NAIDOC week at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre on Arthurs Head

This week is NAIDOC week.Come join us at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre on Arthurs Head.  

Lynn MacLaren's submission Select Committee Inquiry into the Operations of the RSPCA

Summary 

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback to the Select Committee inquiry into the Operations of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Western Australia “RSPCA (WA)”.

The RSPCA is a highly valued and well respected charity globally, nationally and within Western Australia. It can be argued that public engagement with the charity has continued to grow annually, through financial contributions, attendance at events and through social media. In the 2013/14 financial year, more than 36,000 members of the public made a financial contribution to RSPCA (WA).

RSPCA (WA) undertakes vital work in WA protecting and promoting the welfare of animals, as well as physically caring for a number of abandoned companion animals in its shelter. There is a prominent community expectation for the RSPCA to speak up on key animal welfare issues, lead debate and provide a voice for animals.

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FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE – A HOME FOR HOUSING

Colin Nichol attempts to trace the history of official announcements on a move to Kings Square of the State Housing Department.

IF you thought Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt was chasing a rainbow in his campaign to have the state Department of Housing headquarters relocated to Fremantle, government media releases and Hansard tell the story:
Beginning after the beginning with the Government Office Master Plan 2012-2018, which was approved earlier in March 2010 when cases were being prepared for decentralisation of government offices to various metropolitan centres including, “Department of Housing moving to Fremantle. There will be opportunities for other agencies to decentralise to Stirling and Fremantle, with the Department of Housing and Department of Commerce being the core occupants of multi-agency buildings.”

Not a definite undertaking, but indicative.

Then on 27 June 2012 Finance Minister Simon O’Brien announced plans to relocate 80,000sqm of government office space from the CBD to Stirling, Fremantle and Murdoch in the second stage of the State Government’s office accommodation reforms. Head office functions of the departments of Commerce and Housing would relocate to Stirling and Fremantle respectively, as anchor tenants for Government office centres in these areas. “Perth’s CBD remains the tightest – and most expensive – office market in the nation, a situation that shows no signs of easing any time soon,” Mr O’Brien said. The exact location of each site will be determined in business cases to be compiled over the next 12 months (by mid-2013?). These will canvass a range of options, from fully government-owned to commercially leased buildings.

He would now be seen as wrong about the office market, it is more competitive now, unfortunately for Fremantle – and still no published business case. In July 2012, the Minister’s office announced: “A large component of the 2012–18 Master Planning process aims to take advantage of the historically lower rental costs outside the Perth CBD. To do this, the Department of Finance’s Building Management and Works are working with agencies to develop business cases for the decentralisation of the head office functions of the Department of Commerce to the City of Stirling, the head office functions of Department of Housing to the City of Fremantle .. (etc)”

Looking better, but conditional.And later, on 25 July 2012 the Minister stated the Government Office Accommodation Master Plan metropolitan component was set to move staff from Perth’s CBD to metropolitan centres at Murdoch, Stirling and Fremantle.

More encouraging.
Then he said it again on 23 November 2012: “The Government is actively advancing its plan to decentralise office accommodation from the Perth central business district. Metropolitan locations announced in June by the Minister are Stirling, Murdoch and Fremantle. Perth’s CBD office market remains extremely tight, and there is an opportunity for Government to achieve significant savings through the decentralisation and consolidation of office accommodation.”
Beginning to seem more hopeful than helpful and achieving savings the motivator.

Responding to a question on this on 6 May 2015 from Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, the present Finance Minster Minister Bill Marmion said: “We are looking for value-for-money options. In recent times, the property market in Fremantle has gone down. The actual number of value-for-money options being looked at, which will be delivered to me, are looking more favourable. My department is looking at re-evaluating three options for the possibility of some departments. The one that has been in the media is obviously the Department of Housing.” And, “We are looking at the options. Obviously, it has to be a value-for-money proposition. The taxpayers of Western Australia’s money has to be considered in the equation. However, I will say to the house that we are in support of decentralisation, and Fremantle is one area we are looking at seriously.” That theme of “value for money” is now cropping up frequently and significantly, the Kings Square site is one where the owners will need to recoup high costs.

Fremantle is looking less competitive.
It gets stickier. Parliament’s Hansard 24 June 2015, Premier Barnett responding to Simone McGurk: “As I said, that was happening over the last couple of years (since 2010), and it is now 2015″. It is not an easy project to put together. It is very marginal—in fact, it may even be negative. However, in good faith, the state has worked on the proposal of moving state housing from East Perth to Fremantle. The Minister for Finance has carriage of that, and negotiations have taken place with a prospective developer. Indeed, we may well go out to tender, and may well move some other government employees to Fremantle. It is not an obvious win for state government. To justify that project depends on, I guess, the goodwill and the revitalisation of Fremantle as being worth a price, because it will come at a price. The member for Fremantle should support that because her constituency is dying at its heart.

Not looking good from a cost-effective and competitive point of view and a different government department may be allocated to Fremantle, if any. There could be an announcement in the latter part of this year, possibly.

Now comes a twist: “We’ll withdraw from any proposal to put state housing into Fremantle, we’ll withdraw right now.” Not only did the Premier in Parliament on 24 June introduce a late new element of threat into Fremantle’s part in the Office Master Plan, during what suddenly became an argument over an un-associated matter, he used the ambivalent “proposal” word. Housing may not find a home in Fremantle after all. A business case had been prepared by the Department of Finance to assess the costs and benefits of the move and the Premier told Parliament the numbers showed marginal benefit. Then a glimmer of hope again: “The State Government is doing all it can to make that happen, but it may well come at a cost to the state,” he said. “We’re trying to get it to be at least break even. Fremantle has been talking about that for several years. I have been listening, and we hope we can do it.”

They’re trying, it seems. Very trying, since it has taken five years since the commencement of this process and the latter three to arrive at a position of continued uncertainty. With the government giving itself until 2018 to complete decentralisation, there is no clarity of either “if” or “when”, only “maybe” and no confirmation of “where”.

Colin Nichol

ENERGY MUSEUM PROJECT NOT RIGHT FOR LOCATION

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There are community concerns about the micro-brewery and mixed-use development proposed for the former Fremantle Energy Museum site at 12 Parry Street with some people worried about a pub so close to St Patrick’s and local schools.

While I don’t see a big problem having a micro brewery and restaurant there I do believe the proposed five-storey residential building behind it is too bulky and high for the location, as it is surrounded by low-rise heritage buildings such as the Basilica and the former school buildings at Princess May Park. The bulk of the building would have a big impact on the also heritage-listed residence behind it at 3 Quarry Street.

One also needs to question the need to demolish the Easter part of the Energy Museum building, as it should remain intact, and architects will just have to work around that.

