Unions’ Gray day | Fremantle Herald Interactive


Source: Unions’ Gray day | Fremantle Herald Interactive

The link above is a thinking allowed article by Phil Mercer, Phil had sent me the unabridged version so here it is. I understand the heralds space for thinking allowed is about 500+ words, Phils is a little longer than that.

Reading this is a reason i know i couldn’t be in a political party, all the BS is just to much, I’m sure i couldn’t put up with it?

Phil “Page 5, Page 5, Thinking Allowed from the insightful and provocative Fremantle Herald, edited down from 1500 words to 527, still kinda got the gist.”

Anyway here is Phils full article;


Gary Gray takes the fall for Fremantle’s Union Queens

Rockingham’s Labor stalwart and Shadow Minister for Resources is having his Parliamentary career targeted by a concerted attack by the MUA/CFMEU Super Union and United Voice.


It seems an unlikely fate for an articulate warrior that has been such an asset to the ALP brand and a heart on his sleeve Labor man.


Gary Gray’s problems come from his refusal to sign the candidate’s pledge which dictates obedience to the State Secretary and the Campaign Director in campaigning for the office. Incredibly they use the actual work obey, not discuss or co-operate but O-B-E-Y OBEY. I haven’t met one Fremantle female who would allow that stipulation in their marriage contract let alone a work agreement. Clive Palmer could only dream of dictation.


The document is quite emphatic going on to request “I will act as the State Secretary and the Campaign Director direct me in carrying out my duties.” It begs the question, why would anybody sign such a document? And why when you are on the Federal executive, when you should be democratically voting in the interests of the people are you beholden to the State Secretary – (The Great Leader). In that situation anything could feasibly happen, a fair and just person the likes perhaps of a Simon Crean, Kim Beazley or Martin Ferguson could be replaced by any wild card. Do we really want to inadvertently endorse the views of a Joe McDonald or Dave Noonan whilst voting for the wholesome appeal of Mel Parke.


In the lead-up to the last Federal Election the Fremantle Herald graciously ran an article by myself urging the Browse Basin gas reserves to be processed onshore and the unprecedented billion dollar royalties to be spent on indigenous prosperity. LABOR LOSES BLUE. The project has subsequently gone offshore and state revenue lost despite a die hard, desperate and futile fight by Mr C Barnett.


I really was not expecting a response mainly because of Fremantle’s ingrained support of indigenous advancement and really what profile do I have? Just another pleb out there in the Valley, it’s the first time I have ever written to a newspaper and I had to check myself, or at least become comfortable with early onset crack-pot-ness.


I was truly flattered that none less than the current Minister for Resources and inexplicably Small Business wrote a passionate and reasoned defense. OFFSHORE JOBS A GRAY AREA. It left out any reference to Indigenous royalties, but nonetheless was an informative piece written by somebody with in depth knowledge that gave the public insights to the decision.


What was telling however was no comment from the then Fremantle based Minister for International Development Melissa Parke. Whilst the gist is it’s Gray’s area, the article was in The Fremantle Herald not the Rockingham Community News, in the lead up to an election the views of some misguided Liberal hippie are hardly his concern.


“I have never give in to bullies and I will not now”. Is Mr Gray’s statement that spiked my interest, because he forcefully seems to be acting upon it. If you are one of the thousands of construction workers who bristles at the totalitarian ‘no ticket no start signs’ or Coles employees who have had their wages traded off by the AWU then you’d be impressed too.


Depressingly it’s exactly Mr Gray’s stance on offshore builds that has him in the sights of the cashed up Super Unions wanting to terminate him. These are the same unions that support so generously the Political careers of Ms Parke, McGurk and Ludlum. In an act of Political suicide Gary Gray has pushed the self destruct button by provocatively blacking out parts of his Candidates Pledge, is Rockingham’s Sam Worthington casting for a remake of Jerry McGuire?


What would posses such a bespectacled Labor achiever to buck the system so courageously? The answer also lies in his attacks from the Electrical Trade Union. This being the mob that spent millions promoting the lie that Canning Candidate Andrew Hastie and his troops were war criminals and not regular members of the ADF. Perhaps he could not stand the thought of seeing those Anti Chinese Free Trade Agreement billboards parked outside his office and begrudgingly having to accept the laundered campaign money from his Union masters.


To add insight into the benefits of the China FTA is exactly the reason we need more politicians like our plucky hero.


The ETU’s cherry picked misinformation from the heavy volumes of the ChAFTA is “removes the requirement for mandatory skills assessment for ten occupations including: Electrician (Special Class)…” In isolation it sounds truly scary a little bit like “you have cancer” leave out the ‘but you will still live to 110’ bit and it’s not an accurate statement. The reason requirements like this are in the document goes to the heart of any trade agreement and will always benefit the more sophisticated country.


