Fremantle Council Whats the Real Deal on Plastic Bag Ban?

My god what’s the drama over the plastic bags?

plastic bag smile1

As I read in the Herald online the story on the plastic bag ban laws proposed by Freo Council, it seems some on the council are having a whinge over talk of the state gov knocking back the councils new law. Now if you believe the quotes “Fremantle acting Mayor Josh Wilson says the council followed good process, including consultation with business, in putting the bylaw together.”

Well if you had seen the debacles Wednesday night at SGS council meeting with the south beach issue and  the signal station both  involving community consultation. That would not be very reassuring, as it looks like the way both items will go  for outcomes, that were never discussed or included in the that community engagement process. If you are familiar with the esplanade and J-shed they went the same way, community consultation, then a decision on an option that was never proposed in the consultation process, then a quick workshop with a very select community representation, to seal the deal. So that statement (of good process) gives little reassurance to those of us familiar to council process. Well you could ask good for who?

Now if it is true as stated that the council has great support from business, the community, residents, chamber of commerce, all being full supportive of the proposed law, then why do the council need the law past?

Brad and Josh have both stated good community agreement, business supports it, so why doesn’t the mayor just set a date for it to start, if everyone is supportive and in agreement, it would just happen, no need for a law right?

Now if it’s only the threat of fines, that makes the system (Plastic  bag ban) work that would tend to say perhaps the support is not as wide spread as portrayed.  A bit of Spin, nothing new to Freo.

So I suppose if Brad believes the community is solidly behind him on this, he doesn’t need a law, just ask everyone to show their support by giving up using plastic bags in their shops, if the community is behind they will accept this? As if he gets the law in place and shoppers don’t support it, all that will happen is local residents may tend to shop more in Melville, EF, Cockburn, Cott etc, bringing their plastic bags back from other suburbs, hence achieving nothing, apart from Brad further crippling Fremantle retail again.

Now personally I hope he would give this ago and though some may not believe this, I hope he succeeds. As it’s only through real community support that true changes in our daily lives, will initiatives like this succeed. If he can only do it by fining people then he has failed to make any change in our culture of waste, he’s just another enforcer with a stick as his incentive.

If other councils have to wait to see if Freo can make up its own laws, then leadership is clearly a problem for them and they can’t be that motivated to do it in the 1st place.

If Brad initiative succeeds with out the law being passed and the state government sees an appetite in the community for these initiatives they may be motivated to make such laws state wide, fixing a real problem.

Let’s face it banning plastic bags in only Fremantle with a state population of  over 2 million people would achieve as much as emptying an Olympic size swimming pool with a teaspoon, while a garden hose was topping it up. That’s what we get when u have symbolism/ideology over real serious practical outcomes. It’s a lot of effort, time and  expense for such a negligent outcome, if he actually gets the law passed.

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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