There is a lot of development going on in the East of the CBD and that is a good thing, especially since there will be more people living in that run down part of town, but there is also a charm about many of the older buildings in the area that needs to be respected. The proposed mixed-use development behind the Energy Museum does not show respect for or reflect on the heritage of the site and the surrounding buildings.

Roel Loopers


WET WEATHER DOWNER

rain 1 rain 2

I know the gardens and parks need all that rain and so does our water supply, but this kind of weather always makes me morose and I only want to hibernate and not leave home.

I went to the opening of NAIDOC Week at the Fremantle Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre anyway but there was not much to photograph so I will go back on Friday from 5-8 pm for the big event with music, dancing and barbeque. Come along! It is on the corner of Captain’s and Mrs Trivett Lane on Arthur Head.

While up there I shot the colourful rain on one of the artworks, because we are in a slow news period, so I have little to write about for the blog unfortunately.

One thing though, it will make you morose as well, check out the SBS link to find out how affordable housing in your area is: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/map/housing-affordability  (Thank you to Diana Ryan for making me aware off it).

Median Unit Value in Fremantle is $ 543,550 and the Estimated Gross Income Required for it is $ 124,000, but the Average Gross Income (24-34 year old) is only $ 61,425, so less than half what is required. But with so many apartments on the market and the economic climate not very rosy we might well see prices coming down soon.

Roel Loopers


Premier takes passenger s seat – The West Australian

Tweet Premier Colin Barnett joins State Political Editor Gareth Parker to discuss issues concerning WA voters. Source: Premier takes passenger s seat – The West Australian Here is the bit I’m sure interests all the locals on the PFL. The section on the light rail is interesting as well. PERTH FREIGHT LINK GP: One of […]

Primary key to reconciliation

Twilight Coroborree - Wardarnji Aboriginal Cultural Festival 2008 – Saturday 15 November, Fremantle Esplanade Reserve

ABORIGINAL people will continue to face discrimination until their culture is ingrained in primary school curriculums, says a professor from the Australian Catholic University.

Cheryl Kickett-Tucker says educating the wider community about Aboriginal culture must occur at a young age to overcome a lack of understanding and to increase compassion.

With NAIDOC kicking off this week, Prof Kickett-Tucker acknowledges there have been improvements over the years, but says Australia still has a long way to go before it can truly claim to be a country that’s lucky for all.

Now a director of Aboriginal research company Pindi Pindi, she says the Indigenous community is in a constant battle with poverty and homelessness, a consequence of high unemployment rates due to poor literacy and numeracy levels. Prof Kickett-Tucker sheets that home to “racism and the consistent deficit approach of policy development and service delivery as well as the lack of Aboriginal ownership and control”.

Economic instability subjects many Aboriginal people to a vicious cycle of welfare dependence.

Pindi Pindi has recently signed a deal with Fremantle council to operate from the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre near the Round House in Fremantle, and will be conducting “strength-based research to access knowledge that will make a sustained difference to the holistic wellbeing of Aboriginal people.”

“We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with the city,” Prof Kickett-Tucker says.

“Our centre brings academic research and community wisdom together because our work is embedded within the Aboriginal community.

“We are not attached to a university, the community drive us, as they set our agenda. We are a place for silent voices in the community.”

Another prominent Whadjuk Noongar, Dr Noel Nannup, agrees there’s a long way to go towards reconciliation, but hopes an historic native title settlement with the WA government will be a kick-start.

The $1 billion deal, recently agreed to by six Aboriginal groups covering the south0west of the state, will give signatories increased access to lands, funding for Aboriginal corporations and cash for investing in enterprise.

Dr Nannup hopes it can pave the way for the emergence of a significant indigenous tourism industry.

“Reconciliation at the moment is tolerating Aboriginal people and accepting them as Aboriginals, although there are two key planks missing; firstly the dialogue that has to take place before [reconciliation] is a reality, and secondly the implicitness and collaboration that goes with it.”

The Walyalup centre will commemorate NAIDOC with a week of events including cultural and mosaic workshop, hip-hop demonstrations, a barbie with music and dancers, and Buster the Fun Bus. For more information check out the fremantleaboriginalevents Facebook page.

by ALANA CHRISTIAN


Freo a big winner at Architecture Awards

It was a great year for Fremantle at the Australian Institute of Architects WA awards with a large number of winners either being buildings built in Fremantle or designed by architects based in Freo (or both!) There were 14 award categories and Fremantle was represented in 10 of these – taking 13 awards in total. Well […]

Guinness World Record attempt for the longest tattoo session for CanTeen

It has been a weekend of great Freo community initiated activities. And in true Fremantle-style they have been very diverse too – from record breaking tree planting to record breaking tattooing to raise money for young people with cancer. Kris Barnas, an internationally-renowned artist now residing at Modern Ink in Fremantle will be attempting to break […]

Fremantle Bias Where We Need Balance

Tweet Do I blindly accept the governments Perth Freight Link (PFL) old options, of course not. The real question on the various issues before Fremantle is, do we get a balanced source or feed of information? Sadly Fremantle council is deeply entrenched in partly politics, labor, greens and even the little known socialistic something, whatever […]

5000 trees in under 3 hours. I’d say that’s a Freo tree planting record

At Hollis Park in South Freo today the “official” tree planting record was set Official Tally: 5053 seedlings and 20 grass trees planted in 2.5 hours. Amazing effort by all involved. Thank you so much to everyone who volunteered on Sunday morning and to Adin Lang and the Friends of Hollis Park crew. Here are a […]

EUROPEAN COMMON SENSE HOUSING APPLIES TO FREMANTLE

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has been publishing interesting articles on his blog about his fact-finding trip to some of the European most liveable cities. His latest article can be read in full here: https://cofremantle.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/lessons-learned-from-europe-part-two/

I commented on Brad’s blog a few weeks ago that some of the things he is very impressed about are things we in Fremantle have long indicated as being desirable for our city and a lot of it was mentioned during the Fremantle 2029 community sessions, but largely ignored when the report on it was published.

Brad writes in his latest blog post that his observations in Europe showed that new development needs to be accompanied by a major provision of high quality green spaces at a total of 30% of the land size of the development, not the 10% that is standard in W.A. Increase in public open spaces and making it compulsory for new developments is something others in the Freo community and I personally have called for on this blog for years. It shows that there are visionaries with sensible and practical ideas in our own suburbs and they should be listened to better and taken seriously..

Brad also writes that new development needs to have a diverse range of housing that brings the community together of all ages and incomes, ideally in the same building. This is again something I an others have been pushing for for a long time, because there is a risk that especially the Fremantle CBD could become a yuppy town that is only affordable to those on high incomes, while those who need affordable housing are pushed away to the suburbs where anti-social behaviour often becomes a problem, as recent reports about Hilton and the one on the Iceworks development show.

