Well the wheels almost fell off the committee last night as after 6pm they were struggling for a forum, so final they kicked off with 7 out of 12 councillors.
Bill Massie started off the night with a straight up, common sense, good governance, real representation question to the fill-in chair, Brad Pettitt. (Brad was filling in as the chair and vice chair where no shows) Bill asked if it was appropriate to go ahead with voting on motion before them, as at that moment the COF did not even know what Fremantle will be, whom it will effect, what suburbs it will impact and whether it was appropriate, for those suburbs. Not to mention if suburbs are added to Fremantle those new residents would have had no say or voice in the process, welcome to Freo, better get use too it right?
Bill raised the issue of budgets and the impact from adding suburbs and what feasibility studies had been done, sounds sensible, good questions?
Brad hand balled to the CEO, he gave the answer a crack then a quick hospital pass out too to the acting director Paul Garbett, whom gave a fairly long answer, though I must say Mr Garbett seems to be a pretty switched on guy.
Needless to say Bill concerns where brushed over like normal and the rest of the council voted in favour of the motion.
The councils ITS Integrated Transport Strategy, was pasted through so COF delivered a strategy that pretty much will be done by someone else other than the COF. Most of these thing are out their control so mostly it’s a wishful thinking list. How I believe the Transport Authority is also so about to release a strategy, so instead of waiting to see what they have done and coordinate Freo’s ITS with a group capable of delivering actual outcomes? Freo’s has just happily made up a plan, they need someone else to actually deliver.
COF will assist the strategy by closing streets buses run on, selling the car parks, removing car parking from the west end, limiting time to max of 4hrs in the suburbs for street parking, one car per house limit, making Hampton Rd dangerous for trucks to drive on, adding more bike lanes, did I mention selling off car parks, putting a road thru the esplanade. While wishing for thousands of jobs to suddenly appear in the city where clearly there is an exodus leaving.
I believe we will get more and more people living in the city, but for the council’s figures to be achievable how many thousands of permanent full time jobs do we need in the city? Currently we see a glut of office space around Perth another 150,000sqm or so of new space coming on line this year, 15% vacancies and increasing and Freo’s plan, is to add another 70,000 sqm of office space, what developer in their right mind would build office space on some of the most expensive real estate in WA when there is a massive and increasing amount of vacancies? So the councils ITS strategy really only works if all the people coming to Freo are going to work by walking cycling to work, or are using easily accessible PT routes.
Their ITS plan is to more than quadruple bike riding as a transport means for going to work, triple walking as mode of transport to work and almost 1/2 the use of cars in 15 yrs?
Who’s to say someone living in Freo will work anywhere near Fremantle, gone are the days when people had jobs for 20yrs, the workforce is possibly more transient than it has been in years, just look at the FIFO situation?
The ITS plan is made around the personal ideologies of council, like one planet not around the reality of the situation we are in. Is there anything wrong with one planet ideas no but if we follow that blindly without looking at the reality of demographics and geography we are in, I think Freo will end up a lot worse off than it is now?
How will parents get kids to day-care, kindie or school then go to work, return from work, collect the kids, do the shopping, go to after school activities, doctor appointments and specialists to squeeze in etc, etc, is all this to be bike or foot powered? Time becomes more and more critical. Stand in front of any school in Freo and count how many bikes you see coming to drop off kids now compare that to the amount of cars, that’s reality.
Currently according to ABS WA homes about 40% have 1 car, over 33 % have 2 cars, over 12 % have 3 cars or more, that’s not including motorbikes, scooters, caravans, motorboats, sailboats, jet skis, trailers, campers, RUV’s etc. Where will we keep these things with a max one car per house policy and time limited street parking? Fremantle 1 car per household is 8% higher than the states average!
Now these number are increasing not decreasing so reality is going in one direction, Fremantle council’s ideology driven policy seem to be is heading in quite the opposite?
Anyway don’t believe everything I say have a read of the policy and decide for yourself, click onto the link it will take you to the daft discussed at last night’s meeting. I have only just highlighted a few of the clangers this policy has.
One sensible idea is to increase the CAT bus service, but they can’t increase it now as they can’t afford to?
A couple of other highlights below,
No trucks on Hampton Rd, how will fuel stations get petrol, how would all the marine industry survive at fisherman’s harbour, let’s have more jobs in Freo but no trucks which many need to function, maybe Little Creatures can get supplies and make deliveries by bike? Let’s not even mention all the businesses along Hampton road that need truck access to function? The classic last year council approved a restaurant to be built just of Hampton road on the west side and 2 weeks later pasted a motion not wanting container trucks on Hampton Rd. Yet the restaurant concept they approved was based on the restaurant being built out of 40ft containers, which they applaud as an innovative idea, the real innovation now will be how to get the containers there.
No Cars in the CBD?
Rail down South St, who’s going to pay for that?
No primary road transit corridor going north?
Increasing rail use but a better access from CBD to Port, will we have a tunnel or bridge?
Better visual and physical access to fisherman harbour but tripling the rail going through there that will make all the new home owners happy in South Freo?
On their Map Freo is a bigger destination than Booragoon or Gateways, who’s kidding who?
They oppose the Roe 8 great, but if it comes what’s the point in planning like it’s not, I believe main roads has upped the tempo to bring it in even quicker.
Do they seriously believe taking away car access to Fremantle will help retail or attract new business? The ITS really is just a big anti-car policy, though they end take pains to say it’s Not? Just google anti-car Fremantle and it’s enough reading for the night. If there is smoke there’s fire?