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?

 

BIGGER FREMANTLE DUMPED BY PREMIER BARNETT | Freo’s View

BIGGER FREMANTLE DUMPED BY PREMIER BARNETT | Freo’s View.

 

I don’t know if its all done and dusted yet Roel, still some possibility of shady deals to come.

http://fremantlereform.com/council-cof/fremantle-battle-for-the-burbs-pt-3-minister-leaves-merger-door-open/

Fremantle Battle for the Burbs pt.3, Minister Leaves Merger Door Open

Tonight I have read that though the LG Minister and Premier have  declared that the amalgamation, and mergers are finished or sidelined for now and that Governors orders are to be rescinded.  I also read and I quote the ABC,

Mr Simpson has confirmed Governor’s Orders forcing council mergers would be rescinded after discussions with any council wishing to amalgamate.

“I think it’s incumbent on me as Minister to meet with those affected local governments just to clarify their position but also to meet with them to give them the opportunity, and some would possibly like to move forward with the reform process,” he said.

“We’d certainly see if we can work with them.”

Mr Simpson said a number of Governor’s Orders were cancelled by the no vote for three proposed amalgamations in Perth’s south, leaving nine orders still in force.

He said there were some councils still interested in reform.

“I had a meeting with nine mayors in the last week since the announcement last Tuesday,” she said.

“At the moment it’s very, very hot and contentious. They need a bit of time to let the dust settle.

“But there’s definitely some good synergies happening.”

Mr Simpson said mayors had told him they had benefited from the process, including improved relationships with their neighbouring councils.

He said he expected some councils to request a realignment of council areas to more natural boundaries.

But Mr Simpson declined to name which councils he had been talking with.

“I think there’s a lot that can go on the table. I don’t want to point out any of them. I want to keep working with them,” he said.

“What we’ll do is sit down with them. The Governor’s Orders are due to kick in on July 1. If they think they can meet that deadline, yes, I’m happy.

“If they see they need another 12 months, I’m happy to give them another 12 months to put that case together.”

cards deal

So if councils are making deals behind closed doors or back room deals, at what point does the the community have a say or is even informed?

If Fremantle City Council is partaking in these meetings? Are they making deals with the minister? At what point would wider electors have input into such a deal, if at all? Its now reported this could go for 12 months, so where would that leave the next election that should be in Oct 2015?

Representation?

Community Consultation?

What could we end up with and when?

Late this afternoon the LG Reform Group let out this public update.

Volume 2: Issue 14 | 17 February 2015

Metropolitan Local Government Reform Update

Future of reform rests with councils

Premier Colin Barnett and Local Government Minister Tony Simpson today provided an update on local government reform.

Read the media statement “Future of LG reform now rests with councils”.

Fremantle Myth, Fact or Paid Propaganda?

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Well in this week’s Herald (good to see COF spending locally) we see a Full Page add on the 1st page of the paper saying what a great job the city is doing for us. Pg 2 of the 14/02/15 edition

Generally I find if u are doing a good job you don’t need to pay someone else to tell everyone how great u are doing? Or maybe the electioneering has started early this year?

I read in the paper myths that supposedly have been said about the council.

Myth 1. Freo’s in a financial hole, well with the amount of city assets they are trying to sell I hope not, still makes u wonder if cash is no problems why did we get a rate rise the year after Mayor Brad was re-elected, why city assets are so poorly maintained, I wonder how much of the outstanding $50, 000, 000.00 maintenance bill has been worked down?

MYTH 2. New suburbs will not receive representation, bit of a silly myth really the council has no choice but to change ward boundaries if suburb boundaries move and even their voting in local elections is guaranteed as its state law. The issue for EF, is the same issue Freo feared from being taken over by Melville, one day fully in charge of your future the next u lose 80% or so of your say? Amazing how it’s relevant for Melville taking over Freo but not for Freo taking over EF? Ask people at Burt St if they feel they have representation? Many groups in Freo feel they have no representation so new suburbs get in line.

