Planet Freo

West End Update

Published 6 May 2016 by admin in The Fremantle Society Incorporated.

Dr Linley Lutton is an expert urban planner who two years ago warned about the damage Fremantle Council is allowing to the world famous West End. The photo below taken a few days ago shows the truth of his concern as the 8 Packenham Street Sirona development rises above the heritage buildings.

An abbreviated version of his letter is published on the Fremantle Society Facebook page but the 2014 letter from the Fremantle Herald is published below in full.



September 19, 2014 ·


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FREMANTLE city council is misusing its planning scheme to facilitiate poor development outcomes in Fremantle’s heritage-rich West End precinct.

The development industry argument that heritage hinders commercial progress is alive and well and people who try to voice their concerns are labelled “negative”.

Two over-height and poorly designed developments have now been approved in the West End (8 Pakenham Street and Atwell Arcade) because developers claimed extra height is needed in this height–restricted area in order to achieve commercially viable developments.

For years, in Perth’s CBD, cynical developers have shoe-horned characterless buildings behind heritage facades and this approach is now being applied in Fremantle where approving authorities are jumping to support their initiatives.

It was deplorable to hear that in Fremantle recently the council, at a specially convened meeting, listened to a conga line of commercially-focussed people speaking in support of the redevelopment of Atwell Arcade while one lone figure tried in vain to remind the council of its responsibility to heritage conservation.

What is glaringly obvious here is the powerful influence—both negative and positive—that sense-of-place has on urban dwellers is not understood. The unique sense-of-place associated with heritage environments is highly valued in most Australian capital cities because it offers respite from otherwise utilitarian intensity.

Sense-of-place triggers strong memories, attachments and behaviours at community and personal levels. Our very identities are shaped by sense-of-place. Fremantle’s West End precinct, regarded as Perth’s most valuable tourism asset, exhibits a sense of place found nowhere else in the Perth metropolitan area. This is largely due to its scale, streetscape and evocative architecture. Alarmingly, a pattern may be emerging which threatens the overall integrity of this very special place.

Inappropriate developments are now being approved in the West End by misusing a clause in the town planning scheme intended to protect Fremantle’s heritage character. The clause gives the council the capacity to vary any site or development provision, without limitation, in order to preserve heritage values.

However, it does not give the council carte blanche to disregard other broader aims dealing with a variety of issues including preservation of Fremantle’s character. Paradoxically, this powerful clause aimed at heritage preservation is being cherry-picked from a planning framework to facilitate developments which compromise heritage values.

There are two critical points here. First, the capability of a property to return a development profit is never a criterion used to assess development applications. Only in major urban redevelopment areas is it considered relevant.

Developers always push the envelope and in localities anxious to see development occur they will try to convince gullible decision-makers to accommodate greater demands. Regardless of how compelling a developer’s commercial argument may be it has no place in any development assessment process. It was highly inappropriate for Fremantle’s design advisory committee (DAC) to cite commercial capability as a reason to support the Atwell Arcade development. This is an issue well outside this DAC’s formal terms of reference. Additionally, there is nothing in Fremantle’s planning scheme which allows variations to site or development provisions to satisfy commercial capability.

Second, Fremantle councillors, and the DAC cannot work outside the totality of Fremantle’s planning framework, which comprises many interrelated documents thick with phrases such as: developments are to achieve an exceptionally high standard in terms of appearance; developments are to be distinctive befitting their location; and, developments are to complement and contribute to the community’s desired identity and character for Fremantle.

Additionally, the DAC must satisfy itself that a development promotes character by responding to and reinforcing locally distinctive patterns of development and culture. A third party objective assessment of the two approved projects would most likely conclude that neither satisfies the broad intent of many sections in Fremantle’s planning framework including the overall stated aim to protect and conserve Fremantle’s unique cultural heritage. The approvals could be open to challenge because they so obviously ignore many pertinent sections of Fremantle’s planning framework.

Precedent is everything in planning and the precedent is now set for increased heights and characterless modern buildings in the West End. Preservation of the community’s desired character for Fremantle, a clearly stated aim of Fremantle’s planning scheme, has been ignored in order to satisfy development-driven commercial gain. Future developers can now expect height increases anywhere in the West End, even when the design outcomes are perfunctory and the results are clearly visible from the surrounding streets. All they need do is maintain the building’s façade, which they should be doing as a matter of course in this precinct, make a few internal heritage preservation gestures and then propose whatever they like behind and above.  In the process the West End’s overall cohesive scale and unspoilt sense of place is eroded.

The Fremantle community should think long and hard about its attitude to the West End because your elected members and their advisory committee are beginning the process of erosion and the character of this special place is not replaceable.

(6/5/16) Premier opens new $1.3m Leighton Beach facilities

Published 5 May 2016 by lawrenceb in News & Media.

A major $1.3m upgrade to public facilities at Leighton Beach was officially opened this morning by Western Australian Premier Hon. Colin Barnett.

The new facilities are the result of two years of community consultation and upgrade works to deliver accessible change rooms, an upgraded kiosk café space, public art works and native landscaping.

7 hours ago in Media release , Infrastructure projects
(6/5/16) Premier opens new $1.3m Leighton Beach facilities

New Leighton Beach facilities opened today

Published 5 May 2016 by Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog in City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt's Blog.

It was great to have the Premier down to cut the ribbon on the new Leighton Beach facilities today. They look fantastic. Here are some snaps from the morning. Below the photos is the speech I gave too. I’d like to welcome everyone to the official opening of what I know will become a much-loved new facility here […]

Camp filth fury

Published 5 May 2016 by Your Herald in Fremantle Herald Interactive.

AUTHORITIES who’ve turned a blind eye to homeless campers in North Coogee bushland for more than a year are being asked to take a tougher line because of piles of garbage accumulating at the site.

Hidden between the old and new Cockburn roads across the freight line from oceanfront Port Coogee, the campsite of four or five tents is extensive, and includes a makeshift ‘garage’ for a car.

Nearby residents who’ve been happy to let things be say the amount of rubbish at the site is out of control: strewn across about a hectare are piles of plastic bags, milk cartons, food tins, alcohol containers, old clothes, scores of tyres, a broken fridge, mattresses, toys and an empty LPG tank.

• Homeless campers have their own landfill site just across the tracks from swish Port Coogee. Photos by Steve Grant

• Homeless campers have their own landfill site just across the tracks from swish Port Coogee. Photos by Steve Grant

There’s so much rubbish it’s visible from space: the camp’s main tipsite can be clearly seen on Google maps. Even the living area is full of litter.

One resident said he’d been prepared to tolerate the campers when he stumbled across the site while bushwalking, but as the rubbish built up his blood started boiling. The site has drug paraphernalia and marijuana is being grown, but our resident says what really upset him was evidence the campers were keeping cats.

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The bushland is a rare haven for the local birdlife and is regularly visited by flocks of endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoos.

“I rang Cockburn council and spoke to a ranger a year ago,” the resident told the Herald. Shortly after, he was contacted by a representative from the WA Land Authority — better known as LandCorp, which owns the site — who promised something would be done.

He says the only action seems to have been a firebreak contractor trying to screen the biggest rubbish pile with flattened bushes.

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Cockburn council community safety manager Rob Avard denies rangers are aware of the illegal camp, but says LandCorp and police have now been alerted.

The Herald made several visits to the site, and while no-one was home at the time, a Coles receipt on the ground showed someone was there this week.

Evidence from belongings left lying around points to a group down on its luck, but with the wherewithal to install solar panels that charge mobile devices.

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They also show some gardening ingenuity; around the camp depressions in limestone rocks have been filled with soil and a fresh crop of cannabis seedlings is thriving.

LandCorp was approached for comment.


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Woolies exits

Published 5 May 2016 by Your Herald in Fremantle Herald Interactive.

WOOLWORTHS in Fremantle will close at the end of the month.

Staff were told last week the shutters on the Adelaide Street store will pull down for the last time on May 27.

A dwindling customer base and falling sales prompted the struggling grocery giant to pull the pin, despite 12 years left on the lease. A source close to an employee at the East End store says theft has been a major problem.

A Woolworths spokesperson says the company will try to redeploy staff to nearby stores, including the new Woolies in Port Coogee, opening next month.

The closure is the latest in a series of body blows to Fremantle’s ailing retail sector, and will dishearten those trying to enliven the East End.

• Woolworths in Fremantle is flying the coop. Photo by Stephen Pollock

• Woolworths in Fremantle is flying the coop. Photo by Stephen Pollock

Woolies shopper Michele Corbo says Fremantle is in danger of losing city status.

“We might as well take down our sign saying ‘city’ and put up one saying ‘village’,” the North Fremantle resident laments.

“Retailers are leaving in droves and the streets around Woolworths are full of empty lots and shopfronts. This city is in danger of having a massive casual workforce, who can’t get finance and will be forced to live hand-to-mouth.”

The news follows in the wake of SKS Group announcing its planned Hilton DoubleTree hotel—across from Woolies at the corner of Adelaide and Point Streets—was more than two years behind schedule, with the opening pushed back to mid 2019.

Mayor Brad Pettitt says the city will not try to persuade Woolworths to stay: “I would have liked it to stay, but it does not have the same strategic value as a store like Myer does,” he says. “Woolworths has always been in a strange location in Fremantle.”


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Dog-gone they’re back

Published 5 May 2016 by Your Herald in Fremantle Herald Interactive.

A PUSH by Cockburn council to allow dogs on a grassed reserve at Coogee Beach has infuriated locals, who saw off a similar push almost exactly one year ago.

Last year the council consulted locals to gauge support for allowing dogs to roam free along the beach.

Ron Blake and a small army of beach lovers collected 450 signatures opposing the idea — four times as many as those in favour. The council backed off and locals thought that was the end of it.

But last month Kevin Allen — a Cockburn councillor and dog owner, who lives a short walk from the beach — moved to initiate a change to council bylaws, which would allow dogs on the grassed area and car park next to the Coogee Beach Cafe.

• Ron Blake says Cockburn council’s move to allow dogs at Coogee Beach smells fishier than a washed-up snapper. Photo by Steve Grant

• Ron Blake says Cockburn council’s move to allow dogs at Coogee Beach smells fishier than a washed-up snapper. Photo by Steve Grant

The motion was approved unanimously on April 14 and the amendment is now out for public comment before being ratified. Mr Blake is incredulous.

He says it’s underhanded for the council to push through the item during school holidays, particularly given the change will go through unless there’s a public outcry.

“Once they’re allowed on that area, who’s going to police it when they start to go onto the grassed area near the kids’ swings, or onto the beach?” he asks.

“People will start getting used to them being there, and before you know it they’ll be thinking they’re allowed on the beach.”

Fuelling Mr Blake’s concerns, the agenda item was such a dog’s breakfast that Cr Lyndsay Sweetman apologised to the public, saying it was “embarrassing”.

A map showed just half the beach reserve and the accompanying text would have inadvertently allowed dogs on all the picnic areas.

