Green wants project probe | Fremantle Herald Interactive

Source: Claudia Green wants project probe | Fremantle Herald Interactive

What pile of crap is the Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt is talking now? “The Herald has obtained an email exchange between mayor Brad Pettitt and a ratepayer in which the mayor says staff are so worried about the information falling into the wrong hands they don’t even want it emailed within council.”

My God what do they have to hide if they are keeping secrets from their own councillors or staff, what dodgy deal have been done with this business plan? Or is that they think so lowly of their other councillors and staff that information is not freely flowing. No matter what it tells a story of something to hide.

The sad thing is that the rate payers who are denied access to these secret documents helped  pay for them

A single rate payer asked a couple of simple questions about a year ago of the Fremantle council in regards to their Kings Square Business Plan, till today he has not had those questions answered. Is the mayor claiming that this individual a year earlier started to use these simple  question  to stir trouble in an local election? Please how paranoid can you be?

1st lets ask one simple question evenif he did so what, if the plan is sound and there is nothing to hide then questions would have simply answered, it would not have taken the council 3 months and legal advice to draft the answers for his simple questions. Furthermore I doubt he thought his simple questions would make such a drama, I doubt he even knew who brad pettitt was till drafted the questions? The drama and the fact these questions are still being asked a year after they where 1st raised, begs to question what is our Mayor and council hiding?

This council has gone out of its way to have to deflect questions being answered on this project, its a breath of fresh air for Fremantle to have the opportunity to get a councillor who will ask for true financial due diligence to be brought to the councils handling of asset management and the use of the Reserve fund. Which appears to have become a slush for the mayors personal pet projects. instead of base of positive funds generation to lessen the rate cost burden on the rate payers. I.e. the mayor is blowing the city’s inheritance. No wonder Fremantle has some of the highest yearly rate increase each year in W.A.

We have a FORMER Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri with more real business savvy more than our current mayor, call the Kings Square Business Plan, “CRAZY”.

KINGS SQUARE DEAL ‘CRAZY’ Tells a story just in the title.

Clearly the Mayor seems to have a strange definition of the word democracy, “Dr Pettitt defends the crowd-funded projects, saying they are an exercise in direct democracy.” As crowd funding can come from anywhere in the world, how is this relevant to how the electors of Fremantle deciding how its rate are spent, with this system not one person in Fremantle is needed to supply money to the crowd funding system before councils funds the 50% of the project So the rate payers will fund 50%  without one vote being cast, only an idiot would think this has any democratic process for the rate payers of Fremantle. Its very big of the Mayor to allow the world to decide how Fremantle rate payers money, I wonder if any other council in Australia has a dumb policies like that?

Furthermore if Mayor cared about democracy then you would think he would allow everyone to view the secret documents he offered a select electorate to view, the individual who was offered showed the character our council and mayor seem to lacks by declining the offer instead suggesting it should be open for all to see. Perhaps the Mayor needs to look at what governance is  about, Good governance is about the processes for making and implementing decisions, looks a like a big fail on the 1st couple of points of good governance, Accountability and Transparency as the Kings Square Business plan can’t have this with the financial justification hidden from public scrutiny.

This reported statement from the Mayor brad pettitt in the Herald needs to brought into close scrutiny  “Dr Pettitt says there are projections in the document related to tenanting a state government department that the council wouldn’t want competitors to know about.” Hows does a business plan based on the sale of public (COF) assets to fund the new council chambers and library  and its stated worth in 20 years have any think to do with a private company renting out a companies owned building to a state government department.??? HOW its all smoke, mirrors and spin to misdirect legitimate questions being asked by rate payers?

gWtNAW3LSWmmjYp7JK6u_Smoke in mirrors (1)

Smoke and mirrors to attempt to distract us from the real issues and facts.

Great to see someone like Claudia Green is standing up to our council and show she is no just a sheep in the flock and will drive for real answers and true financial accountability for our great city.

Rate payers of Fremantle if you want to see why your rates increase at the highest levels each year just look at the pet projects driven by the mayor and voted for by the council, there is your answer.

To be sure the only way Fremantle rate payers are going to get to the bottom of the cesspool of a plan is to have a independent inquiry or investigation, perfect job for the Auditor General.