I would love to see Brad initiate a public forum session on how we can plan and develop Fremantle better, because it is essential to get it right and it should not be left to a few ideology driven who have a big public profile and get all the media attention.

People have been critical of the Fremantle Mayor going on this trip and calling it a junket, but I really enjoy Brad Pettitt’s first-hand reporting on those European cities, because we can make them relevant to what we are doing wrong here and improve faster that way.

Roel Loopers


Lessons learned from Europe (Part Two)

Apologies Part 2 has been somewhat delayed; unsurprisingly I came back to quite a backlog that I am still trying to get through! As I said in Part 1, density is an essential ingredient in creating sustainable and liveable cities, but this comes with an important qualifier: the fifth lesson of the study tour is that […]

SORE BUMS A LOT OF FREO FUN

a b c d e

A few photos of the Fremantle WINTER FESTIVAL on the Esplanade. Why not visit this weekend. It’s a lot of fun!

Roel Loopers


BEING ONE-EYED IS RATHER SHORT-SIGHTED

I dislike one-eyed sport fans as much as I dislike one-eyed supporters of political parties. People who can only see black&white and only the failures of the other teams and parties are not my cup of tea. Life is more complex than just criticising the opposition and not seeing one’s own mistakes and shortcomings. We all know that it matters not all that much which political party has the power as parties no longer have strong principles and values, so to keep bashing on about certain issues makes one look a bit insincere at times.

Here in Fremantle we have very vocal opponents of the present Council, and as everyone knows I don’t shy away from giving our Elected Members and officers a kick in the bum now and then when I believe they deserve it. And it happens more often than I would like it to be. But we can’t generalise and blame the City of Fremantle for everything that happens. For example drunks, violence and anti-social behaviour are issues for the police, not a local council, and it is far too easy to compare Fremantle with other suburbs or cities in other states where these things don’t happen.

Why does Freo appears to have an unfair large percentage of anti-social problems? Partly because we have quite a bit of  Homeswest housing and partly because we have St Patrick’s looking well after people in need and supplying them with free meals and blankets, clothing, etc. so that attracts people in need to our city. We even have the Freo Street Doctor, something places like Claremont and Cottesloe don’t have, hence they have fewer issues attracting those who are unfortunately at the bottom of society. Can we blame Fremantle Council for that though? I don’t believe so.

The parade of the needy starts the same way every day. Breakfast at St Pat’s and then groups move to Princess May Park and Woolstores shopping centre. If they misbehave police will give them a move on notice which basically shifts the problem somewhere else, so off they go to Kings Square, from there to Pioneer Park and on to Bathers Beach. Some stay around and sit and beg for money. Late in the afternoon the ‘procession’ back to St Pat’s goes on the return journey. And then there are those who use the busses near Target who often misbehave and make that area feel unsafe for those of us who go shopping there.

I don’t blame Freo Council for that, but I do blame them for having created a ghost town at night on Arthur Head that attracts homeless people like moths to a light, and I blame Freo Council for not keeping our city as clean and tidy as it should be. Policing and law&order are the responsibility of the State Government and far too complex issues for small local councils to deal with, and so is social housing, so Freo Council should concentrate on the things they are responsible for and they can improve on, and we all know there are quite a few.

Priorities for our Council should be how Fremantle can attract new exciting retailers instead of opening more and more temporary pop-up shops. How can Freo City combat the perception that parking is a problem in the inner city? I walked past the carpark at the Italian Club on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at midday and there was plenty of parking just a stroll away from the Cappuccino Strip. The Point Street carpark is near empty on most days, so why do motorists keep claiming we have parking issues?

So to go back to the start of this ‘ramble’ we have every right to feel unhappy with the City of Fremantle about certain issues, but we should not be one-eyed about it and also acknowledge that many of the problems are not the responsibility of local government. So let’s write letters to State Government and demand they look after Freo better. My rather cynical view though is that no matter which political party is in power Freo has got Buckley’s getting much support from them.

Roel Loopers


Never too nippy for a ride

THE nip of a chilly winter day couldn’t stop these women from getting out their boobs while roller-skating through Fremantle last weekend.

Before you arc up in puritan outrage or go all pubescent boy and snigger, the women ask Herald readers to think about just why it is you’ve been conditioned to believe women’s nipples are so offensive.

“This is a protest about ridiculous double standards,” Hilton’s Tiffany Barton says. “Men’s nipples are acceptable but women’s are somehow offensive.”

The women got their boobs out and wrote their message on bellies as part of the global Free the Nipple equality movement.

• While most people were putting on extra layers in the lead up to ice skating at Fremantle’s Winter Garden Festival, this trio—Tiffany Barton, Alicia Asic and Vinny Shanti—did the opposite. Last weekend they rolled through Fremantle wearing skates but sans tops, boobs jiggling, as part of the international Free the Nipple equality movement.  Photo supplied | Tony Gajewski

• While most people were putting on extra layers in the lead up to ice skating at Fremantle’s Winter Garden Festival, this trio—Tiffany Barton, Alicia Asic and Vinny Shanti—did the opposite. Last weekend they rolled through Fremantle wearing skates but sans tops, boobs jiggling, as part of the international Free the Nipple equality movement.  Photo supplied | Tony Gajewski

Ironically, their nipples were covered up with gaffer tape during Fremantle’s topless run, “so we could share photos on social media,” Ms Barton, 45, says. This is no joke but Facebook allows all sorts of images to be shared but women’s boobs, including breastfeeding, can end up with swift censorship.

The women skated for about five minutes from X-Wray on Essex Street to Pakenham Street, passing The Monk on South Terrace.

A crowd at the Monk cheered and reeled at the sight of the “empowered” women, who say the Freo public reacted positively and there were “no pervy blokes”.

Free the Nipple began in Iceland as a social media movement against “slut shame”, embarrassment about the female form and the stigma of public breastfeeding.

by EMMIE DOWLING

1. OBH 10x7


Trio probed

A FORMER police detective has been hired by the City of Melville to investigate three serving councillors.

Brendan Peyton was hired to investigate councillors June Barton (a former mayor), Nick Pazolli and Susanne Taylor-Rees. The trio is often at odds with the council majority, led by mayor Russell Aubrey.

The Herald has not been told who at the city engaged Mr Peyton, nor why, nor how much the city was charged for his services.

Earlier this week the Herald asked CEO Shayne Silcox if a “private detective” had been engaged to investigate councillors. Dr Silcox’s answer was a resolute no. The Herald now understands Mr Peyton is not a “private detective” but a “licensed investigator” registered with the WA police.

