Is Fremantle on its way back from the brink? Domain missing the main points

Once recognized as Western Australia’s thriving, cosmopolitan second city, many of Fremantle’s retailers and small business owners have been struggling to stay afloat in recent years but the winds of change are in the air.

Source: Is Fremantle on its way back from the brink?

The first issue is what took Freo to the brink in the 1st place? Is it back, I don’t think so?

The so called anti-development did not drive out all the businesses and cause all the “For Lease” signs across the city. Protecting heritage is essential as its one of the things that makes Freo unique.

The loss of many key Fremantle icons and draw cards are at the heart of what killed Freo, or is still killing it.

To say not building a new office block or apartment is killing the city is not true, if it was then many old historical cities would have died off instead they thrive. Taking what they have, working with, protecting it, maintaining it and using them to drive their cities forward.

If Freo can make the top 10 places on Lonely Planet to visit it wasn’t talking about new hi-rises, or the Mayors drive for development at any cost, as most of the new stuff we see going up is pretty tacky. Of course there is some great stuff coming online as well.

Freo’s real decline is seen in the loss of places like Myers, the Dockers, the deal for oval has just inept, the decline of places like Fly by Night.

Deckchair Theatre to close after 30 years

How many of these types of business, has the council seen go under in its time?

Then there is Freo’s shocking reputation for parking and its councils anti-car policies it’s driving constantly.

Freo’s even worse reputation for anti-social issues. Business and locals have been complaining about this for years its only just recently the council has woken from their slumber on this issue, of course we have the likes of wainwrights and his socialist buddies, who seem more worried about the druggies, vagrants, anti-social drunken crew, the vulgar language etc, etc. Than he is on the ones who pay the rates to fund the cities, councilor driven ideology, oh and pay the fees, that puts in his pocket. Of course it’s all the state governments fault not the city’s councilors and Mayor who have made these issues worse. Amazing how the Mayor of Perth clean up these issues in Perth, yet our Mayor and councillors laid out the carpet for it now they are trying to pull it back. 1-step forward, 2 steps back.

The Mayor Brad Pettitts drive for bigger and bigger booze events and venues where in some cases he gives away the space to the operator for free, letting local rate payers foot the bill the repair bills. Of course the bigger the booze event the more anti-social problems?

To show the hypocrisy the councils wants to have some sort of drive for stamping out domestic violence, yet on the other continues to drive bigger and bigger booze based events and business, it’s just laughable, you will see Wainwright talk about all these issues but vote for a massive booze sponsored event on south beach.

Fremantle Councillors Hypocrisy on Advertising or are they just having laugh?

REFUGE BACKLASH

HILTON councillor Sam Wainwright says his council probably erred by keeping locals in the dark over its plans for Warrawee women’s refuge.”

Again they talk about transparency yet vote to close the door on it.

ZERO-TOLERANCE FOR BEGGING ‘FLAWED’

“Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt is on record claiming police research had identified many beggars in the city aren’t homeless.

But when the Herald checked the research, it didn’t back up Dr Pettitt’s claim.”

FREMANTLE’s BLIND EYES ON THE STREET

Fremantle’s declining tree canopy

2nd worse place in Australia for coverage of concrete and bitumen in a city, our councils lust for pouring concrete into our parks.

Fremantle’s councils drive to call graffiti art giving our once great city its ghetto look.

The cities lack of focus on basic maintenance our town hall on the verge of ruin if basic gutter and rood repairs are not done.

Hi-rise development for offices and apartments are not what makes a city great, of course I don’t expect anyone profiting of this to agree as its their pockets the money flows too. As long as its all honest and above board nothing wrong with that but don’t kid yourself that a developer has the best interest  of the city at heart, that’s like thinking a mining company has best interest of the environment in their mind 1st and fore most. No its about $$$$ the bottom line.

Another piece of journalism written with COF issued blinkers, I wonder if the Mayor gets to proof read these before they go to press?

The picture in the piece is one of the Mayors white elephants, the Kings Square Business Plan and issue that has been questioned in parliament and a minister responsible refuses to even give it due scrutiny. Google this and list of questions is endless, a project that could cost the Fremantle rate payers over $30,000,000.00

People investing like to see a steady reliable record of operation before investing in a location, the back flipping policies and style of council hardly sends that message.

The last survey report of the rate payers in Fremantle shows a city at its lowest point in history. the reputation it has for graffiti is shocking.

The recent election show’s them having their lowest vote turn out in history and more than 54% of the votes cast in the election for non sitting councillors, a clear majority that voted aren’t happy with the current direction.

