Greens for trees | Fremantle Herald Interactive, But their actions tell another story

THE Greens are promising to double Fremantle’s tree canopy by 2040 under an “urban forest” plan. Freo council has already adopted a policy to increase the dire coverage of trees over barren streets…

Source: Greens for trees | Fremantle Herald Interactive

Where’s the Trees, where’s the Green?

 

Words are one thing all politicians are good at, action is another thing completely.

The Fremantle Council has a few greens on it and currently Fremantle has the 2nd worst hard surface amount in WA, according to the 202020, report.

Since that report was done we have seen the Esplanade Concreted over, worsening that particular situation.

We have seen the majority of these councilors; approve a plan that cut down 100+ mature trees in White Gum Valley on the Old Kim Beazley site.

They also did not demand that the developer give the necessary 10% additional open public space as is normal with these developments, instead allowed them to use the public space that was already there. So the developer could get in more small blocks adding more concrete and hard surface covering.

Then we see the Burt St development went down a similar path with council again not stipulating the required 10% open public space, again allowing more concrete more hard surface covering.

We see this council with all these Fremantle council members most of houses, driving for smaller and small blocks, higher R-codes, high density, more med high rise development, which leads to more and more trees being cut down.

Again we see the Concrete from our green council pouring into our parks so they build basketballs on park land which Fremantle already in short supply.

Most councils in the world supply similar services to their residents, sporting areas are great. What most councils with an ounce of common sense do is invest that money into areas that are run down or poorly utilized, in disrepair etc, to build these public services. Not Fremantle council they go straight for the park land and trees, pouring in the concrete.

Then we see more concrete coming down a Port beach with the new flow rider system, more open land for concrete.

We see in a report last year that over 90% of new trees planted by councils don’t make, so for even the ones that do we have to wait 2 decades to see some benefit from them. You think that would make the existing trees even more precious, well I guess not for Freo council.

So when they say they will improve the tree canopy to double by 2040, I see they didn’t make a note of what the coverage is presently, so we are clear from what point we are starting from. Otherwise just expect more of our Mayors unique smoke and mirrors, slide of hand. Also not clarified is whether, Fremantle’s means the CBD, the greater city of Fremantle, the State Electoral boundaries, or the Federal election boundaries

We have many of these councilors and mayor for a decade now, yet still our tree canopy shrinks.

So with it taking at least 20 yrs. to get a tree and its canopy established , all going well, that means  for the Greens to succeed they would have to double all the trees currently in Fremantle, have them all survive and grow above the roof line of houses to be considered a canopy.

That’s a bit hard when the greens on council are hell bent on density, which now is just clearing blocks removing everything just to squeeze as many dwellings as possible.

Then we have the Councils drive for urban rail and the route the Mayor and his team are taking that will be hundred’s more trees cut down to facilitate that.

Then we have the ever increasing amount of containers coming from the Fremantle port even if the Outer Harbour is built, and of course our council has objected to that too. Instead building the massive Lat 32 which adds 140 km2’s of hard coverage to Cockburn and destroying any tree canopy there too. So it’s hard to see how they will double tree canopy when the Fremantle Council supported policy is to build the biggest industrial park in Australia.

So actions speaking louder than words, it’s a fairly pie in the sky promise, which should have its intended action of rallying a few voters for the green cause and have its disciples sprouting the virtues of the Green Dogma, while its agents at Council, keep driving up the R-zoning clearing more trees, and laying more concrete. Going in the opposite direction of the said promise, only to blame, capitalists, Tony Abbott or conservatives about the evil ways when in fact it looks like the greens are just showing their hypocrisy yet again.

What is Urban Tree Canopy?

Urban tree canopy (UTC) is the layer of leaves, branches, and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above. In urban areas, the UTC provides an important storm water management function by intercepting rainfall that would otherwise run off of paved surfaces and be transported into local waters though the storm drainage system, picking up various pollutants along the way. UTC also reduces the urban heat island effect, reduces heating/cooling costs, lowers air temperatures, reduces air pollution, increases property values, provides wildlife habitat, and provides aesthetic and community benefits such as improved quality of life.

Urban Bush land Council’s Mary Gray agreed that more trees were needed in metropolitan areas,,,

“Unfortunately, they tend to bulldoze the whole landscape instead of looking at what’s there and then building in amongst it.