I have links to articles and questions/statements over Fremantle City’s Council’s Kings Square Business Plan, this has nothing to do with an election, despite what our paranoid Mayor thinks, these are actions of people who believe that someone is conning them, pulling the wool over their eyes and who are concerned about what financial mess the city will be left in once the  secret deal is put into motion.

Kings Square deal ‘crazy’ | Fremantle Herald Interactive

WA budget set for worst debt blowout in 20 years | afr.com Kings Square Impact

Council pressed over Kings Square finances | Business News

City of Fremantle’s Howzat, More Spin Than a Warnie Leggie, Kings sq Saga Contines

Kings Sq, Lots of Questions but No Answers, Fremantle Council Why??

Concerns over Kings Square raised – Community Newspaper Group

Fremantle’s Kings Sq, Questions But No Answers, Just SPIN, SPIn, SPin,Spin

Part 2 Questions to Council on Kings Square October 2014

Fremantle’s King Square, No News

Freo’s $2.35m park bench | Fremantle Herald Interactive

Fremantle’s $97.5 Million Question?

Fremantle CEO Clanger

Fremantle CEO Clanger Round 2 ?

Ministers, Fizzle Not Sizzle

CITY OF FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE LETTER | Freo’s View

Community, Kings Square Presentation

Fremantle’s House of Cards

update Fremantle’s King Sq Links, Plenty of Q’s, & No A’s

Fremantle’s Mayors, Vague Response to Online Questions

City of Fremantle’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Sequal

Simple Questions, 4 Fremantle Council, Why No Answers, Where’s the Transparency?

Fremantle Council Mauls Questioning Resident

King concerns | Fremantle Herald Interactive

Questions in Parliament on City of Fremantle

 

 

Community, Kings Square Presentation

 Kings Square Project Presentation

Below are the slides presented to various community groups at a presentation I attended a couple of weeks.

The idea of the presentation was not to say if the project is good or bad, whether it should proceed or not but to bring to a better or clearly understanding of the questions being asked about the projects business plan and the financial position is leaves the City of Fremantle(COF) in. It brings into question whether the NPV is a positive outcome that the COF states of $4million plus situation, or whether it leaves the COF with a $30million loss as has been questioned now quite publicly over the last months, or maybe somewhere in between?

The number that seems to get the COF to their positive NPV is the $97 million value in 20yrs time, is it just the building, land or both together, that’s seems also to be in debate? The other question is who came up with this figure to put into the spreadsheet, the consultant Leedwell or did it come from the COF? As it appears to be what gives them a positive NPV?

Now due to the COF keeping documentations and meetings secret, the questions asked, have not been answered and are still awaiting a clear informative response giving the facts needed to support the COF business case. All of the councillors would have had access to these documents as it was their vote that made them confidential and to keep them from our perusal.

There are some more questions that have come up since this issue started.

The city claims over its 20 year window their new planned city chambers, library etc., will double in value, not the land just the building. Yet the value given to the one building they now occupy is more or less worthless, how can a building that is not built double in value and the one they actually use is worthless?

They claim the Queensgate building site is also only worth land value though in 2013 it was producing an approx. $750,000 a year return, over 11% return on the asset. Now it is a worthless building only to be demolished and to be sold for land value?

The city has also chosen to ignore some of its own policies like SG14. Which is design to give guidance and a system to projects like this, but the committee SG14 calls for don’t seem to have met since 2008?

Anyway have a read, I hope this presentation makes the questions clearer for you and provides you a better understanding of what the business plan says and the questions that still more than 8 months after Mr. Lee started asking questions remain UNANSWERED.

The other startling outcome is the Minister for local government Tony Simpson who failed to answer the questions in parliament on these issues raised and it seems has no powers to even ask questions about the COF dealings in this Kings Sq issue. Ministers who can’t ask questions thats a new one or maybe he is worried about opening Pandora’s box and finding what else is hidden inside?

If ministers can’t even ask questions of an area they have fiduciary duty over, its not hard to see why Barnetts government is in the financial mess it is in?

A quick couple of quotes for the Ministers DLG websiteThe Department continues to play a key role in supporting local governments to plan for strong and sustainable communities, as well as promoting good governance and regulation. The highlight passage is from the ministers webpage, so in the rate payers and residents of Fremantle case the ministers has clearly failed to promote good governance and regulation.  “Established on 1 July 2013, with a clear mandate to deliver tangible outcomes in local communities.” as long as the tangible outcomes don’t require the minister to ask any questions or even worse seek out the answers.