All these issues are what’s killing freo, building a few new offices isn’t going to fix these problems. It would be great if it could.

 

Fremantle Council Direction Drives Anti-social Behaviour

 ARTHUR ASSAULT

01-40news

by the Fremantle Herald

 

 

Fremantle council has been driving our fair our city into the ground for years.

A mixture of poor decisions, miss management, poor policy and actively ignoring policies they have, just sees Freo go from bad to worse, driving up or encouraging anti-social behaviour.

Fremantle councillors removing residents from Arthur’s Head started the areas decline some years ago and was just the start,

  • they have encouraged grafitti
  • they have attracted drug and alcohol abuse in Arthur’s Head area, by it poor decisions and mismanagement.
  • they have encouraged or attracted vagrancy to Fremantle
  • they have encouraged the homeless to sleep in and around the CBD.
  • Poor Maintanance around the city of its assets helping to give Fremantle its run down look.
  • Deactivating Kings Square.
  • they have driven out shoppers from fremantle with these issues mentioned above and their anti-car policies.
  • As they have driven out the shoppers, business after business has closed

Fremantle’s Anti-Social Issues

Their pro graffiti policy just drives vandalism across the board, most suburbs have  this issue but councils policy of judging whether it has artist merit goes against common sense and the state law.

Designing out Crime is a crime prevention strategy which aims to reduce opportunities for crime through the design and management of the built and landscaped environment.

It is also known as CPTED (pronounced ‘sep-ted’), which is an acronym for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.   It is based on the theory that “the proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the fear and incidence of crime, and an improvement in the quality of life”.

Fremantle council has CETLOCS, “Crime Encouragement Through Lack Of Common Sense.” pronounced Homer-Simpson-wingnuts-dohwhat was I thinking? but its clear swag

The police warned them this would increase grafitti and with it, comes other crime. No crystal ball needed there.

ART VANDALISM AT HISTORIC ARTHUR HEAD

Going against their own alcohol policy by approving the new new booze barn business @ J-shed, which will destroy Arthur’s Head, the round house and the impact of all this anti-social behaviour will wreck bathers beach, with as we have seen in the herald, drunks and druggies, crapping on the beach, used condoms, needles, crack pipes, the violence that follows. We have already seen several murders, drug over-doses deaths in Fremantle as well.

Police probe homeless man’s death at Fremantle Harbour D-Shed

Homeless youth jailed for WA murder

Fremantle council is actively killing the family friendly environment as they attract more and more substance abuse and anti-social issues.

ICE CONCERN GRIPS VALLEY

The lack of proper surveillance by councils actions, in the West End has just fuelled, anti-social behaviour, public drunkenness, drug use, vandalism, public defecation,  slowly destroying the environment around Western Australia’s 1st and most prominent building.

The eyes on the street van seems to spend most of its time at night parked out in front of council chambers, or least any evening i have walked or driven by.

Broken Windows Theory, does it fit Fremantle

If the Double Tree Hilton is to open and the block around target stays the way it is this hotel will get a shockingly bad image very quickly, once in place it will hard and expensive to improve the locations image on the worldwide web.

God knows what tourist must think going to Arthurs Head and seeing the location of WA oldest building so mismanaged, dirty toilets, overflowing bins, broken bottles and booze containers littering the area, human excrement, used condoms, used syringes, grafitti, vandalism, businesses having to wait for the drunks and drug effected to leave the doorways so they can open up.

What’s council refer to it as oh yes was it the grunge factor?

Whats the councils biggest contribution to Fremantle could it be the, no parking arrowsor 4 wise monkeysor 12312333204_6ba99fca27_bmaybe jet polutionordownload no this should be no1.

13_12_12_web

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

IMAG0628

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 COMMUNITY FAR FROM HAPPY WITH COUNCIL

thumbs down

Fremantle residents and rate payers disapproval of council

After I read Roels Freo view article, FREO COMMUNITY HAPPIER WITH COUNCIL,  I thought I would check out the report on the Fremantle’s City website.

On 1st review it looks ok, I start to think, hey I’m way off base with my opinion of the council, in what the rate payers and residences think. Crap, oh well I had better take my medicine and see what issues I’m so off base on. So I download the attached reports made by CATALYSE® Community Perceptions Survey  

Good news is the Herald was ranked as the best Source of information about what’s happening locally, well done Herald

Once you start reading the report and taking into consideration the data inside, it paints a completely different picture of what I read on the city’s site and Roels page. Which is pretty much a cut and paste of the city’s PR page, where they tried to make lemonade from raw onion juice. No criticism of that I cut and paste myself all the time. The real issue is the city page excerpt is completely misleading, while it makes it sound that things are on the up and moving forward, its the reading of the details that paints the real picture and moving up from where and when is one of the questions to ask?

