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.

What’s happened to Fremantle Councils Missed Opportunity with Plastic Bags

plastic bag smile1

The council and Mayor Brad Pettitt instead of pushing for a law to fine/punish business for not using the biodegradable bags, could have taken this idea and turn it more to a marketing opportunity. Given Fremantle another brand, it would even opened them up to run a competition for logos, branding, marketing etc.

Taking something like the BID, and using a Fremantle branded Biodegradable bag to sell to businesses in town, with a simple QR barcode on the bag that could link back to a website promoting all the business that have Opted to join Fremantle’s councils save the ocean or cut plastic bag usage or whatever program. It could be used as a tool to promote Fremantle businesses that are ecco friendly or ethical.

Giving consumers and informed choice of where they could choose to shop and businesses a choice of whether they take part or not. More carrot less whip.

Then there are the added benefits to business that bulk purchasing would lower the cost to the business, as collective buying would enable you to bargain a better price for bags, giving business a lower cost than them going out and sourcing them for themselves. Possible seasonal marketing programs, shops using the brand to promote their own business etc. The city using it to promote events etc.

Instead of education and encouragement the council has chosen the whip over the carrot to drive their ideology with Fremantle businesses and wasted time and resources with a pissing contest with the state government. Which smells more of more of cheap nasty party politics than good environmental outcomes. Fremantle’s councils true weakness.

Personally I’m all for changing the plastic bags to a better product, but I’m against the COF starting its own little state by making up its own laws, especially when the law they put in place will have little to no practical outcome. Fremantle banning bags will no practical measurable outcome for the environment, its just another cheap political stunt, some banner waving to distract from real issues the cities has. Its also another example of poorly spend rate payers money for something that will have little or no benefit in the end at all.

If what the Fremantle council says is true why do Fremantle business use plastic bags why do they have them at all?

If customers didn’t want plastic bags they would not use them.

So if what the council says is true that business and customers don’t want them then the bags would not be in shops and customers would chose not to take them. If the community feeling was so strong this issue would have sorted its self out by now

We don’t need another level of government making laws.

Banning plastic bags in Fremantle would achieve nothing, Fremantle’s retail is dying as it is, how many people in Fremantle shop outside Freo where the ban would stop. So just bringing back their plastic bags from other suburbs.

It’s ridiculous to think the plastic bag is legal on the east side of East St and illegal on the west side of it.

The efforts should be placed making the bags ban for the whole state or country.

While the council is preaching why do they use single use plastic bags in their own street bins with no garbage separation? Fremantle city council can’t even supply recycling bins in the streets it all goes straight to land fill

recycle bins

Something Fremantle Lacks

Why does the council not have separated garbage for commercial operations in town instead everything goes into one bin for land fill I guess.

Perhaps they should get their own house in order first before dictating to the world how it should be?

America already has a screwed up system with county’s making their own laws and enforcing them, lets no go down that path and leave law making to the State Government. Its starting to look more and more political the actions of Fremantle council and less and less like a local government to take care of services and amenities to the resident and rate payers of Fremantle.

Over the last couple of days there has been a bit chat about the state government not pushing through the COF plastic bag ban.

Peter Katsambanis MLC has said  the businesses he has spoken to are not in favour, hes probably better off to not to name them so they don’t have to suffer any backlash from some of the extremists.

Bid to block plastic ban irks councils I’m always amazed to hear councillors say how they speak for the majority especially when so few people actually vote in local elections. If the MLC is so out of touch with community wants/concerns etc, again I ask why so many people use plastic bags and so many businesses have them, if community will was as strong as they make out, this issue would be self regulating with customers refusing plastic bags or not returning to shops that use them, businesses not wanting to lose customers would naturally change their operation to keep customers happy, but that’s not what happening, so who’s out of touch with what the real majority want?

Bid to block plastic ban irks councils

“Mr Katsambanis last month introduced a motion to disallow Fremantle’s plastic bag ban. The law has been tweaked since Fremantle’s last attempt was disallowed by the parliamentary committee charged with reviewing local laws, which includes Mr Katsambanis.

Mr Katsambanis said Fremantle retailers had overwhelmingly told him they feared being disadvantaged if the ban went ahead. He said allowing councils to introduce plastic bag bans “ad hoc” would lead to uncertainty and disadvantage local small businesses.

“Local governments have an important role to play in their community but every law or by-law that they pass is subject to review by the State,” he said. “Many of these retailers have expressed fear that if they went public with their concerns there may be a backlash from council or the proponents of the plastic bag ban.”

Fremantle Council Whats the Real Deal on Plastic Bag Ban?

Fremantle’s Plastic Bag Saga

So I guess we are waiting for parliament to sit so we can find out what the outcome will be.

 

Fremantle Councils Missed Opportunity with Plastic Bags

plastic bag smile1

If Fremantle business don’t want plastic bags why do they have them?

If customers didn’t want plastic bags they would not use them.

So if what the council says is true that business and customers don’t want them then the bags would not be in shops and customers would chose not to take them. If the community feeling was so strong this issue would have sorted its self out by now

We don’t need another level of government making laws. It was not even a unanimous vote by council. even the councillors don’t all agree on it.

