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.

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.”

Fremantle Mayor At Odds With Residents

Interesting article in the Fremantle Gazette this week regarding the proposed Alley Cat Street Food Markets.

The article states that “the western-most section of High Street is one of three possible locations for the new market, which could bring the foot traffic locals have been yearning for.”

Jessica Nico, the author of the article, might yearn for foot traffic, but it is a designated street, High Street, and I do not know of any locals who want it to be a pedestrian mall.

The article also quotes Georgie Adeane, the Alley Cat proprietor:

“I’m still in the process of consulting the community regarding the new Alley Cat Street Food Market,” Ms Adeane said.

“The market will consist of eclectic street food from around the world, with live entertainment, and at the end of December it will return to Bathers Beach and trade there for the remainder of summer.

“Other locations are the area in front of X Wray Cafe and Paddy Troy Lane.

“I have given many of the adjoining residents and businesses my survey and to date there has been 100 per cent support from those who have replied.”

This is RUBBISH.

FICRA, Fremantle Inner City Residents Association , is strongly opposed to the proposal as evidenced in their letter to Ms Adeane:

Dear Georgie

Further to your request for feedback from residents regarding your idea and preferred location for holding a ‘Spring Night Market’ on Saturday nights, from October until the Bathers Beach Sunset Markets start.

As previously informed, I contacted FICRA members by email with your request and proposal details and let them know that they should contact you with their response. From your last message I know you had been emailed by at least one resident and hope you received some feedback to help you to decide on which location you will be submitting to the Council within your Business Plan.

Many members have also made their views on this proposal known to FICRA so we wish to insure you receive this group feedback as well as individual opinions.

FICRA Response

While the majority of residents did not express opposition to the idea of a spring night markets, they are however strongly opposed to one of the locations you propose i.e. the plaza area at the base of the roundhouse. Of all the possible locations you offered, this area is obviously the closest to where lots of people live.

Apart from one member who does not use a car and another property owner who is currently not residing in Fremantle – all of the rest who contacted FICRA thought the Roundhouse location would create unacceptable difficulties for residents, especially in terms of ability to leave and enter residences and related parking problems. In particular residents in the Marina Village and Townhouses and The Old Samson’s Bond Store were most concerned about the impact of locating night markets immediately on their doorstep.

You may be aware that illegal parking is already a problem in and around the plaza area at the bottom of the roundhouse. Residents have been unable to enter or leave their garages and homes on several occasions due to people blocking driveways and entrances.

Residents feel that location of the Saturday night markets in this area would only serve to exacerbate these problems. Badly managed traffic congestion and blockages are already an unwelcome aspect of big events held in the west end. The view is that a weekly night markets on the roundhouse plaza would severely and negatively impact the lives and amenity of residents.

FICRA support the Spring Markets being located where there would be the least affect on residents amenity and believe therefore that the two other sights you suggest are the most suitable:
– Paddy Troy Mall, behind Timezone
– Near XWray Cafe adjacent to Luna Cinema.

Thank you for contacting FICRA about this matter.

Kind regards,
Maryrose Baker
On behalf of the Comittee

In my September 9 blog I asked the question “where does the Mayor sit, along with representatives Rachel Pemberton and Simon Naber?”

In the Gazette article the Mayor is quoted:

“Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said he thought a market in High Street would be great.

“The West End is mostly very quiet on the weekend when the university is not in session and this would bring a lot of people to the area. It is such a wonderful area and the more activities like this that enable more people to enjoy one of Australia’s best streetscapes, the better,” he said.”

Once again, the Mayor is at odds with residents, and this coming after the shocking approval of the J Shed Tavern proposal on an A Class reserve. Simon Naber voted for that as well, at least Rachel voted against it.

Watch this space as I am sure that this controversy will continue with Ms Adeane, who has a lot of support within Council, trying to steamroll her proposal through.

 

Council Amalgamations

The uproar of some sections of the media and public commentators is interesting in relation to the Barnett Government proposed amalgamations.

Local commentator Roel Loopers in his blog Freo’s View has called our Premier Colin Barnett a liar for breaking an election promise, and there are calls to march on Parliament. Come on get real.

Where was Roel when Julia Gillard promised that she would not introduce a Carbon Tax, a tax that affects us every day through our hip pockets. He fawned over her and was indignant when Kevin Rudd deposed her as Prime Minister. The Fremantle Society has a “Sock it Colin Facebook” page which has been described as stupid, and I would go further, but as Roel says it “has not many likes and disappointing few comments.”

I do not support the proposed amalgamation of Fremantle, East Fremantle and Melville.

But I feel that we have been let down by our elected representatives who were aware that amalgamations were coming but had their collective heads in the sand thinking that it would not happen, especially in Fremantle.

Barnett has sent the Mayors packing and said get back to us by October with your proposals. Mayor Brad Pettitt should have had an agreement with Cockburn that Fremantle and Cockburn merge instead of the terrible proposal that was sent to ratepayers. Simple, Fremantle and Cockburn share cultural, sporting and business ties so it is a natural fit.