Cr Sweetman says it caused a lot of unnecessary confusion; she was surprised when the Chook told her that according to the proposal, dogs would be allowed on the jetty.

Cr Carol Reeve-Fowkes was also unaware the changes would allow dogs onto the grassed picnic area behind the cafe. She said her understanding was it only involved the car park. She vowed to investigate.

Cr Reeve-Fowkes said she’d be guided by public opinion, adding last year’s 450-strong petition was at the forefront of her mind.

Mr Blake says he’ll be at the beach on weekend mornings, unhappily having to collect another bunch of signatures.


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Jensen goes out swinging

Published 5 May 2016 by Your Herald in Fremantle Herald Interactive.

TANGNEY MP Dennis Jensen is refusing to take his dumping by the Liberal party quietly, dropping a few hand grenades for prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in the past couple of days.

Dr Jensen, who’s considering running as an independent after losing party preselection last month, savaged Tuesday’s federal Budget as “a fudged opportunity” that failed to tackle the country’s $37 billion deficit.

“No real attempt to reign (sic) it in, just more spend,” Dr Jensen posted to Facebook.

A day later his rage hadn’t dissipated: “If [Matthias] Cormann was more focussed on his job as finance minister, and less as powerbroker arranging preselection, would be less deficit,” he tweeted.

“God help us if global interest rates go up. The small business tax relief is a good thing, but seriously, going 10 years into the future?”

“Where is someone like a Peter Costello when you need him?” he wistfully asked. “I contrast this term in government with the first term of the Howard government, where very real things were done to bring down the debt. Here it is being added to … shame.”

Earlier in the week, Dr Jensen added to a growing fracture in the Liberal party by publicly backing a royal commission into banks — a sore point given Labor has pledged one if it wins office while Mr Turnbull has ruled one out.

“We really need to have a thorough review of the banks; indeed, in my view a royal commission into the behaviour of the banks,” Dr Jensen said.


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Almost Kulcha

Published 5 May 2016 by Your Herald in Fremantle Herald Interactive.

KULCHA’S embers still flicker in Freo says local musician Mark Cain, even though a hoped-for replacement didn’t eventuate.

Following the multicultural arts organisation’s demise in 2014, he and a bunch of supporters looked into setting up a volunteer version. But the organising looked like mostly falling on his shoulders, and having to eke out a living playing music made that too much, he says.

But while the idea was still kicking around, he gathered a bunch of musos from different ethnic backgrounds to form Eastwinds, and they’re still performing today, having two Fairbridge Festivals and a National Folk Festival under their belts.

They also took out a WAMI award last year for best world music composition for the mouthful Blame Lulu Peanuts – Metsahällilaul.

“We’re kind of what’s left of Kulcha,” Mr Cain jokes.

• St Johns parishioner Bob Hewitt and Eastwinds members Mark Cain, Sanshi, Esfandir Shahmir and Kristiina Maalaps. Photo by Steve Grant

• St Johns parishioner Bob Hewitt and Eastwinds members Mark Cain, Sanshi, Esfandir Shahmir and Kristiina Maalaps. Photo by Steve Grant

He says there are other echoes of the organisation still operating around Freo, singling out Beleza Samba and Village Vibes, but can’t see it coalescing into a Kulcha mark 2 any time soon.

Eastwinds has also formed a strong connection with the Persian music community and Mr Cain which has resulted in several successful concerts in Freo.

Mr Cain says WA was “blessed” about 10 years ago when a huge number of high quality Iranian musicians moved here.

Another connection he’s made is with the Anglican church.

St Johns in Kings Square has been keen to bring new people in and recently opened up its doors to host a range of events.

Mr Cain says that’s a perfect opportunity for multicultural outfits like his, as it’s a free venue in the heart of Fremantle. It’s also got great acoustics, pipes in parishioner Bob Hewitt.

Eastwinds plays at St Johns on May 14, with doors open a 7pm.


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Boundary push advances

Published 5 May 2016 by Your Herald in Fremantle Herald Interactive.

GREATER FREMANTLE has collected the necessary number of signatures to force the WA Local Advisory Board to consider a boundary change with Cockburn.

The group handed the signatures to the board a little more than a week ago, after a couple of months doorknocking the area.

Organiser Adin Lang, who ran for Cockburn council’s west ward at the last elections, said the group collected 325 signatures. It had only needed 250 to launch the review, but he said a combination of enthusiasm for change and a contingency plan in case some were deemed invalid by the board led to the extras.

“North Fremantle was about 99 per cent behind going to Fremantle, while in Hamilton Hill it was about 75 per cent,” Mr Lang told the Herald.

A submission to the board outlined why Greater Fremantle felt the Fremantle border should expand from its current position at the end of South Fremantle and along Jean Street in Beaconsfield, to Phoenix Road.

“The reason people want to join Fremantle is they want to vote in Fremantle, they use the facilities and they want to be able to contribute to them,” Mr Lang said.


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Composer scores a hit

Published 5 May 2016 by Your Herald in Fremantle Herald Interactive.

YOUNG Fremantle composer Mark Holdsworth has added another bow to his list of awards and achievement.

Recently taking out the highest prize for musical education the Rupert Thackray, he’s also been commissioned to write a work for the UWA chorus and wind symphony.

“Almost 100 people will be performing it,” he says.

Holdsworth took out the prestigious Dorothy Ransom award in his final year at UWA, and has a string of successes with his music nationally, including being selected for the WA Symphony Orchestra’s young and emerging artist and writing the score for a movie.

• Mark Holdsworth. Photo by Steve Grant

• Mark Holdsworth. Photo by Steve Grant

Komm du, which roughly means ‘come thee’ is set to be launched as part of a birthday celebration for UWA music school head Alan Lourens and  composer in residence for the WA Symphony Orchestra James Ledger.

Already working on the commission before he heard about the birthday caused Holdsworth a bit consternation.

“It was a bit awkward…because it’s about death.”

The work is based on a poem by Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke: “The last he wrote before his death from cancer, and is really dark.”

With the death of a relative from cancer it was a subject close to Holdsworth’s heart, but it’s not doom and gloom but an exploration of the relationship of life and death.

You can hear it at Hale School, Saturday May 21, 7.30. Tix $25 on the UWA website.


Leftbank Fremantle Herald 10x7 Strip Ad (PRINT READY)

Parke’s parting shot

Published 5 May 2016 by Your Herald in Fremantle Herald Interactive.

OUTGOING Fremantle Labor MP Melissa Parke delivered a passionate valedictory speech decrying the inhumanity of offshore processing in federal parliament this week.

Chris Brown, Labor’s new candidate for the seat, warranted just one perfunctory line in the speech.

“…I wish my successor in Fremantle for Labor, Chris Brown, every success in the coming election and in carrying out this important role.”

That may have something to do with the fact Mr Brown is a vocal supporter of Labor’s support for offshore processing and, with the backing of key left faction unions, had defeated Josh Wilson for Fremantle preselection.

Mr Wilson, Fremantle’s deputy mayor, is a long-term staffer for both Ms Parke and her predecessor, Carmen Lawrence.

“Josh is an extraordinarily talented individual and I look forward to following his future career, wherever that takes him,” Ms Parke told parliament.

Mr Brown says there is no tension.

“I have worked with Melissa in the past on issues like the Perth Freight Link and after the preselection process concluded she has assisted our campaign in many ways,” he says.

“From attending events together at ANZAC Day, to speaking at our campaign launch, Melissa has been both publicly and privately giving myself and our campaign team all the support we have asked and more.”

In the wake of an asylum seeker setting himself alight on Nauru and dying from his injuries, Mr Brown says he still supports off-shore processing, but only if it’s done humanely.

“The facilities on Manus Island and Nauru to screen people seeking asylum in our country must be humane and offer people seeking safety exactly that,” he says.

“Recent events have shown that the Liberal government has allowed these facilities to operate more as punitive holding cells than a place where people can seek shelter.

“We have a responsibility as a country to be thorough in our assessment of those who seek asylum and also to make that assessment in a timely, transparent, and humane manner.

“The journey to Australia by boat is dangerous and the loss of over 1200 lives at sea by people attempting to reach our country is unacceptable and our policy needs to discourage smugglers from profiting off the suffering of others.”

Ms Parke declined to comment on her relationship with Mr Brown.

Notre Dame University political lecturer Martin Drum says Ms Parke’s career trajectory suffered because she was too virtuous.

“Melissa Parke hasn’t completely fulfilled her political potential because it was challenging for her to work within the Labor party’s policy settings, especially on asylum seekers, an issue which she was particularly passionate about,” he says.

“Some people might argue that she lacked toughness but arguably she showed a lot of guts in speaking out against party policy on a number of occasions. This probably cost her opportunities for personal promotion.”


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Long wait for facelift

Published 5 May 2016 by Your Herald in Fremantle Herald Interactive.

THE death of a man at the derelict South Fremantle power station last Saturday is unlikely to prompt authorities to rush redevelopment.

The Byford 24-year-old died after falling 15 metres through a hole inside the Gotham-like building, a favourite haunt of graffiti artists, photographers and adventurers since its decommissioning in 1985. The accident prompted renewed calls for the site’s redevelopment.

Cockburn mayor Logan Howlett says transformation of the heritage-listed site could still be 15 years away.

It was flagged for residential redevelopment in 2014 and Mr Howlett says the city is working hard to get things moving, but ultimately is at the mercy of market forces.

• South Fremantle power station — still a long way from transformation. Photo supplied | Ela Nuić

• South Fremantle power station — still a long way from transformation. Photo supplied | Ela Nuić

“The Cockburn Coast will eventually see 6000 new homes and around 12,000 people living in this new coastal enclave,” he says.

“The power station precinct masterplan was approved by the city in December 2014 and will eventually see the power station accommodating retail, commercial and residential components along with space for community activities in the surrounding locality.

“Whether this takes five, 10, 15 or more years is uncertain.

“Its transition from a light industrial area will occur as the market determines.”

Photographer “Cam”, who has done several shoots in the power station, says the site is easily accessible from the beach or through gaps in fencing.

“The only way to make the site safe is to knock it down or redevelop it,” he says.

Mr Howlett says improving security will be discussed with Synergy, which still owns the site. “Our understanding is that the coroner will make recommendations on what actions need to take place, if any,” he said.


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Cool opportunity

Published 5 May 2016 by Your Herald in Fremantle Herald Interactive.

THE rapidly cooling WA economy presents the Barnett government with an opportunity to protect sensitive Cockburn wetlands, says Melissa Parke.

The retiring federal Fremantle Labor MP says there is little need for as much land as the government wants, meaning the footprint of the Latitude 32 industrial estate can be restricted without impacting economic growth.

Ms Parke this week sent a submission to state cabinet calling for the preservation of existing rural areas in Munster, Beeliar and Wattleup.

The regions had been pencilled in for “industrial investigation” as part of the government’s Peel Green Growth Plan, a move which caught Cockburn council on the hop, as none of its plans for those areas involved industrial development.

Ms Parke says all previous plans had earmarked the regions as buffer zones between industry and environmental and residential areas.

