Fremantle Port Worth $3 Billions in Lease Deal as Early as Jan 2016

Fremantle Port is gaining great interest in its privatization deal, by as early as Jan 2016.

Interest is high in what is likely to be Australia’s fourth and final big container port privatisation and it is understood potential buyers have been in touch with Western Australian government officials in recent weeks, seeking clarification on a number of important issues which will determine the port’s appeal and likely value.

PFL and the outer harbour will be key consideration in this lease deal of the FPA. Profit are up the container business is growing at over 6% annually.

Our new PM has stated he still supports the PFL funding model, stage one is finalized and interested parties are looking at stage 2 to further drive the price of the FPA operation.

WA stands to make a great windfall in the lease of Fremantle Port, freeing up funds generated in the lease deal for developing public transport (PT) which is a direction the new PM Turnball would like to see with use of the funds raised by leasing assets like the FPA.

Of course a minority group are against the PFL which could impact the final lease revenue generated for the port which could means less funds for Perth’s public transport infrastructure.

Sadly due to the Fremantle councils negative attitude for development in fremantle ( bar a select few) the PFL is likely to just be a truck route for the port instead of a positive development, improving locals road safety, lessening congestion and lowering pollution for our suburbs.

Guess theirs no donation for election campaigns for the right people, in the PFL so it looks like it will not be getting the golden tick of approval. Maybe if it started or finished at a mirco brewery it would get a look in?


East Fremantle Voting on Amalgamation

ball and chain

CityofFremantle map

Saturday 7 February 2015 in the Town of East Fremantle, votes on amalgamation.

There seems to be a strong movement of locals in EF to block or stop this part of the state’s amalgamation process. I have an opinion but this is a decision best left for EF electors to resolve. In the best interests of democracy let’s hope they get a good turn out as this will give the best true reflection of electors wishes.

Notice to Electors

Full page add in the Herald, you will need to look at page 5 of the 17/1/2015. The article makes some good valid points, worth reading.

The most important point raised, which is something I have mentioned in past posts is the issue of elected members, Mayors positioning themselves for a commissioners appointments in their own city, to run council till a new body is elected. Could you think of anything more detrimental to the democratic system than allowing current elected members and individuals, to be appointed commissioners who could then run for the coming election? This is a massive conflict of interest, isn’t it?Them to have virtually unvetted control over our cities operation, finances, budgets, manning, contracts, planning, etc. poor decisions could leave us financial crippled for years to come.

I think the minster would be wise to appoint an independent commissioner, to run the city till a new council could be elected. This commissioner should also be ineligible to run for an elected position, (this removes any concerns of acting in self-interest or bias) it would be in the best interest of a true democratic election or process. Not hard, just ensure that the commissioner/s are not a resident or rate payer of the new Greater City of Fremantle.

Further in the interests of real or true democracy, ensure that no delaying tactics are used to extend the commissioner/s appointment time by guarantying an election as soon as possible i.e. come Oct 2105 we should go to polls to vote in a newly elected body, as recommended by the Local Government Advisory Board. Surely it would be in the Minister best interest to have a smooth transition and to have a truly independent commissioner/s, well it would be a good start? Not ones that have questionable self-interests in taking up the roles?

More importantly no real community consultation on this issue at all, just elected members sitting in chambers voting for themselves to be appointed. If that’s not self-interest what is????? The government will leave themselves very open for public scrutiny and criticism by appointing a non-independent person, should anything go wrong, well its they who will be held publicly accountable.

No wonder people in East Fremantle want to put a stop to amalgamation.

One last point on amalgamation the government has put out a list of pros and cons, the pros are pretty much opinion, they are yet to be proven, watch out for that coolaid.

Freo Future

Online yesterday I read on Perth News an article on Perth neighbors disputes at all time high.

Reading this I immediately though of the situation at Burt St

Is our current council ideology driving us into this situation, as density increases, more neighbour disputes seem to be happening, this has an added cost to society apart from the stress, increased need for emergency services to attend, police government agencies etc?

As increased density happens in our suburbs we increase the stress level of our lives, so in the future we will have more cost for dealing with stress, medical issue’s etc. Similar to other studies which show tree canopy, open spaces, parks, green areas, are good for our personal health, yet councils direction to concrete and build on parks, clear blocks of trees, increase density will only worsen our situation, is this the future we want for Fremantle?

