Jokers

As my loyal readers may have noticed my blog is now more active.

I am still vitally concerned about Fremantle and its politics but was happy to take a back seat to others, but the crap and misinformation being posted, plus the fact that Chief Blooger Roel Loopers of Freo’s View censors me by not posting my comments ensure that I keep reasonably minded folk alerts to the truth.

Very childish roel, I now feel empathy with Roger Garwood.

But the Joker is Greens Councillor Andrew Sullivan who provided the following rant on Freo View:

“Whatever people think of Fremantle Ports right now, this imminent sale will result in the social and environmental responsibility being stripped from a quasi-public body with some accountability to the people, and handed over cheaply to a wholly commercialised entity that isn’t even obliged to have a moral compass.

I happen to think the Port has been a reasonable ‘corporate’ citizen over the years. I dread what will happen when the port is run by self-interested corporations like Patricks or the types of scary clowns who operate shameless places like the detention centres.

Worse still, not only is Barnett willing to sell the Port but will use scarce funds to privatise the road that feeds it. Barnett & Abbott are racing to build their new truck sewer straight through the middle of East Fremantle and North Fremantle. In doing so, they will sever with the swiftness of a terrorist’s sword the connectivities that several generations of Fremantle people have fought so hard to maintain and rebuild.

Imagine a life behind high concrete walls that divides Fremantle like Berlin was. The freeway style toll road will make access in and out of our city centre hopelessly constrained especially from the north and east.

Picture freeway style road interchanges and Melbourne’s Westgate Bridge dominating our Swan River foreshore. What used to belong to us, the people, will be concealed behind large concrete walls rising several storeys into the air. We will feel like the Palestinians must as all the wealth is channelled secretively through Barnett’s truck sewer. Meanwhile, we the people of Fremantle will be denied access to much of what makes living in Fremantle great.

Watch as they redirect the budget allocations needed to replace the old traffic bridge that is now just one ferry accident away from catastrophic failure. Equally, the prospect that a dedicated bridge for freight rail will be built sometime soon is also sunk.

Lament the lost opportunities that results from spending $1.6 billion just to build the southern portion of this deceitfully named Perth Freight Link – who knows just how much more money is needed to rip through Canning Highway and the whole of North Fremantle to create grade separation for this super highway.

Not a single cent is to be spent on improvements to the freight rail system. We are not a single step closer to building the long planned overflow port at Kwinana. There is not a skerrick of strategic thought given to the need to reposition Perth’s port and freight network to take us sustainably into the 21st century and beyond.

A “Concern for Fremantle” is putting it lightly! It doesn’t much feel like Fremantle is on top of the ladder.”

Andrew, I have one question. Do you not want the City to receive $1 million of rates per annum that will come in once the port is sold?

You are the Joker.

Labor’s Pyrrhic Victory

The Member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke, is once again in denial complaining that the Abbott government has introduced 17 new taxes. Yet under the previous Labor governments a raft of new taxes were introduced: new taxes on carbon dioxide, coal, iron ore and alcopops; increasing taxes on tobacco, ethanol, LPG, luxury cars, superannuation, etc.

Following is from The Spectator Australia:

“By winning the battle, Labor have managed to lose the war. With such a monumental strategic blunder, Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen have in all likelihood handed the next election to the LNP, and rescued the prime ministership of Tony Abbott.

As we argued at the time, the cleverest course for Labor last year would have been to allow the Coalition’s 2014 Budget to pass through the Senate. In doing so, they would have achieved three important victories. Firstly, they would have removed the Rudd/Gillard/Swan stain of wanton profligacy which, instead, they perversely wear like a badge of honour. Secondly, they would have endowed shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen with some much-need economic credentials of his own – namely, fiscal responsibility. And finally, aiding the Coalition in reforming our economy would have allowed Bill Shorten’s Labor to paint itself as the true heir to the Hawke/Keating legacy; a powerful electoral selling-point.

At the same time, the government would have been forced to wear all the opprobrium for the $7 visits to the doctor, the cuts to the pension, the welfare crackdowns and so on. Labor would have been able to rant about genuine, as opposed to theoretical, examples of Coalition ‘austerity’. Come the next election, Labor would then be in the enviable position of being able to bribe their way back into power with a fistful of tantalising handouts because much of the repair work had been done.