Myth 3. Care for public spaces will deteriorate, well I suppose u could wonder about that, surely the esplanade with the tonnes of concrete poured in will not need as much water, but I don’t think people using Point Walter want it looking like the esplanade, or the 3 type bins system they have turning into the Freos one over flowing type bin? As long as you like concrete u will feel right at home in Freo and it doesn’t even need to be watered. Could be a new slogan for Freo “save water concrete your park” “Or concrete coming to a park near u real soon”?

Myth 4. Reform is an opportunity to impose high rise development, this is clearly a ridiculous Myth, as for a year or so COF has been doing Barnett’s bidding by slapping high rise approval on any block they can, the old bunker tank area looking at 13 stories by WGV, tried to drive 40M+high at McCabe St, the new favela plan for Burt St. No wonder East Freo was worried? It’s not an opportunity looks like it started a way back? As long as they think about some affordable housing have another couple of stories?

Myth 5. Services and facilities will disappear or be scaled back, that’s an easy one to look at, Cockburn has verge services and tip passes, Freo doesn’t? So either Freo was planning to run different services for rate payers, or maybe everyone was getting back tip passes and verge mowing or not? Ask the seniors in Hammie Hill about the services they get now, then see if u can find equal services in Freo?

Myth 6. The city of Fremantle was trying to take over the Town of East Fremantle, which I would suggest is no truer than Melville taking over Fremantle? Its bit confusing how Fremantle’s absorption of East Freo is different than Melville  proposed absorption of Fremantle, when Fremantle launch a campaign to save Freo from Melville it was good and virtuous but when East Freo speaks up for its self, it’s all lies and Myths, confused, could a bit of hypocrisy be running here?

Myth 7. The Fremantle CBD is dying and we’re going nothing about it. Well this is easy, go have a look at the CBD for yourself,  think back to the Days of Myers operating, 2 book stores in the Mall, butchers on High St, Fish shop on Market St, shoe shops, Susans, etc etc, and compare to now, is it better or worse? Yes the city has been doing plenty for the CBD, by inviting the begging and homeless to our CBD, that Perth wanted out of theirs, encouraging graffiti, complaining when the police enforce state laws, I have never seen the anti-social issue’s in Freo as bad as they are now, drunks swearing, fighting is a regular occurrence right in front of the town hall, looks like council is doing plenty? I drove into Freo on Tuesday 11am a guy off his face walking down High St screaming at the cars, Wednesday I hear of a rolling brawl in front of Target. The question is COF helping or making it worse?

Myth 8. Rates will soar, I suppose that depends on what u mean by soaring, last rate increase I believe Freo was reported as one of the highest for increases, strangely no rate rise the year the Mayor goes for election though, soon we will hear about paying for cost of amalgamation, even though it didn’t happen, of course those costs of COF, fighting against Melville take over well that’s all Colins fault right?

Well this add would have to be the best use of rate payer’s funds I have ever seen?  Well done! All myths put to bed? Well till the sunrises the next day?

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DECENTRALISED RETAIL DOING VERY WELL | Freo’s View

DECENTRALISED RETAIL DOING VERY WELL | Freo’s View.

 

Roel outside the CBD I don’t think Freo has any big issues in retail, but its all based around daily, or perishables purchases i.e. food, thou lots of this business in these areas have , Duro Rd area has seen a few shops go through that area, the Bakers Delight was closed 4 months, the pasta place, coffee tea place. What the area does have is a great post office, the service from both owners have been brilliant a great draw card.

Peaches is great along with IGA, both the main draw cards. Lefroy Rd area is great too, the IGA, the bakers, Princis, the bottle shop friendly staff.
But seriously CBD retail is a shocker, Myers near empty, Woolstores 50% empty, just walk around the CBD and see the vacant shops, if this doing well I would hate to see doing bad?
You know what the pluses are for all, those areas, that are turning over good business, Lefroy rd Shops, Duro Rd, Hiltons fresh and IGA, South freo Hampton Rd Peaches, free easily accessible parking, and little to non anti social behaviour.
Like the markets at south freo, great products, free parking, nice atmosphere, no drunks, druggies, swearing, losers causing problems.
Till the CBD issues of anti social behaviour are addressed, drunks, druggies, violence, stealing , graffiti, begging, etc, etc, it will not turn around.

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