This is slightly smaller version of what was shown covering the same info as presented by Mr Lee.

Slide1

graphics from the COF business plan

Slide2 Slide3 Slide4 Slide5 Slide6 Slide7 Slide8 Slide9 Slide10 Slide11 Slide12 Slide13

Graphics from the COF business plan

Slides and presentation by Martin lee

Fremantle’s Real Problem, Too Much Politics in Council

aus parliament house

Are there Delusions of Grandeur on Fremantle Council?

Yesterday on Freoview we see one of the real problems Fremantle faces, state and federal political ideology deeply entwined in Councillor fundamental position.  Quote ”Worse still, not only is Barnett willing to sell the Port but will use scarce funds to privatise the road that feeds it. Barnett & Abbott are racing to build their new truck sewer straight through the middle of East Fremantle and North Fremantle. In doing so, they will sever with the swiftness of a terrorist’s sword the connectivity’s that several generations of Fremantle people have fought so hard to maintain and rebuild.

Imagine a life behind high concrete walls that divides Fremantle like Berlin was. The freeway style toll road will make access in and out of our city centre hopelessly constrained especially from the north and east.”

I don’t get how he thinks the road is being privatised by selling the port?

Tonight Councillor Sullivan’s comments are emotive, politically motivated and basically should have no place in the council arena. Making emotionally provocative statements comparing the sale of state assets to the actions of terrorists beheading people have nothing to do with local government issues.

It seems clearer and clearer that council’s political ideologies and allegiances are clouding the real operation of council from its true function. The political links/loyalties of councillors should be secondary to their paid responsibilities of council duties.

If they feel their political ideologies are more important than their fiduciary duties to the rate payers and residents of Fremantle they should fore go their council positions to concentrate on state or federal politics.

It must be quite clear now if not before that comments that Dave Hume, Bill Massie made on Wednesday night that council’s actions be driven by their responsibilities and duties to its rate payer and residents base not personal political agendas is valid, as it is a real issue in Fremantle council?

The state government decision to sell the port may be dumb but the effect is on the whole state and best handled there.  The FPA make their own operational decisions, state or private owned, the COF opinion is just that?

Here is a little tit bit of the freoview discussion from Andrew and his Shakespearean style theatrics over the Perth Freight Link

Here is my response to Andrews’s theatrics, in fairness you should read his comments as well as mine, as I unlike the City of Fremantle believe people should read both sides of the story to better judge for themselves. I have posted it here on Fremantle Reform, so I can add links easily, so click on Roels link to see Andrews and others comments on the issue

FREMANTLE PORTS SALE A CONCERN FOR FREO; Freoview

My Comment to Andrews, see link above as seen on freoview

“First Andrew I will wait to see what proposal the 3 consortiums come up with before, I support one thing or the other (a point made by Rachel Pemberton at SPC) or start comparing High St to an active berlin wall. I would rather see an actual plan in black or white to form a view than make one, based on your over sensationalist rhetoric with executioners, swords, terrorists, communist walls, sewers etc, Isn’t it possible to have a normal discussion?

Trying to cross High St now on foot at times is a pretty risky affair now! I wouldn’t say it’s a safe road for neighbours to ample across now. Come to think of it if I wanted to go north or south I wouldn’t use that part of High St anyway I would cross over at Amherst where I’m not running the current truck gauntlet.

I must have missed the game of thrones series where they had terrorists, your quote was “In doing so, they will sever with the swiftness of a terrorist’s sword” doesn’t sound like a game of thrones analogy to me, though people should try and google “terrorist sword” and see how many links they get back to the game of thrones series. It may prove to be a fruitless task?

As for guaranteeing what kids will and don’t do I will leave their actions and accountability to their responsible guardians.

For a highway dividing a community I can show you examples of how they can be built where it’s a positive outcome with parks and grass but that would just leave you with another place to pour concrete as we saw in More Council Concrete for Fremantle Parks or you could look at Fremantle’s Councils Perceived Anti-Car Stance

13-11-18-schnelsen-13-portal-nord-600x400

Hamburger Deckel project in Germany is burying the A7 autobahn to make parks and new land

As the state government is about as forthcoming with detail on plans as the City of Fremantle is, i.e. Kings Sq hidden documents, I expect to see little in transparency from either. Didn’t the CEO reference that fact in his mini-series called the response.