We understand one aspect of Mr Peyton’s work involved investigating a lunch Crs Barton and Taylor-Rees had attended, which was paid for by a resident, and claims they should have declared it as a gift.

Lunch probed

The Herald understands the lunch was worth less than the amount required to declare.

We understand another aspect of the investigation was whether Cr Pazolli should have handed over a recording he’d made of a tense meeting between himself and the mayor; the recording later proved crucial in Cr Pazolli’s successful defence of a violence restraining order application brought against him by the mayor.

Mr Peyton is a decorated former WA police detective who served from 1989 to 2000. He’s conducted investigations in New York, Florida and the Philippines, specialising in Ponzi schemes. Now operating Integrity Management Solutions which conducts “local government audit, review and investigation,” he bills himself as having “extensive background in investigations, including conducting large scale public inquiries—leading multi-skilled teams in high level complex and contentious investigations”.

Mr Peyton was also previously a presiding member of the WA local government standards panel, the body that raps councillors over the knuckles for stepping out of line. Cr Pazolli was once referred to the panel (after Mr Peyton had left) for publicly questioning the city’s financial management.

by DAVID BELL

2. Clove Indian 10x2.3


Killer to get life

A FORMER journalism student from Notre Dame was sentenced this week to at least 16 years’ gaol after pleading guilty to the stabbing murder of James Tony Hyman.

Peter Fox-Slater appeared in the supreme court Thursday, where it emerged he’d mistaken the victim for someone he’d had a fight with earlier.

Mr Hyman had been sleeping rough at the port because he and his partner couldn’t bear to be separated and there’s a dire shortage of emergency accommodation services for couples.

St Pat’s family crisis accommodation is facing its own crisis, with state funding running out in May. It’s surviving on a donation from a anonymous benefactor.

3. Joy Kitchen 10x2.3


Softball superstar hands in her glove

“STRIKE three—you’re out,” and yet another dejected Victorian softballer trailed back to the bench.

It was underdog WA versus the highly regarded Victorians at the 1952 national championships and there wasn’t a lot for the rest of the WA team to do as pitcher Patricia Tatham (later Grice) struck out batter after batter with her lightning-fast arm and her about to become infamous “rising pitch”.

The Victorians had only been beaten once before in an Australian softball championship but this time they barely ran a runner to first base as the diminutive 26-year-old pitched an unprecedented second “shut out” of the championship, and the opposition failed to score a single run.

Tatham’s elated team mates chaired her off the diamond. She became the first Western Australian to be named in an all-Australian team.

• Pat Tatham (later Grice)

• Pat Tatham (later Grice)

Last week Pat Grice died, aged 87, leaving behind a sporting legacy that saw her the first inductee in the International Softball Hall of Fame in 1983, and her name inscribed on Fremantle council’s inaugural sporting wall of fame in 1988.

In her early 20s, she established the first Fremantle Women’s Softball Club, which later became the Fremantle Rebels. And, as publicity officer from 1969–1987 she raised the profile of the sport with weekly articles in the West Australian and the Sunday Times, going on to be elected to the committee of the WA branch of the Sports Writers’ Association.

When softball was no longer an option, Grice joined the Fremantle Bowls Club where, with her trademark fierce competitiveness, she won many a championship and served many years on the committee in a variety of roles from president to secretary—and as publicity officer.

Pat Grice’s funeral is at Bowra & O’Dea on South Street, Wednesday July 8, 10am.

Disclaimer: Pat Grice is reporter Jenny D’Anger’s mum.

by JENNY D’ANGER 

4. 360 Health and Community 10x3


Beetle burns

THIS VW Beetle was torched at the corner of Douro Road and South Terrace in South Fremantle last Saturday evening.

Local firies say it was the work of an arsonist, but for the poor owner pictured—who reportedly had popped to the shops only to return to find his car in flames—it’s unlikely anyone will face the music.

The Herald has learned car fires are pretty much ignored by authorities, unless they’re part of a “spate”. The firies say their investigators only look at multiple car fires, not isolated incidents, while the police arson squad don’t do cars at all.

05. 27NEWS

Police media spokesperson Susan Usher told the Herald local police would “make inquiries” if a car fire was reported, but she didn’t sound optimistic about any outcome.

“Unfortunately their lines of inquiry are generally fairly narrow unless someone comes forward with information,” she said. At the time of going to press the Herald understands the owner hasn’t lodged an official report with police.

5. Attadale Legal 6x2 M


Homeswest ‘hell’

06. 27NEWS

WESTRALIA survivor James Cain has gone very public with his protest against Homeswest, covering his Carrington Street front yard with signs complaining about disruptive neighbours.

Mr Cain, part of a team that recovered the bodies of shipmates killed in a fire aboard the navy oiler, says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and can’t bear the stream of party-hard tenants the department keeps housing near his home.

6. Bedroom Gallery 40x7


Tales of blood and bins

LAUNCHED a decade ago as a benchmark for social housing, the Cold Stores in Fremantle has become another Homeswest enclave plagued by drugs and anti-social behaviour, say residents.

One woman told the Herald things were so bad a while back her young daughter stumbled across a pool of blood left behind by a stabbing in their driveway.

Apart from internal problems at the complex, the woman says Queen Victoria Street more generally has become a magnet for drug users who throw used syringes on porches, defecate in the bin enclosure and fight at all hours.

“I feel sorry for the people who bought there,” she says, nodding towards the almost-finished QV11 apartments near Parry Street. Fremantle council is hoping the five-storey development will spark a renaissance in the East End.

“After paying all that money, if they knew what happened around here they probably would wish they hadn’t,” the woman told the Herald.

She’s had people jump her back fence to steal her daughter’s clothes from the line, which she can’t afford. Pleas for better security fall on deaf ears at Homeswest.

Another neighbour is fed up with messy tenants who let garbage spill out the Cold Stores’ skip bin. For 10 years she’s tidied it up but has had enough.

“I’m not going to do it anymore because a lot of the tenants don’t give a shit,” she told the Herald. “This is beyond a joke, and Homeswest says it can’t be expected to change people’s attitude.”

But the complex’s bin service seems designed to fail: just one skip services the entire block, and to get rubbish in, tenants must turf it through holes in the lid, about 1.5m off the ground.

• Mrs Mac has had enough of untidy neighbours and won’t be cleaning up their mess any longer. Photo by Steve Grant

• Mrs Mac has had enough of untidy neighbours and won’t be cleaning up their mess any longer. Photo by Steve Grant

It quickly fills up at the front and to get rubbish into the back a heavy metal lid has to be lifted up.