“It seems crazy to wipe the whole lot out.”

Killing the Great Australian Dream – Limit urban sprawl, says Freo mayor Brad Pettit – The West Australian

 

 

Fremantle Council Only Green in Politics

Its quite sad that we have a Greens political driven council yet over the last 8-10 years our parks and Tree canopy and has suffered at their hands and has gotten worse across the board.

Research reveals Perth’s hottest real estate… in terms of tree canopy.

  • Fremantle has the 2nd worse Metro Tree Canopy in WA, now shown to have direct negative health issues.
  • Fremantle has the second worse hard surface covering in Australia, according to the 202020 study
  • Fremantle council has approved to concrete over parts of the esplanade reserve, replacing grass with concrete, how this suits a green plan I have no idea.
  • Fremantle council has plans to approve more buildings for Princess park, more concrete to replace grass and cutting down more mature trees.
  • Fremantle council has approved plans to build on and fence part of an A class reserve at J-Shed, turning over public space for private companies to profit off.
  • Fremantle council has more plans approved for more concrete for the esplanade reserve, maybe they should call it Fremantles grey plan, not green plan
  • Fremantle council has approved plans to concrete grass areas at south beach, again more concrete to replace grass.
  • Fremantle council approved plans to cut down 100+ mature trees at Kim Beazley, which will take decades to replace and thousands of tonnes of additional water with possibly a 30 % of trees that are planted that will not survive. Leaving this area with lost tree canopy for decades.
  • Fremantle council approved plans for the Kim Beazley site not to have the additional 10% open public space.
  • Fremantle council approved a plan for the green fill site @Burt St to ramp up zoning to over R100, with no need to supply the required 10% open public space again.
  • Plan to flatten 100’s of homes and cut down all the trees on South st to build their light rail.

So from all this, we should believe they give a damn about open public space, parks and the tree canopy of our suburbs?

I know I  have raised these points before but as council consistently says it cares about, open space, tree canopy etc, but its actions tell another story completely.

Read the article from the West above in blue, its worth reading.

Remember don’t just believe what council says but look at their actions as it tells a different story.

Since the 202020 report was done, in Fremantle hard surface has increased and tree canopy has got worse. That’s just in 2 years under a council driven by green politics. So since our mayor brad pettitt and many of the current councillors have on council, our tree canopy has got worse and hard coverage has increased, leaving Fremantle in current,  2nd worse rating in Australia.

They drive their own politic ideology not the resident’s best interests. Politics 1st people later.

 

 

Perth low density stuns planner – The West Australian

Expert says Perth the lowest density major city he has seen.

Source: Perth low density stuns planner – The West Australian

Currently we see in Fremantle a protest against the Perth Freight Link.

One of the issues driving congestion on roads is obviously more cars.

Now as density increases it is only going to make the issues worse. Seems we are creating problems and then looking for a solution to the problem we have just made for ourselves, wouldn’t it be better to not create the problems in the 1st place.

Fremantle council seems very good at creating its own problems then to spend even more of our rates on finding solutions and then even more money telling us what a great job they are doing at solving problems they have in fact create or made worse.