Banning plastic bags in Fremantle would achieve nothing, Fremantle’s retail is dying as it is, how many people in Fremantle shop outside Freo where the ban would stop. So just bringing back their plastic bags from other suburbs.

It’s ridiculous to think the plastic bag is legal on the east side of East St and illegal on the west side of it.

The efforts should be placed making the bags ban for the whole state or country.

While the council is preaching why do they use single use plastic bags in their own street bins with no garbage separation?

Why does the council not have separated garbage for commercial operations in town instead everything goes into one bin for land fill I guess.

Perhaps they should get their own house in order first before dictating to the world how it should be?

America already has a screwed up system with county’s making their own laws and enforcing them, lets no go down that path and leave law making to the State Government. Its starting to look more and more political the actions of Fremantle council and less and less like a local government to take care of services and amenities to the resident and rate payers of Fremantle.

Over the last couple of days there has been a bit chat about the state government not pushing through the COF plastic bag ban.

Peter Katsambanis MLC has said  the businesses he has spoken to are not in favour, hes probably better off to not to name them so they don’t have to suffer any backlash from some of the extremists. 

Bid to block plastic ban irks councils I’m always amazed to hear councillors say how they speak for the majority especially when so few people actually vote in local elections. If the MLC is so out of touch with community wants/concerns etc, again I ask why so many people use plastic bags and so many businesses have them, if community will was as strong as they make out, this issue would be self regulating with customers refusing plastic bags or not returning to shops that use them, businesses not wanting to lose customers would naturally change their operation to keep customers happy, but that’s not what happening, so who’s out of touch with what the real majority want?

Personally I’m all for changing the plastic bags to a better product, but I’m against the COF starting its own little state by making up its own laws, especially when the law they put in place will have little to no practical outcome. Fremantle banning bags will no practical measurable outcome for the environment, its just another cheap political stunt, some banner waving to distract from real issues the cities has.

Getting to the point of the post, the Missed Opportunity.

The council and mayor Brad Pettitt instead of pushing for a law to fine/punish business for not using the biodegradable bags, could have taken this idea and turn it more to a marketing opportunity. Give Fremantle another Brand, It would even open them up to run a competition for logos, branding, marketing etc.

Taking something like the BID, and using a Fremantle branded Biodegradable bag to sell to businesses in town, with a simple QR barcode on the bag that could link back to a website promoting all the business that have Opted to join Fremantle’s councils save the ocean or cut plastic bag usage or whatever program. It could be used as a tool to promote Fremantle businesses that are ecco friendly or ethical.

Giving consumers and informed choice of where they could chose to shop and businesses a choice of whether they take part or not. More carrot less whip.

Then there are the added benefits to business that bulk purchasing would lower the cost to the business, as collective buying would enable you to bargain a better price for bags, giving business a lower cost than them going out and sourcing them for themselves. Possible seasonal marketing programs, shops using the brand to promote their own business etc. The city using it to promote events etc.

Instead of education and encouragement the council has chosen the whip over the carrot to drive their ideology with Fremantle businesses and wasted time and resources with a pissing contest with the state government. Which smells more of more of cheap nasty party politics than good environmental outcomes. Fremantle’s councils true weakness.

Fremantle Council Whats the Real Deal on Plastic Bag Ban?

Fremantle’s Plastic Bag Saga

 

Aldi Doesn’t Pass Hiltons Check Point Charlie

check point charlie

Great showing from the Hilton residents tonight, voicing their concerns over the proposed Aldi supermarket.

They approached the meeting as a solid voice and they were heard.

The list of the community concerns raised, are in no order of priority.

  • The Traffic study timings where not done until after the Hilton Fresh closed, so that the modelling would have been very misleading, well under stated. (Imagine the impact on traffic if Brad had got his + 4 stories of apartments on top?)
  • The cut in almost 50% of parking on the site from what’s currently available.
  • The increase of on street parking with less car parking bays available.
  • The increase of traffic to the area that Aldi would bring, with no small business to benefit from it.
  • Loss of 10 small business and essential services i.e. Post office.
  • The impact on the amenity of the community with losses of the post office for the infirm and elderly.
  • Loss of a community centre where locals can gather.
  • Killing of the village feel with another wall running down south St.
  • The serious concern of how the council had done nothing to inform the precinct of the development.
  • No notification to residents that a major issue was before council, nothing new there.
  • The fact that the Green Plan for Hilton has been completely ignored with the lack of park space in the area.
  • Even thought they had no notice and limited time they still got 462 signatures on a petition against Aldi development from just 3 business having the petition. That’s all locals who actually use the site currently.
  • Hilton is an ignored suburb, with council’s time, effort and our cash going into mostly CBD oriented issues.
  • Hilton has had promises from council for decades but no delivery on such promises.

Sadly from what I have read online, the council decision was probably not swayed by the Hilton residents passion, but Brad/council did fail to get their desired height and density. Aldi did not follow his design ideology to add to his flattering attempts to increase density anywhere he can. It would be interesting to see which way the councils vote would have gone, wall or no wall, if they got their wish for an apartment block on top. I would think that would have got it over the line with this council.

