Freo's View

FREMANTLE IN SLOW MOTION?

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on March 11, 2020

 

Slowing down while sitting down in Fremantle?

 

The West Australian has this as one of their headlines today, and claims this is on the Council meeting agenda today:

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt leads council calls to slow down streets to 30km/h

but the agenda for the FPOL Committee which is held this evening will be considering this:

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION

Council:

  1. Request officers formally seek approval from Main Roads WA for a lower speed limit of 40km/h on South Terrace between Wray Avenue and Douro Road.

 

It is nothing new anyway as the traffic calming along South Terrace in South Fremantle has been an ongoing process, which started with long community consultation at the South Fremantle Precinct meetings.

The temporary speedhumps from South Street to Douro Road are all part of the process to get Main Roads to allow the City of Fremantle to lower the speed limit along that stretch to 40 km/h.

Nothing in the agenda indicates that the Freo Mayor wants to put a motion forward tonight to lower the speed limit even more, so what’s the story?

Roel Loopers

PAUL MURRAY PUTS MIDGEGOOROO HISTORY IN CONTEXT

 

Paul Murray column

 

I rarely agree with anything The West Australian columnist Paul Murray writes, because of his right wing pro Liberal party sentiments. Murray is also well known for his criticism of the green and left Fremantle Council, but I highly commend him for today’s column about a suggested name change of Fremantle’s Kings Square to Midgegooroo Place.

Unlike Fremantle Society president John Dowson, who called Midgegooroo a cold blooded murderer, Murray puts that episode of history in context of what really happened and why Midgegooroo killed.

Too often we only want to accept that part of history that suits our believes or political inclination, so it is really good to read Paul Murray’s column, which leaves the Fremantle Society president with egg on his face, yet again.

Buy The West today. It’s worth the money, just for Murray’s clarification of history!

Roel Loopers

CITY PLANNING NEEDS TO PROTECT UNIQUENESS

 

There is a very good opinion piece about city planning by Tanya Steinbeck in the West Australian today, that everyone should read.

Tanya Steinbeck is the chief executive of the Urban Planning Institute of Australia(WA), and her article makes a lot of sense to me, because it talks about the challenges of protecting the uniqueness of our cities, while supporting development. This is a challenge Fremantle is experiencing currently, with unprecedented and major development happening now, and in the pipeline for the next years.

Steinbeck writes that it is about authenticity, and that the planning experts believe we need a vision that articulates who we are and what we have to offer. It is important, she writes, not to lose ourselves as we grow, and that is a debate we are having in Fremantle at present. How do we retain and protect our unique heritage city, while encouraging new modern development? What is the Freo context? What is good and specific architecture for our city? I would love to have a public forum about that!

Tanya Steinbeck writes that identity is a complex concept, that always evolves because we evolve as people. Indeed, change is happening every day, everywhere, and is inevitable, but how do we manage change so that it does not destroy the uniqueness of our historic city? That is an issue not unique to Fremantle, but applies to many older suburbs.

I absolutely agree with Steinbeck when she says that we need to avoid homogenisation and that the planning system needs to lead there, so that we don’t get sameness when developing our cities. As she writes, it needs to be planning by people, for the people, and she points to the Town Team Movement, that is all about community-driven planning and is taking placemaking to a new level.

The article is on page 20 of today’s West Australian newspaper, so anyone interested in city planning and community, go and grab a paper from a newsagent.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE IS MAGNETIC FOR DEVELOPERS

 

There is a very good article about Fremantle by Kim Macdonald in the WestBusiness Insider magazine of the West Australian newspapers.

The front cover headline is Freo, The Billionaires&The Future with photos of Andrew Forrest and Angela Bennett.

The five-page article mentions that there is a lot of interest for investment and development in Fremantle by some of the biggest players in Western Australia, such as Bennett, Forrest, Adrian Fini, Sirona Capital, Silverleaf Investments, etc.

Sirona Capital’s Matthew McNeilly is quoted as saying that there is a lot of love for Fremantle….because you cannot find another Fremantle anywhere else in Australia.