Mrs Mac says many in the complex are elderly and can barely lift their arms above their shoulders, even when they’re not lugging a bag of rubbish.

The poor bloke who lives closest to the bin can’t use it at all because he’s in a wheelchair.

Mrs Mac says many bags get left on the lid and end up spilled on the ground because the council contractor doesn’t consider it his job to clean them up if they break when he’s collecting the skip.

“It really stinks; this is a health issue,” she says.

Homewest general manager Greg Cash says the department will discuss the issue with the council.

But he denies the women’s claims living conditions have declined in the past three years, saying it is still a high-quality development.

“The Department of Housing manages 99 tenancies in the complex, the vast majority of which meet their obligation to respect their neighbours,” he says.

“The department has not been advised of anyone being stabbed in the car park at the Cold Stores.”

Mr Cash says contractors clean all common areas twice a week and notify the department if there’s a build-up of rubbish.

South Metropolitan Youth Link CEO Sam Gowegati says he’d noticed an increase in homeless people dossing in the area, before his organisation sold its premises to Defence.

He’d thought SMYL was doing the right thing turning a blind eye to people sleeping in a bus on its premises, but says workers became increasingly concerned by the level of substance abuse and anti-social behaviour.

by STEVE GRANT

7. Bentech 20x2


‘Green’ light for Roe

THE Roe Highway project has been given an official stamp of environmental approval by WA environment minister Albert Jacobs.

The Barnett government says the project—a six-lane highway cutting through the Beeliar wetlands—has a “pro-environment design” that will divert trucks from local roads and reduce accidents.

WA transport minister Bill Marmion says it’ll use “special construction methods for Roe Swamp bridge to minimise impacts to wetlands”.

Degraded areas of Beeliar regional park will be rehabilitated and underpasses built to minimise roadkill.

“This is an appalling decision by the state government,” Cockburn mayor Logan Howlett thundered in a statement.

“Wasting $1.6 billion of taxpayers’ money and trashing our communities will not solve the traffic issues and congestion.”

Willagee state Labor MP Peter Tinley told the Herald Roe 8 is the number one issue his constituents contact him about “by a factor of 10”. Hilton precinct meetings usually get about four people—this week 100 showed up to vent Roe 8 fury. He says it’s “not only economic vandalism, it is proof of environmental vandalism by this government”.

“They want to ignore all the science and drive a black scar through one of the most pristine remnant wetlands of the Perth metro area,” Mr Tinley says.

A protest by the Rethink the Link group will be held Sunday July 5 from 3.30pm at the Wally Hagen basketball stadium on Starling Street in Hamilton Hill.

by DAVID BELL

8. Big Fish Direct 20x7


Tip the TPP: Parke

IF Fremantle council thinks WA’s upper house is a problem for its plastic bag ban, wait till it comes up against the Trans Pacific Partnership, warns federal Labor MP Melissa Parke.

The TPP, as it’s commonly known, is an international trade agreement being hammered out in absolute secrecy between 12 governments and a handful of multinational corporations. Few details have leaked, but it is known to include a clause allowing multinationals to sue governments—including councils—over laws that impact their profits.

There are supposedly provisions to protect public health and the environment, but Ms Parke says precedents from existing trade deals have exposed them as toothless. Although the case is still pending, she points to tobacco giant Philip Morris’s action against the Australian government over plain packaging laws as an example.

“Even though the legislation was upheld in the High Court, Philip Morris has been able to launch action against the Australian government through Hong Kong because of an existing trade agreement,” the MP says.

She says it’s under this provision that Fremantle’s plastic fatwa might come under fire. Local opposition to fracking or big transport infrastructure projects could also be steamrollered regardless of who’s in government.

“There’s a number of issues with the TPP,” says Ms Parke. “Overall, it will impact on the cost of medicines—not just here but in poor countries—on labour rights, the environment, human rights and multinationals’ tax avoidance.”

• Melissa Parke and staffer Josh Wilson (who’s also Freo’s deputy mayor), worry Fremantle’s plans to ban plastic bags might could foul of a pending trade agreement. Photo by Steve Grant

• Melissa Parke and staffer Josh Wilson (who’s also Freo’s deputy mayor), worry Fremantle’s plans to ban plastic bags might could foul of a pending trade agreement. Photo by Steve Grant

She says pharmaceutical companies could sue the Australian government if their medicines aren’t covered by the PBS, leading to the scheme’s demise and the end of affordable generic drugs. She also fears the TPP will entrench the “ever-greening” of medical patents, where rights holders simply turn a pill that’s coming to the end of its patent protection into a powder then apply for a new patent to prevent cheaper generics entering the market.

Ms Parke says it deeply concerns her that disputes under the TPP are to be heard by a panel of lawyers and there will be no avenues for appeal.

“This is a panel of lawyers who could be acting for a multinational one day and then arbitrating a dispute the next. They’ll be massively conflicted.”

The MP has launched a new cross-party parliamentary working group to look at the TPP. It includes independent senator Nick Xenephon and Peter Whish-Wilson from the Greens, who are staunchly opposed to the TPP. The Chook noticed local Greens senator Scott Ludlam sitting in a corner during its recent launch.

Ms Parke was offered a chance to read the document but she declined because she would have had to sign a four-year confidentiality clause.

She wants the document debated publicly before it is signed, not after.

Ms Parke says TPP supporters talk about the supposed positives, of new markets and economic opportunities, but she says there are so many nasties that it’s not worth the risk. She is adamant the Abbott government should refuse to sign.

“It’s being sold as a trade deal, but it’s not about trade, it’s about increasing corporate monopoly rights.

“Where is the cost-benefit analysis?”

She points out the Australian Productivity Commission has slammed trade deals as pointless and says they deliver few benefits to Australia.

“The TPP sounds neighbourly, like gazing at a pleasant mountain scene, but it is a tsunami,” Ms Parke says, referencing the film Interstellar.

“I think it’s diabolical.”

by STEVE GRANT

9. Cockle Edwards 15x2 #2


Got a shovel and some gloves?

The Friends of Hollis Park in South Freo are aiming to secure a place in the record books THIS SUNDAY MORNING and we need your help. The aim is to set a local tree-planting record by putting 5000 new native trees into a a park in 1 day! It will transform the largely degraded area adjacent to […]

FREMANTLE PORT IT’S NOT FOR SALE – IT’S A LEASE

Colin Nichol takes on the tricky task of double-guessing the state government on Fremantle Port.