“There is no need to expand the Latitude 32 industrial zone,” Ms Parke wrote. “This area was resumed 15 years ago for industrial development at a cost of $164 million but remains largely undeveloped and plans for developing associated freight and port facilities remain, at best, unsettled.

“The environmental value of the Thomson Lake wetland and the protective buffer that the adjacent private bushland properties provide to the lake and urban residential estates is clear and cannot be overstated.”

Ms Parke noted landowners had been forbidden from clearing their blocks without hard-to-obtain approval.

Thomsons Lake is listed as an internationally-important wetland as it’s a stopover for several species of migratory birds.

The federal environment department is also investigating whether banksia woodlands, which cover most of the area in question, should be upgraded to endangered.

A draft report it’s working to recommends the upgrade, saying land clearing had resulted in a severe decline in 67 per cent of the local woodlands. The report says ongoing threats include mining, climate change, dieback, the decline of pollinating and seed-dispersing fauna, as well as several others.

LandCorp, which is developing Latitude 32, says it’s working with the WA planning department to speed up structure planning and approvals.

Chief operations officer Dean Mudford disputes Ms Parke’s estimate of the development’s cost, saying so far on $64m has been spent. He says 60 per cent of Latitude 32’s first release is sold (faster than Canning Vale’s upon release), bringing in businesses such as Southern Steel and Atco. But he concedes the GFC and the more recent domestic downturn have put it behind.

“The structure plan for development area 3, which cover 311 hectares, was approved in October 2015 and landowners within this precinct are already extracting sand and limestone,” Mr Mudford said.

He says another three areas will have work towards structure plans underway this year, and the lot will be ready for build-out by the end of next year.

Noting 85 per cent of the land is privately owned, he says when fully developed Latitude 32 will be part of what is being called the “Western Trade Coast” which is expected to employ more than 22,000 and contribute $28 billion to WA economy’s annually.


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Published 5 May 2016 by freoview in Freo's View.

There is an intriguing new aspect to the Fremantle Kings Square project with valuer Blake Smith of M3 Properties WA, one of the consultants of the KS project, being accused in the Federal Court for alleged misleading or deceptive conduct and misleading property valuation, together with Ibex Capital MD Charlie Robertson and corporate lawyer David Paganin.

A group of high-profile investors in the Busselton Aqua Resort development claimed the financial disaster of the project would never have happened if not for misleading property valuation, according to a report in yesterday’s West Australian.

Council told the Federal Court that the project would not have got financing if more accurate valuation had been given to investors in 2008.

There is also controversy in Fremantle about the valuation of properties of the Kings Square Project so the outcome of the court case has some significance for the City of Fremantle. Justice Michael Barker reserved his decision on the Aqua Resort case, so no one is guilty of anything until the Justice has released his findings.

Roel Loopers


Published 5 May 2016 by freoview in Freo's View.

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Nature is true art, and the great thing about it is that it is free for all and not pretentious. Nature does not need conceptual thought processes and ego driven artist’s statements, but just blasts in all it’s glory any time of the day or night.

I shot these photos at the Fremantle South Mole this morning around 7.30.

Roel Loopers


Published 5 May 2016 by freoview in Freo's View.

A report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found that Fremantle Ports did not have adequate assessment procedures in place to deal with adverse weather conditions that could likely be expected to occur.

The report came after an investigation into the August 17, 2014 accident when two ships broke their moorings in a severe thunderstorm, with one hitting the old railway bridge.

The 190-metre-long RoRo vehicle vessel Grand Pioneer and the 140-metre-long cargo ship AAL Fremantle came lose and the AAL Fremantle hit the bridge and the fuel tanker Parmelia 1.

The report said it was likely that ramp of the RoRo vessel had hit the bollard to which the stern lines were attached and it ripped off.

Additional safety measures and fenders have since been placed around the railway and traffic bridges to prevent vessels hitting them.

Roel Loopers


Published 5 May 2016 by freoview in Freo's View.

Zydecats at the Club Sunday May 8th


Hey kids, here something special to buy mum for Mothers Day this Sunday! The dance inspiring Zydecats are playing at the Fremantle Workers Club at the South Fremantle Football Club at Fremantle Oval this Sunday for next to nothing, so bring mum along for high energy music that makes you feel alive in every pore of your body.

To make it even more special Freo music legend Jim Fisher will be performing with the Zydecats, so don’t let mum miss out on it.

Entry fee is $ 5 for members and just $ 10 for non members and the fun is on from 6-9 pm.

It’s happy hour from 5.30to 6.30 and Venezuelan food will be for sale.

Roel Loopers

New Freo business of the week: La Sosta. Authentic Italian Goes Up Stairs

Published 5 May 2016 by Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog in City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt's Blog.

This week’s new business of the week is not exactly new although their location and new size certainly is. La Sosta was a well-kept secret for lovers of authentic Italian cuisine and was tucked into small, understated premises on Market Street. Last week though they made the ambitious shift of relocating upstairs (above where they […]


Published 5 May 2016 by freoview in Freo's View.

I am very surprised to hear that the Woolworths supermarket in the Adelaide Plaza, opposite the Princess May Park will be closing its doors at the end of May. There is no doubt that the supermarket has been struggling for the last few years but hanging in there for the long run would have seem a better decision.

The east of Fremantle’s CBD is thriving with a building boom and thousands more residents moving soon into the Heirloom by Match apartment building, the Defence Housing projects and other development at Beach and Queen Victoria Street. The Woolstores Shopping Centre will also be developed soon and that will mean the closure of the Coles supermarket there, so Woolworths would have been the only supermarket in that part of the city. I am stunned they are not holding on so close to the end of the shoppers draught.

Sirona Capital, who own the Adelaide Plaza building, say they will reposition it as a retail and commercial facility and rework the retail space for various uses that may include a smaller grocery and fresh food offering or convert the plaza for commercial and medical services.

It would be a perfect location for a good IGA supermarket, and there will be need for it in the very near future!

In Market Street the Home Provedore kitchen shop is for sale as an ongoing business, so more changes in Freo.

Roel Loopers


Published 5 May 2016 by freoview in Freo's View.

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Almost unnoticed the State Government is spending $ 3.8 million on new floating pens and safety improvements in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and the partial demolition and reconstruction of jetties.

Very disappointing to hear that very many car tyres had been dumped in the harbour by uncaring boat owners. It is a disgrace that those who so much enjoy the ocean and nature would soil it and not care for it.

Roel Loopers

Winners of the inaugural #MyFreoStory video competition

Published 4 May 2016 by Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog in City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt's Blog.

The City of Fremantle is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural #MyFreoStory video competition! Overall winner – Shakey’s Story by Oliver Oldroyd and Stevie James Smith People Choice winner – A Journey Through Freo by Radheya Jegatheva The winners were congratulated last Friday and presented with their prizes which included $2 250 cash for […]

How would you use $100,000 to create a culture of connection in Fremantle? EOI Workshops 9 & 16 May

Published 4 May 2016 by Dylan Smith in Fremantle Foundation.

This year Impact100 Fremantle is asking - How do we create a culture of connection?

We are encouraging everyone with a creative idea or successful current program to apply for the Major Grant of $100,000

Impact100 Fremantle 2016 EOI Workshops

We are holding two EOI Workshops to help applicants prepare a submission. At the workshop you will:

Please RSVP using the links below. 

Impact100 Fremantle 2016 EOI Workshop 1

Monday 9th May
12.30pm – 2.30pm
Fremantle Chamber of Commerce
16 Phillimore Street

RSVP to workshop #1 by clicking here

Impact100 Fremantle 2016 EOI Workshop 2

Monday 16th May
12.30pm – 2.30pm
Fremantle Chamber of Commerce
16 Phillimore Street

RSVP to workshop #2 by clicking here

Impact100 Fremantle 2016 – How do we create a culture of connection?

We are inviting submissions for creative projects that enrich our community and public spaces with joy and inspiration.

We encourage initiatives that have strong collaboration to achieve this outcome.

While creativity is a key theme this year, we are open to submissions from any area of social impact.

We are open to all ideas. Initiatives may create a culture of connection through:

If your organisation are interested in applying for Impact100 Fremantle 2016 please Click Here to download an Expression of Interest Form for more information. 

The closing deadline for EOI Applications is 5pm, 5 June 2016.

For more information about Impact100 Fremantle visit


The post How would you use $100,000 to create a culture of connection in Fremantle? EOI Workshops 9 & 16 May appeared first on Fremantle Foundation.


Published 4 May 2016 by freoview in Freo's View.

A comedian suggested on TV the other day that we should start a second internet where we don’t get all the rubbish and spam. Of course the idea was only tongue in cheek, but I am wondering how we can improve the net, especially social media.

Facebook drowns in spam advertising, making it a real pain to find the postings one is interested in as it takes forever to scroll down pages without stumbling over a million yoga classes, people offering services, etc.

I decided to keep this Freo’s View blog advertising free to retain the integrity and so that no one believes my opinion can be bought. It would be nice to make a bit of extra money out of this very popular blog but unwanted advertising is annoying.

The internet has given us the great opportunity of being able to communicate with the world instantaneously and that is a good thing, but sadly many people see that as an opportunity to be aggressive, negative and racist.

When the internet arrived we discovered there are many millions of experts on everything and the net became the voice of the voiceless and faceless, and of the anonymous who relentlessly attack, insult, defame and engage in unproven conspiracy theories. The internet made sarcasm and cynicism the new art forms in communication.

Facebook, Twitter and blogs receive so many negative postings that it is annoying, and social media is self- destructing as more and more people bail out and no longer engage, because there are still some of us left who believe that most people on the planet are pretty good.

It is up to Facebook page moderators to stop the trend of spam and negativity and be very firm and assertive on what is acceptable. Social media can be fantastic to get support and spread the word and it is the modern notice board of what goes on in our communities, as pages like Freo Massive show, but the negativity and unwanted advertising needs to stop.

Roel Loopers

Published 4 May 2016 by freoview in Freo's View.

Homelessness in Fremantle

Homelessness is a subject close to my heart, as I see no reason why people should sleep on the streets in a wealthy state like Western Australia. It breaks my heart to see the poor bastards sleep in doorways where they are so vulnerable to abuse. They are all around us and their numbers are increasing but society treats these people like the scum of the earth. Now that the colder months are here their plight is getting worse and they are freezing at night!

On Monday May 16 from 6-7.30 pm there will be a talk about homeless people in Fremantle in the Fremantle Library, so come along and see if we have any new ideas to solve this ever-increasing problem.

Listen to Chantal Roberts the Executive Officer at SHELTER and Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt.

RSVP essential for this free event.

Roel Loopers


Published 4 May 2016 by freoview in Freo's View.

NEPAL Concert May 15

There is a charity concert for the Gyuto Monks and the people of Nepal who were affected by the earthquake there at the Fibonacci Centre in Blinco Street on Sunday May 15 from 7-9.30 pm.