Angela Bennett’s son Todd is the executive director of AMB Capital that wants to do a major development in the Fishing Boat Harbour south of Little Creatures, with residential and short-stay accommodation, retail, food, etc.

Twiggy Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation owns the Spicers site on the corner of William Street and the Henderson Street mall and they are doing a feasibility on developing that into a lifestyle boutique hotel, while the Fini Group wants to develop the Italian Club site, south of the Esplanade, into apartments, a boutique hotel and wellness centre.

Silverleaf Investments is busy developing the Mannings Building, is close to starting the Woolstores hotel development, and also have approved plans for the former Police&Justice complex between Parry and Henderson streets.

Silverleaf’s Gerard O’Brien told WestBusiness that Fremantle is magnetic. Perth wants the CBD Fremantle has got.

It is really good to see the West Australian acknowledging the huge and positive transformation Fremantle is going through. It is a shame though to hear from a Freo newsagent that the magazine was not inserted in the newspapers he got on Thursday, so many people who asked for it were disappointed it was not available.

Roel Loopers

 

 

CONFIDENCE IN FREMANTLE GROWING

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, development, property, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on November 21, 2019

 

Good to read that mining giant Twiggy Forrest is considering more investment in Fremantle, as a short note yesterday in the West Australian by Kim MacDonald indicated.

According to the article the Minderoo Foundation is looking at developing a lifestyle hotel in our port city and that would be great.

Forrest already owns the Orient Hotel in Fremantle’s historic West End and they also bought the Spicers site carpark on the corner of William and Henderson streets from Sirona Capital last year, the latter would be a very good location for an inner city hotel.

Roel Loopers

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HOW TO GET MORE COMMUNITY VALUE OUT OF PERCENTAGE FOR THE ARTS

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, culture, development, local government, property, Uncategorized by freoview on October 16, 2019

 

An interesting article by Kim Macdonald on the Property Pages of the West Australian reports that some developers do not believe that public art is value for money and that the percentage for the arts scheme some councils, such as Fremantle, have is arbitrary and does not give enough consideration to location.

Good public art, that provokes debate and public engagement enhances our streets, but sometimes public art is only decorative and not of very high creative standards, but that of course is about personal taste as well.

Some of the huge mural paintings in Perth are outstanding, and I regret that the stunning artwork on the Fremantle Myer building as Kings Square could not be saved because I really liked it.

Developers do not like the percentage for the arts scheme because it adds cost to the building, but in Fremantle’s case the Manning building development by Silverleaf Investments for example has been allowed to use the percentage for the arts contribution to reinstate the old veranda along William Street.

Flexibility is what is needed, and I believe it is a sensible idea from Richard Pappas of Celcius Properties, who told the West that the public art money should be put into a pool, and not necessarily be part of a new development. Money could be spent instead on public spaces, amenities, playgrounds, extending the tree canopy, etc.

There is quite a bit of sameness in public art, especially 3D art where big steel beams appear to be the favourite for local and state development. The one thing the percentage for the arts need to do is enhance the quality and lifestyle of the community, so if that is a new park a few kilometres away from a new development that is an alternative councils should consider.

Roel Loopers

 

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SILLY MEDIA PUSH FOR REJECTED PERTH FREIGHT LINK

 

I find it quite astonishing that the West Australian and its related West Media outlets keep pushing for the Roe 8 highway to be built when the McGowan Labor government received a clear mandate for scrapping the Perth Freight Link when it won the last WA election by a huge landslide.

While the West never forgets to remind us that the Federal Liberal government have a mandate because they won the recent election that does not appear to apply for Western Australian politics.

The Perth Freight Link was a failed concept that did not have a solution for the bottleneck in North Fremantle.  Recent articles and letters failed to acknowledge that according to Mainroads 90 per cent of vehicles using the PFL would be private vehicles, so it is wrong to suggest this was just going to be some kind of fast toll road for trucks to and from Fremantle Port.

Now that the new state government has established the Westport Taskforce to see what the best location for a new port might be it is highly premature for the West and state and federal Liberal politicians to keep pushing for Roe 8, 9, 10 and whatever. Let’s just wait and see what the recommendations of the task force are before spending billions of dollars on a highway extension that might not be needed.

