WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT | Freo’s View

A local newspapers is reporting on its front page about parking issues, markets, vacant shops, controversial development, high rents, etc. in a local council. Fremantle? Nah, Subiaco! Front page of…

Source: WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT | Freo’s View

 

If we look back a few years and refer to media reports, the city of Fremantle and its Mayor Brad Pettitt recognized or at least talk about the need for retail environment to improve in Fremantle, as we see in the Wests story below.

Sadly 6 years on things have only gotten worse.

Freo needs more people, shops: mayor

“Fremantle needs to renew itself as an economic centre by growing its population, bringing in more office workers and attracting a high-profile department store such as David Jones in order to boost its stagnating retail sector, according to the city’s mayor. “

Sadly the Mayor missed the other part needed, the one the council could have the most influence on the anti-social, issues, Graffiti problems, maintenance of the city control assets, the city has a bad parking image, so what has councils done, sell off more parking, plus removed more on street parking. Not to mention approving more office, business and residential projects all lacking in parking infrastuure, while whining about the poor retail situation Fremantle is in. Go figure they are not helping the situation.

So while other centres and expanding and are aggressively increasing their parking assets, freo’s regressing and selling off the parking it does control. Freo council is just anti-car, which will lead to anti growth.

Fremantle opposes Garden City plan

“The City of Fremantle says a plan to double the size of Garden City Shopping Centre flouts the guidelines and will siphon more retail from the port city and undermine its efforts to establish a key economic centre. “

So while other centres are going, Fremantle is reaching for Kleenex to cry about others doing their jobs while they continue on the blind campaign running Freo’s opportunities  further into the ground.

Garden City to double floor space

“Garden City shopping centre at Booragoon will become the retail heart of a restaurant, entertainment, commercial and higher-density residential precinct under plans endorsed by the WA Planning Commission.

An expansion to make the shopping centre WA’s biggest is just one plank in a broader city centre overhaul that includes the development of a new high street and piazza, a revamped cinema complex and the introduction of small bars and restaurants intended to draw people to the area outside shopping hours.”

So now it will not be long before new bars and restaurant takes over from Freo as a night time entertainment district. As long as they (Melville) controls anti-socials issues, benefits like massive free parking and the ability to shop, go for dinner and park once, is a win win for Booragoon and lose lose, sadly for Fremantle.

When Councillors have attitudes like we see from Andrew S comments on Roels Freo View, it doesn’t bode well for Freo’s future.

A cut and paste of part of Andrews comment, the link above at the top of the page will link anyone interested in reading the full list of comments, plus Roel’s orginal post. Its important to read the full context of ones comments not just trust my POV.

“The third issue is that regional boxes like Garden City transfer the cost of parking into the rents and thats equitable because all the people parking there are visiting the one centre. There is really no other reason to be parking there because there is nothing else to do but to go in to that centre – yawn!. In essence, you pay for parking at Booragoon through the shop till rather than in the car park. In a diverse and complex city centre, that opportunity really doesn’t exist even through the rate system. Paid parking is adopted as a more direct and equitable user-pays system.”

A simple example of the inaccuracy of such statements is going to a place like the coffee club in freo or Garden city where you would see the price is the same at both locations, no extra charge at Booragoon because parking is free. No to mention all the other added benefits of booragoon

  • Better ambiance with much less anti-social issues
  • Close to the Freeways, Canning Hwy, leach Hwy, Roe Hwy, easy enter and exit in your drive in and out
  • Bus Terminal hub
  • Air-condition shopping experience from top to bottom,
  • No crossing streets, or dodging cyclists and skaters, etc, safely navigating with the kids with less to worry about
  • No druggies and drunks laying in the centre of the shopping trip.
  • No parking tickets for being back to your car, when your a minute late from your max parking time of 30mins
  • No caught in the heat or rain
  • ETc, etc.

Sadly Freo over the last decade has only gone down hill, both  state and federal governments have done little for Freo over the same time. Not much interest from our local members either who seem more interested in events outside our city than what is happening too it. When the state has tried to give needed infrastructure its met with councils protesting, spending thousands of dollars on meaningless reports, to object to simple needed infrastructure like roads to ease congestion in and around the city. More interested in driving political party rhetoric than amenity of its residents.

Hence Fremantle is where it is and sadly little sign that recover is coming as other centres surge ahead and fremantle is moving backwards.

Sorry about protected blogs

I’m new to the whole blogging game so the protected blogs are just so i can get a few details right, while i learn wordpress and a mass of plugins, settings widgets, apps etc.

Its actually been quite fun so over the next day or so the protected pages will be open.

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.

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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!

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