There are several parameters to look at before you worry about the actual issues.

One is the date for studies taken, if you compare the 2005 data with data reported from 2015 survey, you will find that most of the community responses are far worse now, than the data taken from 10 years ago, hence in the last decade Fremantle on most fronts, is worse off than 10 years ago. Not a good look for our Mayor Brad Pettitt, isn’t this his 10 year anniversary for being on council?

Another is the comparison to similar or like councils in regards to best practice or the average result across the board. So here is the kicker while on things like festival most other councils don’t seem to rate, Fremantle comes out on top. While on most of the issues that directly effect residents and rate payers, Fremantles gets the worse scores, a bit concerning when this is the city we live in.

A few facts from the report out of the 25 councils that where surveyed Fremantle was ranked 18th

Overall performance compared to other councils

  • Industry high or benchmark 67%
  • Industry average 52%
  • Fremantle  overall 43%

Overall satisfaction with City of Fremantle as a place to live, down from 2012 with no records reported before 2012.

Economic development and job creation down from the 2005 score of 72, to the 2015 of 40, a huge 32 point drop.

If you take all the heading or categories of the “City of Fremantle Community Perceptions 2015” report/survey and count up the categories that use the headings

  • Benchmarking ( a couple of categories were not counted at other councils)
  • Level of satisfaction
  • History (Some history does not go back 10yrs)

Number of categories was about 37, Freo was average in 6 of them below average in 31. (in comparisons to other councils in WA)

7 where had no data doing back to 2005. In 7 of the categories, Fremantle was ahead of its 2005 score and in a couple the same. 20+ where below the 2005 standard. Making in general Fremantle  far worse than it was back in 2005 according to the feedback. In a decade the survey shows a clear decline in real standards, while we have a loss of services and some of the highest rate increases in the metro area.

Hold on, think for a second, what do you think the 4 worse areas for concern were for Fremantle residents and rate payers,

  • Economic Development and Job Creation
  • How the City Centre is being developed
  • Parking in the City Centre
  • Graffiti, vandalism and anti-social behaviour

No surprise there right.

Now when you look at what the city has promoted on its website

Some of the key areas of improvement (based on levels of community satisfaction) are:

  • overall satisfaction with the City as a governing organisation  – up 7% * up 7% from last report but no data recorded prior, seems strange
  • council’s leadership – up 9% * When I read the report from Council’s leadership within the community its actually down 9 pts from 2005
  • youth services and facilities – up 21% *Actually only up 19 pts from 2005 but a good increase all the same
  • openness and transparency – up 9% *Again I don’t see where this came from as I see it’s down 7pts from 2005, even it they use 2012 its only 7
  • value for money (rates) – up 11% *No figure from 2005 though still down 5 pts from the 2008 report
  • parks and other green spaces – up 9% *Actually down 3 pts from 2005
  • family services and facilities –  up 13% *Actually up 1 pt from 2005 not 13pts
  • access for people with disabilities – up 10%* Actually down 8 pts from 2005, this is really poor if the city did a better job in early 2000
  • conservation and environmental management – up 12%*Actually up 3 pts from 2005, really poor considering how much councillors talk about this issue
  • planning and building approvals – up 8%*Actually down 7pts from 2005 sending a really clear message to community and business
  • parking in the city centre – up 8%.*Seriously parking is better? Please, actually down 15pts from 2005

Its pretty disingenuous to claim things have gotten better when you are actually down from a true point of view from when reports/surveys started. Your standards should be set on the best achieved not benchmarking off the fact that you have run it into the ground and claim a small bounce up as an achievement, when it is well below where you started.

A quick comparison of  this council in reference to the 2005 benchmark shows they made Fremantle a worse place even the overall satisfaction with City of Fremantle as a place to live has come down 2 pts since the last survey in 2012, with no data shown before this I wonder why?

Then again we don’t really need to read the report, a quick read of the paper or walk through town tells us the story. If they want to actually make things better its only done by taking a good honest look at the real situation, not with heavily rose tinted glasses.

Don’t take my word for it, top of the page is a link to the report, have a read and decide for yourself .

rose tinted glasses

Sometimes we go around deceiving ourselves into thinking things are a lot better than they actually are.

Fremantle’s Anti-Social Issues

main roads pic WGV derlict

The derelict houses have been described as an eyesore.

How has Fremantle got to the situation it’s in?