The people voted against Roe 8 so the McGowan government has a mandate to not build it.

Roel Loopers

MORE WEST AUSTRALIAN ATTACKS ON FREMANTLE MAYOR

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt is being attacked again by columnist Paul Murray in today’s West Australian in regard to the City of Fremantle’s claim of carbon neutrality.

While I believe it is unfair to attack the Mayor instead of all the elected members who make decisions for Fremantle, there are valid points in Murray’s column and the City of Fremantle needs to do much better in responding to them.

Here on Freo’s View Murdoch University master student of sustainability and renewable energy Martin Lee has asked pertinent questions, which Brad Pettitt promised to respond to in detail, but he has now decided he won’t be doing that and leave Lee’s questions unanswered. That is not good transparency and public relations.

Murray’s attack on what Brad Pettitt earns should be part of a much bigger picture where some local council CEOs and directors earn as much or more as the Premier of Western Australia. That is ridiculous. Are Mayors also overpaid when they are part of a team of elected members and the others receive less than $40,000 a year while the Freo Mayor gets around $ 160,000? That is something the Minister for Local Government might want to look at.

But transparency is the important issue here and that reminds me that some weeks ago the convenor of the South Fremantle Precinct asked the City of Fremantle for a copy of the consultant engineer’s report on the bad state of repair of the former Civic Centre. This report was quoted on many times as the reason why it was essential for Fremantle to demolish the old building and build a new one at Kings Square, but convenor Sean Hefferon was told that the consultant report could not be found. That is unacceptable!

If the report exists is must have been added as an attachment to council and committee meetings and all elected members must have received one, so surely the report must have been archived. All reports should be kept for future audits, for transparency,  accountability and integrity, so please make it public and available CoF.

So things are not going well in the PR stakes for Fremantle, and the entire Council and administration is to blame for that. It is not right that the other elected members and CEO Phil StJohn are happy for the Mayor to receive all the criticism while they remain silent.

Roel Loopers

MINISTER DOES NOT WANT FREMANTLE ABORIGINAL CENTRE

 

Roundhouse

 

I rest my case about the WA State Government being Perth-centric. The West Australian today published an “exclusive” by Peter de Kruijff about the money needed to maintain the Fremantle Roundhouse and historic Arthur’s Head and that the City of Fremantle wants to do a feasibility study for the creation of an Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Bathers Beach.

But Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt hits that straight on the head by stating that an Aborigonal Cultural Centre should be as close to the centre of Perth as feasible. Why?

Fremantle was the first point of contact between the Whadjuk Noongar people and the British settlers and surely the second city in Western Australia deserves a new tourist attraction, when Perth got Elizabeth Quay, the new WA Museum, the Burswood Stadium, etc.

The question now is if Fremantle should be spending $ 50,000 on a feasibility study when it appears unlikely they will get financial support from the State Government, and two Aboriginal centres would probably not a good idea either.

I would love to see a significant Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Freo, but the City is financially not doing well at all, so should they spend $ 50,000 of ratepayers money for something that is unlikely to be built in Fremantle?

Roel Loopers

 

FREE PARKING FOR FEMALE FREMANTLE DOCKERS GAMES?

Posted in afl, city of fremantle, fremantle dockers, local government, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on February 19, 2019

 

There are a lot of people around who have easy, but often very unrealistic, solutions for just about everything.

A letter in today’s West Australian by R.Correla of Beaconsfield fits in that category.

Correla writes that the City of Fremantle should provide free parking one hour before and three hours after the Fremantle Dockers women’s team games at Fremantle Oval.

But those games are on weekends when Fremantle is at its busiest and where the lack of inner city parking is often complained about. Parking fees are also a substantial source of income for the City and council rates would need to be increased if more free parking were to be provided.

It is also quite insulting from R.Correla to say Fremantle needs more smart people on council, and not a minority who are only about themselves. Fremantle Council is far from perfect, but the elected members do their best to make the right decisions for our community.

May I suggest to R.Correla to actually attend and observe council meetings. It’s always good to be informed first hand, rather than making ignorant assumptions and accusations.

Roel Loopers

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