Johnny 3, AYA Band, Julian Silburn, Charles Snelleksz-Mathelot, Gemma Ooi, Eliott Avery, Nic Perkins, Rati Riccardi, Melly Naea, Amity Culver and Karl Hiller will be performing, and all that for just $ 20.00 and to support a good cause.

Roel Loopers

Senate inquiry unanimously recommends Federal Government withdraw its funding for Perth Freight Link

Published 4 May 2016 by Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog in City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt's Blog.

If you are interested in the recent Senate Report on the Perth Freight Link this here is the link to the full report. As the ABC reported “A Senate inquiry has unanimously recommended the Federal Government withdraw its majority funding for WA’s controversial $1.9 billion Perth Freight Link project in favour of an outer […]

Green your garden with subsidised native plants

Published 4 May 2016 by Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog in City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt's Blog.

Throughout May the City and APACE Nursery are offering all City of Fremantle residents native plants for your private property at the subsidised price of $1.50 per tube. It’s all part of our One Planet commitment to biodiversity. Don’t forget to bring proof of address with you when purchasing plants. Offer valid until Tuesday 31 May 2016. […]


Published 4 May 2016 by freoview in Freo's View.

Retiring Fremantle Federal MP Melissa Parke gave her last, valedictory, speech in Canberra’s Parliament House today accusing the government of creating hysteria in Australia over asylum seekers.

“I came into this place to represent the Fremantle electorate and to engage in what I termed the war against indifference. Before I expand on that, I would observe that there have been many wars fought in this place — the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on people-smugglers, the war on each other. Only the last one seems to have had any success, and that has been to the ultimate detriment of all of us, and of public trust in our political system.”

The ‘war on terror’ has too often become a tool used by governments around the world to suppress dissent, to shrink civil society, to curtail independent media, to increase surveillance of civilian populations, and to erode the rule of law and hard-won civil liberties. We are seeing this in Egypt, Turkey, Russia, Malaysia and Ethiopia, to name just a few countries, but we are also seeing it much closer to home.

“The war on people smugglers, accompanied by a faux concern for drownings at sea, has facilitated the profound deterioration in Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees,” Parke told Parliament.

The human rights advocate attacked the lack of transparency from an “increasingly militarised immigration and border protection agency”.

“The present offshore detention system is a festering wound that is killing people and eroding our national character and reputation. It needs to be healed.”

Melissa Parke proposed an increase in the present humanitarian intake and  said Australia should meet its international obligations and take in more refugees.

I want to thank Melissa for her tireless work for human rights all over the world and for her passion and integrity. I have found Melissa to be a absolutely delightful person and feel privileged to have met her on many occasions. I wish her all the very best and look forward to catching up with her in Freo.

Roel Loopers

Valedictory Speech: War against indifference must go on

Published 3 May 2016 by in Melissa Parke MP for Fremantle.

Valedictory Speech: War against indifference must go on

Ms Parke (12:17pm) — Thank you Mr Speaker, I have greatly appreciated the dignity and balance that you and Deputy Speaker Bruce Scott have brought to your roles.

I’d like to begin my parting speech by paying respect to the Nunnawal and Ngambri peoples as the traditional custodians of the land in the Canberra area. As was said by the former young Australian of the year, former Afghan refugee Akram Azimi, we make this acknowledgement not out of a sense of protocol but out of recognition that the dreaming has not ended, and we’re all a part of it.

I came into this place to represent the Fremantle electorate and to engage in what I termed the war against indifference. Before I expand on that, I would observe that there have been many wars fought in this place — the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on people-smugglers, the war on each other. Only the last one seems to have had any success, and that has been to the ultimate detriment of all of us, and of public trust in our political system.

The ‘war on terror’ has too often become a tool used by governments around the world to suppress dissent, to shrink civil society, to curtail independent media, to increase surveillance of civilian populations, and to erode the rule of law and hard-won civil liberties. We are seeing this in Egypt, Turkey, Russia, Malaysia and Ethiopia, to name just a few countries, but we are also seeing it much closer to home.

Terror is invoked by our allies to justify deviation from the international rule of law, such as extrajudicial assassinations, with the killing of civilians in drone strikes excused as ‘accidental’ collateral damage. Terror is used by Australia to justify laws providing 10 year jail terms for journalists who disclose secret intelligence operations; it is used to justify sending Australian forces to war in distant countries — wars in which the casualties are predominantly civilians — without any debate in the national parliament or the United Nations, and it is used to justify cracking down on certain communities, when in fact such actions may increase the risk of terrorism while undermining the very principles which are being defended, clearly a lose-lose situation.

National security is increasingly invoked by the government to surveil and monitor the Australian community while at the same time denying the community access to information about the government’s actions, for example, the claim by an increasingly militarised immigration and border protection agency that ‘on-water matters’ may not be publicised, or the lack of transparency in defence procurement. The mandatory data retention scheme, the gutting of Labor’s FOI framework, the crack down on whistle-blowers and journalists, the blocking of changes to political donation disclosure thresholds — all of these matters at the federal level, together with the increasing suppression of dissent through draconian anti-protest laws in Tasmania, WA and NSW, are troubling developments that seem to be taking Australia backwards, not forward as an open, democratic and progressive nation.

Our insistence on compliance with the international rule of law should be consistent and even-handed, whether we are talking about China’s island-building activities in the South China Sea, Israel’s settlement-building, the US’ bombing of MSF hospitals or our own treatment of Timor-Leste in relation to maritime boundaries.
The world-wide ‘war on drugs’ has been an unmitigated disaster, serving only to destroy young lives and those of their families; serving only to foster and sustain organised crime, and to massively increase the costs to communities in terms of lives and productivity lost, increased hospital admissions, and courts and jails packed with people consigned to a cycle of disadvantage and punishment. It is heartening that countries like Portugal and Uruguay are showing a more constructive way forward. The recent parliamentary drug summit looking at how Australia might move beyond the failed crime and punishment approach to a health and treatment-centred approach is an encouraging development and aligns with a global shift in thinking. I thank my co-convenors of the parliamentary group for drug policy and law reform, Senator Dr Richard di Natale, Dr Sharman Stone and formerly Dr Mal Washer, as well as the many experts, academics, public health, users, family and community organisations for their dedication to redressing decades of global policy folly.

The ‘war on people smugglers’, accompanied by a faux concern for drownings at sea, has facilitated the profound deterioration in Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, our compliance with international human rights obligations, and our own image of ourselves as the nation of tolerance, egalitarianism and the fair go.

The present offshore detention system is a festering wound that is killing people and eroding our national character and reputation. It needs to be healed. The government falsely accuses asylum seekers of arriving illegally, when as observed by the United Nations and the Australian human rights commission, among others, it is Australia that is violating its legal obligations. If we look at the many poor countries hosting millions of refugees in Africa, Asia and the middle east and the millions of souls trying to reach Europe, the hysteria generated in the past decade and a half by politicians in Australia over a few thousand refugees arriving by boat should be understood as just that. It is time for debate and policy on this issue to be based on reason, facts, perspective, and our obligations under international law, rather than politics. Many parliamentarians from different parties have been deeply engaged on this issue, Anna Burke, Andrew Giles, Sharon Claydon, Russell Broadbent, Cathy McGowan and Senators Sarah Hanson-Young, Lisa Singh and Sue Lines to name just a few, and I hope those efforts will soon lead to better outcomes. There is an alternative that involves establishing a genuine regional framework, working constructively with other countries in the region to improve conditions in source and transit countries and negotiating resettlement arrangements with other countries, including of course a much greater commitment on Australia's part to taking more refugees. Every year Australia accepts some 200,000 new migrants — if a portion of this number, say a quarter – were allocated to humanitarian places there would still be the same number of people coming to Australia overall. As we know, many refugees are highly skilled, they are keen to contribute, and they have shown great courage and resourcefulness in getting here. Such people can only enhance our country. We also need to treat decently those thousands of asylum seekers left in limbo in Australia on bridging visas without work rights. Refugees facing indefinite detention due to negative ASIO security assessments should be given access to review by the AAT and alternatives to indefinite detention. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said: “Human rights are not reserved for citizens only, or for people with visas. They are the inalienable rights of every individual, regardless of his or her location and migration status.”

As I have noted in this place before, the High Court decision in February this year upholding the offshore processing arrangements as constitutional was the result of the lack of human rights protections in the Australian Constitution, which as noted in New Matilda last week, “was framed before the post-war human rights era”.

This is why many people have been calling for a bill of rights or a human rights act, Australia being the only Western democracy without one. Of course, regardless of the domestic legal position, under international law Australia cannot contract out its legal responsibilities and remains responsible for the plight of people it sends to Manus and Nauru.

Looking at the sorry record of the wars on drugs, terror and people smugglers, I have tended to be against wars on things, as they seem to be mis-used by governments to impose a host of controls and restrictions on populations and to violate fundamental human rights without providing evidence for their effectiveness and fitness for purpose.

But as I have said in my introduction there is one war that I pledged to fight when I first started here — the war against indifference. Indifference to extreme poverty and the plight of victims of human rights abuses here in Australia and elsewhere, indifference to the growing extinction of species and the heating of the planet, indifference to nuclear proliferation, indifference to corruption and poor governance, indifference to animal cruelty, indifference to the marginalised, the disenfranchised, the vulnerable in our society, indifference to the need to safeguard and increase the public goods we all share: high quality public health and education, infrastructure, fair and safe working conditions, affordable housing, strong independent public institutions and respect for the rule of law, public transport, public broadcasting, support for the arts, science, our ancient cultural heritage, the environment.

In terms of improving the condition of humankind, in my view a shift is needed from the current economic orthodoxy, which is fixed on the idea that economic growth can and should continue indefinitely. In Prosperity without growth: Economics for a finite planet, UK economist Tim Jackson argues for a vision 'in which it is possible for human beings to flourish, to achieve greater social cohesion, to find higher levels of wellbeing and yet still to reduce their material impact on the environment.'

The parliament and the government play a critical role in regulating our market economy and protecting equity, justice and the environment; things that markets don’t provide or often ignore or work against.

However, governments at state and federal level let their communities down when they contract out significant public services to the private sector. Not only does this result in a focus on profit rather than delivering effective public services and safeguarding public goods; it exacerbates the trend towards greater and greater secrecy, when ‘commercial in confidence’ reasons are given for denying transparency and accountability about how taxpayers’ money is being spent and who is to blame when things go wrong, say in privately operated immigration detention centres, vocational training centres, prisoner transport services or public hospitals. Meanwhile governments render public services and institutions increasingly less efficient with the euphemistically named efficiency dividends imposed with every budget.