As for little eco systems, I wasn’t the one who voted for the chainsaws and chippers to destroy 100+ trees on the old Kim Beazley site. In the name of higher density, that sounds like something Barnett would do though oh and a group of Fremantle councillors.

It’s great you’re so concerned about Cockburn wetland, perhaps if the councillors put as much effort into the tree canopy/open public spaces of Fremantle we wouldn’t have the second worse rating in Australia from 202020 report. Perhaps you could focus on the city you were elected to actually represent, a good point made by Dave Hume on Wednesday night. A quick look at google earth shows how barren Freo is from Parkland and the only significant greens spots are the esplanade, some sports grounds and the golf course and you poured concrete onto one. (I would mention the footie ground but if that’s handed over to the COF I can’t imagine it lasting to long.) Luckily the 202020 report was done before that, as that little gem could have tipped us over the line for no1 spot for worse hard covering report from the 202020 report.

HARD SURFACE HEAVY

  1. City of Maribyrnong (VIC)
  2. City of Fremantle (WA)
  3. City of Holdfast Bay (SA)
  4. City of Rockdale (NSW)”

 

Kings Sq, Lots of Questions but No Answers, Fremantle Council Why??

question

On Roel’s Freoview most recent blog in regards to Kings Sq, Brad writes:

“As I understand it the contested area is the assumptions that were used to reach the outcome we did including a general rates uplift, 20 year timeframe, discounted rate of 5.5% and the value of enhanced Fremantle Council owned assets. If you assume the above then it is clear to see how we reached the stated rate of return and NPV. All of these assumptions were published in the business plan and could have been contested during the advertising period. Council, on the advice of City of Fremantle staff and independent experts was comfortable these assumptions were well justified.”

This post raises questions why is it just repeating the business plans basics this is not the question and certainly does not answer any questions raised?
If all of the assumptions have been published in the Business Plan, perhaps the Mayor could explain to the rate payers and residents, his electors, the ones he is supposedly representing what could still be confidential? The spreadsheet simply takes the assumptions and turns them into cash flows, NPVs and rates of return. In that case, the spreadsheet you think must contain nothing of a confidential nature.

Even if you don’t give us the specifics, just tell us what subject matter is still confidential. It’s not a trick question is it?

The Business Case presented by Leedwell at the 5 November 2012 Council meeting should likewise also contain nothing of a confidential nature. So why can’t we see it?

If there is some crucial piece of information of a confidential nature that has not been included in the Business Plan, and this is the missing key to the puzzle, then it is obviously impossible for rate payers to be able to calculate the NPV and rate of return. How can we make an informed decision, if are not able to have access to all the facts

So, which is it? The Mayor states that it is “clear to see how we reached the stated rate of return and NPV.” In that case, what could possibly be confidential? You cannot have it both ways! All I can see is smoke and mirrors, spin and sleight of hand, good for the Friday markets but not with rate payer’s assets and funds.

As for needing more legal advice, how much more do their need to be able to communicate with the rate payers? Could the Mayor please explain what could possibly have changed since they drafted Mr. Lees now public response, since the Mayor last refused to provide the requested information on the grounds of confidentiality? The answer is obviously “Nothing”. Is this just another attempt for the Mayor to buy more time to avoid answering the questions? is this just a delaying tactic, hoping or maybe knowing that the minister will tick the Business Plan is there box, as he did last time, which still does not answer any of the real questions? It just casts a longer shadow of suspicion.

How long does the Mayor intend to keep up this charade?

Also, is Council perhaps now starting to distance itself from the contents of the Business Plan, by pointing the finger at “advice of City of Fremantle staff and independent experts”. Has the Mayor simply been relying on advice when accepting the NPV and Rate of Return figures, or did he satisfy himself that the figures are correct? Not an ideal time for staff to be on holidays… perhaps a busy week next week. What a waste of everyone’s time, purely because the council isn’t being transparent.

I wonder how much all of this evasive action is costing us the ratepayer, imagine needing legal advice, for a Mayor to tell the electorate what is happening in its own city. Every time you see Law and Order and someone needs a lawyers advice to answer simple a question, what’s that telling US, what goes through your mind?

If there is nothing to hide, answer the questions and provide the spreadsheet and Leedwell Business Case to rate payers. If you don’t, what else are we left to think, obviously the COF must be hiding something?

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