FICRA Irrelevant

Contrary to criticism of me and my last post, by Maryrose Baker and Dick Baynham, “Fremantle Herald” reporters Brendan Foster and Steve Grant had a similar view to mine regarding the Public Meeting held by FICRA on Tuesday night.

Those in charge of FICRA, and still everyone is mute on the appointment of the Committee, decided to hold a public meeting to air their grievances towards Council but forgot that we live in a democracy and would not let the Mayor give a presentation to the meeting.

Brendan Foster and Steve Grant writing in yesterdays “Herald” compare the FICRA meeting where “Chair Dick Baynham wrestled with the crowd” and “Dr Pettitt-a keen skateboarder-told the crowd 21 per cent of young people were skateboarders, which sparked loud jeering and laughter” with the 120 odd skateboarders and their parents who packed the Council chambers on Wednesday night. “Councillor Dave Coggin, who’d championed the plaza, acknowledged he’d been rattled by a meeting heavy with Baby Boomers the night before, where mayor Brad Pettitt had been heckled over the proposal. But the 40-odd, polite young people who spoke at Wednesday’s meeting had calmed his nerve, he said, convincing him the plaza wouldn’t usher in an era of lawlessness but send out the welcome mat to a new generation of families. His short speech earned him thunderous applause from the gallery.”

FICRA you have been outsmarted, and your folly of being led by people who only have a heritage agenda has led to FICRA been deemed irrelevant.

FICRA Public Meeting

As reported on this blog, last night FICRA held a public meeting to discuss 3 issues:

1. The Warders’ Cottages in Henderson Street.

2. THe Skateboard Park at the Esplanade.

3. The Arthur Head Arts Hub.

Moderator, Dick Baynham, explained that John Dowson would do a 5 minute powerpoint presentation on each issue followed by a 25 minute discussion on each issue.

What I find intriquing is that the Mayor of Fremantle had offered to do a presentation to the meeting but FICRA declined his offer. Then for the moderator to allow the Mayor to be jeered whilst he was answering questions was highly disrespectful.

The meeting descended to farce when motions were put with no discussion, and motions were changed during the voting process.

An example is the 2 motions put forward by John Dowson regarding Arthur Head, one of which was “that Council review plans already in place then look at ways to go forward.” The meeting quite rightly asked “what plans?” Dowson could not detail the plans in question, and there was no valid argument that there was a problem at Arthur Head apart from Dowson stating that “everyone using Arthur Head is upset.” Who is upset, John?

Any discussion that agreed with the skateboard park was howled down, and debate was quashed prematurely.

Many of the 200 plus audience left well before the meeting ended and I must say that it was the most poorly run meeting that I have witnessed. At one point Councillor Andrew Sullivan tried to make a point but was refused the microphone.

In the past FICRA has supported the Ocean Pool but now according to John Dowson this is folly as it does not fit in with the heritage precinct.

The Mayor was accompanied by quite a few Councillors and I am sure that they all came away from that meeting shaking their heads.

One final point. At the start of the meeting, Dick Baynham introduced the new committee of FICRA, and after the meeting I approached Treasurer Craig Ross, who is a neighbour, and asked him who elected the committee. He said that he did not know.

I do, it was John Dowson, and as I have previously warned that he wanted to take control of FICRA, it now appears that he has achieved his aim.

 

 

FICRA

FICRA, Fremantle Inner City Residents Association, looks like being in the news, meaning tomorrow’s “Fremantle Herald”.

Several residents have been contacted by reporter Brendan Foster regarding issues concerning the number of projects in the City.

It appears that FICRA issued a Press Release after a meeting on 3 April advertising plans to call a public meeting to discuss 3 major issues of concern. These are:

1. Fremantle Council’s plans for a Skateboard Plaza on Esplanade Park.

2. Fremantle Council’s plans for the Arthur Head “Arts Hub”.

3. Fremantle Council’s plans for the Warders Cottages.

You will be able to read more about these tomorrow.

What concerns me as a previous staunch advocate for FICRA is that it has been taken over by former Deputy Mayor, John Dowson, who has identified the 3 major issues as ones that he had been working on, and proposed to use FICRA as the forum as opposed to the Fremantle Society. I have stated to him that is because the Fremantle Society is more active and has board members who are not influenced by him.

Unfortunately, former Chairman, Rob Harrison has relocated to Karratha but under his leadership FICRA had access to the Mayor and Councillors, and Rob led a very dynamic committee as well as organising many social activities. He also forged a strong relationship with Notre Dame University.

I have repeatedly called for a FICRA AGM, to no avail, so have decided that as John Dowson is the spokesman for FICRA I will take a backseat.

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