Brad has been supportive of Aldi coming to the area “Let me star by saying I have no fundamental problem with an Aldi coming to Fremantle or Hilton. They are undoubtedly going to be a major player in supermarkets in WA in coming years.”  Once again Brad Pettitt is happy to increase the density of a precinct, compound the traffic issues, quadruple the parking problems, and further erode the community amenity while still doing nothing to improve any amenity which his own green plan calls for. Where would all the kids play Brad, in your next new high-rise, the road reserve of South St? So perhaps before he goes off on more large concrete blocks/towers to live in, he could look at a park the area badly needs, for the young families in the area. There must be a few around as every time I get my Hair cut at Johns, there are always kids waiting for a haircut. It seems to be the cart before the horse with this council.

A quote from the Herald which did a nice story covering the impact on residents and local businesses,  you would think council would not support trying to kill them off. “Ms Mecklai also laments the likely demise of the long-planned hub, fearing it will increase pressure on the heritage garden suburb to build more unpopular infill housing. She’s concerned the cumulative effects of ALDI, a proposed Spudshed and a new development at the old Dulux site off Hines Road will create a traffic nightmare.”

Another amazing thing is that a mayor/council which is supposedly into sustainability, would support an offshore company setting up in Freo, killing off local family business, one over 35yrs old. I guess that’s because they are progressive*. I suppose food miles is not part of their sustainability model, I guess all those heavily packaged products come in by solar or wind powered ships. Not to mention if Aldi uses the word meat/beef on a package its open to interpretation on the source of that protein. Sounds much better than local grown, prepared food products, NOT.

Again it was Councillor Massie who brought common sense and practicality to the room and got the loudest round of applause from the gallery I have heard after his statement on the project. Which started out as a support for Aldi coming to the area, but moved over to community concerns, loss of small business and actually came up with an alternative site just up the road ,which brought a huge round of applause. Great to see a Councillor not just against the idea but with a good alternative location for consideration, possibly a better site for Aldi, which in its 1st impression made the community very happy.

Aldi did have a representative there who spoke supporting the Aldi proposal. To be fair to Aldi the wall they have in the plan is not their 1st choice but due to a 10 metre road reserve running along that part of South St. This is more a state government and council issue as Aldi have to plan to what’s in actual place for laws/requirements, not the lame promises of council to see what they can do to fix it. Not surprising why council was planning Aldi’s new business model, with apartments over the top, they were not aware that WA state laws make it difficult for supermarkets to run with apartments above, with ownership laws/rights confusing  issues, compromising the operation etc. Perhaps that’s why it’s best for council, to let business come up with its own models or concepts and council stick to concreting parks.

All this said, it will probably come down to the SAT at state government level giving it the tick or not. Lets hope Aldi is open to a possible new location and embraces community concerns leaving the door open for them to be a good corporate citizen and start off on the right foot with the community they will need as customers.

WA today has a story on the issue here is there link

Aldi in Perth: Fremantle council sends supermarket packing

 

* Progressive;  Open to or favoring new ideas, policies, or methods. The problem is its not always for the best, and in many cases they are so wrapped up in being progressive, that the actual outcome or impact is lost to reality. As some say, change for the sake of change.

Hiltons Aldi Factor

We have seen lots of comments on the new Aldi, old Dick Smith has a comment on his site here’s a link.

There is lots of issues to talk about, whether people want an Aldi or not?

It’s not great that all the small businesses are being driven out by Aldi another foreign based company killing off small local business. I would rather see them battling with Coles and Woolies than the small businesses

The issue that does not seem to in discussion is the traffic. Anyone who drives down this street (south st) knows that the traffic is shocking a real bottle neck, with bad entrances onto South Street, badly placed PT pick up and set down points and small roads that are challenging to get out of.

Add to this in the future plans for the High St upgrade and may have real increase of diverted traffic to South St when High St stops as a thoroughfare into Fremantle.

I wonder if any traffic impact study/report has been done on the\is area for the impact of what the high st upgrade will do, as if traffic has to use other routes to get into town u can bet South St will be one, option.

So before the Mayor tries to make traffic congestion worse for the area by adding another apartment tower to a location that already struggles to cope with its traffic congestions, he should have some professional modelling done for the area, by main roads or just like?

End of the day Aldi will just be another foreign owned business killing off small business with its profit doing overseas. Every time a foreign company imports food products we lose control of what we feed our families.

Anyone watching the news would have seen the horse meat scandal that rock Europe a couple of years back. It’s these sort of issues we expose ourselves to with imported foods and much worse. The berry incident, Coles with freshly baked products from Ireland to name a few recent incidents

Then we have the issue that woolies think Aldi not playing on a level field, classic comment from woolies

I can’t see an Aldi wanting apartments above their story with the residents using the car parking space needed for shoppers

Oh well read up on them, google them you will find lots of info and make your decision what u think is best for yourself and your family. Link to council form

 

 

 

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