You can see why Burt St is up in arms, they can see where Fremantle council direction is heading and how it will negatively impact on our amenity.

Fremantle First

I see Brad in the paper again, photo opp anyone, something about cars and parking, I think? People call Barnett emperor seriously check out Brads pic hes just missing, The Gladius and his Galea, standing over the evil vanquished cars.

I find it hard to see how the Mayor of a city with such a poor report in the 202020 vision can be  lecturing  about the concrete in Perth when his council is and has approved parkland to be concreted over, while having the second worse record in WA . Not to mention the 100+ trees they approved to be cut down on one block in White Gum Valley, just recently.

So perhaps we should keep the trees we have, stop concreting and planning to concrete more parkland and work on getting Fremantle back on its feet instead trying to tell the rest of the state how do its business.

Fremantle First

According to the ABS here is a excerpt from their last report. “The number of passenger vehicles per 1,000 population has also increased across all states and territories. Tasmania has experienced the largest number increase, from 554 per 1,000 in 2006 to 597 per 1,000 population in 2013. Western Australian experienced the smallest increase per 1,000 population (from 588 to 597 per 1,000 population).” Leaving Victoria, S.A.  A.C.T.  all worse than W.A. who is equal 4th with Tasmania

Passenger vehicles in Perth over 5 yrs had increased by 2.1% on the yearly average, while it was trucks and motor bikes that had doubled that figure in growth, neither using that much parking bay space.

It certainly doesn’t cost $30,000 for a car bay at your average Australian home, well not unless Brad has some new council car tax he hasn’t told us about? Last time i heard Brad referenced the cost of a  parking bay it was $50,000 per bay quite a change, i wonder what it will be next time? Have a look at this you tube post, compare to what Brad was reported in the West to have said, its only a 40% discrepancy.

Then of course there is the common sense way to look at it, a nurse drives to work at a hospital, does his/her shift leaves, then the same car bay is used by the next shift, well if that happens 3 times a day we can divide his figures by 3 for all shift workers jobs just to start with. The questions in these figures are endless.

It really drives home the tag for my blog Don’t Drink The Coolaid, i.e. don’t believe everything you are told, otherwise bad things can happen, ask questions, think for your self, chat to mates, etc.

Roel, has a blog on it too, Freoview, check out the comments after his blog post, always interesting.


True Democracy or Not for New Fremantle

Armed with good information

Armed with good information

$80 for a seat on Fremantle City Council
Ward and District info Pros and Cons
General facts/info

I find it quite disturbing to see a council with intent to delay our democratic process to put in place a system more amenable to them
Based on Fremantle’s current 6 wards x 2 councillors + a popularly elected Mayor
Districts 1 with 12 councillors elected by the whole district each elector gets to have 12 votes.
Popular vote no preferences
Each councillor swears same oath to office whether ward or district
If current council disagreed with the amalgamation they had the option of calling for a poll, not trying to fiddle about with the new system.Each elector in a district election would vote for all 12 candidates opposed to just 2 from their ward
Ward pros
• Each ward has councillors elected to represent their views
• Each ward has 2 representatives
• Cheaper for candidates perhaps making it more attractive to a the wider community

Ward Cons
• Allows self interest groups to place pressure onto ward councillor for support for minority interests
• Allows councillor to be elected unopposed
• Allows councillors to be elected without putting forward their position
• Allows underperforming councillors to be re-elected if unopposed.
• Fremantle has had recent elections where 50% of councillors were elected with not 1 vote.
• Allows councillors to horse trade on issues, 1 vote for an issue to keep their electors happy the rest vote against it, allowing no accountability or visa versa
• Under performing councillors not held accountable to whole city district
• Majority of residents don’t even know of ward system or how it works
• If no one challenges for a seat electors have no say in the democratic process at all
• If 4 really good candidates run for the same ward, we as a collective city, we could lose 3 good people as only one may be elected each rotation.
• Just because a candidate runs for a ward doesn’t mean they have to live in that ward or even know anything about it.
• To establish a ward system before the Oct 2015 we would need delay democracy and leave a state government appointed commissioner in charge of the city with little or no oversight.
• Fremantle is undergoing substantial residential developments which will cause unbalance in the ward elector’s system, a district system would allow this to happen with no effect on balanced (fair) representation.