In 2011 in the St Thomas More Forum lecture, Chief Justice Robert French spoke of the concept of public office as a public trust. It is a notion with which I agree. My work for a number of years as chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, following on from my work at the UN on ethics and accountability, has convinced me that Australia needs a national integrity commission. Like my colleagues Stephen Jones, who was formerly in the community and public sector and Senator Nick Xenophon who is just naturally suspicious, I don’t believe that the Commonwealth sector is uniquely invulnerable to corruption; indeed there are, to borrow a phrase used by Premier Anna Bligh when opening the 2009 national anti-corruption conference in Brisbane, a number of undisturbed rocks lying around at the Commonwealth level and no one is picking them up to look underneath. A standing national integrity commission, appropriately resourced and empowered, would avoid the allegations of political bias, and the time and massive expense to taxpayers involved in setting up ad hoc royal commissions. It is imperative also to legislate strong protection for whistle-blowers in the private sector. Almost all of the scandals revealed over tax havens, misconduct by banks, foreign bribery, exploitation of foreign workers, animal cruelty etc have come to public attention through the courageous actions of whistleblowers and journalists, who often pay a very high price for their bravery.

The role of an informed and engaged parliamentarian, quite apart from one’s position vis a vis the executive as a frontbencher or backbencher, is undervalued in the Australian political system. All parliamentarians occupy a position of responsibility and privilege held by relatively few in the history of federation, affording the occupant a rare platform from which to represent their electorates and the national and global interest.

I am grateful to the Accountability Round Table – a non-partisan group of academics, lawyers, retired judges and public servants dedicated to improving standards of accountability, transparency and democratic practice in all governments and parliaments in Australia - for the parliamentary integrity awards named in honour of John Button and Alan Missen that were bestowed on Mark Dreyfus, Judy Moylan and I in 2013.

I am grateful to have had the experience of being a parliamentarian in government and in opposition. I am proud of the former Labor government’s achievements across many areas: the Apology to the Stolen Generations, staving off the global financial crisis in Australia, the carbon price and support for renewable energy development, the significant increase in Australian aid, paid parental leave, the NDIS, NBN, Gonski, massive investments in public transport, schools and local government infrastructure, removing discrimination against same-sex couples from over 80 Commonwealth laws, an Ambassador for disability-inclusive development, financial advice law reform, FOI reform and whistleblower protection for the public sector. Sincere thank yous to Professor AJ Brown, Howard Whitton, Tim Smith QC and the Accountability Round Table for their invaluable assistance on whistleblower protection. I am also glad to have received Labor government support in my electorate for local companies undertaking significant innovation such as Carnegie wave power and Richgro waste to energy. As an aside, I note that my constituent the Rottnest wind turbine survived former Prime Ministerial disparagement and has gone on to become famous with its own twitter account. The Labor government also obtained world heritage listing for Fremantle prison, the return of Cantonment Hill to the people of Fremantle from the Defence Department, the revitalised Hilton community centre, the maritime trade training centre at South Fremantle High School, the Cockburn integrated community health centre, Coogee Surf Life Saving club, Jandakot Fire & Emergency Services HQ, new facilities at Bibra Lake and of course marine sanctuaries. The largest network of marine sanctuaries in the world, which was begun under the Howard government, was delivered by the Labor government and it is essential that the 3 year hold put on the network of sanctuaries by the present government now be lifted. My constituent Tim Winton assisted the brilliant Save our Marine Life campaign when he came to the parliament to deliver a speech for the ages. He observed: “Commonwealth waters are public assets. The family silver. Silver that moves, breathes, swims. If you’ve ever swum in a school of trevally or barracuda or anchovies, you’ll know what I mean; it’s like being Scrooge McDuck rolling around in the vault.”

I am also grateful to former Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd for the opportunity to have served in the executive as parliamentary secretary for mental health, homelessness and social housing and as the first dedicated Minister in 25 years for Australia’s world-leading international development agency AusAID. The present government’s abolition of AusAID as a separate agency resulted in a large number of dedicated, experienced staff having to seek work elsewhere. The staff who remain in DFAT and the broader aid and NGO community must cope with changing mandates and rapidly diminishing resources, following the $11.3 billion cuts to Australian Aid - taking us down to a pitiful 0.22% of GNI - which we know will wreak devastating impacts upon the world’s poorest people. That puts us in the bottom half of OECD donors and it is the least generous level of aid in our history. It is a national shame that aid has such a low priority. It is also short-sighted because in addition to being the right thing to do from a humanitarian perspective, our provision of aid is also in the larger national interest, contributing to global and regional peace and security, and fostering economic development and self-sufficiency, which in turn expands our own export and economic opportunities.

Of course, some of the world’s most disadvantaged people are here in Australia. One hundred and fifteen years ago, Labor member for Coolgardie Hugh Mahon moved a motion in the first year of the federal parliament calling for a royal commission into “the conditions for Aborigines in northern Western Australia and into the administration of justice in the lower courts of Western Australia as it affected Aboriginal people”. He presciently argued that “in this particular matter the reputation of the whole people of Australia is at stake.” He was right, but his motion went nowhere. Mahon himself became the only member ever expelled from the House of Representatives in 1920, for disloyalty and sedition, after he denounced British policy in Ireland at a public meeting. I hope the motion moved by my colleague Graham Perrett seeking a posthumous parliamentary pardon for Mahon is successful.

Unfortunately, more than a century after Mahon’s motion, conditions for Australia’s indigenous peoples remain dire, with a young Aboriginal man more likely to go to jail than to university. Just a few weeks ago a ten year old girl in WA’s Pilbara region committed suicide, following her older sister’s suicide and that of many other young people. Deaths in custody like that of Mr Pat, Mr Ward, Mr Langdon, Ms Mandijarra and Ms Dhu keep occurring while governments remain missing in action on justice reinvestment, on the abolition of imprisonment for unpaid fines, on setting justice targets for Closing the Gap, on ratifying OPCAT, which would enable national oversight of all places of detention including police lock-ups, and on implementing the recommendations of the now 25-year-old 1991 Royal Commission.

The overwhelming message from aboriginal people is that they need to be an integral part of the discussion and decision-making around issues that affect them. A greater representation of indigenous people in parliament, including present colleagues Ken Wyatt and Labor senators Nova Peris and Pat Dodson, will surely make a difference, as will a fuller accounting and reparation for the manifest injustices done to the first Australians, the adoption of a date other than 26 January to celebrate our national day, long overdue constitutional recognition, and the preservation of indigenous cultural heritage, including languages and the magnificent rock art throughout Australia.

As noted in the former Labor government’s national cultural policy, Creative Australia, Australia is home to the oldest living culture on earth and we have been welcoming of the greatest diversity of cultures on earth. This is what has made us unique and it is why we have to preserve our culture, nurture it, invest in it and build upon it. Culture and art reflect our values — of inclusion, respect and freedom of expression — and they promote healing. There is no better example of this than the organisation DADAA in Fremantle working with disability and the arts.

There are also incredible economic dividends to be gained from the arts, because a creative society is necessarily a more innovative and productive society.

There are more than half a million people working in the creative industries in Australia, around 6% of the workforce, and the sector’s growth is almost double that of the rest of the workforce.

As the PM so often says, it is creativity and innovation that will power our nation’s future. So we need to tap into the passion and imagination that young people innately have and nurture it, in our homes, in our schools, in our businesses, and in our community.

Last year’s West Australian of the year neuroscientist Professor Lyn Beazley observed that one of the keys to redefining our nation’s prosperity will be an increased focus on science and the arts. The cuts to both science and the arts in the last two years have been devastating and must be reversed and funding increased. This is critical to Australia’s future wellbeing.

It is no accident in my view that while there are many artists, writers and musicians living in Fremantle, there are also many scientists and inventors.

It has been a joy to represent the wonderful, engaged, spirited, outward-looking, creative and caring community of Fremantle. I have enjoyed working with local councils, schools, church and community groups, on issues such as raising funds and awareness for homelessness through the annual Gimme Shelter concert, and being involved in community support for more humane treatment of refugees, increased Australian aid, and action on climate change, renewable energy and marine sanctuaries, as well as community opposition to live animal exports, supertrawlers and the proposal of the WA state and federal Coalition governments to fund and build the disastrous and poorly thought out Perth Freight Link, which would entail the building of a truck freeway through sensitive rare wetlands, ancient indigenous cultural heritage and local communities.

The phrase ‘think globally, act locally’ is well-worn but contains great wisdom. I have been fortunate in my professional life to work as a community legal centre lawyer in regional Australia, a UN lawyer and as a member of parliament. I have found that looking at any issue from a local, national and international point of view can raise wider perspectives and a range of potential solutions or actions.

Ultimately all issues are local issues whether you are talking about human rights, the environment, health or development. Rights and standards articulated in the international arena are concerned with the essential dignity of the individual and the community. These standards can only be implemented at the local level, whether it be planting a tree to combat global warming, vaccinating a child to reduce child mortality under the sustainable development goals, or protecting the migratory birds at Bibra Lake in my electorate under the Conventions on Migratory Birds.

Most of our efforts as MPs, and the efforts of those who come to see us in this place or in our electorate offices, are directed not so much at trying to change minds, but rather in getting people to care sufficiently about an issue to attend an event, to speak or write about it, to contribute funds or to vote for it. In a place and a time when everyone is busy, overcoming indifference is no easy task. It is often the personal connection, the real life story of individuals and families that helps to overcome political inertia on an issue.

A recent example is the moving story of Daniel Haslam’s struggle with cancer and the campaign that he and his mother Lucy fought to ensure that medicinal cannabis could be legally available to Australians suffering chronic pain, nausea or seizures.

Or the story of the incredible Peter Short, who while suffering terminal cancer, led the campaign to raise community and political awareness of the need for dying with dignity laws. The terrible execution of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia has reignited determination in the Australian government, parliament and community to see an end to the death penalty worldwide. I pay tribute to Philip Ruddock and Chris Hayes for their longstanding leadership in the parliament on this issue and to Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek for their international advocacy.

The plight of Peter Greste and his colleagues in Egypt turned a much needed spotlight on the issue of decreasing media freedom around the world. Again, parliamentarians like Jane Prentice, Graham Perrett , Teresa Gambaro and many others working with Amnesty International helped to raise the profile of this issue.
What these particular campaigns have shown is that parliamentarians from all parties, listening to the community and acting with the best interests of the nation at heart, putting politics aside, can achieve amazing thing together. This has been my experience working on parliamentary committees including the treaties, foreign affairs, human rights, and law enforcement integrity committees, and in parliamentary friendship groups for the United Nations, UNICEF, ABC, TPP, drug policy and law reform, nuclear disarmament, refugees, as well as Parliamentarians for Global Action, which is an international organisation of individual MPs from parliaments around the world that conducts campaigns on abolition of the death penalty, universal ratification of the International Criminal Court Rome Statute and the UN Arms trade treaty, among other things.

I want to thank the many colleagues and friends from all parties, as well as independents, with whom I have worked on so many issues across this parliament – too many to name without risking leaving someone important out. I have been the beneficiary of great acts of kindness in this place; some of them from unexpected sources. Everyone is here with the best of intentions and a diversity of backgrounds, experience and knowledge to contribute. As I said in my first speech, while I acknowledge that there is an aspect of our democracy that is necessarily and even usefully adversarial, I also believe there is greater scope for cooperative, consensus politics.