Over last couple of weeks there has been plenty of reporting on the various issues that just seem to be s regular occurrence in Fremantle over last few years.

We see letters to the editor, stories in the local papers, state papers, multimedia news, web-based groups, etc, of drug abuse/dealing, crime, anti-social behaviours, housing issue’s?
Residents in Perth’s south are pleading with the West Australian Government to promptly demolish a series of derelict houses

Beacy Better?

Main Roads owned house in Fremantle/White Gum Valley derelict

RUN-DOWN, ABANDONED HOUSES NEED TO BE DEMOLISHED

PATROLS DOUBLE

UNFRONDLY TIMES AT FERN

It seems some of FERNS problems have moved from that site to just down the road to derelict homes

FERN SPLIT ON BLAME GAME

What a load of shit from the Lord Mayor of Perth this article is from last year with comments about the Mayors of Fremantle and Perth, as it reports our Mayor Brad Pettitts seems to flip-flop about a bit on the anti-social issues,  “In August 2012, the Fremantle Council Mayor, Brad Pettit, shamed himself when his comments of moving on the “eyesore” of beggars from Fremantle’s commercial strips were broadcast on prime time television.” then goes on in later media reports to then invite begging and the homeless to Freo then when that goes sour he’s back to a tougher stance. Doesn’t send a clear message and as we can see today has left the door open to increase our issues for anti-social behaviour in Freo’s CBD and now seems to be spreading through the suburbs, as we read in the above articles.

A quick read through the local papers letters to the editor leads close to hundreds of comments on Fremantle’s anti-social behaviour and the problems it has caused over the years.

FREO SHOWS A SOFTER SIDE

BEGGING CRACKDOWN

FREO GETS TOUGH ON ‘PRO’ BEGGARS

BITTER TASTE article in the herald shows the impact of the anti-social behaviour in Fremantle over the years making it harder for retail to trade in the city, just giving us another challenge we don’t need.

“As locals we have become used to the socially derelict state of the centre of Fremantle,” she says, urging a clean-up of both the streets and what she believes is a damaging sub-culture of begging, abusive behaviour and public swearing.

She hears the “c-word” yelled out daily and what goes on in Kings Square might make for dramatic viewing, but is not good for business.

“It can be scary,” she says, saying she was physically assaulted at least once. Blaming it on rent would be a cop-out,” she says.”

Fremantle Graffiti, Crime or Art it’s all the little things that add up to give Fremantle its anti-social image and feel. It’s the 1st impressions that visitors get as they drive in look for a car parking space, which sets the tone for their visit, if you are down points before their real experience starts its ground you have to make up, not a good start.

TALES OF BLOOD AND BINS

FREO MOVES ON SKID ROW

In the recent past we have seen murders in town, drug overdose, suicides, a huge increase in drug abuse and dealing. The state government is now only adding to the issues with cut backs in services which local councils aren’t funded to provide. It makes the issues worse by leaving abandon buildings to have squatters take them over, using them for god knows what, with reports of the police and fire services attending, drug paraphernalia found inside. Illegal electrical set ups, poor sanitation and being school holiday do suburbs really need unmonitored situations like this building up.

HOMESWEST ‘HELL’ We have seen how just a few households in a suburb that are legally occupied can make life hell on the street for the other residents in the area, do we now need squatters moving in as well.

It seems crazy that the police and various government departments spend so much money/resources to fix issues in our suburbs that draw in criminal activity, so to leave these building to just be vacant and opportunity for more anti-social issues in the suburbs seems counter-productive and a another waste of our taxes. Either rent them out properly or if they are not suitable for that, then demolish them.

Above is a dozen or so articles based around Fremantle’s anti-social challenges, it’s time for our council to realise, what they are doing doesn’t work, if anything they are adding to the problem not helping to solve it with their living in denial attitude of distraction, look another pop-up shop has open, ah yes all is well?

It’s hard to believe they are trying to revitalise Fremantle with such basic problems as anti-social behaviour are not properly addressed. It’s all fingering point now with the sale of the port will destroy Fremantle. Firstly it’s a lease, secondly the council has not control over what the FPA does anyway.

Then it’s the Perth Freight Link PFL will cut off traffic too Fremantle. Seriously with this council’s anti-car platform, selling off carparks making the road network as difficult as possible to navigate. they have done that job perfectly themselves. This and Freo’s image of anti-social behaviour, parking problems is what has helped drive our Beloved city to where it is now, perhaps the lowest point I have seen in my life time. Pointing at things that have not even happened as distractions or blame to why Fremantle sits in its sad level of decline isn’t going to solve anything.

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