FREMANTLE port will not be sold, the state government plans to sell a reported initial 49-year lease on it. They are quite different situations. Leasing, not selling, means ownership will remain with the State. A hopeful aspect of the proposed privatisation of the port has been expressed by Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettit: “One potential upside is that planning control on Victoria Quay will revert back to City of Fremantle. “At the moment that sits with Fremantle Ports and the State Government. Despite Fremantle Ports’ good improvement in working with the Fremantle Council in recent years it would still be a better outcome if the non-operational areas of the port fell under the City of Fremantle’s planning jurisdiction”. He is right, it would be, but there is an alternative option with precedents. Commercial developments burgeoning at both metropolitan airports indicates a different set of rules pertains to that land: they are outside councils’ jurisdictions. Perth and Jandakot airports are on Commonwealth land leased to private operators in a similar arrangement to that likely for Fremantle, on 50 + 49 year leases. They sub-lease to businesses and operate outside state planning and retail trading laws.

In similar manner, the port being owned by the State could be leased to a private company which could sub-lease areas for development outside council control. In other words, no change. The key factor is: operator would change, not ownership. There is already a huge development plan for Victoria Quay, designed in line with requirements of the much-discussed State Housing Department headquarters and under a new regime, exploitation of harbour property need not stop there. The spectre of high-rise on the quay may yet re-arise.

A new operator would want to maximise their investment with development to the extent possible, but would this become subject to council controls as Mayor Pettit hopes? The Office of Premier and Cabinet confirms the State will retain control over planning. A new owner of the port would be governed by market forces and the profits from sub-leasing new building sites. The desirable prospect would be that a new owner would be voluntarily amenable to a greater degree to accommodating council than the mayor feels is currently the case, but they may not have to.

Other Australian ports are now privatised and provide examples of value-adding and of increasing charges to satisfy investors. There will presumably be option for renewal/re-negotiation under a head-lease agreement so the port may not return to state operation in any peacetime situation. Another significant point of similarity between airports and port is, they are strategic assets, in more than one meaning of the description.

The Fremantle Port - Night (photo by Peter Zuvela)

The Fremantle Port – Night
(photo by Peter Zuvela)

FREMANTLE WINTER REFLECTION

ice reflection

The Fremantle WINTER FESTIVAL is growing with the huge slide now also being installed but I have yet to see a snow cannon and something that looks like snow. Snow Land offers small buckets with frozen ice balls to resemble snowballs but it looks rather pathetic and inadquate, so I hope to see some artificial man-made snow at some stage soon.

The icerink is very popular and created some interesting reflections in the bright sunlight today.

The festival opens at 9 am and closes around 10 pm and there is mulled wine, hot chocolate, bratwurst and sauerkraut and other food and drinks, so bring friends and family and have a winter party on the Freo Esplanade.

Roel Loopers


STUNNING RAM ARTWORK BY GREG JAMES

ram 1 ram 2

Fremantle artist Greg James has created yet another stunning sculpture at his J Shed studio on Bathers Beach. The original fibre glass version of this huge ram was commissioned by the wheatbelt town of Katanning.

This brand new ram is for sale so if you’ve got a great spot for it in your garden, farm, or a local council playground, contact Greg and you’ll probably get a bargain for around $ 16,000.

Roel Loopers


South West Metropolitan Partnership Forum to address social disadvantage

Yesterday I attended the first yearly update on the South West Metropolitan Partnership Forum which brings together not-for profit social service organisations, all levels of Government, business, community and philanthropy to address social disadvantage in the local government areas of Cockburn, Fremantle and Melville. It was a quite inspiring morning showing how of innovative and […]

Have you heard of the Australian Climate Roundtable?

On Monday the Australian Climate Roundtable released a set of Policy Principles for Climate Policy, yet this announcement has rated little mention in the media. Is this surprising given the number of press releases on climate change and the fact that so many of these are thinly veiled lobbying for or against a certain climate initiative? Well yes the Australian Climate Roundtable press release was unique in two regards, both of which should have been seen as very newsworthy. Firstly the Policy Principles are couched in simple terms that everyone can understand, based on strong evidence and do not put the point of view of any business or sector. The second reason explains this, because the Australian Climate Roundtable is made up of such a diverse membership, which comes from influential employer and industry lobby groups, including the Australian Industry (Ai) Group, the Business Council of Australia (BCA), the Australian Aluminium Council, the Energy Supply Association and the Investor Group on Climate Change. Now what makes this so special is that they have found common ground with groups normally at the opposite end of the political and social spectrum; the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), WWF Australia, the Australian Council of Social Service, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and the Climate Institute.

Australia should sit up and take notice when such a broad-based collaboration of influential groups feels the need to join forces to speak out for our climate when leading up to COP21 in Paris. The whole world needs a resolution in Paris that sets us on the path of serious carbon reduction, don’t take my word for it, take the Australian Climate Roundtable’s word, because somewhere in that group is an organisation that you trust and respect.


TOUR GUIDES NEED INFO FROM FREO CITY AND EVENTS

It is not easy to deliver good and professional services to tourists visiting Fremantle because the volunteer guides in the major tourist destinations do not receive updates on what is going on in our city from the City of Fremantle’s marketing department, and festival and events organisors.

I am lucky to live in Fremantle and to know what goes on, but even I sometimes get a surprise to hear about sporting events, conventions, etc. Many of the tour guides I work with at the Round House do not live in Freo, with some coming from as far away as Joondalup and Armadale, so they are less informed about what goes on here.

Yesterday I sent office staff out to the Winter Festival to see if they had leaflets or at least a poster we could display, but there were none that would help to direct visitors to the Esplanade to take part in the skating fun. All we see is stencils on footpaths pointing to a Winter Garden, whatever that might be.

We don’t automatically receive festival programs at the Round House, and I assume they same applies to the other tourist attractions in Freo, so we always have to either phone or walk to the Townhall to pick up some.

There is no communication between the tourist attractions, so none of us knows what the others are doing and that looks unprofessional to me.

Would it not be very easy for the City of Fremantle to compile a list on Fridays with the coming week’s events, etc. and email that to the Roundhouse, Fremantle Prison, Shipwreck, Maritime and Army Museum? We should know about art exhibitions, sporting and music events, so we can inform our visitors about all the exciting things that are going on, but we are stabbing in the dark up at Cantonment Hill and that is detrimental to the service we deliver to visitors to our city.

We tourguides want to do better as we are keen to please all the delightful tourists who are so positive about Freo and our state, but those in charge of marketing need to keep us in the loop much better with weekly updates, so we are on the (time) ball.