The fact is that council amalgamations are inevitable and have been very successful in some other states, but it takes a strong politican to take a stance because there are no votes in it. Diana Ryan states that Labor Premier Alan Carpenter wanted to reduce the number of councils. I spoke to a former Labor Minister of Local Government on Monday and he stated that it should have been done 10 years ago. Former Mayor Richard Utting advocates the merge with Cockburn and describes Fremantle as the cultural jewel in the crown, so we need to preseve this by not merging with Melville.

Yesterday I listened to our Mayor, Brad, on ABC radio and he seemed resigned to be on the losing team, but it is up to us to support him and his councillors in finding a solution rather than knocking the politicans who are making the correct decision. Read today’s editorial in “the West Australian” and the experience of home builder Dale Alcock who has to deal with “hundreds of hundreds of pages of regulation, for dozens of dozens of councils, for the simple engineering feet (sic) of laying a few metres of concrete.”

I was a ratepayer in the City of Melville for over 25 years and could not have any contact with councillors, but after living in Fremantle for two and a half years I think that I have met about two thirds of the Fremantle councillors, including the Mayor, and that is something that I value.

 

FICRA

After my posts on FICRA and the fact that it has been taken over by John Dowson it was interesting to read on Freo’s View a comment from Councillor Robert Fittock who stated “The good standing FICRA enjoyed in the wider community has been severely compromised by a single-minded and manipulative individual – the meeting on Tuesday night was a disgrace.”

Also read the comments of freoishome who was ashamed at the hissing and booing, and the fact FICRA aren’t experienced at trying to control large groups.

 

City of Fremantle

I find it very disappointing that blogger Roel compares our city to Fawlty Towers. See freoview.wordpress.com

His post continues his rant at the City, all because he may have to relocate from his Fremantle Society funded accommodation, or should I say ratepayer funded accommodation. Interestingly after a lot of comments after his SNUBS post, the latest Fawlty Towers post has not elicited any comment.

Compare our Fremantle Council with that of the City of Canning, where I operate a business. The Local Government Minister, John Castrilli has suspended the council of the City of Canning after a damning report criticised the Mayor’s inappropiate power and highlighted long term dysfunction. The report, tabled in State parliament singled out Canning Mayor Joe Delle Donne and Councillor Bruce Mason.

As mentioned before on this blog, our Mayor and Councillors are always accessible and were very well represented at the End of Year Precinct function held on Monday night at the Hilton Park Bowling Club. The Mayor has told me that he does not agree with a lot of what I post, and I am positive that most Councillors will concur, but at all times they never hesitate to discuss Fremantle issues with me when I meet them, and even though they might not agree with my posts they are always approachable and ready to discuss issues.

Growers Markets

It appears that a feather was ruffled by my posting yesterday. But the point of this post is the comment by Edna, asking “what is my beef” with the proposal for Fremantle Growers Green Markets to operate at Bathers Beach?

I am opposed to growers markets because essentially they take business away from other retailers who are the lifeblood of the community, and in this case we are talking about Fremantle where it is regularly reported that retailers are having a hard time.

If you are operating a food business in Fremantle your costs may include; wages, superannuation, workers compensation, payroll tax, rent, rates, electricity, water, insurance, parking expenses, printing and stationery, telephones and then there is State legislation covering the Food Act, Food Regulations and Food Safety standards. As well as all this the City of Fremantle, like all councils have there own requirements and these are detailed in a document titled Food Business Guidelines: Design, operation and construction.

Please go to http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au where you can download and read this document. It is only 15 pages but none of the Growers Markets anywhere could conform to those regulations, but if you have a bricks and mortar shop, good luck.

Roel Loopers on his blog, Freo’s View back in December 2010 castigated the City of Fremantle because they were going to charge stallholders at the Growers Green Markets in South Fremantle $350 per annum. Compare that to the bricks and mortar shop.

In my industry, fruit and vegetables, there are over 400 registered buyers at Market City, some of whom buy for several shops but are all small business owners. Recently one north of the river fruit shop spent $10,000 trying to stop the City of Stirling from opening a growers market. He was unsuccessful.

Another area of contention is that some of these “so called growers” at the growers markets are my customers, and when you see them at the markets usually they have signage that says Grower Direct or similar, and this applies to Growers Green Markets in South Fremantle.

Finally, the proposal was for the markets to be located at Bathers Beach on the black asphalt area near Kidogo Arthouse. The Bathers Beach project is unfinished and residents are irate that they cannot get a completion date and that councillors are happy for the crushed limestone to remain for another twelve months. The project needs to be completed and grass planted to replace the limestone before any commercial enterprise is allowed to operate at that site. Read my posts, Bathers Beach Disgrace.

Edna, thank you for your question and I hope that at least you might understand my position.

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