shed proposal and you’ll get a mix of Yes Minister and Fawlty Towers all on the same night and free to hot air. If it wasn’t so sad to watch the incompetence it would be a good laugh.

Roel Loopers

REDUCED J SHED TAVERN ON FREMANTLE AGENDA

 

Fremantle Council is relentless in ignoring the clear messages from the community about not wanting a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

This Wednesday the Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee will debate to  change the lease conditions for Sunset Venues for the No 1 unit at J Shed as below:

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION

Council approve the following amendments to the lease with Sunset Venues for Unit 1 J Shed, Fremantle:

  1. a)  Reduce the patron capacity to a maximum of 300;
  2. b)  Removal of clause/s relating to concert events;
  3. c)  Reduce the size of the lease area by approximately forty percent (40%)from 1493m2 to 892m2;
  4. d)  Reduce rent from $83,950p.a to $50,370p.a.;
  5. e)  Add a condition precedent clause to provide for planning approval andliquor license approval to be achieved; and
  6. f)  Add a clause to provide for development to commence within twenty-four (24) months or lease to be terminated.

While the number of patrons capped at 300 more resembles that of a slightly larger small bar, I have no doubt that this new proposal will also receive strong opposition from the neighbouring J Shed artists and the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association-FICRA.

Roel Loopers

FIVE STOREY HOTEL FOR HENDERSON STREET

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on March 3, 2018

 

Fremantle’s Silverleaf Investments have applied for building approval for the former Henderson Street Police and Justice complex and Warders Cottages which they bought last year.

The plans will go before the City of Fremantle’s Planning Committee this coming Wednesday at 6pm.

The proposal is for a five-storey hotel, tavern, restaurant, shops and offices development.

The decision making authority is the WA Joined Development Assessment Panel-JDAP.

I was under the impression that the planning scheme only allows for four storey in that historically very significant precinct just a stone’s throw for the World Heritage listed Fremantle Prison, but the Officer’s Recommendation is for approval.

If the additional fifth storey is discretionary height is should be refused because the hotel building is bland and shows no connection to the heritage surroundings.

There are concerns in the report about the neighbouring Drillhall, which will be opened by Sunset Events as a full-time live music venue in November this year, so the recommendation is for 10mm thick glass in the hotel windows. Consultants for the Drillhall believe they glass should be even thicker to keep the concert noise out of the hotel rooms.

Check out the architect impressions on the City of Fremantle website. They are in the separate agenda attachments, but my Acrobat Reader is playing up this morning so I can’t copy any images to show you here. Sorry! ; >(

 

Roel Loopers

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WILL THERE BE J SHED MEDIATION OR NOT?

Posted in bathers beach, city of fremantle, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on January 29, 2018

 

When Fremantle Council at its meeting on December 13 decided it would engage a professional mediator to move forward with the Sunset Events proposal for a tavern at J Shed, it was expected that this meant mediation between J Shed artists, the proponents and the City of Fremantle, but that assumption appears to be wrong.

There has not been mediation between the artists and Sunset Events but some Councillors and Creating Communities have visited J Shed to consult with the artists.

There are of course the rumours that Freo City and Sunset Events will agree on a change to the contract and scale down the use of the A Class reserve to create a much smaller foot print for the controversial hospitality outlet.

Sunset Events director David Chitty mentioned at the council meeting in December that  permitting fewer patrons would mean a smaller foot print for the tavern and that SE might not need all the Bathers Beach A Class Reserve allocated to them.

There is still nothing official and the saga drags on further, but one has to wonder when mediation is actually mediation and why council decide to have it but than not implement the action.

Freo Council often works in mysterious ways hey. ; >)

—————

Of course there are other ways to activate J Shed as yoga instructor Ava Irani points out:

A few months ago I was really sick of the lack of activation of studio 1 at the J shed and decided to take some action to create a 1 day yoga festival for the community.

It has been birthed, and we will enjoy music, family, yoga, meditation, sound healing, dance, busking and healthy food on Sunday the 18th of February.

We want to create a community vibe outside the shed as well, where kids activities will carry on on the grass, and a space for people to gather in a relaxed way on the grass and at the beach. Of course this will all be free.

However, if participants want to take a class on the schedule IN the J shed its around $15-20 per class.

I’d really love eventually for the city to support something like this. I’m happy to put in the work with my team and put up the money to rent the space but I want the community and city to recognise that we can have alcohol-free, wellness based, community-building yet totally funky family friendly offerings in this space.

Here some more details :
http://spandaschool.com/class/classes/fremantle-yoga-festival/

 

So maybe it was just a typo and Fremantle council meant meditation, and not mediation. ; >)

 

Roel Loopers

MANNING DEVELOPMENT GETS JDAP APPROVAL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on January 23, 2018

 

ma 4

 

The application for the $ 10 million development of the Fremantle Manning Buildings was unanimously approved by all five members of the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel-JDAP this morning with some minor amendments. The most significant one was to allow the percentage for the art contribution to go to reinstating the former balcony and verandah along William Street.

The Manning property runs from William to Market Street and all along the southern side of the High Street Mall, and is owned by Fremantle-based developers Silverleaf.

The development includes a micro brewery with tavern and restaurant, as well as commercial and retail accommodation.

The future of the Wrightson’s barber shop was a concern and consideration during the deliberations with questions asked why we do not have planning policies that protect social heritage as well as buildings.

We were assured that the Wrightson’s shop front will be retained and that the barbers have been offered relocation to Market Street, but Chair Ian Birch expressed the sentiment of all panel members that he hoped the developers/owners would be able to accommodate the barbers in the same location.

Councillor Jon Strachan was concerned about the staged development aspects of the proposal but was assured by the architect that it was simply not practical to do it all in one stage.

Strachan also said that the initial drawings had raised concern at council, but that the developers had positively worked with City of Fremantle planning and heritage staff to improve the application and respect the heritage of the building.

He said that the quality of the heritage report gave him confidence that an outcome the city can be proud off will be achieved.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said it was nice to see heritage buildings getting a new lease of life. She also said we should keep in perspective that in the 1990s there were 21 licensed pubs in Fremantle and now only 11.

Chair Ian Birch said that the active use and refurbishment was the best way of protecting heritage buildings.

Two other amendments were part of the approval. One that heritage values override other development considerations and the other that an archeological dig will be conducted before the commencement of the development.

Roel Loopers

WEST AUSTRALIAN FAKE NEWS ABOUT FREO PUBS

Posted in alcohol, city of fremantle, hospitality, local council, Uncategorized, west australian by freoview on January 3, 2018

 

Although the City of Fremantle put out a media release yesterday correcting the non-factual report in the West Australian about Fremantle Council wanting to introduce non-alcohol sections in pubs, the newspaper continues today spreading the fake news.

Inside Cover states on page 2 that this needs to be monitored, while the letters to the editors page published a letter by a Leeming man who blames the lefty, greeny, loopy Freo council for the nonsense.

Fact is that Fremantle Council, at the initiative of Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, has asked officers to investigate how Freo City can ensure that there won’t be too many taverns in the CBD, after the applications for new taverns at the Warders Cottages hotel, the Police and Justice complex, both in Henderson Street, the Manning building and the Woolstores shopping centre development.

This is actually not all that new as Fremantle Council also looked at more diversity in shopping a few years ago and how it could control more cafes opening.

So to set the facts straight, there are no plans for restricted non-alcohol areas in pubs in Fremantle, but Council does not want the CBD to just be a boozers’ paradise that will impact on the family amenity and public safety.

It is time the West Australian corrected the nonsense they published!

 

Roel Loopers

 

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