Many of us have been inspired by the people we have met and the stories we have heard, about suffering and about hope. Lyn White of Animals Australia uses forensic investigations and powerful advocacy to raise public consciousness of the plight of the millions of animals raised, transported and slaughtered for human consumption. Her efforts are reinforced by many other dedicated animal welfare professionals, scientists, journalists, vets, lawyers and community members too numerous to name, as well as some valued parliamentary colleagues including among many, Kelvin Thomson, Tony Zappia, Andrew Wilkie and Jason Wood, and I thank them for their support and their voice for the animals. I agree with the former President of the Australian Law Reform Commission David Weisbrot, who said animal welfare would be the next great social justice movement. Establishing properly resourced independent offices of animal welfare at federal and state levels should be a priority to ensure that animal welfare laws and policies are strengthened, harmonised and enforced.

As Members of parliament we frequently receive delegations of scientists, doctors and young people regarding the existential challenge of climate change. I will never forget the young people from the Pacific islands who came to the parliament to discuss the devastating impact that global warming is having on their islands, with increased cyclonic, drought and storm surge events, and sea level rise eroding precious land and polluting crops and freshwater with salt. There is nowhere for them to go. Australia has a duty as a high per-capita emitter to reduce our carbon emissions as a matter of urgency and to assist poorer nations to cope with the impacts of climate change.

Dr Hla Myint has been a frequent visit to parliament to raise awareness of the plight of the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar, often described as ‘the most persecuted people in the world’. It is to be hoped the new presidency will promote human rights for all in Myanmar. The Baha’i community in Fremantle, Canberra and elsewhere, have consistently spoken about the persecution of Bahai’s in Iran, an issue that I raised with the Iranian foreign minister and Ambassador recently, who gave me a good hearing. It is only through dialogue that understanding and breakthroughs can occur. As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, it has been wonderful to meet with HH the Dalai Lama and with members of the Tibetan community in Australia and in exile to learn about the situation of Tibetans and their peaceful quest for genuine autonomy and respect for their language, religion and culture within China. Giving the growing power of China, it is particularly important that parliamentarians continue to raise human rights issues faced by Tibetans and other groups within China including Uighurs, Falun Gong practitioners and the many courageous Chinese advocates for democracy and rights.

I thank the Palestinian Ambassador HE Izzat Abdulhadi and the Moroccan Ambassador HE Mohamed Mael-Ainin representing the Council of Arab Ambassadors for the recent special presentation of thanks to Maria Vamvakinou, Laurie Ferguson, Alan Griffin, Jill Hall, Craig Laundy, Sussan Ley, Lee Rhiannon and I for our work as members of the parliamentary friendship group for Palestine. As someone who lived in Gaza for 2 and a half years out of the 8 years I worked with the UN, it has been heartening to see increasing recognition in this place of the injustices suffered by the Palestinian people as a result of the decades-long occupation, the continued illegal settlement-building, the Gaza blockade and the discrimination within and outside of Israel. This situation harms everyone, including Israel, which will find it increasingly difficult to combat claims that it is becoming an apartheid state within the meaning of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute. I look forward to Australia joining the two-thirds of the world’s nations that already recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel and that support an end to the Occupation. Only a solution that respects international law and the human rights of all is sustainable.

[Speaker] I am perturbed by the recent report that the last visit by an Australian government minister to Australia’s great friend and close neighbour Timor-Leste was when I visited in August 2013 as International Development minister. I hope that Labor’s policy to enter negotiations with Timor-Leste and submit to international arbitration if talks fail will become bipartisan policy.

I also look forward to the long-suffering people of West Papua finally seeing justice and respect for their human rights, including self-determination.

The United Nations remains as important as ever, despite its flaws, and I am proud of Australia’s longstanding commitment to the organisation and to multilateralism since it was first championed by Labor PM John Curtin and Foreign Minister Doc Evatt. As a former UN staff member, I was appreciative of the encouragement of the former member for Fraser, Professor John Langmore, to establish the Australia — UN parliamentary group together with former Liberal Senator Russell Troode in 2008. The group is an important and I hope lasting development in the parliament, which complements the longstanding parliamentary association for UNICEF, which I have also had the privilege of chairing.

The United Nations’ annual peacekeeping budget, at US$7.8 billion, is equivalent to half of one per cent of annual global military spending.

In 2011, the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade inquiry into the 2009-10 DFAT annual report canvassed the enormous disparity in budgetary terms between defence and diplomacy: roughly $27 billion versus $1 billion at the time.

In the committee’s view and in my view, there is no reason why we should not invest in preventative defence in the same way as we do in preventative health and — in addition to the regular diplomacy work — promote the active work in conflict resolution or peace-making that might be done to anticipate and prevent wars from starting in the first place. This is something Norway does very well through the peace and reconciliation section of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Australia can play a key role in involving women in peacemaking processes in implementation of the landmark UN Security Council resolution 1325, which recognises women as active agents of change in conflict prevention and resolution.

I look forward to the day when the resources we devote to peace-making and peacekeeping are within touching distance of the resources we pour into weapons and war.

I also hope Australia will end its habitual stance of ‘strategic dependence’ on ‘great and powerful friends’ and forge a greater independence in foreign policy matters, as urged by former PM Malcom Fraser in his last book Dangerous Allies.

The Australians for War Powers Reform, of which Malcom Fraser was one of the founders, have persuasively advocated for the parliament to be required to give consent before Australian forces are sent to war. This was an issue I raised in my first speech and I hope it will be revisited by the parliament in light of the outcome of previous and current deployments and the practice of most comparable countries.

The Australian Conservation Foundation and ICAN, the International Campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, have pointed out the profound inconsistency of Australia supporting a nuclear weapons-free world while maintaining a defence policy that includes reliance on US nuclear deterrence. We have just commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. It is worrying that the government is intent on selling uranium to countries such as India and Ukraine that do not have good nuclear safety records. Given that high-level nuclear waste requires isolation from the environment for many hundreds of thousands of years, it should also be inconceivable for any government in Australia to contemplate Australia becoming an international high-level nuclear waste dump.

I am aware that I’ve touched on a great many issues but it is a complex and challenging world. Believe me, there are so many other issues I want to mention, such as marriage equality, the need to boost resources for community legal centres, legal aid and the Aboriginal Legal Service, to increase the pitifully inadequate Newstart allowance, to address violence against women, homelessness, social and affordable housing and mental health, including for veterans who have been too long neglected, and the elderly suffering great loneliness, to prohibit supertrawlers, to restrict alcohol and gambling advertising, to safeguard our fundamental public institutions like Medicare, CSIRO, the ABC and SBS, to investigate whether our patent system is promoting or stifling innovation, to act on the dangers of antimicrobial resistance and the need for better food labelling to allow consumers to make informed choices on health, environmental and animal welfare grounds.
But it’s all part of that same war, the war I mentioned at the beginning, the war on indifference that I have tried to fight all my political life. And you cannot fight a war without allies and so now I must get on with some personal thank yous.
I thank the parliamentary staff, David Elder, the clerks, the international relations office, the committee secretariat staff, the arts, library and Hansard staff, the chaplain Peter Rose, the attendants, the sergeant’s office, the security officers, the cleaners, the gardeners, Tim and the dining room staff, Alan in maintenance, Martine the hairdresser, Greg and the shuttle team and Comcar drivers. We as parliamentarians are surrounded by brilliant, friendly and professional people who help us achieve our goals in this place.

I thank the Labor party for the rare and precious opportunity to represent Fremantle in the national parliament and I wish my successor in Fremantle for Labor, Chris Brown, every success in the coming election and in carrying out this important role. I thank my caucus colleagues, past and present, for their comradeship and for giving me a hearing so often, even when they may have preferred not to, and I look forward to the election of the Shorten Labor government. I particularly acknowledge my colleagues Alannah MacTiernan and Gary Gray as the only other lower house representatives from WA — we hope that number will increase significantly after the election. I thank state Labor colleagues for their cooperation and friendship, Labor members and supporters in the Fremantle electorate for their steadfast confidence and support, and Labor members more generally who have communicated with me over the years to offer their encouragement.

Labor elders like Carmen Lawrence, Barry Jones, Gareth Evans, John Faulkner, Daryl Melham, Jim McGinty, Pat Giles, Peter Dowding, have been and continue to be inspirations, and groups like Labor for Refugees, Rainbow Labor, Labor’s Environmental Advocacy Network LEAN, and Labor’s new Animal Welfare Network LAWN contribute enormously to positive policy reform.

There have been many community members who have offered their support and encouragement over the years. I particularly want to thank Janet Holmes a Court, Sam Gazal, Ben Elton, Dr Luigi Palombi, Anna George, Zita Pal, Allan Behm, Harry Dixon, Howard Whitton, Tony Preston-Stanley, Svend Robinson, Humayun and Ruhi Kabir and Sena Wijewardane, as well as those friends who have passed on but remain with me in spirit: Malcom Fraser, Luiz Carlos da Costa, Jean-Selim Kanaan, Jean-Philippe Laberge, Dr Ern Manea, Dennis Tarrant, Roy Scaife, Liam Barry, Hank Helman, Mary Jenkins, Mr Hume, Peter Short, Laurie Humphries, Ray Lees and Don Buckingham.

I also thank United Voice, the MUA, CFMEU, CPSU and WAPOU for their support of my role in Fremantle, and the union movement generally for their campaigns on behalf of all Australians on issues like fair and safe working conditions, Australian coastal shipping, local content, the exploitation of foreign workers, the gender pay gap, Australian Aid, and the dangers in unfair free trade agreements and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The union movement, public health and consumer organisations, and AFTINET led by Dr Pat Ranald, have tirelessly campaigned to raise awareness of the dangers to public health, local jobs and the environment presented by trade agreements that advantage foreign multinational corporations at the expense of Australian democracy and sovereignty.

I especially want to thank my staff, past and present, for their hard work and their support, not only at election times and in the day to day work, but also for the ideas, the campaigns, and the many causes to which I have put my name, and by extension, their names. They have been unfailingly generous with their time, their friendship and good humour, and their professionalism. I particularly want to acknowledge my present team, Josh Wilson and Peter Woodward, who have been with me from day one, Kath Longley and Leeanne Willows, Cate Anderson and Nicholas Chinna, as well as assistance from Lesley Murphy and Helen Mills. I especially pay tribute to my chief of staff Josh Wilson without whom I could not have done my job. Josh is an extraordinarily talented individual and I look forward to following his future career, wherever that takes him.

I acknowledge the invaluable contributions of Patrick Gorman, Claire Davidson, Liz Nedela, Joseph Quick and Ron Mizen as former personal staff, as well as the advisers I worked with in my executive roles, and the irrepressible Neil McCann who came from Ireland to assist me in my first campaign. I pay tribute to my late friend and staff member Conor Murphy for his enthusiasm, work ethic and humour. We miss him very much. Conor had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He refused to let this rare disease stand in the way of his talent, energy and ambition — and among his many contributions to the greater good was his work as an advocate for better research, more coordination and more funding to tackle rare diseases.