A few examples

  • Selling car parking and making Freo harder to get into and find car parking, they have spent years giving Freo a anti-car image, then they spent reportedly $20,000 on an app for parking which get a iTunes Customer ReviewsAlmost useless, by nickname1950. Can’t say I have ever met anyone who admits to using it. Problem made, money spent, no solution. Or even better their great big parking signs which are regularly broken and no-one really knows what they mean anyway. More $$$$ gone.
  • It’s a bit like the massive bug killer lamp outside at chambers, great idea, then you look around and see stagnant water everywhere in their street flower pots, made an environment to breed mosquitos, then bought the solution to kill them, brilliant?
  • Mayor Brad says Fremantle is a progressive city so they view graffiti vandalism as art, now we have graffiti everywhere and spend a small fortune cleaning it up and leaving Freo like ghetto that no-one cares about, which in reality should be a thriving tourist destination, another council made problem needing to be fixed.
  • Mayor makes areas for “dedicated begging” in our streets, the solution he made for the problem he created when Perth clamped down on street begging and homeless and our mayor invited them to come to Freo, it surprisingly created another problem, needing to be fixed. What’s not so easy to fix is the dodgy anti-social image it gave Freo killing off more business.
  • Fremantle has an anti-social image with substance abuse driven by the number of large licensed areas in town, Fremantle makes a good alcohol policy then completely ignores it by leasing the J-Shed out for another 1800+ booze barn. Another problem to be fixed in the future?
  • Fremantle has the second worse rating for hard cover surfaces in the 202020 report, then concretes the esplanade, then straight into a new green plan after approving a plan that involved cutting down over 100 mature trees at the Kim Beazley site. They currently say they want to increase the park space in Freo yet are wanting to build or develop on Pioneer Park.
  • Fremantle councils direction over the years has allowed all the negative issues for Fremantle to build up, graffiti, substance abuse,, drunkenness, the need for a spew patrol, anti-social behaviour, loss of parking, the constantly messed with road systems, loss of groups like Myers, causing a loss of visitors frequenting Fremantle, hence causing a loss of business, leaving COF in its current situation, causing Fremantle again to spend $$ fix a problem it help create. Like $42M or is it $44M perhaps $52Million to help regenerate a CBD its help run down. Sorry about the different figures it’s not clear what the is cost is going to be, its only rate payer money, perhaps another issue to fix in the future with a massive rate hike for instance?
IMAG0116

The scenery our new Hilton guests can view from their windows

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The scenery our new Hilton guests can view from their windows

Does this seem logical to anyone, you could go with dozens of examples like this.

Now we come to density. So we cut block sizes, up the R-code, increasing hard surface coverage, causing more mature trees to be destroyed, increasing the population then yell about not building road to help with congestion caused by increasing density. Now as people don’t have backyards we have to build more parks and connections to the ones we have, another problem caused by council to then need fixing.

Here’s a quote from the article

“Perth’s the lowest density major city I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Mr Gordon said the good news was that Perth had land near major roads and railways that could be developed. He said it was not always necessary to “disturb stable residential communities” to do infill well.

“You’ve got miles and miles and miles of main roads just strung with dreck, low density shopping centres half abandoned, car dealerships, industrial areas . . . these are fantastic opportunities for infill and growth,” he said.”

So why is our council driving density in areas with traffic congestion issues in some cases over R100? Why are we doing infill to areas that are stable residential communities, building more problems like destroying tree canopy, increasing congestions, lowering services, increasing rates, causing more disputes with neighbours over development. Not ensuring suitable parking is allocated for new developments, only to cause more disputes in the future.

Fremantle’s road infrastructure has been eroded over the years, now by having one of the higher density increases in the metro area, these problems are being added to, while all the necessary services needed to help cater for this increase in density are not being supplied.

The Council has blindly followed Barnett’s government infill strategy while getting none of the services needed to support the density increase. We see more people coming to the area, no improvements or even plans to improve Public Transport. We have seen thousands of jobs leave the Freo CBD, yet more people planned to live here. If you want all these people to live here would it be better to ensure jobs are here for them, so they all don’t have to drive miles to get work, again adding to the congestion issues. Let’s face it you struggle to get a pair of kid’s school shoes in Freo and the council calls Freo the second city for the state.

Are residents happy about it judging by the satisfaction survey I guess not?

So again they have created another plan to create more problems only needing to be solved in the future. Every $ spent fixing a problem they made or help make is a $ less spent on services to rate payers and residents.

Of course we can increase density in perth buts lets do it where we have the infrastructure and the right ingredients to make it work well. I guess they will just add their poor density and its impacts to their legacy of solutions needing to be found?

Fremantle’s Green Plan Dying with its Trees

tree3

Not so long ago the COF had a Green plan review workshop, where the community got to come along and have some feedback on what was important to them for Fremantle in regards to the city Revised Green Plan.

All in all lots of good comments and feedback, more parks where there’s none, more tree canopy, less hard surfaces, no more concrete in our parks. etc etc.

I also brought up the issues of tree plantings in the suburbs and the damage that was being done in the way they are watered, which of course developing trees need.

