Mark McGowan touts ‘metro hubs’ plan for Perth. The Freo Factor

ariel fremantle crop

Mark McGowan touts ‘metro hubs’ plan for Perth.

Hasn’t this idea been around for decades, I seem to recall it was a big issue back in the early to mid-90’s? I thought the government had a report made back in the 50’s that talked about a similar concept?

I was glad to read a comment reportedly from Mr McGowan “It’s not good enough to just whack down a block of units on a quiet suburban street and call it infill.” Cause that’s what places like Burt St are getting from the COF. No other infrastructure just a big lump of apartments with a huge R160 zoning. Isn’t that what the Kim Beazley site is getting not as dense but still out of character for the suburb? Isn’t that what’s planned for the Old Bunker site off Swanbourne St? There is no plans for services, PT, shops, retail, etc. certainly no light rail? Some aren’t even offering an additional 10% for open public space, to cater for the influx of people brought in by the infill. All this development  being driven by the COF with what seems to be none of the desired facilities/services mentioned in the article?

As the crow flies Fremantle is just under 15kms from Perth, it has a rail link, it has a bus hub, it has residential, and it has high-rise apartments, though its retail is dying. It has recreational activities, beaches, sporting clubs, parks, festivals, arts community. So Fremantle has all of the ingredients mentioned in the article, reported from Professor Newman, so what aren’t we flourishing?

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Vegas knows a little about moving people

Areas like Booragoon have no light rail, no plans for light rail, no massive infill or high rises planned to the best of my knowledge. Though has plans to double its retail area, is attracting businesses with office space, but offers none of the key ingredients for success mentioned in the article (apart from free car parking and retail which seem to go hand in hand)?

Murdoch and Success seem to be thriving and going ahead in leaps and bounds, is that due to the rail going through the middle of their centres or is it also perhaps helped with a little 6 lane Freeway running alongside it? Small detail.

Further from reports that the government may be moving away from promised light rail in the northern suburbs due to a spiralling cost blow outs, does this not leave a massive hole in the FREO 2029 vision, just weeks after it came out? Without the light rail they dream about, no major business to employ all the people they wish to bring with their infill plans, housing diversity plan, new parking policy and one train line going north, will this vision have a chance? Where will all these people work and how will they get to their jobs. Will light rail solve the issue for parents dropping off kids at school and then shooting straight off to work and vise e versa for pickup time? It’s well and good to have a vision but when you are relying on a State Government to fund it that doesn’t seem to care about Freo, no matter which flavour is in, you could be dreaming?

Having lived in cities with light rail or undergrounds and great public transport systems, it’s easy to see the benefits of such a network. People’s lives are based around these networks. The challenge here is that people’s lives are based around the car or motorbikes, so the question is how much will people be happy to give up to use PT, how much will they be prepared to change in their lives to suit PT?     

Right now kids/teenagers are saving, thinking, dreaming about their 1st car, getting a license. I still recall staff I had working for me talk about getting their 1st car and the FREEDOM, they perceived it would give them, talk of servicing, insurance, repairs, new tyres, costs weren’t of interest to them. All they talked about was what it would allow them to have the freedom they wanted and for some of the girls the safety of not having to travel on PT. So good luck being the group that’s wants to take dreams from kids.

The other concern is that if all the infill and higher density comes, without the light rail and business/jobs how will the people living in these new carless environments get around. Further if jobs do come to town what’s the chance of people living close to work, it’s not like it was decades back when you could get a job for life and lived close by, with our transient employment style now, with companies, growing one day, downsizing the next, technology replacing workers, outsourcing, closing down and/or moving, promotions, job changes, etc. how do u plan to live close to where u work?

Finally Perth 9th most liveable city in the world things can’t be too bad here.

Sorry about protected blogs

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

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

Do as I Say, Not As I Do – (Says) Council

 

Parking issues in Freo, go Round and Round

See No Parking, Here No Parking,

Speak No (!@#$%&) Parking, Approve No Parking

This is the representation we get from our current council

Residents and ratepayers in the City of Fremantle are on the way to a new life style paradigm thanks to our restless City Council. Under the Council’s proposed new Parking Policy and Housing Diversity Policy, there will be no residents’ long term car parking allowed on the street in Fremantle and its surrounding suburbs. Even limiting the number of cars your property can have to just one, just 1. A great portion of existing car parks that are both open ground and multi-story are be sold in order to finance Council projects, as for example the King Square development new council building.

I’m attempting to raise these issues to bring them into the public domain. Mayor Pettitt’s responses were included in the program.