If for example Fiona Wood was sick of her name being tarnished from bad press about Australia’s most impressive hospital and wanted to manufacture her patented plastic skin in China, helping millions around the world and international affection for Team WA, then the only way to do this would be to send the only technicians in the world capable of setting up those miraculous machines. That’s right the Special Class Electricians from good old WA!


The ETU and Melissa Parke on the other hand are campaigning tooth and nail for our sons and daughters not to be able to engage with the world. They are saying that these same unique technicians will have to attend China’s version of TAFE and re-do their qualifications in Mandarin, and of course visa versa for the world wanting to bring its innovations here. Would Fremantle resident Ben Elton be forced to attend WAAPA until we thought his humour was properly Australian enough, or would we rather embrace his overseas success.  The rider of course is that the agreement does not affect our immigration or visa policies so the protections have always been in place. I’ll also concede that such complex agreements will never be perfect, but what in life is? Things can always be tweaked, there’s always another election. Where is the thrill of watching our children be challenged and prosper rather than shielded away on a Pacific/Indian Ocean island? Why should our offshore business pioneers live with the fear of their technology and companies being taken from them by unscrupulous Chinese officials?


Melissa Parke let Gary Gray publicly defend her from my claims about the benefits of onshore versus offshore Gas Processing, now The MUA, CFMEU, ETU, and Simone McGurk’s United Voice (formerly HSU) have lined up to execute Gary Gray’s political career. With friends like that who needs enemies?


Tragic that Gary’s best defence comes from the ALP member in Marrickville NSW. “They (Labor WA) are controlled by a set of left-wing militant unions who seem intent on expelling a politician who, I think, in fairness and speaking in a bipartisan way, has the respect really of all his colleagues within the parliament, including on the government side for the work that he has done as a minister.” Anthony Albanese told reporters in Canberra. And certainly not from his almost hostile Rockingham neighbour Mark McGowan who pointed out that the pledge has not changed in 20 years, great!


It’s interesting to see that nobody else seems to feel the confliction that is keeping Gazza up at night, as he pointed out; the state leader did not have to “ride a political horse, which is heading in two directions” like he did. Again it would seem that Ms Parke has no problem galloping along Michelle Payne style on her heavily backed steed.


My affection for the maverick Gary is only confused by the thought going through my head as I attended my teenage hero’s book launch at Notre Dame recently, it’s all very good listening to your principled stand on poker machines Peter Garret, but in the end you were a Frontbencher of a Party that owns a hell of a lot of Poker Machines!


Similarly Mr Gray you joined a Party that lets the Unions collect money from unwilling workers in the most blatant and aggressive manner whilst running a protection racket with the bosses.


If you run with the mob, sooner or later you will get a horse’s head in your bed, one way to stop it going in two directions I suppose.


Sincerely, well done, good luck. Lets hear what Melissa has to say?

Fremantle Council Called Out For Wasting Rate Payers Money on Personnel Ideology

Freo’s green initiatives machine fails in plastic bag crusade

“Fremantle’s reputation for green causes precedes it and the council has been an assiduous supporter — often with ratepayer cash — of an array of environmental initiatives.”

Finally the main stream media in WA have removed their Rose coloured glasses in regards to Fremantle council.

This sort of reporting is a breath of fresh air for the dozen or so community groups that fremantle councils just dismisses out right when ever the try to raise issues with council or its grafitti loving Mayor Brad Pettitt, who publicly berated the President of the Fremantle Society, when he dared question a project the mayor is a major supporter of.

As we see below if u disagree with the mayor,  your  not sensible, words as typed by the mayor.

It is true that I was disappointed that Fremantle Society Henty Farrar (who is normally very sensible, informed and balanced in his views) based his rather critical public comments on,,,,,,,,,

The facts from Peirs Verstegen story in the West is clearly wrong as in fact MLC Peter Katsinbanis does officially represent people in Fremantle as its part of his electorate and it was not just libs who voted against it but 2 other parties as well, like normal quickly brushed over facts.

I love the greens outrage that another ban has failed, it seems that’s their whole policy for WA is a huge list of ban this ban that. Interesting that Lynn MacLaren talks of Fremantles councils legal entitlements to react to community desires, she has been very quiet on the communities desires NOT to have a booze barn at J-Shed for dozens of good reasons, guess its green backing green no matter what the cost.

What of course neither article mentioned were that Gareth Parkers article brings up a complaint,  that’s been made for years about the Fremantle council is the waste of rate payers money on their own personal ideologies.

Of course the greens would not complain about a carbon neutral fund ($30, 000+ of rate payers $$$$) for schools, being awarded by the city of Fremantle  to a member of the greens company, just about the time of her running for the bi-election for the federal seat of Canning, a mere coincidence to be sure.

These issues are just the tip of the iceberg for poor use or inappropriate of rate payers funds, should the West decide to dig a little deeper there is an Aladdin cave of stories to be published on the poor use of rate payers funds in Fremantle.

The Kings Sq business plan would be a great place to start, before we have a mayor building a monument to himself.