I thank my dear friend Olivia Gesini and her son Ari for so generously welcoming me into their home during parliamentary sitting weeks. It has been a haven and Olivia has been an exciting travel and dinner companion on many occasions. Olivia’s parents Wendy and Raffaele have also been wonderful sources of support. Its lovely they can be here today.

I thank all my friends and my family for bearing with my absences; in particular my parents George and Lorraine Parke, my sister Georgina and brother in law Chris, my brother Aaron and his fiancé Emily and their kids Lucinda and Thomas, my brother Justin and my aunts, uncles and cousins for their ongoing strong support, including Ray and Eileen Sinclair who are here today. My family has been extended in recent years to include my darling husband Warwick Hemsley, his wonderful children and their partners and children: Meredith, David, Patrick and Sasha; Conor, Tristan, Max and Hamish; Alex and Mona. While I will never stop caring about the world we live in, I look forward to spending more time with them.

This is my 9th year in this place and I am deeply aware from my previous 8 years overseas with the UN that life is short and the timing of one’s departure from this earth uncertain. Being mindful of this every day helps keeps things in perspective.

Such perspective tells me (and I note Pat Dodson said it at the Press Club the other day), there needs to be more of a sense of urgency about the issues confronting our First Australians.

On 14 February 2008 I ended my first speech in this place talking about Heather Vicenti, a constituent and a member of the Stolen Generations. I’d like to conclude this valedictory by mentioning another friend and constituent Sealin Garlett, a respected Wadjuk Noongar elder, and a gentle and wise man. He has told me about the First People of this land, who shared strong and nourishing cultural bonds forged among family and nation members, and of how they were displaced from the land and consequently deprived of their economic base. He despairs for the youth and children who do not have hope. He sees the lost young people caught up in the justice system and addicted to illicit drugs. He message to us is: “We cannot turn back history. However, as we endeavour to journey together, I plead with you to listen to our Aboriginal brothers and sisters and especially to the young people; together we can find a way. I talk with you in truth. My heart is glad that we can listen together.”

In the Noongar language:







CoderDojo at Fremantle Library

Published 2 May 2016 by Fremantle City Library in Fremantle City Library.

What is a CoderDojo?
A CoderDojo is a free computer programming club for young people aged 7-17 years of age.
At CoderDojos, young people learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more.

Young people will be guided through the basics then facilitated in creating their own projects, Learn technical skills, work on fun projects, help each other solve problems and show off what you have been working on.


Bring your laptop down to Fremantle Library from 3.30pm – 5pm on Wednesdays to join in!
We’re also looking for people to mentor, no coding experience required but would be useful.
Sessions start mid May 2016, please download the form to register.
Return completed form to Fremantle Library or in person.

Filed under: Kids Activities Tagged: coderdojo, coding, programming

Homelessness in Fremantle

Published 2 May 2016 by Fremantle City Library in Fremantle City Library.

A presentation that highlights the issue, its causes, debunks some myths and misconceptions and discusses what can and has been done to address it.

Co-presented by the Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt and Chantal Roberts, Executive Officer Shelter WA.
Monday May 16th 2016, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Fremantle Library
Free – Bookings essential
Call 9432 9766 or book online

Filed under: Events Tagged: brad pettitt, fremantle, homeless, homelessness, shelter wa

(3/5/16) #MyFreoStory video competition winners announced

Published 2 May 2016 by lawrenceb in News & Media.

The City of Fremantle is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural #MyFreoStory video competition!

  • Overall winner - Shakey’s Story by Oliver Oldroyd and Stevie James Smith
  • People Choice winner - A Journey Through Freo by Radheya Jegatheva

The winners were congratulated by Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt last Friday and presented with their prizes which included $2 250 cash for both winners and vouchers from Fremantle Markets, The National Hotel, MANY 6160, Fishing Boat Harbour Trader Group and Bathers Beach House.

3 days ago in Media release
(3/5/16) #MyFreoStory video competition winners announced

Freo Traffic Bridge to Reopen (and we learnt a few things from it being closed too)

Published 2 May 2016 by Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog in City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt's Blog.

The good news is that Main Roads say the Fremantle Traffic Bridge is likely to be reopened in time for tomorrow morning’s peak traffic period after being closed last week for repairs. But the last three days have been instructional on a few levels. First, it has reinforced what successive Fremantle Councils, local state members, and even […]

Introducing our Fremantle Ball Event Partners for 2016

Published 2 May 2016 by Dylan Smith in Fremantle Foundation.

With less than three months to go until the Fremantle Ball 2016, we’re getting excited!

Get your table together, brush off your dancing shoes and get ready for a fun-filled night celebrating community spirit in Fremantle.

We’re keen to introduce our Event Partners for the Fremantle Ball 2016, together we’re committed to making a great night for you to enjoy.

Click Here to lean more about the Fremantle Ball 2016.

Book your ‘We Love Freo’ table of 10 now!

Meet our Fremantle Ball Event Partners:

We’re thrilled to have Liv Apartments on board as an Event Partner for the Fremantle Ball 2016.

The sod was officially turned in January on Defence Housing Australia’s new apartment and commercial space in the heart of Fremantle’s East End and already Liv Apartments are embracing community spirit in Fremantle and supporting the Fremantle Foundation’s Fremantle Ball 2016.

The name “liv” is the Danish word for life, it is derived from the Old Norse “lif” which means shelter or protection. The contemporary architecture of the apartments which features vertical lines, solid shapes and choice of neutral colours, echoes minimalism and functionality.

Liv Apartments will deliver long-lasting benefits to the current and future residents of Fremantle.

The project is a multi-storey development comprising 166 apartments with commercial and retail space to include a cafe, restaurant and/or bar.

When complete the development will become home to approximately 300 people, including private residents and Defence members.

It will also feature an expansive courtyard, helping to create more usable public open space in this up-and-coming area, which is currently experiencing a raft of new investment.

This development offers buyers the opportunity to live in the heart of this thriving port community with everything the city has to offer, from its smorgasbord of cafes, restaurants and bars, to its historical attractions, arts/culture, university, beach and harbour, right on the doorstep.

To learn more about Liv Apartments head to:

We’ve enjoyed the hospitality at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges since the inception of the annual Fremantle Ball so we’re delighted to announce they are an official Event Partner of the 2016 Fremantle Ball.

Located in the heart of Fremantle the team at Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges love Fremantle as much as we do, offering 300 guest rooms and suites, resort style facilities, restaurants, bars and WA’s third largest convention and exhibition facility.

Since purchasing the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges in January 2013, owners Primewest and Management Company Rydges Hotels & Resorts have committed to engaging with the Fremantle community.

One lucky table on the night will walk away with a table to the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges 2016 Combined Christmas Party!

Watch this space for more exciting opportunities from the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges to make your Fremantle Ball the best night ever…

Tangelo Creative are longtime supporters of the Fremantle Foundation and it is with great pleasure they return as an Event Partner for the Fremantle Ball in 2016.

A Fremantle-based design agency specialising in corporate branding and design for print, signage and the web, Tangelo are not only an Event Partner but also responsible for designing our incredible Fremantle Ball poster!

Want to become an Event Partner?

There are still opportunities for your business to become an Event Partner.

If you’re interested in discussing this great opportunity to market your business, help support the community and enjoy a fabulous night, contact us.

The post Introducing our Fremantle Ball Event Partners for 2016 appeared first on Fremantle Foundation.

Wine industry innovation bears fruit for regional jobs

Published 1 May 2016 by in Melissa Parke MP for Fremantle.

Ms Parke (4:15pm) — I take this opportunity to speak about the Australian wine sector, and particularly about the beautiful wines from Western Australia. Wine is a unique high-quality product created in 65 wine regions around the country,

including in the nine distinct wine regions of Western Australia. From the north-east to the south-west they are: Swan District, Perth Hills, Peel, Geographe, Margaret River, Blackwood Valley, Pemberton, Manjimup and Great Southern.

At a recent tutored tasting in Parliament House, held by Wine Australia, my colleagues and I heard about the wine sector's contribution to the Australian economy and the history, evolution and revolution of Australian wine to create the unique, distinctly Australian, fine wines we enjoy today. Each year, grape growing, wine making and wine-related tourism contribute $40.2 billion to the value of gross output and create 172,736 full- and part-time jobs. Importantly, many of these jobs are in regional Australia.

In 2015, exports of Australian wine grew 14 per cent in value to $2.1 billion. Research, development and extension are helping winemakers to sustainably manage vineyards and wineries to grow grapes that speak of their region and to craft better quality wines that reflect what consumers want. For instance, research is being done into how grapegrowers and winemakers can increase the presence and potency of rotundone, a compound found in grape skins that provides a distinctive black pepper flavour, discovered by the Australian Wine Research Institute in 2007. I thank Wine Australia for bringing this event to Canberra, and I acknowledge the important work of winemakers, distributors and researchers in this important market.

Today is a significant day at the City of Fremantle: We have a new CEO.

Published 1 May 2016 by Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog in City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt's Blog.

Today is a significant day at the City of Fremantle. Today our long-serving CEO Graeme Mackenzie officially handed over the reins to our new CEO, Philip St. John (St. John is pronounced ‘sin-jin’). I’m very pleased to welcome Phil to lead the City of Fremantle through its next exciting phase. He was chosen from more than […]

Australia responsible for asylum seeker welfare

Published 1 May 2016 by in Melissa Parke MP for Fremantle.

Ms Parke (1:30pm) — In the short time available I wish to raise three urgent issues. Firstly, I note the tragic passing of young Iranian refugee Omid Masoumali, who set himself alight on Nauru last week after a visit from UNHCR. He cried, 'This is how tired we are. This action will prove how exhausted we are. I cannot take it anymore.'

There are reports that he did not receive timely medical treatment. I agree with Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs that:

This is a shocking situation that frankly is not a sustainable one.

The second urgent issue concerns Iranian asylum seeker Behnam Satah, the key witness to Reza Barati's murder, who is detained on Manus Island and who fears for his life after receiving regular death threats including from guards at the detention centre. I reiterate my support and that of the many Australians who signed the petition calling for Behnam to be brought to Australia.

Finally, there is the appalling matter of the young African refugee woman who was raped on Nauru while suffering an epilepsy attack and became pregnant as a result. The young woman has been transferred to Port Moresby for a termination. However, such operations are illegal in PNG, and it would be difficult to find a doctor who would have the necessary experience and skills to undertake an operation that will be exceedingly complicated due to the young woman having been infibulated in her childhood—that is, subjected to the most severe form of female genital mutilation. It is imperative that this young woman be brought to Australia for appropriate treatment.

Australia bears ultimate responsibility for the plight of this young woman, for Behnam Satah's safety and for Omid's despair. It is time for the government to correct a number of great wrongs and end offshore processing.

The Fremantle Network tomorrow: Pete Stone shares his vision

Published 1 May 2016 by Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog in City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt's Blog.