I took this photo to the meeting to show what I meant, as the water is washing away the top soil leaving the roots exposed and blasting away the ring of mulch that’s there to contain the water and protect the new delicate roots and topsoil.

treestree2

From this we can see,

  1. The topsoil is washed away exposing the roots
  2. The mulch ring is also washed away and the water is running the verge not watering the tree that needs it.
  3. The upper plant is dying and the roots further down have sent up new shoots which also die off quickly.
  4. Strangely enough the council is watering the lawn better here than the esplanade.

This has killed 3 of the new trees on my block over the last couple of months, 2 have been replaced this week, strangely leaving the 3rd dead one.

So some of these trees have been replaced 4 times now and we still don’t have much more growth than we started with 5 years ago.

Not to mention the cost of the tree, the man power to plant them, the cost of watering only to kill them and then to repeat the cycle.

Planting 7 and killing off 3 is not a great ratio of success.

Considering the loss of over 100 mature trees at Kim Beazley site due to council’s approval and the plans to resurrect the canopy, if this going to be their MO and success rate it doesn’t stand much of a chance of getting a green canopy back in the 30 or 40 years.

Here is what the cnr of Yalgoo and Hope use to look like.

A quote from Greg Moore “Mature trees are significant assets to our environment and society, regardless of where they occur or whether they are native or exotic. A great deal of effort has gone into managing, conserving and preserving these trees. Considerable human effort and time has been expended on the trees, as well as a great deal of real energy in the form of fossils fuels that has underpinned their maintenance. There has also been significant water resource allocated to their growth and development. They are community assets in every sense of the word — society has invested resources in their establishment and management, and they have matured as assets and are now returning great and diverse benefits (Moore 1997) to society in return” So it like at the Kim Beazley site they have lost 100 hundred years of canopy growth.

Fremantle already has the 2nd worse hard cover record in Australia (202020) and it’s getting worse, with plans to concrete parts of South beach miles more concrete coming for the esplanade with hard surface courts and paths everywhere, the heat sink of Fremantle just steadily increases.

One would think that a supposedly green council would want to lessen the global warning rate not exacerbate it? By destroying tree canopies, not including open public space in green fill (Burt st) and concreting over park lands.

All in all you wonder what’s green about it the plan at all, maybe they can include some green tint in the next batch of concrete.

What a Crock

My god what a crock, our Mayor Brad Pettitts while on his rate payer funded junket is singing the praises of a suburb in Freiburg  on their 30% green area or perhaps called open public space. Where he runs down Perth for only having a 10% requirement.

Would this be the same Mayor who drove the Kim Beazley higher density while not even applying the Perth’s petty 10%  open public space for the new development, allowing existing public space to be used to fill the requirement.

Could this be the same Mayor who drove the issue for R160 for Burt St with no requirements for open public space to be included in the new development. With councillors pointing out as the issue was raised well we do have nearby school sporting fields.

I know as I have asked these questions myself in various public forums about the lack of council requirements for additional public space in new developments.

Would this be the same mayor speaking of European green space who has actively made Fremantle’s green spaces worse with concreting over parkland with more concrete in the pipeline. The mayor who received the rating in having the city with second worse hard surface covering in Australia and its getting worse if you see the plans for South Beach and worse the Master plan which will see more hard surfaces added to the Esplanade. Even a proposed road.

The Mayor who approved a plan which led to the  cutting down of over 100+ mature trees on the Kim Beazley site going against the wishes of over 170 written submissions not to approve this destruction of a suburbs tree canopy?

So now we should be in awe because Brad flies to europe at our expense to tell us something his community has been telling him for years, but now the Germans are going it, its all cool right?

What a crock.

Even worse we see across  the suburbs in  Perth an additional 600ha of ovals and sporting fields to allow for increase in the population density, I wonder where in the world we had to fly to find that was a good idea. Well that’s not the worse part that’s all good, the bad part is it seems for Fremantle’s increase in population density we are getting bugger all of that additional lovely open green public space, sporting fields or ovals?

 

A few links below to similar issues and councils hypocrisy, where they seem to say one thing but but another way

More Council Concrete for Fremantle Parks?

Fremantle First

Residence’s Speak, When Will Fremantle Council Hear???

Inside Singapore’s ultra-futuristic inner city gardens

Comment to Roel Blog post RESIDENTS’ TSUNAMI AT FREMANTLE COUNCIL

Fremantle’s Real Problem, Too Much Politics in Council

 

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