Roel Loopers


Density Wars

The coastal strip where Perth resides is one of 10 Global biodiversity hot spots, it is seriously important for the future ecology of our planet. Lieutenant Governor James Stirling can be forgiven for not knowing this when founding the Swan River Colony in 1829, the local Noongar people knew it was special, but no one asked them. Now we do know the ecological importance, it is incumbent on us to stop the exponential spread of the metropolitan area as a matter of urgency. The Western Australian Planning Commission has released ‘Perth and Peel at 3.5 Million’ in an attempt to reign in urban sprawl, it’s too little too late but is a step in the right direction. The vibrancy of a city is inextricably linked to its population density, that density means not only populist events flourish, but also fringe events as well, these fringe events are the lifeblood of a vibrant, liveable city, think London, Barcelona, Paris etc. Urban sprawl is very expensive, especially for those least able to afford it. The further from the Perth CBD one goes the cheaper the houses, but the more expensive the commute to work and low density housing cannot support good public transport. The result is that the lower paid in our society spend the largest percentage of their wages on running cars. We must stop urban sprawl for environmental, social and economic reasons.

Last night’s decision at the Town of Cambridge to support Scheme Amendment 31 were baby steps in acknowledging the above triple bottom line issues related to urban sprawl. Listening to Community advocate, Keri Shannon one would be sure the sky will now fall in, the garden suburbs will be destroyed and over run with cars and parking issues. Kerri went on to say she is not against infill, only the location Amendment 31 nominates. So what does Amendment 31 nominate? Corner blocks larger than 950 Sqm in areas zoned R12.5 to R20, will be able to include group and multiple dwellings, but limited to 2 stories. The amendment does not recommend changing the density (increasing the R code number) from the current very low ones, and is consistent with the R-Codes for the existing density. In response to Kerri’s concerns, new development will require 2 off-street parking bays for each dwelling, and I think the Garden Suburb has long gone due to boundary-to-boundary very large homes. Kerri, what better place for infill than low-density suburbs close to the CBD and amenity of the ocean?

I congratulate Mayor Simon Withers and his Council for supporting Amendment 31. However as a society we must have the conversations with community to help people understand the greater good is at play here rather than destroying community with endless battles with people who feel they should be immune from changes to make Perth a better place.


OLDIES ALSO NEED INNER CITY LIVING

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


WALGA TO PUSH FOR BETTER COUNCIL GOVERNANCE

It is interesting to read in the article by Kate Emery in the West Australian that the City of Vincent council is pushing for changes to the Local Government Act and in a motion have asked the W.A. Local Government Association-WALGA-to suggest the State Government change the act “To enhance governance, transparency, accountability and consistency.”

I am all for that as many of the gripes the Fremantle community has with Council are basically all of the above, but it also should apply to State and Federal government where inconsistent governance has become a rule rather than an exception. The community gets very annoyed about piecemeal planning and ad-hoc decision-making.

Transparency buried in spin is also highly annoying, as is hiding behind commercial confidentiality, as the Kings Square project business plan debate has shown.

The City of Vincent also wants changes to the declaration of gifts and restrict gifts to Councillors. At present the maximum gift allowed is $ 300.00 but the City of Perth would like that to be pushed up as far a $ 1,000.00 because otherwise Elected Members would not be allowed to accept free tickets to events that cost more than $ 300.00.

I believe the whole free tickets for Councillors should be scrapped and only two Councillors per event should be delegated as observers and report back to Council. I have seen Facebook posts where Councillors ask who wants to come with them and that is not the way free tickets for Elected Members should be used.

There is no doubt for me that most Councillors work very hard and that it is almost a full time job to be on Council for a remuneration of under $ 30,000 a year, but I would like to see the standards lifted, especially more consistency and much higher transparency. It would keep all the cynicism and negativity away from social media, letters to editors and blogs and that would be a good thing.

Roel Loopers


Fremantle Logic

Tweet   Recently on the city’s website was posted a community engagement notice for 12 Parry Street, Fremantle – DAP005/15 So while I don’t think the size of the place is bad or it’s too big you really have to wonder how the city will justify supporting a microbrewery in a location like this. It’s clear […]

July School Holidays at Fremantle City Library

julyholidays

Balloon Artistry

Aaron Smyth presents two amazing balloon artistry workshops for 5-12 year olds. Learn from the master in a hands on workshop to create 2-3 different balloon animals of your very own.

Places are limited and bookings are essential.
All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tuesday July 7 2015
10.30am and 11.30am
For 5 – 12 year olds
Book on 9432 9766.

 

Lego Fun and Games Afternoons

Join with friends to build some fantastic Lego creations, compete together on board games and more.

Two dates:
Friday July 10, 2.30pm – 4pm
Friday July 17, 2.30pm – 4pm

For 5-12 year olds
All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Bookings essential, phone 9432 9766

 

Storytime continues throughout the July school holidays on Thursdays at 10am.

Recommended for children aged 2-5 years. No bookings required.


Filed under: Kids Activities Tagged: july school holidays, lego, school holidays

Smart & Smarter

I am all for a well informed ruling elite, so am a bit surprised at my cynicism over a study tour to look at Smart Highways; apparently Hon Dean Nalder, Transport D.G. Reece Waldock, MD of Main Roads Steve Troughton and ministerial staffer Michael Buba are heading to New Zealand to learn a thing or two about roads, Smart Highways to be precise.

Smart Highways monitor types, numbers and speeds of vehicles through the use of cameras, radars and loops, as well as the prevailing weather conditions. A sophisticated computer then compares the analysed information with an algorithm for the road. Information on speed limits and lane usage is displayed on overhead signs. Anyone who does not comply is booked. Having driven on the M62, a Smart Highway in the UK a few years ago I can testify they do reduce congestion and make access for emergency vehicles much better. But lets remember the M62 is a road ranging from 6 lanes to 10 lanes and carries 144 thousand vehicles per day, around 3 times that of Perth’s busiest roads. In contrast the NZ example is to address problems with the Terrace Tunnel, where 2 lanes merge into one, and subject to numerous accidents. The Smart aspect of the highway will be opened after the entourage has left, so at best they will be able to discuss the rationale for choosing Smart Highway technology and issues with retrofitting the technology to an existing road, something I would have thought was suited to Skype and email.

I think my scepticism is born out of concerns that the WA entourage could see Smart Highways as some sort of rationale for the Ste Government’s road building renaissance, I hope I’m wrong.

The group will then go to Singapore to discuss their taxi information system trial, and taxi booking app. Perhaps they should talk to Uber about that!

See https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/Barnett/2015/06/Harnessing-smart-transport-ideas.aspx


Fate of asylum seekers ignored in boats turn-back policy

The Abbott government's boat turn-backs policy may be a political success but it cannot be called a policy success, in the sense of 'saving lives at sea'. Who knows what has happened to the people whose boats are turned back? Certainly the Australian public doesn't know due to the extreme secrecy applied by the government.