Clearly the cheaper ward option has not attracted many candidates as we see from the number of elections with councillors elected unrepresented

District Pros
• Allows the whole district to judge the performance of each councillor
• Ensure no councillors are elected unopposed if we need 6 and seven stand all must contest the election to win.
• Ensures all candidates will have to have a platform to run on, ie the public get an opportunity to see what they believe in.
• Exposes all candidates to the greater city district scrutiny
• Nullifies effects of small self interest groups
• Allows the system to give the best candidates a opportunity to be elected
• If ward contacts are desirable this could be achieve by elected councillors drawing them out of hat at random.
• Allows the voters not to lose good candidates i.e. 1 ward gets 5 great candidates, only one is elected, then another ward has 2 candidates both poor but one is guarantee to be elected.
• Allows for residential developments to proceed with no effect on the boundary make up saving money and time.
• If groups (precinct) identify with a candidate ward or no ward they can still vote for them.
• District system will have no effect on the precinct groups currently operating, we just have to make new ones for all the incoming suburbs.

District Cons
• Harder for individuals to get out to the whole district cost would be an issue.
• Political parties may have an advantage but Fremantle is politicised already it would make little difference.
• No ward representatives but could be quickly organized, by drawing for wards.

Interesting discussion on the pro wards, anti-district issue at council chambers
Again only councillor Massie looked at the situation from an unbiased point of view, perhaps it’s because if the amalgamation goes ahead, he has nothing to lose as he will be merged with Melville no longer eligible for Fremantle council.
Interesting that several councillors spoke about the importance of ward representation and the voice of the ward being heard, good point? Well not really if u look back at the history of elections in Fremantle.
2009 for examples, 50% of the councillors took seats without a single vote, as no one opposed them.
So effectively 50% of the Fremantle electorate had no say in the formation of its council so the argument that wards system gives true representation is rubbish, in fact it took away 50% of the electors rights to even participate in the electoral process of their so called representative
2007 councillor Fittock was elected not one vote cast
2009 councillor Sullivan was elected with not one vote cast.
2011 councillors Massie, Strachan and Fittock elected with not one vote cast.
2013 councillors, Wilson and Coggin elected with not one vote cast.
In fact councillor Fittock has not been voted for in 2 elections, not one vote in 2007 or 2011 elections.
So how this system ensures representation I’m not sure as they don’t even need to hand out a flyer saying what they are thinking or believe in.
Certainly has nothing to do with democracy if anything the ward system has the ability to take away your democratic vote in the case of candidates running unopposed, it’s like winning pass the parcel because u are the only one who showed up.
It’s seems to be quite clear why they oppose districts, as then every candidate would be on a level playing field, having to front up for the electoral process in its entirety.
Looking at this the district system is the only way to guarantee that all electors are given a voice in the electoral process.

Facts from the counted votes at the 2013 election.
% of cast votes counted in Fremantle’s local government election
Mayoral 38.2%
Beaconsfield 0%
City 37.3 %
East ward 0%
Hilton ward 32.6%
North ward 37.6%
South ward 41.0%
2011 highest was 36%
2009 most wards above 40%
2005 most wards high 40’s to 55%
So since 2005 we have seen a decline in voter turn-out, typically mayoral elections bring a higher turn-out than non-mayoral elections.
The most concerning issue is the lack of candidates for wards, so u can buy a seat on council for $80 bucks and just turning up if there is no other candidates running for that ward seats, districts elections will help stop this.
The district system is East Freo’s best opportunity as all their councillors could run for council, if they all stuck to the ward system just one East Freo ward, the best they would get is 2 seats.
Let’s be clear just because a councillor runs for a seat in a ward doesn’t mean they live in that ward, they could come from anywhere in the district.
District voting it allows the whole electorate to judge all councillors performance, not just the 2 from their ward. Perhaps this is a concern for them?
If we get say 10 to 12 from Freo, 5 or 6 from east Freo, 4-5 from the old Cockburn areas and another 1/2 dozen from old Melville areas we could have a really good election.
That alone could lift the veil of apathy.
End of the day a district election show a truer form of democracy and if the electors decide they prefer the ward system after the next election they can ask to have the boundaries adjusted as is their right under the ACT.

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