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The Mayor, Brad Pettit, said that it is too expensive apparently to build new car parks as the cost per parking bay could be in order of $50,000. Similarly, during the October full council meeting, we learned from Cr. Pemberton that the Council is not planning to construct new multi storey car parks because the cost of one new car bay could be over $45,000 per parking bay. So if they are so expensive to replace why are we selling the ones we have, why goes council allow developers to constantly under delivery for parking in new developments

Parking is an issue at most council meetings, almost every council meeting I go to, I see residents coming to complain about new developments marking parking worse for existing residents and business yet, what does our council do, you guessed it approve new development with no or little parking as required under the regulations.

Perhaps the Mayor agrees with the Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, that ‘poor people’ don’t drive cars. The Council is selling the families, that is, residents and ratepayers’ silver, i.e. its revenue earners, so the new Council building can be constructed. Obviously, the Council does not intend to replace the facilities lost to the residents, ratepayers and visitors, so therefore income is lost, also capital gain on the assets, further adding to the City’s financial woes, as well as the inconvenience to visitors and the community.

Under the Council’s new vision for Fremantle, if a person wanted to shop in Fremantle, to get here, the Council’s preferred option is for them to use a bike, skateboard or public transport. None of which is an exciting or viable option if you are buying or transporting fragile goods, liquids, heavy bulky items, shopping for a large family.

  • If you are elderly,
  • Mobility challenged,
  • Sick,
  • or if the weather is hot, windy or wet or later at night
  • Dangerous to walk or ride home or if you feel unsafe early morning or late at night
  • Injured
  • Pregnant
  • Caring for an infant or more
  • Recovering from injury or surgery

Why is it then that Fremantle Council is so openly unhappy about Garden City and Cockburn Shopping Centre’s expanding and taking even more customers away? It is no surprise that the ratepayers from Hamilton Hill, Melville and East Fremantle do not want to join our dilapidated regional centre. However, the Council isn’t interested in these problems/challenges, preferring to pursue its own political agenda and ambitions, which are entirely unrelated to the needs of the local residents and ratepayers for whom they were elected to represent.

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Is this the views of the average rate payer and resident in Fremantle, as if your council is supporting them and they represent you then I guess so.

  • What good will an electric car charging system do for the average Fremantle resident?
  • How will limiting the size of house you can build on your land help your super funding?
  • How will not being able to park a car in front of your house help you
  • How will a family of 5 benefit from only being able to have 1 car at their home, Mum and Dad working, one teenager at uni/tafe or doing an apprenticeship, another learning to drive, one in primary or day care.
  • Shift working, odd hours, split shifts, weekend work, late nights, early starts, often don’t fit with public transport not to mention the time lost, does one car work?
  • Where will tradies park their work utes and van?
  • Where will a business owner keep a work vehicle?
  • Will you have space for a company car?
  • What about shared houses not a family as such but 4 singles leaving in the same house do they have to share a car?
  • Will you be able to own a boat or trailer and park in your street or at your home?
  • Where do visitors park, in some approval I have seen you need 4-5 units to have the right for one visitor bay?
  • Who is this council to dictate to use if I own a car or how big my house can be, sounds a bit like a few communist regimes I could name?

It’s a shame that the Council does not set the same stringent example that it is forcing on the ratepayers, residents and its visitors. Currently the City keeps some 200 free parking bays for its own use, at the cost of $8.80 per day (approximately $350,000 to $400,000 a year), for which we, the ratepayer, fork out another $2,500 in FBT annually. At the same time, the rate payer is to be compelled to fork out more money to park their own car outside their own house, (and in some cases not allowed to park at all) under the new Parking Policy. Perhaps this is one of the tools Mayor Pettitt intends to apply to drive Fremantle real estate prices down as he clearly indicated in the above mentioned WTV interview, with all the implications for the future financial sustainability of Fremantle.

If the Henderson Street car park is sold to the private sector, the City intends to reserve 100 car bays within the facility for their own use. With the daily rate of $8.80 per bay this will cost ratepayers about $220,000 annually in lost revenue, plus FBT. What has been a money earning amenity for the city and ratepayers will become another expense burden to the ratepayers. This was an opportunity for the Council to lead by example, but it appears that there will be two Parking Policies, one for them and one for the rest of us.

Ever parking related problem this council creates will be another issue to be solved by a future council!

The whole premise of this new vision for Fremantle is flawed at the very least but more importantly inequitable, and hypocritical, and an impost on the community that is already paying dearly, as it has already been identified that Fremantle rates are some of the most expensive in WA.

It would seem that the Councillor’s are happy to sell a perfectly good asset that belongs to the community and generates revenue for rate payers and residents, but appear to bluff the rate payers and residents into thinking it’s a good deal. Is this showing financial responsibility and accountability?

Councils time should be 100% spent on running our city for the benefit or rate payers and residents, getting ready for alamgmation, and building a better CBD enviroment for business, retailers, to attract back to Fremantle all its resident who would rather shop, work, do business else where. Leaving their own personnel pet projects and ideology to a time after all the basics are working?

At the moment you can’t organize garbage to be collected reliably in a major tourist area!

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