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.


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 what happened to the Electric Car?

electric car charge point 1

Which one for which car

electric car charge point

Below are a few reasons places like Fremantle Council should keep the ideology driven ideas to themselves, our rate base is too small to wasting COF resources on issues like electric car charging stations for basically wealthy people to drive one of their vehicles down south to pick up a couple of cases of wine. It’s not that electric cars are a bad idea quite the opposite, it just has nothing to do with our council. I wonder how often the city placed chargers we do have are actually used?

I’m sure all the time effort and resources at council could be put to better use, than planning and marketing a recharging system down south for a hand full of mostly rich people to use? Issues like this demonstrate council would be better served spending its time attending to its actual responsibilities and doing things for the good of the rate payers and residents and leave the market or industry to sort out issues like this.

I wonder how many people who own an electric or hybrid vehicle have more than one car. Sort of defects the purpose is you drive a fossil fuel car and then having another electric or hybrid to ease your guilt or maybe it’s just another fashion accessory, hey look at me?

In the Australian an article on the slump of electric car sales and predictions that have not even managed 30% up take.

Electric car sales predictions fall flat

Obama’s great electric car predictions fall further than flat not even achieving 30 % of his 2011 predictions.  Even though the Americans where the ones to achieve the better result out of all, after all of Merkel’s hype, Germany didn’t reach 25% of Merkel’s forecasts.

” In 2011, Obama predicted there would be a million electric vehicles on US roads by 2015. Billions of dollars in rebates, tax credits and incentives later, the actual number is fewer than 300,000. But it’s unfair to single out Obama. The US comes closer to its target than most. Angela Merkel wanted a million EVs on German roads by 2020. There are now about 25,000. China’s target: five million; there are 83,000.”

“But the Golden Plug Award for Over-Amped Optimism goes to the Australian Energy Market Commission. It’s widely reported 2012 study expected every fifth car leaving Aussie showrooms to be an EV by the end of the decade. In other words, about 225,000 cars a year. Last year’s figure: 1135.”

Norway, where EVs have captured 12 per cent of the new car market and it’s not unusual for the Tesla Model S to be the bestseller, is reconsidering its incentive scheme. Why subsidise luxury car buyers?

“The penny has dropped among carmakers that EVs have fallen flat. General Motors is just the latest to retreat from sales targets. And this in the face of some trends going their way, such as falling battery costs.”

Tesla electric cars struggle to ignite Chinese market

Why Hybrid and Electric Cars Have Lost Their Spark

What I don’t understand is why more effort has not been put into hybrid lorries and garbage trucks? That would be a better way to seed the technology and one that would improve all of our lives. How much effort is being put into electric trucks that would replace a dirty diesel engine? I like the idea of electric cars but it’s not our council’s job to change the world as they can’t even maintain drains, footpaths or even water trees properly. Better to learn to walk before you try to fly. Those funds could be better used to reduce the $50,000,000.00 of outstanding maintenance issues in the COF.

Its really a question of priorities and their actions show we the rate payers and residents are not high on that list.

Fremantle Car Power, Whats in it for us?

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


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


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.


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


In depth Reading, Good News for Fremantle Reform



This morning I had a look over my site statistics and was encouraged to see the every increasing amount of readers who click the links taking them to pages, I have referenced to further the information gained on the applicable issue.

Don’t worry its doesn’t tell me who anyone is or what they have clicked, but does give me an indication of the volume of people hitting the links and which ones.

Its only through an informed opinion that we will see Fremantle reform.

Some other tit bits of info

94.5 % of hits are Australian based, I haven’t paid for the upgraded version so hard to see from a state by state version, though the trail version I tried over a month indicated just under 75% of hits where WA based.


Most popular blogs over the months have been

May           Council pressed over Kings Square finances | Business News

April          Fremantle Council Mauls Questioning Resident

March       Cost of Fremantle Mayors Rate Payer Funded Junket, Doubles

February  Fremantle Made Junkets

January was a tie between Fremantle First      and     Do as I Say, Not As I Do – (Says) Council


This morning Fremantle Reform broke the 1000 subscribers and hit 9301 mark for site visits. While not huge numbers it is encouraging to see the reader base grow and interesting to see how many readers come in from Twitter and FB.


Fremantle’s $100,000 Fighting Fund Deferred.

Good to see item  (SPC1505-1 NOTICE OF MOTION – CR JON STRACHAN – FREMANTLE COUNCIL’S POSITION ON THE PROPOSED PERTH FREIGHT LINK) for allocating $100,000 of COF funds for their attack on the state government was deferred. No chance of them voting it down out right, I think a couple were salivating at the idea of wasting that much money on trying to stick it to the government? For information it was not Strachan who came up with the magic $100K figure he said that it came from the CEO/staff.

The point Rachel Pemberton raised was correct it’s not clear what they would be protesting against. As the actual plan has not been finalized yet. Maybe she has been reading my blog post? What was clear is that again Dave Hume brought a touch of reality to the issue perhaps he has been speaking to residents and ratepayers on the issue? As his point was what I have heard a lot over the last couple of days, is that this $100,000 of rate payers funds is pretty much to fund certain councillors personal political agendas.

Following Dave Humes touch of reality, Bill Massie brought his no nonsense, practical, common sense to the conversation, cautioning councillors to be responsible with rate payer’s funds, which brought the usual scoffs and snickers from the same councillors? Amazing Bill speaks of responsibility, no waste, fiduciary responsibility and they laugh, tells a story doesn’t it? Makes you wonder who the sustainable ones are and who just use it as a political catch cry?

Of course several said that of course this was not the case but Dave Hume made a good point which is pretty obvious that council’s action need to be in the best interest of the general good of Fremantle, not their personal concern or political ideals etc.

With the actions of council over the last year or so it seems clear political agenda is the first and foremost issue and general amenity of residents and ratepayers appear to be well down the list. The current councils not driving a political agenda is as believable as them being, not anti-car?

I get there are certain parts of the community would love the council to spend a fortune fighting against the state government, on this issue or others but is this the function of council? I’m sure there are groups in our community, who couldn’t damn for councils political agenda ideals and others are dead against it?

I would like to see an impact/modeling study on the impact on Fremantle if the current train system was to be maximised on freight use, would all those residents along the train line be happy with volume of train use, their heavy diesel pollution brought in the CBD, the noise pollution etc? The council wants to re-engaged the port through the Freo train station area, how is that possible if we quadruple the rail traffic?

What impact would that have on the businesses in fishing boat harbour? How would this effect emergency services accessing these areas?

What impact would that have on access to the south mole?

What impact would that have on southern harbour operations, Rottnest island ferries, retail on the port, cruise ships etc?

Impact on the arts precincts in the west end, round house, bather’s beach, J-shed area, etc. All areas the council is telling us they are trying to activate?

Sadly I don’t think one system or the other will maintain the ports transport needs into the future but it will be a mixture of both. I would also like to hear from the port authority on what is practical for their operational point of view? The real issue is it also seems impossible to go to one location and get unbiased information on the issue as a whole?

According to Brad all will be clear once CUSP finishes or releases their studies, no agenda from that group is there? What’s was concerning is listening to Brad discuss the timing of CUSP releases with the city use $100,000 fighting fund to maximise impact? No political agenda there right, so much for waiting for the findings of the minister request for proposals, or the CUSP reports, it seems from these comments the course of action to be already pre-determined?

Just waiting now for the Fremantle rate payers and residents to foot the bill again?


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