Fremantle Councils Ideology Over World Reality

Tweet Mayor road projects around the world to ease congestion, make transport more efficient. Listening in council the other night you would think the Barnett government is the only one in the world building new road networks for private transport, good and services etc. Sadly again the political beast of fremantle Council roared again, with […]

GPP Agenda … 30th June 2015

AGENDA

Tuesday 30th June 2015 at 7.00pm East Fremantle Primary School Library

This Meeting’s Chairperson : – Coralie Clarke

Apologies : – Karl Paterson,

  1. High Street Report Update : –
  2. R2R / Tunnel under Fremantle Update : –
  3. Gibson Lower Park – access for wheelchairs, prams, bikes (Coralie) :-
  4. Parking at Gibson Park (Coralie) :-
  5. Gibson Park – Newsletter (Coralie) :-
  6. Gibson Park – Loudspeaker (Coralie) :-
  7. General Business :-

Next Meeting Date : Tuesday 25th August 2015

Contact Persons :

Annolies Truman- Ph. 9433 6946 Email : truman.healy@bigpond.com

Karl Paterson -Ph. 6161 5890 Email : karlrand@optusnet.com.au

Premier shows his true colours to Fremantle

Premier Barnett’s attack in Parliament on the City of Fremantle this week is a transparent attempt to shift blame for his own intention to break a promise to move the Department of Housing to central Fremantle, Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says.

“The Premier is wiping his hands of the people of Fremantle; his actions this week show he no longer cares about the future of Fremantle or the people that live here,” Ms MacLaren said.

“The Premier is attempting to blackmail the City of Fremantle by saying he won’t deliver on the Government’s promise to move the Department of Housing to Fremantle because the City of Fremantle has dared to criticise the Perth Freight Link.

“Of course Fremantle and every other affected local government should be researching and opposing the Perth Freight Link – it is a $1.6 billion taxpayer-funded project for which there is no public business case that will rip apart the southern suburbs.

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Threats From Premier Unaceptable

My morning coffee this morning was accompanied as usual by RN 7:00am news. What was different today was the faltering voice of Premier Colin Barnett shouting in parliament: “We will withdraw right now, is that what you want no housing in Fremantle, no housing in Fremantle.” The voice and message seemed to be from someone who has lost the plot. The outburst appears to be in response to a question in Parliament about a Weekend Australian newspaper report quoting the Premier as advising Fremantle (Council) “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

What seems to have the Premier so upset are comments related to the sale of Fremantle Ports on serious issues such as the future of the crucial cruise ship trade and none Port core business related land on Victoria Quay, which currently has plans for office and commercial buildings.

Let’s be clear about this, questions related to the proposed Port sale are a key duty of Fremantle Council in being able to protect the business vibrancy in our city. Council has not made a determination on the proposed Port sale, so an attack by the Premier on perceived opposition to the sale by Council is unfounded. Last night Council debated a motion on having a workshop to prepare “a submission for government on agreed matters” related to the proposed sale of the Port and the proposed Perth Freight Link. Once that process is completed Council, will hopefully have an agreed position on aspects related to the proposed Port sale.

Also determined unanimously last night was Fremantle Council’s opposition to the proposed Perth Freight Link. This determination was based on an independent technical report compiled by Curtin University’s Sustainability Policy Unit (CUSP), which is very clear in outlining the fundamental faults of the proposal. Had the State Government commissioned an independent report, rather than basing their decision on political idealism, they would also be aware of those fundamental flaws.

The City’s logo has the words ‘Nec Prece – Nec Pretio’ on it, this can be interpreted in modern English as ‘Without Fear – Without Favour’. I intend to follow that credo in my work on Council, and will not be influenced to threats by the Premier.  Local Government is an important and valid tier of Government in Australia, for one tier of Government to threaten another tier is totally unacceptable.


War powers reform is long overdue

Treatment of asylum seekers is awful, ugly, and illegal

2015 Fremantle Business Awards: A Celebration of Success and Resilience

The recent 2015 Fremantle Business Awards was the big talk of the town for all the right reasons. Over 440 people came together to celebrate the Fremantle business community and the people who invest their time, passion, reputation and most often, financial resources into getting things done in the Fremantle region.

The business community of the Fremantle region plays on a global, national and local scale, be it in export, tourism, marine, hospitality, construction, retail, professional, or community services. Let’s not beat around the bush, our region’s business environment has not been easy or predictable.

Our CBD needs to experience better days with more people on the street sooner rather than later. The change in value of the Australian dollar has seen exports lift, but a raft of marine, construction, engineering and other industrial companies have seen times change as a result of the resources downturn. Major project decisions for the Fremantle regional have already changed the focus and energy of debate and policy in an instant.

So the 2015 Fremantle Business Awards was a celebration of belief, innovation and, for many nominees, resilience.

To all the sponsors, finalists, winners and judges for the 2015 Fremantle Business Awards – THANK YOU! Each of you have invested significant time and resources in the event and your business. You understand Fremantle’s potential and want to see it prosper and grow.

The next financial year heralds new challenges for all. We are looking forward to delivering new business development programs, advocacy and networking opportunities as your partner in business.

Olwyn Williams

CEO, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce


Department of Housing Not Coming to Fremantle Confirmed by Minister

Tweet One WA public housing property destroyed or damaged by fire each week, estimates hearing told ABC “One public housing property is damaged or destroyed by fire in Western Australia on average each week, Government officials have revealed. The statistic was provided by the Department of Housing to a Legislative Council budget estimates hearing, with Housing […]

Fremantle Town Hall On Deaths Door

Tweet Tonight we see where council will pull the money from for the Town Hall restoration work. Last week at SGS we heard that the town has 12 months of life left as if it has to face another winter rain the damage. Even from google street cam it doesn’t look real flash does it, […]

Outrage at ABC a confection of hypocritical government

Key Lessons from Europe’s liveable cities for Perth (Part 1)

Greater Urban Density is the absolutely necessary (but alone not sufficient) ingredient for more liveable and sustainable cities. Everything else depends on getting density right. A clear consensus on “density done well” emerged from the neighbourhoods we visited in Europe. While there were variations on the theme is was mid-rise residential density that characterised the most […]

Failure to fund shark network could leave Government with blood on its hands

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has warned that failure to maintain WA’s network of expensive satellite-linked ‘early warning system’ shark monitors in the ocean could lead to the Government being blamed if a shark bite occurs.

 “If someone is bitten by a big shark off a Perth, South-West or Albany beach and it turns out that Fisheries’ monitoring device at that location was not working through lack of maintenance or replacement, then the question will be – would that person have been bitten if the early warning system was functional,” Ms MacLaren said.

“We are talking about high-tech, specialised electronic gear weathering rough ocean conditions; gear requiring maintenance by trained individuals and presumably, regular replacement.

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