Its interesting the fear that local businesses have, about speaking openly about this issue,  as a shop owner put it to me, the FFF,( Freo Feral Factor) they did actually say the FFFF I’ll leave to your imagination what the 4th F was for. But there is a real concern by people if you voice your disapproval on certain issues, that some anti-social issues will be coming your way. Pretty poor in the 21st century in a Democracy like Australia that people have that concern, its more akin to stasi based organizations with stand over tactics or those who use public intimidation to drive their personal agendas.

This is an issue I have had mentioned to me before from other government bodies that have no wish to do community meeting issues, due to their staff being abused, spat on, intimated etc. Just like Telstra fixing vandalized equipment, their attitude why bother, new replaced today, trashed tomorrow.

Lucky Businesses had someone like Peter Katsambalis to turn too.



Fremantle Seniors Speak Out, Lost Services

Fremantle closed To Seniors


This is something new for my Blog, I have a piece written by a Senior citizen of Fremantle, this looks at what services they have lost over the years from council and explains why she belives that some people feared, merging or amalgamating with Fremantle. So its the  first letter to the editor. Have a read, the lady makes some damn good points.

So here it is unedited. 

“Well, the amalgamation/ merger of the councils for the moment seems to be off the table but have no fear there will be many shenanigans going on behind the scenes by those who feel they have missed out.  So let us just look at where we are:  of the 3 councils that voted against the merger, East Fremantle would have been totally taken over by Fremantle and the second, Cockburn would have lost some major community facilities to Fremantle.

Personally I feel Fremantle has lost out because the people in those areas clearly have an understanding of our Council that many in Fremantle are blind to.  Maybe we have lost some good fighters.

Never-the-less the people in these areas clearly understand what they would be losing in a merger with Fremantle, as our Mayor Brad Petit kindly outlined in his full page advertisement.   I will comment on one of these.

Loss of Services and facilities.  In the time I have been following this, I have seen many of our facilities disappear.  To quote a councillor “we are not in the business of providing community services”.  One obvious case was the loss to the Stan Reilly Centre which was instigated by the then Fremantle Seniors’ group.  It provided accommodation and a social centre.  Meals on wheels operated out of the building.  There were weekly (and more) dances.  Local older citizens could go there after a visit to the hospital or shopping and have a meal and catch up with friends in a very friendly atmosphere.

This was closed 7 – 8 years ago in order we were told to make way for a Dockers facility.  As we know that didn’t happen and it was left locked up to ratepayers and we were told it was not ”suitable“ for residency.  Never the less as we know the Dockers fell through and the facilities have been occupied by the homeless by St Patrick’s Community care.   In the meantime the Stan Reilly Centre is still occupied by the homeless, who no doubt have needs but not at the price of dislocating, disinheriting and ignoring our actual Senior Ratepayers and residents.

The original residents of the centre were sent out to the “Boon docks” as my Canadian friend called it.  Another quote from a councillor (maybe the same one) at that time (2010) was “the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want old people wandering Fremantle because they don’t buy anything”.

The seniors were given the One Stop Shop in the Council building facing onto the street.  I do suggest people take a look at the size and facilities provided.  When a sign was put up above the One Stop Shop it said “for the over 55’s and wider community”.  It is operated by volunteers and one staff member, and has activities for the community.  Any meetings are run by the staff member who tends to veto suggestions that do not meet the Council’s vision (ie , not what the citizens want or need).  When I was there we were treated like children and unable to make our decisions.  For a while now it has offered free cups of tea of coffee and biscuits for visitors.  As it is by the Town Square it is not surprising the sorts of people that visit, some sitting for hours on a seat, clearly putting off any genuine older person from entering or visiting.  Because it is for the “wider community”, volunteers have difficulty stopping anyone coming in.

We did have Chinese language lessons, in the next room to a choir practising and the noise of the square made hearing the sounds impossible.  The person running it is very keen to pursue this but a suitable space has not been found.

In the afternoon the sunshine pours in.  There seems to be no air conditioning, and if there is, it can’t function as the door to the square has to be left wide open summer and winter so that it is welcoming to visitors.   Finally this year two small fans have been provided.

Also, when I asked for an alarm button for the office none was seen suitable.  We were given the numbers of the security officers.  When someone did call the police they were reprimanded.

In addition to this, and despite frequent representation, no alternative site has been found.  But then last year a building was sold (for less than it’s worth).  This was once the South Metro Youth Centre.  But has been empty for a while and was once a recreation centre.

So, this is an example of how Fremantle treats its older citizens.  You may be like me when I was 65 never imagining I would go to a seniors’ centre.  It took a while but it was the older seniors who have convinced me of the need.  I worked at the One Stop Shop with an older lady and her continuous questioning roused my interest.

So Hamilton Hill, Spearwood and East Fremantle citizens you have done the right thing.  It is not only the elderly, but also the Youth Crisis Centre and the Women’s refuge and other facilities that have suffered the threat of closing.”


multipe stops Its seems the stop sign was put out for seniors before cars, who/whats next?


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