Do as I Say, Not As I Do – (Says) Council

 

Parking issues in Freo, go Round and Round

See No Parking, Here No Parking,

Speak No (!@#$%&) Parking, Approve No Parking

This is the representation we get from our current council

Residents and ratepayers in the City of Fremantle are on the way to a new life style paradigm thanks to our restless City Council. Under the Council’s proposed new Parking Policy and Housing Diversity Policy, there will be no residents’ long term car parking allowed on the street in Fremantle and its surrounding suburbs. Even limiting the number of cars your property can have to just one, just 1. A great portion of existing car parks that are both open ground and multi-story are be sold in order to finance Council projects, as for example the King Square development new council building.

I’m attempting to raise these issues to bring them into the public domain. Mayor Pettitt’s responses were included in the program.

Youtube

The Mayor, Brad Pettit, said that it is too expensive apparently to build new car parks as the cost per parking bay could be in order of $50,000. Similarly, during the October full council meeting, we learned from Cr. Pemberton that the Council is not planning to construct new multi storey car parks because the cost of one new car bay could be over $45,000 per parking bay. So if they are so expensive to replace why are we selling the ones we have, why goes council allow developers to constantly under delivery for parking in new developments

Parking is an issue at most council meetings, almost every council meeting I go to, I see residents coming to complain about new developments marking parking worse for existing residents and business yet, what does our council do, you guessed it approve new development with no or little parking as required under the regulations.

Perhaps the Mayor agrees with the Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, that ‘poor people’ don’t drive cars. The Council is selling the families, that is, residents and ratepayers’ silver, i.e. its revenue earners, so the new Council building can be constructed. Obviously, the Council does not intend to replace the facilities lost to the residents, ratepayers and visitors, so therefore income is lost, also capital gain on the assets, further adding to the City’s financial woes, as well as the inconvenience to visitors and the community.

Under the Council’s new vision for Fremantle, if a person wanted to shop in Fremantle, to get here, the Council’s preferred option is for them to use a bike, skateboard or public transport. None of which is an exciting or viable option if you are buying or transporting fragile goods, liquids, heavy bulky items, shopping for a large family.

  • If you are elderly,
  • Mobility challenged,
  • Sick,
  • or if the weather is hot, windy or wet or later at night
  • Dangerous to walk or ride home or if you feel unsafe early morning or late at night
  • Injured
  • Pregnant
  • Caring for an infant or more
  • Recovering from injury or surgery

Why is it then that Fremantle Council is so openly unhappy about Garden City and Cockburn Shopping Centre’s expanding and taking even more customers away? It is no surprise that the ratepayers from Hamilton Hill, Melville and East Fremantle do not want to join our dilapidated regional centre. However, the Council isn’t interested in these problems/challenges, preferring to pursue its own political agenda and ambitions, which are entirely unrelated to the needs of the local residents and ratepayers for whom they were elected to represent.

download

Is this the views of the average rate payer and resident in Fremantle, as if your council is supporting them and they represent you then I guess so.

  • What good will an electric car charging system do for the average Fremantle resident?
  • How will limiting the size of house you can build on your land help your super funding?
  • How will not being able to park a car in front of your house help you
  • How will a family of 5 benefit from only being able to have 1 car at their home, Mum and Dad working, one teenager at uni/tafe or doing an apprenticeship, another learning to drive, one in primary or day care.
  • Shift working, odd hours, split shifts, weekend work, late nights, early starts, often don’t fit with public transport not to mention the time lost, does one car work?
  • Where will tradies park their work utes and van?
  • Where will a business owner keep a work vehicle?
  • Will you have space for a company car?
  • What about shared houses not a family as such but 4 singles leaving in the same house do they have to share a car?
  • Will you be able to own a boat or trailer and park in your street or at your home?
  • Where do visitors park, in some approval I have seen you need 4-5 units to have the right for one visitor bay?
  • Who is this council to dictate to use if I own a car or how big my house can be, sounds a bit like a few communist regimes I could name?

It’s a shame that the Council does not set the same stringent example that it is forcing on the ratepayers, residents and its visitors. Currently the City keeps some 200 free parking bays for its own use, at the cost of $8.80 per day (approximately $350,000 to $400,000 a year), for which we, the ratepayer, fork out another $2,500 in FBT annually. At the same time, the rate payer is to be compelled to fork out more money to park their own car outside their own house, (and in some cases not allowed to park at all) under the new Parking Policy. Perhaps this is one of the tools Mayor Pettitt intends to apply to drive Fremantle real estate prices down as he clearly indicated in the above mentioned WTV interview, with all the implications for the future financial sustainability of Fremantle.

If the Henderson Street car park is sold to the private sector, the City intends to reserve 100 car bays within the facility for their own use. With the daily rate of $8.80 per bay this will cost ratepayers about $220,000 annually in lost revenue, plus FBT. What has been a money earning amenity for the city and ratepayers will become another expense burden to the ratepayers. This was an opportunity for the Council to lead by example, but it appears that there will be two Parking Policies, one for them and one for the rest of us.