Instead, so brazen and successful has Labor’s obstructionist Senate campaign been, to the point where they’ve blocked cuts they themselves had proposed, that the ensuing gridlock has forced the government to abandon many of its key ideological strongholds. Where last year Joe Hockey offered up sensible economic reforms but forgot that he had to sell them, this year the Treasurer offers up a swag of saleable goodies shorn of all the whiffy bits of reform.

The losers in the long run will be, of course, the Australian taxpayer. But, as has been frequently debated within these pages, a less-than-perfect Coalition is still vastly preferable to the undergraduate socialists currently occupying the opposition benches. Whether Tony Abbott opts for an early election, or to stay the distance and offer up a similarly gentle budget next year, the reality is that this government has abandoned ‘harshness’ for the time being. That it has been forced to do so by Labor and the wanton stupidity of the Independent senators should not be lightly dismissed. Much was made in the frenzied run-up to Budget night about ‘whose Budget is it anyway?’ One could argue that it is as much Labor and the Independent’s Budget as anybody’s, having been designed with the express purpose of getting through the Senate.

The Senate are now faced with either passing it or facing an early, possibly double dissolution, election. The Coalition can argue that they have listened, that they have responded to community concerns, etc. Labor, meanwhile, can argue… what exactly? That they would be tougher in government? Hardly. That they would be even more generous? That would be suicidal.

Yes, this Budget’s measures for small business and growth are to be commended, and the desire to crack down on ‘bludgers’ – be they on welfare or sitting in the boardrooms of multinationals – admirable. The politics of the Budget are perfect, the economics palatable, the selling messages spot on – but clearly the heavy fiscal pruning must wait until the next political winter, or perhaps the one after. As for the ‘entitled’ country, the music will carry on for a bit longer, it appears, albeit slightly subdued. We’ve turned the stereo down to stop the police from knocking at the door, but we’re still partying like it’s 1999.”

Fremantle West End

Roel Loopers in his blog, Freo’s View, tonight correctly has a go at lighting in the West End and specifically the Whaler’s Tunnel.

In his blog he mentions BID and the fact they lit up parts of the heritage buildings in High Street, and in a previous blog he mused that BID had not completed the project as the two buildings near the Roundhouse were not illuminated.

BID has spent a fortune installing underground cables and a new power board to connect to the lights which were to be installed in the pavement and pointing upwards. The lights illuminating the buildings in High Street are located on awnings and hence are no problem in respect to heritage concerns, but as there are no awnings on the buildings located at 1 and 2 High Street the lights had to be sunk into the road, or the pavement.

My contact at BID was Kim Low, the Executive Manager, who was very good, but has since resigned. She sent me this email in October 2013:

Hi Graham nice to chat with you. As I explained the Fremantle Business Improvement District (representing the property and business owners in the City Centre ) is providing up lighting of the tops of the buildings along High Street. We will then be able to program the lights in various colours to create a vibrant street at night which should also make it safer.

As agreed we will put the lights up and test to make sure you are happy with the result and it doesn’t interfere with your life. What you should know:

· There will be no cost to you, the lighting will be fitted free of charge to building owners
· No power costs to you, as the City of Fremantle will pay for all electricity and the BID will cover any ongoing maintenance
· Light fittings will be attached as per agreement with the City’s Heritage Officer and will blend in with the building.
· Buildings with residential occupancy will only be lit between or above windows and will not be a disruption to tenants.

The company chosen to carry out the works Pro Design Lighting have over 35 years of experience in the industry and are West Australian based. Should you have any concerns please feel free to contact me at your convenience. We hope to have this initiative installed by the end of November 2013 .

In March 2015 I emailed BID for an update and received this reply:

Hi Graham,

Thanks for bringing this to my attention and no the lights are not going to go ahead as first planned. The lights that have been supplied have not been supported by the electrician for putting into the ground. We have also been advised by a number of sources that putting lights into the ground in this area will cause an ongoing maintenance issue due to moisture which could then lead to power outages as far as Henry Street.

On this information the Board have decided that another lighting option would have to be looked at.

As Kim left FremantleBID in November and I haven’t been part of this project, I would really appreciate if I could come and meet you and discuss further. Would you have time next week?

Kind regards

Jenny
Jenny Marslen
Project Manager
Fremantle BID
9430 6504

I did meet with Jenny but it appears that it is all too hard for everyone concerned, and I came away thinking that the process got too expensive and the bureaucrats have said “no more.”

Loopy Bloggers

Got to say it does not surprise me than a rather innocuous post by  Matthew Hanssen has caused a big spray by the chief blogger.

Matthew criticised Roel Loopers for supposedly promoting acts of vandalism, but in reality it was Loopers constant criticism of our Premier Colin Barnett that raised the ire of Liberal Hanssen. By the way Roel, that is how you spell his name, please get it right.

I totally disagree with the fact that Loopers feels free to attack City of Fremantle employees at will, but will not broach any criticism himself. After all, this is the guy that attacked Georgie Adeane for sacking him in favour of her daughter, and then deleted the post after she gave him a job promoting the Princess May Markets.

I disagree with some of Hanssen’s views but he does not have to be attacked in preference to some of the lightweights who have represented the electors of Fremantle. Jim McGinity, as a previous Minister of Health commenced the degradation of services at Fremantle Hospital.

Back to Barnett, hated by Loopers, who dislikes the fact that we are building a world class sporting stadium and envigorating the Perth CBD in the form of Elizabeth Quay.

A report last week stated that the new stadium at Burswood will deliver more than $291 million and 1300 jobs each year and that the Elizabeth Quay construction will create more than 1600 jobs, be a workplace for more than 10,000 people, and attract more than $2 billion in private investment.

Frozen Fruit Dangers

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A second brand of frozen mixed berries has been withdrawn from supermarket shelves across the country, as five cases of Hepatitis A linked to the product are confirmed in New South Wales and Victoria.

One-kilogram bags of Nanna’s frozen mixed berries were recalled on Saturday as a result of the health scare.

The recall has now been extended to Creative Gourmet mixed berries in 300 gram and 500 gram packets.

Health officials have confirmed three cases of hepatitis A linked to the product in Victoria and two in New South Wales.

The berries came from China and Chile and were distributed by Patties Foods, which is based in Bairnsdale, east Victoria.

A statement from the company said while quality control testing to date had not revealed any concerns with the food safety of either product, “further detailed testing is being done and the recall is an important step to ensure public safety and confidence”.

Australia has very strict quarantine import rules but these only apply to FRESH fruit and vegetables and not to frozen fruit and vegetables. There are also strict quarantine rules that apply to any fresh Australian fruit and vegetables coming into Western Australia from other states.

Go down to your local Boost Juice or similar establishment and inquire as to where they source their fruit, as I have done. They will not know or certainly will not admit that they use imported fruit.

Tony the Pizza Seller

The new establishment, Bar and Restaurant, at Bathers Beach may be viewed by some as a success but after numerous visits I have to say that it is a disapointment.

There is no bar to sit at and have a quiet drink, but that is ok if you had good service to tables, but that unfortunately is lacking.

I do know one of the owners, Henry Liascos, whom I have written positively in the past, but I am at loss at how a great potential outlook has been denigrated by lack of design , poor ambience, even worse service and rude staff.

Tony, the pizza seller, was employed at the Raffles in Applecross, and now unfortunately Fremantle have to endure his arrogance and rudeness. He has a habit of being so rude to customers it is art form, learnt at the Raffles.

Henry, a tip, when your staff threaten customers, it is time for them to go.

I have walked.

Government Vandalism



1C3A18621C3A1866The Round House was the first permanent building built in the Swan River Colony. Built in late 1830 and opened in 1831, it is the oldest building still standing in Western Australia.

Tourists flock to see and photograph the Round House and every weekend newly marrieds have their photographs taken in front of the building.

So who in their right mind would decide to put an ugly sign, interpreted by only train drivers, in front of this beautiful and historic building?

These signs are all along the rail line. I am not entirely sure what they mean, but I am sure that there are other means to alert train drivers.

Meanwhile, I will be writing to the Minister for Transport, Dean Nalder.

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