Join us tomorrow as Pete Stone, the City of Fremantle’s Manager of Arts and Culture, shares his vision for Fremantle. Local musician and arts buff Pete Stone was appointed as the Manager of Arts and Culture for the City of Fremantle in 2015. Previously he was the Event Coordinator then General Manager of the Fremantle Arts […]

Petitions opposing live animal export, persecution of Falun Gong practitioners tabled

Published 1 May 2016 by in Melissa Parke MP for Fremantle.

Ms Parke (10:38am) — Today I wish to speak on two issues that constituents have requested I raise. The first relates to the live export trade. World Animal Protection has collected over 200,000 signatures over the past few years from Australian people voicing their opposition to the trade, and today I will present to the House another 8,822 new signatures.

Over the past more than eight years I have spoken here in parliament, in my electorate of Fremantle and in the wider community about the cruelty of the live export trade. We have seen exposé after exposé detailing the immense suffering of Australian animals used in this trade and we have seen public opposition and outrage grow after each new revelation. Unfortunately, the present government continues to expand the live export trade with no regard for the proper enforcement of animal welfare in existing markets or for the economic and welfare benefits of local processing.

World Animal Protection has commissioned independent research to analyse the costs and benefits of expanding the frozen meat trade rather than continuing to export animals live. The research demonstrates that farmers and local industry would benefit financially in the long term from an expanded frozen meat trade, the increase in domestic processing would create local jobs and the welfare of Australian animals would be significantly improved. Labor stands with the millions of Australians who believe that improving animal welfare should be a priority for government. I thank World Animal Protection for the independent research and for organising the petition, which I seek leave to present, pending consideration by the Petitions Committee.

The second matter relates to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Falun Dafa or Falun Gong is the peaceful spiritual practice that is traditional to the Chinese culture. In 1999, a survey undertaken by the Chinese government found there were almost 100 million Chinese citizens practising Falun Gong, outnumbering the 62 million members of the Communist Party. Since that time, the practice has been illegal and there has been brutal suppression of the Falun Gong.

In 2006, UN special rapporteur Dr Manfred Nowak found that two-thirds of all torture victims in China were Falun Gong practitioners. In March 2006, it was revealed for the first time that Falun Gong practitioners had been killed for their organs. Nobel Peace Prize nominees David Matas, a human rights lawyer, and David Kilgour, a former Canadian minister, in their report Bloody harvest:revised report into allegations of organ harvesting ofFalun Gong practitioners in China concluded:

… the government of China and its agencies in numerous parts of the country, in particular hospitals but also detention centres and 'people's courts', since 1999 have put to death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience.

The suppression of democracy and rights within China is well documented. It is important that parliaments and governments around the world advocate for the human rights of all within China, including Falun Gong practitioners.

I seek leave to present a petition pending consideration by the Petitions Committee, with 13,471 signatures, urging the Australian government to call for an immediate end to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Groups demand square rethink | Fremantle Herald Interactive, Plus a Little WA Inc?

Published 29 Apr 2016 by Mark in Fremantle Reform.

ABOUT 170 members of three Fremantle community organisations met Wednesday evening, calling on the council to rethink its Kings Square plans. Following a presentation by commercial adviser Martin L… Source: Groups demand square rethink | Fremantle Herald Interactive    “The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign lands should be […]

Fremantle Business Awards are back for 2016.

Published 29 Apr 2016 by Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog in City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt's Blog.

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the 2016 Fremantle Business Awards are back for 2016. Each year the Business Awards attracts over 400 business owners and employees and is a night to acknowledge the achievement and excellence of businesses across the Fremantle region. The Awards aim to increase recognition of the positive contributions of local businesses […]

(29/4/16) Green your garden with subsidised plants

Published 29 Apr 2016 by lawrenceb in News & Media.

Throughout May the City and APACE Nursery are offering all City of Fremantle residents native plants for your private property at the subsidised price of $1.50 per tube.

It’s all part of our One Planet commitment to biodiversity.

Don't forget to bring proof of address with you when purchasing plants. Offer valid until Tuesday 31 May 2016.


1 week ago in Community , Sustainability
(29/4/16) Green your garden with subsidised plants

Fremantle in Business

Published 29 Apr 2016 by Fremantle Chamber in CEO's Blog.

The walls of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Boardroom host the images and names of those who led the development of Fremantle’s business community for over 140 years. While history is a wonderful thing, the Chamber’s current focus is about the now and the future.

Celebrating Fremantle’s Success Stories

The Fremantle Chamber delivers the Fremantle Business Awards because we believe it is really important to celebrate the incredible personal investment, risk and innovation that makes our regional economy tick over.

There are no boundaries as to what size your business needs to be to enter – sole trader, small to medium, large, or not-for profits are all welcome. The Fremantle region is your playing field, think Federal seat of Fremantle boundaries and remember that entrants must have engaged in business activities within the region for at least 12 months.

We recognize that some outstanding Fremantle businesses have been regular winners over the past couple of years. So this year we have introduced a new rule:- win a category three years running and you will be ineligible to enter that category for a 2-year period. These consecutive repeat winners will be recognised on the evening with an additional mention. So cast aside any thoughts that the outcome is predictable – it really is an open field.

Today I send out the challenge to three sectors to get scooting and submit. Fremantle is renowned for hospitality, tourism and sustainability but you need to step up to the plate so that we can celebrate you.

No matter how small, no matter how big, we just want you to put your business, your story on paper. Then its dinner and the biggest celebration on the business calendar in Fremantle for 2016. Come and be part of the party!

Closing date for entries is 9 May 2016. For more information head straight to the website at:

Business After Hours – Engineering Consultants Australia (Thursday, 5 May)

The Fremantle Chamber Business After Hours (BAH) program lets you in behind the scene of our business members. So far this year I have learned a whole lot more about HR Data Management Systems (Far Data Solutions), Cloud Based Accounting (RSM), got to climb the floating dock at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, and golf (the intended consequence of a sensational bush walk at the Point Walter Golf Club). Each BAH takes you to a very different place and a very different business.

This coming Thursday, Engineering Consultants Australia are tweaking the model with a special BAH in the Fremantle Chamber Boardroom. Marc Greco (Director of Engineering Consultants Australia) and Mark Taylor (Consultant at Josh Byrne & Associates) will present on the current trends in relation to the electric car technology, social acceptance and market penetration in context to Perth. They will also discuss the international developments in this area and what WA and the general public can do to avoid missing out on this sustainable technology revolution.

Is your business geared up for the change to come with reducing emissions, different energy sources and sustainability? Come along and mull it over.

Business after Hours events are free and open to the entire business community. The only limitation is the number of people we can fit into our Board Room. An RSVP is greatly appreciated. You can book online via our website – click here to register your attendance!

See you there!

Olwyn Williams


Transforming our Cities for a Sustainable Future

Published 28 Apr 2016 by Joshs House in Josh's House.

The Grattan Institute and the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP) are holding a forum to see how transforming the way we use and pay for energy to power and access our cities lies at the centre of a sustainable future. The discussion will provide key insights into recent work on climate policy, electricity tariffs, solar storage and rail funding. ...

(29/4/16) Fremantle Leisure Centre gym closed

Published 28 Apr 2016 by lawrenceb in News & Media.

The Fremantle Leisure Centre gym is closed until mid–May for urgent repairs to part of its ceiling.

Works are expected to take two weeks, with all group fitness classes in the gym also cancelled. Access to swimming pools and the Aquafit program is still available.

We apologise for the inconvenience. 

Updates will be provided on the Fremantle Leisure Centre latest news page.

1 week ago in Infrastructure projects
(29/4/16) Fremantle Leisure Centre gym closed

METALurges at Moores Gallery

Published 28 Apr 2016 by Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog in City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt's Blog.

I popped into the City of Fremantle owned and run Moores Gallery today to check out the METALurges art exhibition by Ryan Cant. I love how Moores has a diverse by high quality range of art that rotates though and is for sale. It is worth checking out. It  runs April 22- May 8. Henry […]

Asylum seekers should not be political pawns

Published 28 Apr 2016 by in Melissa Parke MP for Fremantle.

Asylum seekers should not be political pawns

In the wake of the PNG Supreme Court decision regarding the illegality of detention of asylum seekers and refugees on Manus Island, I call on the government and the opposition to put politics aside and work towards a solution that upholds the human rights of all involved.

The Australian community is fed up with political parties continuing to use this issue as a political football while vulnerable people suffer. This is a sick game that must be brought to an end.

The offshore processing system set up by Australia on Manus Island and Nauru has always been unsustainable as there was never a plan for resettlement. Now the government’s chickens are coming home to roost: Australia should bring those detained to Australia and process their claims here. These people have suffered enough under a system designed to brutalise vulnerable people in the name of deterrence.

Under international law Australia has always been responsible for the asylum seekers sent to Manus and Nauru. Now the PNG Supreme Court has confirmed that the detention on Manus is illegal and the PNG government has confirmed that this is Australia’s issue to deal with.

As an initial step Australia should bring all of the asylum seekers and refugees detained on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia. Resettlement should be in Australia or in countries that can guarantee human rights will be respected. For instance, the government could accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 people a year from offshore processing centres. Given that this offer has stood for a number of years, this could mean that more than 150 people will be accepted by NZ.

Enough is enough is enough. It would be a tragedy if the coming election saw vulnerable people continue to be tossed around as pawns in a political dog fight. I call upon both the government and opposition to work together and with UNHCR and other agencies to find a way forward that is respectful of human rights and fundamental human dignity.

Tackling root causes critical to reducing youth homelessness - Greens

Published 27 Apr 2016 by Arran Morton in Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC.

Greater investment in early intervention programs will reduce the risk of young people becoming homeless in the first place, Greens WA Housing spokesperson Lynn MacLaren MLC says.

“The report released today by Swinburne University reinforces what the Greens and the community sector have been saying all along – we need early intervention programs and better family violence services,” Ms MacLaren said.

"While responsibility for addressing homelessness is shared by both Federal and State Governments, the Barnett Governmentr is guilty of making short term savings that will cost us all in the long run.


read more

Riding on pavement no answer to shortage of bike paths

Published 25 Apr 2016 by Arran Morton in Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC.

Bike riders who opt to ride on footpaths under a relaxing of the rules by the Barnett Government must take extreme care around vulnerable pedestrians, Greens Transport Spokesperson Lynn MacLaren MLC says.

“Bikeriders should be able to occasionally use the footpath because our roads are still largely configured with just cars in mind – however it is not an ideal situation and what we urgently need are more cycle lanes and paths,” Ms MacLaren said.

“As an RAC survey last month showed, a justified fear of traffic is inhibiting many people from using bikes.


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Coming to a Devalued Fremantle Suburb Near You Soon

Published 24 Apr 2016 by Mark in Fremantle Reform.

Driven by Fremantle policy here we see some of the impacts as Fremantle Councils Anti-car policy, small houses and parking bans come to your suburb soon. On Brads reasoning cutting out 2 parking spaces in or around your home could de-value your home value by a $100,000.00 Quite a hit with a stagnant market? One […]