Ever parking related problem this council creates will be another issue to be solved by a future council!

The whole premise of this new vision for Fremantle is flawed at the very least but more importantly inequitable, and hypocritical, and an impost on the community that is already paying dearly, as it has already been identified that Fremantle rates are some of the most expensive in WA.

It would seem that the Councillor’s are happy to sell a perfectly good asset that belongs to the community and generates revenue for rate payers and residents, but appear to bluff the rate payers and residents into thinking it’s a good deal. Is this showing financial responsibility and accountability?

Councils time should be 100% spent on running our city for the benefit or rate payers and residents, getting ready for alamgmation, and building a better CBD enviroment for business, retailers, to attract back to Fremantle all its resident who would rather shop, work, do business else where. Leaving their own personnel pet projects and ideology to a time after all the basics are working?

At the moment you can’t organize garbage to be collected reliably in a major tourist area!

MORE BATHERS BEACH MESS  Click it

Leave a Reply

9 comments

  1. elena monaco says:

    Another area of clear contradiction would have to be this Council which prides itself on being “green” having the City of Fremantle come in second to Belmont for having the least green spaces.

    • admin says:

      Well that report I think was done before they concreted the Esplanade, so things have actually got worse since that report was released. Come to think of it all the trees on the Kim Beazley site have also been cut down since then too, making the situation even worse it will take decades to replace that canopy if at all.
      So since that report was written Fremantle has got worse in that respect.

  2. freoishome says:

    Very long post what is your main point, you are raising too many issue at the one time!

    When you refer to Fremantle, in both blog posts and the Blog site name, are you referring to the City ward or the whole City, and how do you envisage making that distinction?

    The limits about car parking/home, are not retrospective, ie, existing owners aren’t being forced to scale back on car parking. Over time, decades, a small % of homes will have limited parking, compared to the established housing; some housing may not have any parking at all; sure that already applies anyway. Is that a bad thing? Is this parking constraint for the entire greater Freo, or just the City ward, ie, the entertainment precinct, and will it have the same impact on every suburb within our City?

    What do we really want of each part of the Greater City? Do we want every suburb to have every feature, service, etc, do we expect them all, to be all things, to all?
    Paul

  3. Dick Baynham says:

    Anyone who doesn’t realise that the leadership of Fremantle Council is a social experiment that’s gone badly wrong clearly hasn’t been paying attention and the faster the business of managing the City is placed in safer more credible hands the better.

  4. Jayne says:

    Congrats on the blog Mark. I agree – if the residents of Freo are being encouraged to get out of their cars and to use public transport and bikes, then why shouldn’t the Fremantle Council and all its employees be taking the lead? Sell off all Council-owned or leased cars, remove any perks related to cars, and let all the Council’s staff car parks be used by (full fee paying) visitors to Freo. This would save millions of ratepayers’ dollars, create more parking spaces, generate parking revenue and most importantly, set us a good example. Anything else would be outright hypocrisy!

  5. freoishome says:

    Jayne, I like your comment about the Council leading by example. As a Coach I offered the City cycling training for staff and councillors with that very goal in mind, they didn’t take up the offer!!
    Paul

  6. freoishome says:

    My understanding regarding parking permits is:
    For streets that have parking restrictions, households can obtain permits under certain criteria. This policy change is therefore about changing the criteria for obtaining permits for these streets with parking restrictions.
    For the debate here to make sense, it really needs to include the current restrictions for the Pink, Blue and Green areas, and hence then to see how these proposal alter matters.
    As an example I don’t live in the CBD, I used too, hence my home is in the green area. Most of my street has no restriction, so that part will not be impacted, but the part that is, has restrictions from 8am-6pm. They will remain, but for my neighbours who homes are adjacent to the restricted area they can continue to from 6pm to 8am, and also for 4 hours if eligible for the permit, within the 8am- 6pm period.
    Paul

    • admin says:

      The interesting thing about the new policy is that even the professional staff at council, could not answer questions I raised on the policy, I asked specifically asked questions on the colour code area, the questions in regards to hour of enforcement, they just referred me to the public comments or submission.
      The summary of the colour coded areas is copy and past from the COF website
      http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/cityoffremantle/Community_engagement/Community_consultation_projects/2014/Parking_permit_policy_review
      The policy proposes new parking zones with different parking permit entitlements for residents. The number of residential and multi-purpose parking permits residents are entitled would depend on the zone they live in. New parking time restrictions are also proposed for some zones.

      In summary, the main changes proposed are:

      Pink zone – residential or multi-purpose parking permits would not be provided to residents in this area. Time limited parking restrictions would remain in place.
      Blue zone – Introducing two hour parking to streets which are currently unrestricted with provision for permit holders to park on the street. Provision for two residential and one multi-purpose parking permits per household.
      Green zone – Provision for two residential and two multi-purpose permits per household. Any future request for time restricted street parking in this zone would be for a maximum of 4 hours”

      Like any policy it will change what we can be sure of is that once its in place, we will loss a little more, its a council that’s continues to lower the standard of our amenity.

%d bloggers like this: